What’s the worst that could happen to humanity? It could have been the attempts to entertain this thought that led someone to come up with the idea of zombies. What if humanity is not destroyed by an alien force or an Armageddon or a natural calamity that spirals out of proportion? What if a single virus infects us in such a way that we become each other’s worst nightmare and destroy everything that we have built over the course of our existence? Most zombie-based shows construct their stories around this theory. Why else would we be driven to cannibalization? There are endless questions that come to mind! So if you are someone who thinks a lot about such things, then Netflix has quite a few shows to immerse you in that world for a long time.
10. Black Summer (2019-2021)
Before you make plans to binge-watch the show, you might want to watch another show that is available on Netflix, i.e., ‘Z Nation.’ ‘Black Summer’ shares the universe and is a prequel series to it. While ‘Z Nation’ begins three years into the apocalypse, ‘Black Summer’ starts at the beginning.
It follows the story of a woman who loses her daughter right when the zombie apocalypse is beginning for the world. She is joined by some refugees and prepares herself to enter the dangerous world and find her daughter at all costs. ‘Z Nation’ has already ended its run, and it’s just five seasons, so you have a ten-day window to finish the show (not that it’ll take even that long, considering the absolute binge-watcher you are!). The lead role is played by Jaime King, whom you might know from her roles in ‘My Bloody Valentine’, and ‘Hart of Dixie’. Other cast members include Justin Chu Cary, Kelsey Flower, Gwynyth Walsh, and Christine Lee. You can watch the series here.
9. All of Us Are Dead (2022 -)
Created by Chun Sung-il, Lee Jae-kyoo, and Kim Nam-su, ‘All of Us Are Dead’ is a zombie apocalypse show based on Joo Dong-geun’s popular webtoon. The story revolves around a high school where failed experiments lead to disastrous consequences when zombies overrun the entire premise. With no connection to the outside world and a limited supply of other essential goods, the students are forced to fight for themselves as things spiral out of control. In their battle with the undead, all these teenagers have is their will to fight and any equipment they can grab to defend themselves from the merciless and violent onslaught unleashed on them. You may watch the show here.
8. Glitch (2015 – 2019)
Again, not your typical zombie show, mostly about people returning from the dead. ‘Glitch‘ is an Australian show set in a town called Yoorana where seven people mysteriously come back to life. James Hayes is the sheriff of the town, and he discovers this eerie phenomenon when he is called on duty to the local cemetery. Seven people stand before him who have crawled out of their graves, they are perfectly healthy. But they don’t know where they are or even who they are. It’s like their brain has been completely wiped off. Hayes knows that a situation this sensitive shouldn’t go out, but he also needs to figure out the identity of these people and what brought them back. He uses the help of a local doctor to keep it a secret. Two seasons have been released of this show, and both of them are available on Netflix. Feel free to check out the series here.
7. Resident Evil (2022)
Based on the popular film franchise, ‘Resident Evil,’ created by Andrew Dabb, takes place across two timelines. One is set in 2022, wherein we see young Jade (Tamara Smart) arrive at Raccoon City with her younger sister Billie (Siena Agudong) and father Albert Wesker (Lance Reddick), who works for Umbrella Corporation, the organization that developed to infamous T-virus whose breakout turned people into zombies. Another is set in 2036, where we see a grown-up Jade (Ella Balinska) surviving in a zombie apocalypse while digging into the T-Virus and its processes. While the series follows its predecessors and is a sequel, you can go ahead and enjoy it as a standalone series just for the sake of getting some zombie cred. However, we request you to watch all the installments because the franchise, despite its shortcomings, has only grown to be a part of pop culture itself and has a dedicated fan base across the world. You can check out the show here.
6. Daybreak (2019)
It is teens against zombies in this one. Based on the comic series of the same name by Brian Ralph, ‘Daybreak’ is a zombie-comedy movie created by Brad Peyton and Aron Eli Coleite. Glendale, California, is subjected to an apocalypse, of course, a zombie one and 17-year-old Josh Wheeler has to find his missing girlfriend, making his way through hoards of the living dead as well as gangs comprised of students, each of which resembles the factions from the ‘Mad Max’ movies. Remember the War Boys and the Rock Riders? A hyper-real take on the genre, which is complemented by the humor, the action, and especially the 4th-wall break (characters talk to us, the audience), ‘Daybreak’ is an entertaining watch. You can watch it here.
