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5 Shows like Revolution: Blackout and Beyond

Ciara Ruane itcherPost apocalyptic dramas, like ‘Under the Dome’ or ‘The Walking Dead’ hold a morbid fascination for us. TV shows like ‘Revolution’, the recently cancelled NBC show, offer a world with potential for freedom and the possibility of starting anew as well as the constant threat of danger.
~ Ciara Ruane

The Lights Are off but Nobody’s Home

Eric Kripke and J.J. Abrams’ ‘Revolution’ is a show based on an alternative present and near-future where all of the world’s electricity mysteriously shuts off, forever. In a world run by militias, gangs and bandits, families struggle for order and normalcy. Every day life becomes about survival and things humanity took for granted become daily struggles. When Ben Matheson is killed his family must fight the forces that caused his death and learn if he had anything to do with the blackout, and if it can be reversed.

If you want your taste of apocalyptic high-jinks, the list below provides you with some series similar to Revolution to tide you over until humanity actually falls. Enjoy!

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Shows Similar to ‘Revolution’…

‘Under the Dome’ (CBS, 2013)

Based on Stephen King’s book, ‘Under the Dome’ features a town mysteriously trapped under an inescapable dome and no it’s nothing like the Simpson’s movie. No one can get in and out and the townsfolk must learn to live with each other and away from everybody else. It’s like a mini, localised apocalypse, in small town America.

A more fantastical and mysterious story of a world gone crazy, ‘Under the Dome’ nevertheless features groups under pressure, secrets exposed and the constant possibility of violence and anarchy. If you want small town values slowly hitting boiling point, this is the show for you.

Similarity Match: 90%
A similar vibe of good ol’ American families surviving the worst with the added flavour of isolation and the fantastic.

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‘The Walking Dead’ (AMC, 2010 -)

Perhaps the most popular series in this vein, ‘The Walking Dead’ takes place in a world overrun with zombies, or ‘walkers’. Former Sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) wakes up from a coma to find the world in chaos, and after reuniting with his family desperately seeks somewhere they can survive, away from the threat of flesh eating monsters. Fun.

As the group expands and shrinks and they come across similar groups who may or may not be a threat, their humanity is exposed and death becomes a constant. The show has a strong cult audience, with fan favourites like Daryl Dixon and Michonne becoming iconic figures. The show obviously has a similar theme, but is far more gory and gritty than ‘Revolution’. The show is realistic to its situation, if a show about zombies can be, and has a good amount of horror along with it’s themes of survival.

Similarity Match: 80%
The show obviously has a similar theme, but is far more gory and gritty than ‘Revolution’. If that’s what you’re after, and many people are, you should give it a try, if you haven’t already of course.

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‘Falling Skies’ (FX, 2011-)

Robert Rodat’s series follows a group fighting back against an occupying alien force. They plan an uprising under the façade of submission and learn to survive in a new world where they are no longer the dominant species.

The sci-fi elements of this show set it apart from others on this list, with the promise of space battles and grand action. There’s a plucky group of earthlings to root for, fighting against an intelligent force that’s entirely ‘other’. Obvious parallels can be drawn with the actual human history of war and invasion, viewed through a galactic lens.

Similarity Match: 75%
In this show, they know what’s beaten ’em, they just don’t know why or how to stop it. If you enjoy sci-fi and high stakes, give it a go.

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If You Like ‘Revolution’, You Will Like…

If you want something in a similar vein but perhaps without the world-destroying pyrotechnics, perhaps you want some conspiracy, alternative presents and horrific, twisted views of what we are already becoming.

‘Dollhouse’ (Fox, 2009-2010)

Another Joss Whedon project killed before its time (alas, poor ‘Firefly’…) ‘Dollhouse’ stars ‘Buffy’s’ Eliza Dushku as Echo, a ‘doll’ working for an agency that uses humans essentially as personality hosts to carry out tasks, involving both love and war, then erasing their memories of the mission. Echo slowly becomes self aware, putting herself in danger.

Exploring the tragedy of life as a human vessel or ‘doll’, the series presents a philosophical look at memory, truth and the lives we lead, and just how much we can trust people. If you want something unique, with an underdog escaping an all too legitimate and powerful organisation, seek out ‘Dollhouse’.

There’s no end-of-the-world scenario here, unless you’re Echo herself. The tragedy and survival against the odds are there, but the stakes are altogether more personal.

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‘Black Mirror’ (Channel 4, 2011-)

A miniseries from the twisted mind of Charlie Brooker taking a look at the dangerous possibilities of technology. Each episode is a different story, from reconstruction the personality of a dead loved one through their online activity, to an animated TV mascot running in an election. It’s uncomfortable, terrifying and engrossing viewing, showing us a twisted world where technology runs rampant and it’s not always all that unbelievable.

With so many different stories and a running theme, ‘Black Mirror’ explores the dark side of a media saturated world and its very, very dark indeed. Each episode raises questions about the way we live and what could happen, what we would allow to happen and how easily things could become twisted. If you’re looking for something cult, edgy and thought provoking, seek it out.

It’s not a world destroyed, it’s a world twisted, and it looks very much like our own.

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“Cancelled? It’s Not the End of the World!”

Post apocalyptic is a very fashionable look these days, due no doubt to the success of shows like ‘The Walking dead’. It’s part fantasy, part horror and it raises all sorts of fascinating questions about what we are once our comforts are snatched from us. TV series like ‘Revolution’ examine how we will fare.

Just how would you fare in a world gone mad?

Let us know in the comments and keep hoarding those canned goods!

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