Not all zombie shows are alike, but The Walking Dead is gone for the time being, and many of us need an undead fix. Sunday’s Season 7 finale of The Walking Dead leaves fans sans Rick and the gang for an indiscernible amount of time, seeing as how Season 8 doesn’t yet have a premiere date. That’s why it’s important to keep yourself busy with a healthy diet of zombie shows in the meantime.
Season 7 of The Walking Dead was, to some, a brutal, painful slog. Other than a promise from the finale, the show lost a lot of the hope so commonly used to offset the blood baths and seemingly senseless death so common to it. That’s why this list of shows below is so varied. Different people enjoy The Walking Dead for different reasons, and a lot of these shows will provide you with some much-needed levity.
Here’s a list of the six best zombie shows to keep you busy until The Walking Dead finally returns.
6. Dead Set, Netflix
This British, BAFTA-nominated mini-series focuses on the horror of the zombie apocalypse while commenting on the stupidity of reality television.
While on the fictional set of the very real reality show Big Brother, the cast — typically cut off from contact with the outside world — finds out that the zombie apocalypse has gone down. It just takes them a while to figure out what the hell is going on. The cast is relatively safe inside the set, but they need to venture out into the chaos to get supplies and make it back alive.
5. Resurrection, Hulu
Okay, so Resurrection isn’t so much a zombie show as it is a show about people coming back to life in miraculous ways, but it certainly touches on a lot of the same themes. And there’s a really big, dark mystery involved.
Jacob Langston, an 8-year-old American boy, wakes up in the middle of a rice paddy in China with no clue as to how he got there. Eventually, an immigration agent returns him to Arcadia, Missouri and the house he claims to be his. Turns out, Mr. and Mrs. Langston lost their son Jacob 30 years ago, but Jacob has creepy details about his own death that no one knew before.
4. iZombie, Netflix
iZombie is a bit more lighthearted than The Walking Dead for sure, but it’s still got plenty of blood and brains to take in. And while The Walking Dead has the occasional chuckle-worthy moment, it’s nowhere near as funny as iZombie, which combines the drama of zombie-hood with the IRL hilarity of “Wait, zombies are real?”
The show, also adapted from a comic book series, follows the story of Olivia “Liv” Moore, a medical resident in Seattle, whose career and future get tossed out the window when she accidentally gets turned into a zombie after a party. But, as long as she keeps herself satiated with a healthy diet of human brains, she doesn’t delve into the stupid, homicidal behavior so commonly associated with zombies. So she gets a job at a morgue. And she gets visions from the brains she eats. It’s wonderful.
3. In the Flesh, Hulu
If what you love about The Walking Dead is the drama, then In the Flesh has plenty of that. As heartbreaking as it is thoughtful, In the Flesh will have you equally creeped out, heart-warmed, and wanting to cry into a pillow. The metaphors for prejudice will cut you deep. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
In the Flesh takes place right after an event known as “The Rising.” People who died in the year 2009 suddenly rise from their graves as flesh-hungry zombies, and Kieren Walker, who killed himself after the death of his best friend and romantic interest, is one of them. All-out war breaks out as militias hunt down the roaming zombies, but a cure is eventually found, and the zombies not killed by the militias are rounded up and “cured.” Ensue: the quiet drama of coming back to life in a world Kieren willingly left behind that no longer wants him.
2. Fear the Walking Dead, Hulu
If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead then there’s a very good chance you’ve already seen all (or at least part) of Fear the Walking Dead. It’s set in the exact same universe as The Walking Dead but follows the story of a completely different set of characters.
Beginning at an earlier time than The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead deals with the onset of the zombie apocalypse in a way TWD largely ignores due to Rick conveniently being in a coma for most of it. Set mostly in Los Angeles and, later, Mexico, the story follows a mixed-up family and the others who join them along the way as they learn to defend themselves and live with one another through the apocalypse.
1. Z Nation, Netflix
Syfy’s Z Nation is a weird, wonderful mix of action, horror, comedy, and post-apocalyptic drama. Unlike a lot of zombie shows that start from the origin story and move onward from there, Z Nation begins three years into the zombie apocalypse, so everyone’s already weirdly used to the new world order.
In the days before the apocalypse, Murphy was an inmate in a federal prison and an unwilling participant in a government-sponsored experiment. Turns out that he carries the cure to the zombie virus, so his newfound friends post-apocalypse have to keep him alive long enough to get him to a CDC lab in California. But Murphy’s got one hell of a secret.