Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the number of post-apocalyptic television shows that have been produced lately? Given the number of shows produced, and their current popularity, one has to wonder of someone isn’t trying to tell us something. Read on and see what you think…
The Big Three*
Let’s begin by taking a look at the three most popular shows that are currently out there.
By far the most popular show is AMC’s The Walking Dead. Waking up in an empty hospital after weeks in a coma, County Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) finds himself utterly alone. The world as he knows it is gone, ravaged by a zombie epidemic. The Walking Dead tells the story of the weeks and months that follow after the apocalypse. Based on Robert Kirkman’s hugely successful and popular comic book series, AMC’s The Walking Dead is an epic, edge-of-your-seat drama where personal struggles are magnified against a backdrop of moment-to-moment survival. A survivalist story at its core, the series explores how the living are changed by the overwhelming realization that those who survive can be far more dangerous than the mindless walkers roaming the earth. They themselves have become the walking dead.
Filming for its third season is TNT’s Falling Skies. Falling Skies opens in the chaotic aftermath of an alien attack that has left most of the world completely incapacitated. In the months since the initial invasion, the few survivors have banded together outside major cities to begin the difficult task of fighting back. Each day is a test of survival as citizen soldiers work to protect the people in their care while also engaging in an insurgency against the occupying alien force. Falling Skies focuses on the resilience of the survivors and their determination to maintain their humanity when all else has been destroyed. It is a tale of endurance, commitment and courage in which everyday people are called upon to become heroes. They may be outmatched, outnumbered and out-gunned, but nothing can beat the human spirit. Most of all, the series is about the ties that bind people together in the most difficult of circumstances.
NBC’s Revolution is a new comer this season. Our entire way of life depends on electricity. So what would happen if it just stopped working? Well, one day, like a switch turned off, the world is suddenly thrust back into the dark ages. Planes fall from the sky, hospitals shut down, and communication is impossible. And without any modern technology, who can tell us why?
Now, 15 years later, life is back to what it once was long before the industrial revolution: families living in quiet cul-de-sacs, and when the sun goes down, the lanterns and candles are lit. Life is slower and sweeter. Or is it?
The Common Elements
Although the story lines are significantly different, there are several elements that all three shows have in common.
1. Something unanticipated has happened.
2. The results were catastrophic, causing the world as we’ve known it to come to an end.
3. Nothing is the same.
4. There are oppressive forces at work.
5. There is a remnant that resists the oppression.
6. The remnant survives only by sticking together.
I find it interesting that three shows that differ so much from one another also have the same themes running through them.
More Than Entertainment?
While one could simply write this off as being a current fad in the entertainment world, is it really? While I am anything but a conspiracy theorist, I can’t help but wonder if maybe Hollywood has tapped into something we need to be aware of.
On June 15, 2012, Henry Hanks posted an article on CNN’s website titled “Post-apocalyptic TV is Everywhere.” In the article Hanks quotes Eric Kripke, creator of Revolution, as saying,
“There’s something in the collective zeitgeist that people feel we’re headed towards a cliff.”
Mr. Kripke may be on to something. Given the social, political, and economic upheavals that seem to press in on every side, it would not be a far stretch to assume that something major was going to break down sooner or later, and forever change the world as we’ve known it. It’s almost as though people are waiting for the house of cards to fall, wondering how they would ever be able to pick up the pieces. Maybe these television shows are simply portraying something the rest of us don’t want to say out loud.
It’s No Surprise
For those of us who are followers of the King, all this is no surprise. We know that things cannot, and will not, continue the way they are. There is a new epoch that will eventually break in upon us, as the Lord told us thousands of years ago through His servant Isaiah.
“For behold, I create new heavens
and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered
or come into mind. Isaiah 65:17 ESV
While we not be exactly sure how all the details will work out, we know a new day will eventually dawn. In this new world, God Himself will dwell in our midst, restore order, and bring healing from all pain and despair.
I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” The Enthroned continued, “Look! I’m making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.” Revelation 21:3 – 5 The Message
This might be frightening to those who do not know the Lord. It is a joyful anticipation, however, for those of us who are living in the Reign.
*All photos and information taken from the websites of the respective television shows.