Daybreak season 1 premiere recap: Josh vs. the Apocalypse: Part 1

Photo: Daybreak Season 1 Image Courtesy Ursula Coyote/Netflix
Photo: Daybreak Season 1 Image Courtesy Ursula Coyote/Netflix /

In the season 1 premiere of Netflix series Daybreak, we meet Josh…and yes, Josh “vs. the Apocalypse.”

Right when Daybreak begins, we meet Josh Wheeler (Colin Ford). He shows Los Angeles, before, during and after the zombie apocalypse. We first meet Principal Michael Burr (Matthew Broderick) over the high school P.A. system, giving announcements about school projects, such as one dealing with the “whitewashing of Asian roles in Hollywood.” Josh’s class also apparently has lots of guys named Jaden.

We don’t learn what specifically caused the nuclear catastrophe which messed up the world, but Josh mentions the capacity to launch nukes with a Tweet. Also, he mentions an important rule in the new world: Finders keepers, losers weepers. With all of the adults apparently dead, Josh needs such a rule to survive.

Not scary enough for you? Well, Daybreak also offers up zombies or something like them. While the Walking Dead calls them “walkers” or “biters,” Daybreak calls them “Ghoulies,” though they’re not these Ghoulies. They have a quirk, too. They tend to go around saying the last stupid thing they said while alive.

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While on the move, Josh likes to tag buildings with graffiti, and can occasionally be seen brandishing his trusty katana blade, “Sam” — named after his apparent eternal crush, Samaira ‘Sam’ Dean (Sophie Simnett). He can use this blade to attack ghoulies or any fierce animal mutants. Josh also warns about a character named Baron Triumph, a cannibal who catches kids. The world, in general, is divided up between various jocks and “disciples of Kardashian.”

Terry, Jerry, Larry, Gary, and Barry

Some people in Daybreak are up to no good. For example, a golf club (that is, a club of people who enjoy golfing) has kidnapped someone. They also have similar names: Terry (Chester Rushing), Jerry (Micah McNeil), Larry (Alan Trong), Gary (Mickey Dolan) and Barry (Jon LeVert). Being a decent guy, Josh is interested in rescuing the captive. However, the avid golfers give him the choice of a battle or regale them with his origin story.

After boring them with his account of Principal Burr talking about walnuts, the golfers threaten to turn him into their slave (or “indentured American,” as one of their more politically correct members notes). However, after a brief flashback featuring Sam, Josh hacks at Terry, lodging his sword into his hand. Because Terry has a peanut allergy (as noted by Principal Burr in the flashback), Josh falsely claims he recently made a PB&J sandwich, which also helps scares the golf bullies away. Unfortunately, Josh finds out he rescued Angelica (Alyvia Alyn Lind), who he’s not a fan of.

Wesley Fists

We next meet Wesley Fists (Austin Crute), a self-designated street samurai. While Josh isn’t a huge fan of him, either, Wesley is more of an ally than a threat. After they discuss guns vs. swords, Wesley says he’s actually a pacifist, guiding lost souls through the wastelands. Eventually, though, any pacifist would be put to the test in Daybreak. Turbo Bro Jock (Cody Kearsley) and his entourage have a sick reality show contest going on, called “American Ninja Idol.” After a “contestant” named #54 (Luke Valen) fails at singing, the judges drop him into a zombie pit down below! They show him no mercy when he successfully escapes, shooting him with a bazooka.

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Eventually, Turbo and crew learn of Josh and his group. Josh and Angelica the petulant dwarf spontaneously decide they must stay together. Along with Wesley Fists, they attack the jocks with some balloons filled with gross liquid. During the showdown, Terry gets bitten by a ghoulie. Angelica tries to roast one with a flamethrower but fails, and it runs off with Josh’s sword in its back. Meanwhile, Baron Triumph approaches!

What are your thoughts on Daybreak? Let us know in the comments!