By in Movies & TV

Summer TV: Post-Apocalyptic Shows Rule

It seems the post-apocalyptic scenario is a popular with TV viewers for summer 2014. TNT's The Last Ship is now sitting comfortably in third place for July ratings, while Falling Skies comes in at fourth. CBS offers up a second season of Under the Dome; SyFy similarly moves forward with a second season of Defiance . HBO throws its hat into the ring with a post-Rapture scenario in The Leftovers , as does Lifetime with The Lottery. Finally, FX offers a post-apocalyptic scenario that leans more towards horror than sci-fi, with The Strain.

The Last Ship is set aboard the USS Nathan James, a naval destroyer sent to the Arctic on a secret mission to retrieve samples of a virus that is responsible for a deadly global pandemic . The focus is the race to find a vaccine for the virus, all the while fighting for survival in a hostile world that has been thrown into chaos as massive death tolls break down society.

The Lottery is set only a few years in the future, after a global fertility crisis has left the world facing the possibility of human extinction. One hundred eggs have been fertilized in a government funded laboratory, and now the US must decide how to choose surrogates to carry these embryos to term. The dystopian series explores the ethics and politics involved in safeguarding the precious few children left on earth, and searching for a way to resolve the mysterious infertility gripping the world.

For those who simply can't give up on the supernatural creature theme that was all the rage a few years back, there is The Strain. This series, based on a trilogy of novels envisioned by Guillermo del Toro, treats vampirism as a contagious disease. The premise of the show is that a plane landing at JFK gas suddenly shut down and cut off all communication. A rapid-response team is dispatched by the CDC, and soon discovers the plane was the source of a vampire virus that rapidly infects New York City. As much thriller as science fiction, this series is more Walking Dead than True Blood or Vampire Diaries .

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Image credit: Photo of a larper depicting a post-apocalytic theme by Ralf Hüls/Wikipedia

Licenced under Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

Source s :

Amanda Kondolojy, “TNT Wins July Ratings Race as Summer Dramas 'The Last Ship', 'Rizzoli & Isles' & More Continue to Top the Charts” (TV By The Numbers)

Sandy Schaefer, “FX Developing Guillermo del Toro’s ‘The Strain’ Trilogy Into a TV Series” (ScreenRant)

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allen0187 wrote on July 30, 2014, 12:31 AM

I have to look up all those three series. The only one that will be shown locally is 'The Strain'. 'The Last Ship' kinda sounds like 'Snowpiercer', a dystopian society aboard a moving vehicle or is that a stretch? Ain't 'The Lottery' happening in first world countries wherein the population is growing older and older by the minute?

Ruby3881 wrote on July 30, 2014, 4:47 AM

'Snowpiercer' sounds interesting, particularly because the film is based on a French graphic novel and was shot in several languages. I don't know how close the plot is to 'The Last Ship,' but I think I may check it out.

As for populations getting older, greying is a global phenomenon. It is certainly impacted by the first world trends towards later child bearing and smaller families, but it is also a matter of improved health care that results in more people living longer. I don't think we're having a specific fertility crisis, though :)

tinamarie wrote on July 30, 2014, 8:50 AM

I've been watching the Last Ship since it started. The story line seems to be one that could actually happen in the near future if society/government/countries don't change.

Ruby3881 wrote on July 30, 2014, 2:03 PM

A good many post-apocalyptic scenarios are very close to reality. We saw the panic, conspiracy theories and so on, with the H1N1 pandemic. Thankfully, few died from that virus and we were able to have a vaccine fairly quickly. So society didn't break down, and order was maintained well despite all the fear.

But when the entire eastern seaboard was thrown into darkness back in 1998, there was a good preview of what could happen if governments couldn't effectively deal with a crisis. It's not pretty!

AliCanary wrote on July 31, 2014, 12:04 AM

My husband and I have been watching Under the Dome since the beginning, and we like it. I have seen the first couple of episodes of The Leftovers, and I'm kind of meh on it, although some things are intriguing. I hadn't heard of The Last Ship until one of my friends started talking about it last night, and she seems to be following it with interest (although the last episode was upsetting to her, because they were experimenting on animals --not a spoiler--just a caution!)

Ruby3881 wrote on July 31, 2014, 5:20 PM

I think the animal testing will likely be a recurring theme for a bit yet! It's kind of expected, though, in a series that explores the creation of a vaccine.

k_mccormick2 wrote on August 2, 2014, 7:16 PM

I am looking forward to checking out The Lottery. It sounds like an interesting show to watch and the trailers that I have been watching lately have been fairly good. Might be something to watch while I am trying to get better.

Ruby3881 wrote on August 3, 2014, 3:24 PM

Definitely! I've only seen a few episodes so far, but I'm really enjoying it so far.