Netflix’s apocalyptic teen comedy Daybreak is an exhausting sugar rush

Photo: Ursula Coyote / Netflix

Daybreak’s Josh Wheeler (Colin Ford) has a killer origin story. But what separates him from Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, or any of the dozens of teen protagonists who’ve struggled through their own apocalyptic YA stories is that he thinks of his life in terms like “killer origin story.” From its first Ferris Bueller-inspired moments onward, the new Netflix zombie comedy regularly smashes the fourth wall to deliver a self-aware series where the characters are as pop-culture savvy as their audience. The latest attempt to appeal to teenagers hungry for bingeable content offers an unwieldy mix of winking comedy, gory thrills, satirical social commentary, and earnest teen storytelling, and it’s equal parts exhilarating and exhausting.

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