By the author of Be Ready for Anything and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted
With the advent of Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Amazon Prime, watching a series has never been easier. No longer do you have to wait a week for the next episode – it’s right there, ready when you are. (If you’re more of a movie buff, check out this list of prepper movies.)
Preppers tend to watch programs a little differently than the rest of the world. Most of us really enjoy survival-themed TV shows because we can really get into the whole analysis of it. It’s like the prepper version of a sporting event, where we can cheer on the smart moves, analyze the situation, and yell at the screen when the characters do something that is bound to get them killed. (And often, we can pick up a few tips or think of things we hadn’t previously considered.)
If you’re going to watch TV, it might as well be thought-provoking, right? We all need some downtime now and then, and watching these shows is a way to relax and be entertained, but still let your mind shift into survival mode. I haven’t had cable for years and personally prefer streaming so I can avoid the annoying commercials.
I asked folks in the Facebook group to give me their favorite shows and got so many I had to break it into two articles. (Be on the lookout for Reality TV: Prepper Style, coming soon.)
15 Survival TV Shows for Preppers
Here are the shows to put in your queue, in no particular order.
Ninety-seven years ago, Earth was devastated by a nuclear apocalypse, with the only survivors being the inhabitants of orbiting space stations at the time. Three generations later, resources are running out. Taking ruthless steps to ensure their future, a group of 100 juvenile prisoners are exiled to the Earth’s surface to test whether it’s habitable. No one has set foot on the planet until now. (Available on Netflix at the time of publication.)
This is a British sci-fi anthology television that centers on dark and satirical themes that examine modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies. (I keep warning you about the robot apocalypse!) (This show is available on Netflix at the time of publication.)
The Walking Dead
When the world is ravaged by a zombie apocalypse, police officer Rick Grimes and a small group of others must face a terrifying new reality. Can they survive ‘the dead’ and each other? (This is available on Amazon and Netflix.) It isn’t all useful information, but there are things like Dakota firepits, making ammo, and strategies that give you something to think about.
Fear the Walking Dead
Same theme as above, but it takes place on the West Coast. Season 3 features a compound of preppers. (available on Amazon)
Based on a successful European comic book, the series is set in a future post-apocalyptic-like world. Jeremiah is one of the oldest survivors of a deadly virus that wiped out the adult population, sparing only those at puberty or younger. (Available on Amazon)
In this epic adventure thriller, a family struggles to reunite in a post-apocalyptic America. Most readers agree that after the first season, it got too dramatic and there was less emphasis on survival. (Available on Amazon)
Set in the very near future, “Colony” centers on one family’s struggle to survive and bring liberty back to the people of an occupied Los Angeles. (The first season is available on Netflix and the second is on Amazon.)
The Last Ship
Navy Captain Tom Chandler (Eric Dane) and his crew must find a cure after a pandemic wipes out billions of people worldwide. Scientist Rachel Scott is assigned to the U.S.S. Nathan James to investigate the cause of the rapidly spreading virus. Chandler and his crew may be humanity’s last hope in the wake of a worldwide catastrophe. (Available on Amazon)
Seven millennial women with cookbooks, guns, and the desire to rebuild civilization, fight to survive without losing their humanity in a world gone dark. (Available on Amazon)
This is the classic prepper show. After mushroom clouds appear on the horizon, fear of the unknown propels Jericho into social, psychological and physical mayhem when all communication and power is shut down. (Available on Netflix)
When a deadly epidemic breaks out in Atlanta, a vast urban quarantine is quickly enforced, leaving those stuck on the inside to fight for their lives while local and federal officials race to find a cure. Torn apart from their loved ones, the survivors trapped within the cordon begin to gain each other’s trust, and on either side of the cordon, hope remains and unlikely heroes will rise. (Available on Netflix)
Imagine being the only survivor of a disease that kills every member of your family; that kills friends, lovers, nearly everyone you have ever met… You are among the lonely few to live and now you must survive in a strange new world where things that were once safe are made disturbing and unsafe – it’s our own world but recycled, reimagined and reused. (Available on Amazon)
This series is set in a Wild West fantasy park, where a group of android ‘hosts’ begin to deviate from their scripts. (Available on Amazon, included with an HBO subscription)
He’s everyone’s favorite action hero but he’s a hero with a difference. Angus MacGyver is a secret agent whose wits are his deadliest weapon. This guy can fix anything with bubble gum and a paperclip, and his ability to creatively use the things around him are pure survivalist inspiration. (Available on Amazon)
Michael Westen is a trained spy who receives a “burn notice” for an unstated reason & effectively is fired. Penniless, he returns to his hometown in Miami and freelances while trying to find who burned him. This is almost like a more modern version of MacGuyver. Pay close attention to the narrator because the little lessons he gives are gems. Warning – some adult themes. (Available on Netflix)
What’s your favorite series?
Do you have a series you enjoy that has a survival twist? Share your favorites in the comments section below. Be sure to share where people may be able to find it.