I was thinking of this after seeing a trailer for a new British zombie series that seems really interesting. (In the Flesh)
But is the concept of an apocalypse where all of society breaks down an American idea?
I could be entirely wrong of course, but most movies I know that deal with some form of apocalypse are either American, or based on American ideas only transplanted to another country.
Not to say that I couldn't be wrong on this, but... when dealing with apocalyptic societies, what interests me the most is how society builds back up again. To me, the most interesting ideas aren't living all alone in a world with no rules or organization, it's seeing how civilization gets restored. And I can't help but think that that is because when we learn history in high school, we read about all the times that society collapsed and then people got right back started again on rebuilding it anew. Maybe not the same way it was before, but still something.
I mean, the closest thing the world ever had to a 'apocalypse' was the situation during the plagues in the Middle ages. Millions of people died, and that in a time when the population was far smaller than it is now. But even though things fell still, they rose up again afterwards.
After every war, every plague, invasion, and so on... civilization restored itself eventually. Why? Because most people really don't want to live in a lawless world where you need a gun to survive and aren't able to go outside without the fear of ending up dead.
I mean, for me, the most unbelievable part of the Walking Dead, isn't the zombies. (well those are close ;-)) But the fact that the army/police/... are utterly gone, lost to the walkers. That there was at most a vague attempt at protecting the population, and then they died and society collapsed. (esp. since the army seemed well armed enough)
I mean, if a small bunch of survivors can take out an entire prison full of Walkers, then how did the walkers ever manage to take out an entire army full of armed and well trained soldiers whom I assume are far better able at dealing with taking lives? Hell, even a kid like Carl can manage to kill walkers...
One of the things I like about the News Feed triology is that society doesn't end because this plague hits. The government reacts and tries to retain control. Even in Warm Bodies, where there was an apocalypse, the survivors still live in a city with thousands of people in at least some version of law and order. Instead of a small group of less than ten people.
This notion of 'the government can't protect you' just feels... wrong to me. Here when bad things happen, the government at least tries to step in and do something. And I find that rather... lacking in movies and shows like the Walking Dead.