What’s the worst that could happen to humanity? It could have been the attempts to entertain this thought which would have 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. Because why else would we be driven to cannibalization? That’s a lot of questions! If you are someone who thinks a lot about such things, then this is a good time. A lot of films, shows and animes are being developed in the genre. With that said, here’s the list of really good zombie shows on Netflix that are available to stream right now.
9. Black Summer (April 11, 2019)
Yes, the show hasn’t been released yet. So, consider this a heads-up. Before you make plans to binge watch the show on the day it is released, you might want to watch another show that is available on Netflix, ‘Z Nation’. ‘Black Summer’ shares the universe and is actually 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’, ‘Hart of Dixie’. Other cast members include Justin Chu Cary, Kelsey Flower, Gwynyth Walsh and Christine Lee.
8. The Returned (2015)
This series is based on a French series called ‘Les Revenants’. I must give full disclosure that, as happens in many cases, the original is better than the remake. Unfortunately for us, the French version is not available on Netflix right now. If you like this show even one bit, which you might because the American version is not that bad, you must keep an eye out for the French one to come back. It is set in a small, quiet town which is thrown into a frenzy when dead people start coming back to life. Though not in the way you’d expect a zombie to come back. These people aren’t rotting corpses who want to eat other people. In fact, they look exactly as they had when they died and have no memory whatsoever of any event or any experience that happened after, or in, death. The story finds a momentum by the reaction of the family members who have since moved on from their loss. How they came back and what that means for everyone further drive the plot.
7. Glitch (2015 – Present)
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 and 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.
6. Z Nation (2014- 2018)
Set in a post-apocalyptic future, this show picks up three years after a virus has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. The last functioning lab of the Centre for Disease Control in California is trying to work out a cure, and they just might have it. But the problem is that the cure is in New York. A team is sent out to cross the zombie-infested environment and bring back the cure. About that, it’s a man named Alvin Murphy.
Prior to the outbreak, he was an inmate at the naval prison in Maine. He, along with two other inmates, had been a part of an experiment where they were each given a vaccine. Murphy deduces that it is because of this vaccine that he was able to survive a zombie attack. This makes him the only chance for the survival of humanity. However, that’s not the end of it. There’s a lot more that no one else knows about. And I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll leave it here. The show ended its run last year with a total of five seasons. Catch them all on Netflix.
5. iZombie (2015 – Present)
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 that 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.
4. Santa Clarita Diet (2017 – Present)
This Netflix original comedy is the show that you should definitely 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 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 neighbourhood of Santa Clarita. Oh, and both their immediate neighbours 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.
3. Dead Set (2008)
‘Big Brother’ was one of the most successful reality shows in British television. The show brought together a group of celebrities who were isolated from the rest of the world in a safe house and had to survive a maximum number of days to win the prize. (if you’re interested, the show just ended last year, after a run of eighteen seasons.) ‘Dead Set’ is set in the house of ‘Big Brother’. The show starts the same. There are participants living inside the house, cut off from the world, which is why they don’t know that the whole country has been taken over by zombies.
The participants and the production team are the only people left alive and if they had any idea of what’s outside, they wouldn’t open the doors. But because they don’t, and eviction day comes, the doors have to be opened. This time, instead of someone going out, the zombies come in. The set of ‘Big Brother’ turns into the set of ‘Dawn of the Dead’. If you happen to like reality shows along with zombie horror, then this is a perfect treat for you.
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2. Kingdom (2019 – Present)
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. And the reason for this growth is the quality of their shows and 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 14th century and the beginning of 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 the 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.
1. The Walking Dead (2010- present)
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 an 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 literally 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’, which is also in its fifth season. And, there is another spin-off in works. 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, you’ll realize that once they are allowed to slide back in their primitive life form, humans can be much more dangerous to each other than zombies.
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