Saturday, November 30, 2013
The link between President Obama and post-apocalyptic movies and TV shows
During the Red Scare after World War II, movies addressed fears about the rise of communism in the U.S. (See “The Red Scare: A Filmography” by the All Powers Project.)
When nuclear war was a constant concern after the Cuban missile crisis and before the fall of the Soviet Union, Hollywood depicted the public’s fear of an attack. (See “From Atoms to Apocalypse: Film and the Nuclear Issues” by Mick Broderick at NuclearFiles.org.)
Now, partway through the second term of President Barack Obama, we’re seeing an unprecedented number of movies, TV shows and video games that take place in a post-apocalyptic world.
These forms of entertainment reflect our nation’s psyche after the 9-11 terrorist attacks and the Great Recession.
The number of post-apocalyptic dramas has increased significantly under President Obama. Perhaps Americans feel like our country is now great wasteland ruined by U.S. government policies, which have put the nation deeply in debt and stuck with high unemployment.
With the NSA spying scandal, the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare (a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act) and a lame-duck president, Americans have become even more pessimistic about the future of the U.S.
Since Obama took office, five post-apocalyptic TV series have premiered. During the two terms of his predecessor, President George W. Bush, three premiered, including one from the U.K. Four post-apocalyptic TV dramas are currently airing. AMC has “The Walking Dead.” NBC has “Revolution.” TNT has “Falling Skies.” And SyFy has “Defiance.”
Two more post-apocalyptic TV shows are set to air next year. The CW has “The 100,” which takes place 97 years after nuclear Armageddon destroyed civilization on Earth. TNT has “The Last Ship,” which takes place after a global pandemic wipes out 80% of the world’s population.
Plus, there are at least seven more post-apocalyptic shows in development.
AMC is working on a spin-off of “The Walking Dead.” It will feature a new cast of characters dealing with the zombie apocalypse.
AMC also is making a series called “Galyntine,” a post-apocalyptic tale about a society that eschews all forms of technology following a global disaster.
HBO is developing “The Leftovers,” which concerns a small town dealing with the aftermath of a global Rapture-like event.
SyFy is hoping to do a TV series based on the movie “Waterworld,” which takes place after the polar ice caps melt and flood the Earth.
SyFy also has ordered a pilot for a TV series based on the movie “12 Monkeys.” The story “follows the journey of a time traveler from the post-apocalyptic future who appears in present day on a mission to locate and eradicate the source of a deadly plague that will eventually decimate the human race.”
Plus, SyFy has ordered a pilot for “Dominion,” a drama based on the 2010 movie “Legion.” The show is described as “as an epic supernatural action drama set 25 years in the future after a war between an army of angels and mankind has transformed the world.”
And “X-Files” creator Chris Carter is developing a post-apocalyptic drama series for Amazon.com called “The After.” I’m not sure television can survive so many end-of-the-world programs.
I’ll update post-apocalyptic movies soon.
Post-apocalyptic TV dramas proliferating. Part of Obama’s legacy? (Aug. 14, 2012)
List of post-apocalyptic TV dramas (Aug. 16, 2012)
Another post-apocalyptic TV drama coming. (Oct. 15, 2012)
Post-apocalyptic TV series are spreading. (July 9, 2013)
Video game industry embraces the apocalypse. (July 12, 2013)
Photos: Promotional art and still from the upcoming CW series “The 100.”