Would you know what to do if zombies started taking over the world? Is it even on your radar of things to worry about? If extraterrestrials came down and took over your state, how exactly would you react? With busy schedules, families to look after and a never-ending list of household chores, it’s probably the last thing on our minds. But in the last few years, there has been a huge resurgence in post-apocalyptic dramas. From Revolution and Falling Skies to the iconic cult show The Walking Dead, it seems that barren lands where zombies and aliens roam free have taken over our TV viewing. But just why have we become so obsessed with post-apocalyptic dramas and what does it say about the world we currently live in?

Post-Apocalyptic Dramas Obsessions
What Does Post Apocalyptic Mean?

Post-apocalyptic times describe a time after a destructive nuclear war or a cataclysmic event where just a few people are left fighting for survival. It’s a time when the world as we know it literally comes crashing down and your Flight or Fight sense is really put to use. Perhaps it doesn’t seem plausible. But with all the catastrophic events going on in current civilization, maybe some feel it isn’t as far-fetched as we once believed. Fictional post-apocalyptic books, TV shows, and films fall into the genre of science fiction and fantasy. And show the impact and ramifications of such a downfall.

Is It A Sign That We Don’t Know Whom To Trust?

So why does drama that signifies the end of the world continue to entice us? We only need to look at record-breaking ratings shows such as The Walking Dead to see that they are drawing millions of viewers in on a weekly basis. Does it make us question humanity and what on earth would happen if it was suddenly taken away? Is it a sign that deep inside we are unsure whom we can trust anymore? Perhaps we are relying on such shows to garner insight into just how we would survive if this ever happened. In this day and age, we live with some fear that governments and countries are already on the brink of collapse. Power is gobbled up, nations are falling apart and maybe we feel like the end of the world actually is more forthcoming than ever before. Trust and honesty are such important entities when it comes to creating a utopian civilization. But more often than not, in media and politics we are unsure who we can trust anymore. Post-apocalyptic dramas tend to bring together a group of survivors who rally together against the bad people left out there. And this group of people aims to protect each other and fight for each other’s lives. There is also usually a leader who is charismatic, motivated and strong. Maybe this gives us the belief that if the end of the world as we know it was to come, there would still be a few good people left we could trust with our lives.

Does It Create A Sense Of Survival and Camaraderie in Life?

This leads us to the sense of unity and camaraderie that post-apocalyptic dramas can bring. The annihilation of nearly all the inhabitants on earth is not something we think is ever going to happen. But just imagine if it did? If you were left as just one of a few, how would you survive? Perhaps we enjoy such post-apocalyptic dramas because they are prepping us on ways to survive. In flight or fight scenarios many of the characters in these TV shows survive life-threatening situations against the odds. In shows such as Falling Skies and The Walking Dead, camaraderie is created amongst the few that are left. It taps into our sense of humanity and selflessness. Perhaps someone plunges an arrow into a zombie that’s about to have you for dinner or strangles an alien that’s about to deport you from earth. If someone fights for your life, it shows that people still have your back. Sounds crazy and unrealistic? But there are deeper emotions at play than just zombies and extra terrestrials. The storyline rule of such dramas is also that the world never actually ends. Millions of people are wiped out but the remaining few fight and survive. This creates a sense of hope and is perhaps something that touches the bones of ourselves too. Maybe it helps us believe that even in the worst case scenarios, there is always a reason to fight on for the hope of a good life again. So maybe, just maybe, it is not the end of the world we are fascinated with, but the belief that together we can create a better one.  

  • KalleyC

    I’ll be honest, I have not spent time watching these shows. However, maybe there is a surge in this genre because people have to decide (at one point or another) what is important to them. I mean really important. So many of things that we worry about day to day won’t even matter if any of that was to happen.

    It also could bring to light, “What are we doing now? Is what we are doing really that important? Will it really matter?”

    It also brings to light about how our culture is now, and how uncertain it is. Right now, we are living in world where our grandparents wouldn’t even think the events that witness were real, yet, our children have to grow up in the middle of the mess that we have created / and are creating.