The world as we know it is going to end one day. Just how it’ll will happen is the stuff Hollywood movies and TV shows are made of. Whether by plague, astronomical event, nuclear war, animals, zombie outbreak or angels, we are fascinated and drawn into shows that focus on our doom and destruction and the journey to keep hope alive and band together to create a new world. With TNT’s new post-apocalyptic series “Snowpiercer,” based on the film based on the graphic novel, premiering this week, here’s a list of some of the best series to contemplate the end of the world and how we survive.
10. “iZombie” (2015 – 2019)
A zombie outbreak on a party boat changes the world in this comedic series and now brains are a hot commodity. Medical resident Olivia uses her zombie perk of being able to see the memories of the individuals’ brains she consumes to help the police solve homicides. As is usually the case, there are other factions who want to suppress the zombie horde. Not as dark and depressing as some of the others in this genre, this one has kind of a comic book/graphic novel fun feel to it. Currently available to stream on Netflix.
9. “Containment” (2016)
In this one season series, an epidemic leads to the quarantining of Atlanta. While trying to contain the outbreak, those stuck inside fight for survival. This one kind of hits close to home during this current COVID-19 quarantine. “Containment” is currently available to stream on Netflix.
8. “The Strain” (2014 – 2017)
A viral outbreak unleashes a deadly strain of evil vampirism in New York City. In four seasons, Corey Stoll and a cast of other familiar faces create a good show with this dark and intense storyline. This one has viewers in for one crazy ride. “The Strain” is currently available to stream on Hulu.
7. “You, Me and the Apocalypse” (2015)
This comedic series has an eight-mile-wide comet on a collision course with Earth so a group of everyday folks hunker down in a bunker beneath the town to watch the end of the world. With interconnected storylines and the hilariously funny Jenna Fischer and Rob Lowe, “You, Me and the Apocalypse” is a fun watch.
6. “12 Monkeys” (2015 – 2018)
“12 Monkeys” is the best of two worlds — time travel and post-apocalyptic gloom and doom. Based on the 1995 film, this four season series on the SyFy channel tells of a man who comes back from the future to prevent a deadly virus from wiping out most of the world. Filled with action, some good acting and all the sci-fi tropes, this one will keep you hooked. “12 Monkeys” is currently available to stream on Hulu.
5. “Kingdom” (2019 – )
Netflix’s South Korean series “Kingdom” tells the epic story of a mysterious plague overtaking the land and the crown prince being his people only hope for survival. Vivid and horrifying good, this period piece definitely deserves a spot on the list.
4. “3%” (2016 – )
Another Netflix series, this time from Brazil, in “3%” the world is a dystopian place divided between progress and devastation. But people are given the chance to make it to the other side — but only 3% can cross over. This one starts pretty slow, but once you get into it, the complex characters and storyline make for a pretty enthralling watch.
3. “The Rain” (2018 – )
In this Danish series, the end of the world comes in the form of rain which unleashes a deadly pathogen. It is up to a rag tag band of teenagers and twenty-somethings to figure out the cure and save the world, all while trying to protect the boy who holds the key from an evil corporation. Another Netflix original, this one’s got action, drama, romance and is visually stunning.
2. “The Handmaid’s Tale” (2017 – )
Based on the critically acclaimed novel, this Hulu series takes place in a dystopian future where women are forced to be surrogates under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship. Well-acted with a great cast (Elisabeth Moss, Madeline Brewer, Joseph Fiennes, Samira Wiley and others) and visually stunning and surreal, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is a world we wouldn’t want to live in.
1. “The Walking Dead” (2010 – )
Of course the top spot would go to the longest running post-apocalyptic show. The pop culture phenomenon that is “The Walking Dead” keeps everybody talking with its complex and relatable characters and its memorable deaths that have been scorched into our collective brains. This series propelled many to superstardom, including Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Steven Yeun, Sonequa Martin-Green, Tom Panye and others with its cult-like following, and spawned several spin-offs creating a TWD universe. Filled with badass every day heroes, this series inspires us to keep hope alive and work together for a better future. Past seasons of “The Walking Dead” are streaming on Netflix. The tenth season finale will air on AMC later this year.