Are you one of those people who finds all the holiday cheer a bit too much? Do you find yourself wishing it wasn’t all so very commercial? If you answered yes, then you might be looking for a little fictional gloom and doom to balance out your holiday season. If, like me, you want your gloom and doom to have a silver lining, then you might check out one of these three shows.
The Black Dawn
This low budget series was created as a web series, then found enough popularity to drag it to a short run on cable TV. It is now available on hulu.com or amazon.com instant video. Despite the low budget (which is apparent in the settings and scarcity of effects) the storyline will hold your interest (at least during periods of late night insomnia). Am I damning this show with faint praise, do you think?
The majority of the cast is comprised of young actors playing to type – young college kids who’ve survived a terrorist generated apocalypse. Using weaponized biological agents, The Black Dawn terrorists wiped out almost all of the population. Why did these kids survive? That is part of the mystery. The cast of mostly unknowns does well with the exception of an overacted and creepy older student who happened to have been a soldier before returning to school. The character serves to create internal and moral struggles for the group. I hated him, but I think you’re supposed to. More importantly, I also hate that they made this a smart kids vs crazy veteran scenario. On the upside, there is some hope to wrap it up.
This one is a much bigger budget drama and miles more interesting, better acted, and completely compelling (at least it was for me). It is now available on Netflix or DVD. Again terrorists bring about the disaster, but these terrorists used nuclear bombs to throw the United States into chaos and anarchy. Here, many more people survive, but you have the lawlessness, communication, and misinformation issues you would expect in such a scenario. The show follows the small town of Jericho dealing with survival issues, resources, internal struggles, and external threats. This one gets an unequivocal and enthusiastic thumbs up from me.
This Discovery Channel reality series was created to observe an immersive simulated apocalypse experience. I remember hearing good things about it when it first aired. It is now available streaming on Netflix. Season one lived up to its billing. The 10 person group was clearly cherry picked to include a lot of people with useful skill sets, including several engineers, a doctor, a nurse, a contractor and a handyman. I consider myself a geeky girl and more interested in sciency things than most, but I found myself fast forwarding through some of the mechanical engineering commentary. I was much more interested in seeing how the group coped as new scenarios, like marauders and beggars each threatening safety and resources in their own fashion, were introduced. Interesting. I wish they had done more of a debriefing to see how the experience resolved for the participants. I felt it ended a bit abruptly.
To wrap things up…
I have to also plug my three favorite apocalyptic entertainment offerings, all previously covered on the blog. Of the three, Survivors left me upbeat, but the other two are not guaranteed to have a silver lining as they are still ongoing.
We’re Alive – The Zombie Podcast
My original post.
My interview: Claire Dodin
What are your favorite post-apocalyptic movies, TV shows, podcasts, or books?