Television: The post-apocalyptic genre is back and better than ever

Walton Goggins (The Ghoul) in Fallout. Credit: JoJo Whilden/Prime Video © 2024 Amazon Content Services LLC
Walton Goggins (The Ghoul) in Fallout. Credit: JoJo Whilden/Prime Video © 2024 Amazon Content Services LLC /

What do The Last of Us, Fallout, Twisted Metal and The Walking Dead spinoffs all have in common? They are the reason the post-apocalyptic genre has been flourishing in the realm of television.

Although three of the TV shows mentioned are based on successful video games, there is no question that the end of the world has audiences on the edge of their seats as heroes, villains, anti-heroes, and everyone in between face some kind of threat, whether it be other survivors or nightmare fuel creatures.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: AMC /

While The Walking Dead was able to truly flourish and breathe new life into the zombie craze, they fumbled the ball a handful of times throughout their 11 seasons but were able to pick up the pieces with their wildly successful spinoffs: Dead City, Daryl Dixon, and most recently The Ones Who Live. There is no denying that The Walking Dead is far from dead and has reeled in previous and new fans.

Now regarding the post-apocalyptic video game adaptations, not much can be said that hasn't been said already. Since the dawn of time, live-action video game adaptations have been disappointing and underwhelming.

Even as recently as Netflix's Resident Evil. That was the case until HBO's The Last of Us dropped and literally changed the game forever.

Thanks to their success, Fallout was able to follow suit. Now Twisted Metal premiered in between The Last of Us and Fallout.

pedro-pascal-bella-ramsey_0 Joel Ellie The Last of Us
Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in The Last of Us Episode 9. Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO /

Even though the average Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes dwindled in the 60% range, audiences loved it, receiving an Average Audience Score of 93%. Each of these shows have similarities and differences and somehow, they all went above and beyond expectations.

So what is it about the post-apocalyptic genre that makes it successful?

It's truly a combination of answers but at its core: the story. It's not simply about survivors battling creatures and enemies in a collapsed and forgotten world.

It's about all the characters, both good and bad, and their individual story. Who are they?

Who were they? Who will they become?

It's about the plot, that seems to juggle both heartwarming and heartbreaking moments. If the show was 100% one theme or the other, it wouldn't work.

This is the apocalypse where some things will be hard to watch and process and other things will be rewarding and remind viewers that no matter the circumstances, life will have glimmers of hope and light.

It's about the music, the scenery, the overall atmosphere. Can we find ourselves emersed in this world?

Twisted Metal - Season 1
TWISTED METAL -- "NTHLAW1" Episode 103 -- Pictured: Stephanie Beatriz as Quiet -- (Photo by: Skip Bolen/Peacock) /

Can we process a world where something similar happens? And let's be honest, the post-apocalyptic genre is often exciting, dangerous, and full of action.

Who doesn't get excited watching Rick and his group kill walkers as they make their way to safety? Who isn't hooked the moment they see Joel's world fall apart so quickly and on his birthday no less?

Who isn't laughing and shouting at their TV during a car chase and crash in Twisted Metal? But perhaps the biggest question of all is which post-apocalyptic TV show will air next and will it succeed?

Fallout season 1, episode 1 recap "The End". Fallout season 1, episode 1 recap "The End". dark. Next

Which post-apocalyptic TV show is your favorite and why? Share your answers in the comments below, we'd love to read them!