Apocalyptic shows continue to be a progressive genre for decades. Over the years, viewers have seen a number of post-apocalyptic shows spring up in a way that mirrors the views and impact of humans on society. Zombies and various outbreaks causing incidents after The Walking Dead has taken center stage. The apocalyptic tv show boom since the TWD show premiered has kept Hollywood well-employed and streaming platforms well-loaded with content. One of the freshest takes on the apocalyptic genre has been Netflix’s Sweet Tooth.
Based on the comics, Sweet Tooth is a daring but sweet show that centers on a half-deer, half-boy hybrid who seeks out his mother after the death of his father. The whimsy yet suspenseful show thrusts viewers into the world of hybrids who live feared among humans. Blending fantasy and post-apocalyptic themes makes for great TV. There are tons of shows that blend the two themes in perfect harmony.
10 ‘The Last of Us’ (2023-)
Based on the award-winning video game of the same name, The Last of Us TV adaption brings the horror elements to life. When the world collapses due to a mysterious plague, lone survivor Joel Miller (Pedro Pascal) takes charge of teen Ellie (Bella Ramsey) as they make their way across the US. Along their journey, the duo encounters zombie-like creatures and other survivors who wish to do them harm.
While taking inspiration from other zombie materials, The Last of Us brings in a sense of realism by using an infection that could be fatal in real life. Like other shows, the real fear comes in the form of other humans in their fight to survive. What the show lacks in fantasy makes up for in world-ending threats.
9 ’12 Monkeys’ (2015-2018)
A time-warping apocalyptic show with even reality-bending suspense. 12 Monkeys follows a time traveler from a post-apocalyptic future who ventures into the past to destroy the origins of a deadly plague that wipes out most of the future human race.
The show branched out with complex storytelling and stellar action sequences during its first season. Fitting right in with SYFY’s science fiction format, 12 Monkeys expanded upon their original premise with each season.
8 ‘The Strain’ (2014-2017)
Guillermo del Toro‘s The Strain was a uniquely fresh take on vampire lore. A deadly mysterious outbreak attacks New York with an ancient and otherworldly force. The show progresses with intense action and suspense as the outbreak spreads, consuming the world.
The Strain is a series of numerous New Yorkers all racing to stop the ever-growing threat of annihilation. The pacing maintains as the genre blends the supernatural with the biblical ending elements. The show ran for four seasons.
7 ‘The 100’ (2014-2020)
The 100 was a sleeper hit for CW. The show takes place nearly 100 years after a nuclear war destroys human civilization. In a floating spaceship housing the last of humanity, they decide to send 100 unruly teens back down to Earth in hopes of repopulating it.
Despite reviews and criticism, The 100 managed to end with seven seasons due to its loyal fanbase. The show blended elements of Game of Thrones with themes of medieval sci-fiction. While the show suffered in the first few seasons, The 100 remains one of CW’s most enduring and intense endings.
6 ‘Zoo’ (2015-2017)
Based on James Patterson‘s New York Times best-selling book of the same, Zoo gave viewers a fresh exciting take on the apocalyptic genre. The show gives viewers a look at a world where a mysterious virus begins to affect all animals’ behavior in rash and violent ways. The end results in animals becoming more aggressive towards humans as a small team of researchers look to find the cause of it.
Instead of human beings the focus in an apocalyptic setting, Zoo focuses on animals which make for a more compelling story than most shows. Despite a strong first season, the show ultimately ends with only three seasons.
5 ‘Into the Night’ (2020-2021)
Netflix’s Into The Night is an apocalyptic show where a group of survivors must race against the clock to stay alive. After the sun causes a global catastrophe, the group figures out a way to live in the night.
Into the Night is a heart-pounding race until the last episode. The night scenes add another layer of suspense to an already stressful show. While no news of a third season has been confirmed, the show has continued to attract massive viewership.
4 ‘See’ (2019-2022)
One of Apple TV’s first original series, See is a deep dive into a world ripped of their power of sight. After centuries of humans losing their sight, two twins are born with the gift of it. The show follows warrior Baba Voss (Jason Momoa) as he sets out to protect the twins and his community.
See is a cinematic masterpiece stretched out over three seasons. Set somewhat of the Dark Ages environment, See relied heavily on elements of fantasy and thriller to cast a beautiful story. The show set the tone for the content that would attract many viewers to Apple’s new service at the time.
3 ‘Shadow and Bone’ (2021-)
In a war-torn future, the world has been plunged into chaos and darkness by sinter forces. A young woman, with the power of light, may be the only hope the world has a chance at turning the tides of the war.
Like many other fantasy shows in Netflix’s roster, Shadow and Bone is a dazzling display of thrill and YA essences to warrant a following. While Netflix makes great fantasy shows, their track record of keeping shows past a second season is cause for concern for many Shadow and Bone fans.
2 ‘The Shannara Chronicles’ (2016-2017)
During MTV’s transition into teen drama and more sci-fi/fantasy, the network created The Shannara Chronicles. Based off the same-name series, the show takes place thousands of years after the fall of mankind. In an effort to save the universe, an unlikely small group of warriors set out to save their universe from a demon army.
The show had a stellar cast with Austin Bulter as one of the leads. The first season received massive fan support. The Shannara Chronicles was shopped to various other networks after MTV decided to not renew it. The show landed on Spike and suffered ratings until it was canceled.
1 ‘Terra Nova’ (2011)
In a very distant future where Earth is dying and overpopulated, an ordinary family jumps at the chance for a second chance at civilization. They join a group of survivors, called Terra Novas, sent back to prehistoric Earth to help restart civilization.
Terra Nova, despite a good premise, was short-lived on FOX. The show drawled comparisons to Lost and Jurassic Park. The struggled to maintain strong viewership and ratings as the season progressed. After just one season, Terra Nova was canceled.
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