Why do People Love This 'Zoo' Show? 

A tepidly-reviewed summer 'event' series is killing it in the ratings.


CBS’ new show Zoo asks viewers to unravel the secret behind an animal revolution, but it’s just as crazy that a show that features zebra attacks is blowing up the ratings. It’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma and thrust behind the bars of puzzlement.

Just a few episodes old, Zoo is now the summer’s top-rated scripted show. That’s despite a shrug of a critical response, a 48 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and a premise worthy of a SyFy original movie. Earth’s animals, wild and domestic, have finally had enough of people and now they’re murdering us. It’s not just the truly intimidating animals like sharks and lions and gorillas, either. A school is menaced by a tree filled with kitties. Yup.

Not that there’s anything wrong with a ludicrous, apocalyptic plot when its done with panache. Humanity’s been blown up, devoured, mutated, and even been wiped out by the flu in the granddaddy of end-of-the-world television events, Stephen King’s The Stand. Everyone wants to watch the world burn.

It could be that initial audience draw is another big name creative force. As Stephen King’s brand got The Stand and more recently Under the Dome up and running over similarly bad reviews and idiot plot devices, Zoo is the brainchild of James Patterson. Critics aren’t fans, but the dude put out 13 books in 2012 alone, and he makes $80 million a year, so maybe he’s the one we should all be asking for advice on life’s mysteries

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