Apocalypse TV

Essays on Society and Self at the End of the World

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About the Book

The end of the world may be upon us, but it certainly is taking its sweet time playing out. The walkers on The Walking Dead have been “walking” for nearly a decade. There are now dozens of apocalyptic television shows and we use the “end times” to describe everything from domestic politics and international conflict, to the weather and our views of the future. This collection of new essays asks what it means to live in a world inundated with representations of the apocalypse. Focusing on such series as The Walking Dead, The Strain, Battlestar Galactica, Doomsday Preppers, Westworld, The Handmaid’s Tale, they explore how the serialization of the end of the world allows for a closer examination of the disintegration of humanity—while it happens. Do these shows prepare us for what is to come? Do they spur us to action? Might they even be causing the apocalypse?

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About the Author(s)

Michael G. Cornelius is a professor of English and director of the Master’s of Humanities program at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. He is an award-winning novelist and the author or editor of numerous scholarly works.

Sherry Ginn is a retired educator currently living in North Carolina. She has authored books examining female characters on science fiction television series as well as the multiple television worlds of Joss Whedon. Edited collections have examined sex in science fiction, time travel, the apocalypse, and the award-winning series Farscape, Doctor Who, and Fringe.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Michael G. Cornelius and Sherry Ginn

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 206
Bibliographic Info: appendices, filmographies, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7875-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3996-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: Apocalyptic Saturations; or, The End of the World Will Not End
Michael G. Cornelius and Sherry Ginn 1
Apocalyptic Television, Hobbes’s Moral Psychology and the Tenuous Nature of Liberal Democratic Values
William S. Allen 23
Post-Apocalyptic Competition and Cooperation in The Handmaid’s Tale and The Walking Dead
Sherry Ginn 40
The Long Winter of Discontent: The Changing Society of Survivors
Fernando-Gabriel Pagnoni Berns, Juan Ignacio Juvé and Emiliano Aguilar 58
Risk Without End? The Seriality of Risk, the Outbreak Narrative and Serial Post-Apocalypse in Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain
Sebastian Müller 71
Driven to Extinction, Again: Cadillacs and Dinosaurs and the Irresistible Apocalypse
Tony Perrello and C. Anne Engert 86
The End of Everything: Survival Narratives and Everyday Heroism in Battlestar Galactica
E. Leigh McKagen 102
Apocalypse(s) Already: Doomsday Preppers at the End of The(ir) Worlds
JZ Long 113
Reinvesting in the Rapture: Apocalypse and Faith in The Leftovers
Christina Wilkins 124
Social Life and Death in The Leftovers: Surviving the Personal Apocalypse
Derek R. Sweet 137
“How many times have I died?”: Time Loops, Post-Human Reversion and the Editable Self in The Magicians
Michael G. Cornelius 149
Westworld and the Apocalyptic Cycle
Adam Ellerbrock 163
Postnatural Comedy in The Last Man on Earth
John Elia 174
Appendix 1: Apocalypse Television Series 185
Appendix 2: “Darkness”
Lord Byron 189
About the Contributors 191
Index 195