This has become a pet peeve of mine, shows that are set in a post-apocalyptic setting but never really seem to show what living after an apocalypse really might look like.
The latest show to hit this genre is AMC’s Into The Badlands. I’ve tried to watch this show a couple times but honestly, I have a hard time getting too attached to it. The premise is some apocalypse has happened and the land is ruled by barons now and samurai assassins go around enforcing the barons’ will.
If Bruce Lee was around, I could see this show being developed for him, or maybe the writers watched Kill Bill a million times and wanted more for there is a ton of sword play, high wire stunts, and blood spewing chopped off body parts. Story? Yeah, there is a soap opera plot in there somewhere but between the triple flips and hacked off arms, its a little hard to remember.
But here is my real gripe. In a post-apocalyptic world, things wouldn’t look this neat. It isn’t just Into The Badlands but several movies and shows like Falling Skies fall into this trap, even The Walking Dead to some degree.
Everyone has nice neat clothes despite there being no factories. Energy is often not a problem, I guess the plants learned to run themselves before the apocalypse. Houses are in good shape because you know, everyone is carpenter. Wounded, ah, don’t worry about infection or blood poisoning, here’s a couple pills found from … where, again? Roads don’t have potholes, people seem even smarter than before the apocalypse and there is plenty of ammo to go around except for Into The Badlands where apparently it was easy for everyone to become a blacksmith. My favorite is of course when a show has the internet still working because apparently all those servers weren’t impacted by power outages or lack of techs to service them.
For once, I’d like to see a sober wake-up call sneaked into the script. Characters asking if anyone knows how to sow and sew, or fix an engine, maybe stop the bleeding before the character dies. How about running short of fresh food, being stuck in those woods because you hurt your leg and there’s no one to carry you out. Maybe the character just froze to death in sub-freezing temps because there was no central heat.
I’ve been in the aftermath of a couple natural disasters and it isn’t pretty. One time after an earthquake, all the computers quit and no one could use an ATM or debit/credit card for a week. Now that was apocalyptic.
In another instance where a storm took out power for like two weeks, there was no food, fuel, heat to be had. After WEEK ONE, people were desperate for food, turning on each other, and looking like they belonged to some lost tribe of mountain people.
Please, Hollywood, when you give us the next post-apocalyptic nonsense, make it so the characters really have to survive. I might actually watch at that point.