5. iZombie (2015 – )
Olivia Moore is young, engaged, and has a promising career in the medical field. One night, she attends a boat party and tries out a new drug called Utopium. The next day, however, she discovers that she has turned into a zombie! This development makes her confused about her situation. She breaks off her engagement and leaves her job without telling anyone about what’s happened to her. The bigger problem now is to find a way to satisfy her hunger, but if she doesn’t eat, she’ll turn into one of those stereotypical zombies you know from the other shows. Her medical degree helps her to come up with a solution. She applies for a job at the morgue, and all her problems are solved. She feeds on the brains of corpses, and that way, she doesn’t have to kill anyone. She also discovers that after eating someone’s brain, she can retain their memories for a small amount of time. Olivia decides to use this power to help solve murders. Meanwhile, her boss tries to find a cure for her situation. You may stream the series here.
4. Santa Clarita Diet (2017-2019)
This Netflix original comedy is the show that you should watch if you haven’t already. It follows the story of a couple, Sheila (Drew Barrymore) and Joel Hammond (Timothy Olyphant). They have been together since high school and have been married for 19 years. That is a very long time in any relationship, and they have surely seen their ups and downs. They work as a realtor, have a teenage daughter, but she is not much trouble, and live in the quiet neighborhood of Santa Clarita. Oh, and both their immediate neighbors are cops. This is a very important detail because what the Hammonds are about to get into will need them to steer clear of any suspicion from them.
One day, out of nowhere, Sheila falls sick. She vomits, like a lot, so much that one of her organs comes out! Once she cleans up, she feels fine. Better even! However, something is wrong. She doesn’t have a heartbeat. When she cuts her hand, the blood doesn’t come out, and she needs something to eat, something human. Her condition is effectively diagnosed as being a zombie. You may watch ‘Santa Clarita Diet’ here.
3. La Révolution (2020)
Movies that use historical events or figures of history to spice up their plot are always cool. ‘La Révolution’ uses the context of the French Revolution to show how aristocrats are inflicted with a disease, “blue blood,” which then makes them attack the poor. Whether this is just uncontrolled hunger or a deliberate move is something you will have to find out. However, this action, in turn, sparks a conflict. In the middle of this conflict is Joseph Ignace Guillotin (sounds familiar? Is he the guy who invented the guillotine? No, he rather opposed the death penalty), played by Lionel Erdogan, who discovers the disease. To find out whether he can prevent it from spreading further, you can watch ‘La Révolution’ here.
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2. Kingdom (2019 -)
I’d say that Korean cinema is slowly taking over the world, but the truth is that it is happening much faster than we give it credit. The reason for this growth is the quality of their shows and the amazing premises for their stories. Think about zombies, and the mind directly ventures into some post-apocalyptic world, somewhere near or far into the future. ‘Kingdom’ takes you to the past. Set somewhere at the end of the 14th century and the beginning of the 15th, it follows the political upheaval in the court of Crown Prince Yi-Chang, who is forced to take the mantle of the king when his father mysteriously falls sick. The nature of his sickness is kept a secret, even from the prince. To the subjects, it is told that the king is dead and that Yi-Chang will succeed him.
One night, Yi-Chang manages to sneak into his father’s chambers and discovers that he has turned into a zombie. The story further weaves in the backstabbing and the politics that goes on in the court after the king’s supposed death. The prince has to protect himself and his country from a disease that could destroy everything, but also from the power-hungry humans who might go to the lengths of using the disease for their own gain. The show has received rave reviews, and its popularity has prompted Netflix to renew it for the second season. If you haven’t yet started with Korean dramas, this could be your way in. You may watch it here.
1. The Walking Dead (2010-)
It’s almost a decade since ‘The Walking Dead’ premiered, and if you still haven’t seen it, then don’t you dare call yourself a fan of the zombie genre. This show is the epitome of zombie shows, and there is a very good reason why, even after nine years, it is one of the most watched shows. The story starts with Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, a sheriff who was shot on duty and has been in a coma for a very long time. When he wakes up, he discovers that the world is nothing as he has seen it the last time. At first, there is no one around, the whole place is deserted. But then, he is attacked by corpses. After meeting two survivors, he is told that a virus has invaded the earth and has turned everyone into a zombie. Rick ventures out to find out what happened to his wife and son.
The story has come a very long way now and has even inspired a spin-off, ‘Fear the Walking Dead.’ What makes ‘The Walking Dead’ superior to its counterparts is the focus of the story being less on the horror element and more on the study of human nature. In every season, Rick and his group of survivors have to deal with all sorts of threats, most of which are from other humans. You watch this show and the villains that it presents, and you’ll realize that once they are allowed to slide back into their primitive life form, humans can be much more dangerous to each other than zombies. You can check out the show here.
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