A green field of grass with nuclear explosions on the horizon, and two pilots near a small spacecraft in the foreground.

Too Many Post-Apocalyptic TV Series?

Is it just me getting a bit tired of all the post-apocalyptic TV series and movies?

Sure, it’s a genre on its own, and there has always been a steady stream of them. I don’t have a problem with that. I just felt that I reached saturation level for my own part with “The Last of Us” that started airing earlier this year.

It’s not that I don’t like the genre. I do. The movie “Twelve Monkeys” (1995) is number 8 on my all time favourites list. I suppose also “The Matrix” (1999) fits the bill as a post-apocalyptic movie, and it’s number 5 on that same list.

In Science Fiction

The post-apocalyptic genre obviously overlaps a great deal with science fiction. Both “Twelve Monkeys” and “The Matrix” are also science fiction movies. What still appeals to me about both those movies, though, is that they have a more interesting and original take on the post-apocalyptic setting.

There’s also a bunch of TV series that cotains elements of both genres. I have avoided mist of them though. But it recently occurred to me that Battlestar Galactica is also quite obviously a post-apocalyptic series. A good deal of the 4 season plot revolves around the common theme of power struggles in the remnants of a collapsed society. It’s the one interesting thing about the genre that actually appeals to me: the exploration of human nature. How exactly would we deal with right and wrong when there is no legal infrastructure to keep us all in check? How quickly would we fall back on the human habit of enforcing our beliefs on others through the use of violence?

Another trope of the genre is of course the invading aliens exterminating humans. I found “A Quiet Place” (2018) quote a refreshing take on this. The sequel (2020) not so much, but still decent. These movies deal less with the power struggle of humans and more with the pure survival aspect. It’s a more limited scope, and I hope they don’t make a TV series out of these movies.

Another recent alien invasion movies is “The Tomorrow War” (2021), which is only worth watching for those who like Chris Pratt and don’t mind plot holes and a disconnected and weird final act.

Enough With the Zombies Though …

This leads me to the other part of this, which I really am tired of: Zombies. Or any other version of humans that are no longer humans, but homicidal monsters. I got tired of the zombies in “The Walking Dead” really fast. But the show kept me interested for a while due to a combination of interesting characters and the already mentioned study of violent human nature. Still, after multiple iterations of power hungry murderous small dictators, the show got really repetitive and boring. I didn’t watch the last seasons.

The spin-off series “Fear the Walking Dead” went back to the beginning of the zombie virus outbreak, and for a while dealt with how the family it followed handled the society while it collapsed. I really enjoyed that phase of the series, but eventually after a couple of seasons, the show became a copy of The Walking Dead, with the same tropes and plots just with different characters.

Which brings me back to the new series, “The Last of Us”. It is really well made, and got interesting characters portrayed by actors I like watching. But the setting and plot really doesn’t engage me at all. It’s just another kind of murderous zombies.

I think I’m going to go back and watch Battlestar Galactica again instead. I just bought the entire series on Bluray, because who can be bothered chasing disappearing shows all around the internet on streaming services any more …


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