Zero is a fantasy drama series created by Menotti, directed by Ivan Silvestrini, Paola Randi, Margherita Ferri and Mohamed Hossameldin, and starring Giuseppe Dave Seke, Haroun Fall, Beatrice Grannò and Dylan Magon, alongside other cast members.
Racial inequality, injustices and class divide form some of the major problems of the world. With the earth rapidly moving forward in time, it seems like human beings have forgotten what it means to be human. We wake up every day with the news of some new heinous hate crime being committed at some corner of the world or another. Netflix series Zero, thus, takes a peek into the class and race divide but somehow fails in the execution.
With so much racial injustice everywhere, one might think that under-represented people are somewhat invisible in the eyes of those who are represented more. And that’s exactly what Zero takes into consideration. Our protagonist, Omar, can literally become invisible. Of course, it represents something deeper than just invisibility. There are other themes that the series comes up with, themes that are as deep as the ones that I mentioned above.
Invisibility, also, stands in as a metaphor for what we, the youth, feel sometimes in this messy and intricate world. A world where our voices aren’t heard and where, while being surrounded by a room full of people, you still feel lonely and incomplete. As Omar says at the beginning of the first episode – it’s the communication that’s missing in today’s world.
However, having said that, Zero has entirely too much going on. There’s the family drama, there’s the love interest and then there’s the drug part. Omar juggles among these three along with us and unfortunately for the show, we see none of these things too well. The series, in a bid to cram too much into its barely-25-minute episodes, tells us too much as well as nothing at all. It’s a little confusing, honestly.
The invisibility thing that I mentioned early on? Yeah, that too doesn’t get much attention. This is such a shame because there could’ve been something really interesting here. The series tries to be too many different things and while the social commentary is nice, Zero is not sure whether it wants to be a plain family drama or a superhero action series.
It also doesn’t help that Zero’s characters have absolutely no depth to them. Apart from Omar and gang leader Shariff, there’s nothing of interest to see when it comes to the other characters. They’re either props to push the show forward or they are just… there. You don’t really associate with any of the characters which is a shame considering the social commentary angle that it tried to play up.
The storyline is also quite awkwardly disjointed and there are scenes that clash with others and make for a confusing viewing experience. Subplots come and go and none are really seen through – so you’re just left to scratch your head and wonder, what happened to that thing that I just saw?
Summing up: Zero
Zero had the potential to truly be something good. It had the characters and some of the story. All it needed was some structure and a clearer idea as to where it wanted to go with the said story. It fails to invest the audience because of the sheer number of inconsistencies that pop up, along with the sheer volume of information that is crammed in such short episodes. The characters, too, could’ve benefitted from pumping some life into them, especially since the heavy social commentary that it wants to convey.
All in all, it’s a series that I wouldn’t mind skipping.
Zero is streaming on Netflix.
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