‘Freakish’ Season 2 Doubles the Drama and the Blood

Season two of Hulu’s “Freakish” wastes no time cutting back into the action. The zombie horror drama, which returns for a 10-episode second season bow on Oct. 18, picks right up a few days after the cliffhanger events perspired at the end of season one once Grover (Leo Howard) returned on the scene. The show centers around a group of high schoolers who must fight against the mutants, known as freaks, that have taken over their town following a meltdown at the local chemical plant.

In terms of tone and story, the show features an eclectic combination of “The Walking Dead” zombie action set within the dramatic confines of a CW teen melodrama mixed with a campy Syfy Saturday night movie. While the core group is stuck inside the school trying to fight for survival, inevitable teen drama involving a love triangle and an unwanted appearance by someone’s ex seeps its way into the second season storyline.

Regarding the comparison above to AMC’s juggernaut “The Walking Dead,” the apocalyptic world set inside “Freakish” is starting to find surviving humans to be just as large of a threat as the zombie freaks. After LeShaen (Melvin Gregg) returns from a supply run in which he encounters a less-than-friendly group of outsiders, the team quickly discovers that they are no longer alone within the walls of Kent High.

Among the returning members of season one, Amanda Steels, Brant Daugherty, Niki DeMartino, Jake Busey, Ryan McCartan, and Saxon Sharbino all join the action for season two at the helm of their leader, Zane Hiatt played by Jordan Colloway of “Riverdale.” Their presence on the show creates an underlying barrier of trust issues and juicy tension within the already shaky (and bloody) walls of Kent High. Unlike the weekly release of Hulu’s “Casual” and “The Mindy Project,” the streamer has dropped all 10 episodes for an easy-going and enjoyable binge.

“Freakish” is the product of AwesomenessTV. The series heavily builds off of talents of social media influencers including, YouTube comedian Liza Koshy and YouTuber Meghan Rienks, among a splattering of others. Over the past few years, social media stars have integrated into television and film. The crossover is quite divisive. On one side, many films and television programs add social media stars simply for their social followings. Their talent, or lack thereof, is supplemented by the immense following that they can use to promote the film. It is a healthy tactic that lures in the likes of producers and content creators, but it often comes at a cost as the social stars lack the proper talent to carry a film or show. More often than not, the amount of followers a person has doesn’t fill in for lack of talent.

Luckily for “Freakish,” that mostly isn’t the case. The show’s use of social stars is not a gimmick. Liza Koshy, who stars as Violet Adams, started out on Vine before migrating to huge recognition on YouTube. The actress, mostly known for her comedic videos, uses the show to display her dramatic acting chops properly. It is evident that Koshy has a great deal to offer. Much of the same can goes for Meghan Rienks and Melvin Gregg who play as Zoe Parker and LeShaen Devereux respectively. While their names might be used to draw in the appropriate crowd, their talent is enough to substantiate the series.

Freakish” season two premieres on Hulu Oct. 18.