Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Are you feeling zombie fatigue yet? Zombies have been on trend for decades. People still love them, and there’s no sign of that stopping. Fortunately, the genre isn’t completely stale, as evidenced by some of the best Netflix zombie series currently available.
If you’re looking for a TV series to satisfy your zombie fix this Halloween, here are the best zombie shows on Netflix ranging from horror to comedy, and from drama to action.
Kingdom is, without a doubt, the best zombie series on Netflix. This South Korean production isn’t just about survival against the undead—it’s set in medieval South Korea and drenched in political intrigue, class warfare, and cultural insight.
While many zombie shows suffer from long seasons and repetitive story beats, Kingdom is smart and knows the story it wants to tell. The first season is a tight six episodes, and the overall narrative is based on a South Korean webcomic series with clear direction.
Plus, there’s something unusual about the zombies in Kingdom…
The Walking Dead needs no introduction. Even if you’ve never watched it, you’ve certainly heard of it. According to Variety, in 2016, The Walking Dead finished its fourth straight year as the most popular drama in the 18-49 demographic.
But if you’ve never heard of it, here’s what you need to know: a comatose sheriff in rural Georgia wakes up and finds himself in a world overrun with zombies. He sets out to find his family, and runs into all kinds of trouble along the way.
The Walking Dead is well-produced: atmospheric, cinematic, with top-notch costume design and special effects. But the writing is slow and shaky throughout its seasons. Is it thrilling? Sure. Just know that it’s often described as “a soap opera with zombies,” and for good reason.
3. Z Nation
Action, Drama | IMDb: 6.7 | RT: N/A
Z Nation is, in many ways, the exact opposite of The Walking Dead. Whereas The Walking Dead loves to build up and stretch out suspense through slow-burning plotlines, Z Nation is all about action. It’s fast, it’s thrilling, and it will leave you breathless.
If you’re tired of zombies as lumbering sacks of rotting meat, you’re in for a treat. Z Nation pulls its inspiration from films like 28 Days Later, where zombies are rage-filled and semi-intelligent. It’s frightful to watch and fills a hole that The Walking Dead left wide open.
iZombie is a series on The CW loosely adapted from a comic book series of the same name. The premise involves a medical student who gets turned into a zombie and must eat brains to keep from raging—but also absorbs the memories and personalities of those whom she eats. These memories help her to solve criminal investigations.
The premise sounds silly, but iZombie executes well. The cast is mostly great, the stories are engaging, and it walks a fine line between several genres: crime, horror, comedy, and romance. It still feels like a show on The CW—a bit corny at times and doesn’t have the best camera work—but it’s one of the better zombie series out there.
Santa Clarita Diet is a bit rough in the first two episodes, but eventually grows on you if you give it a chance. The hardest thing to accept is that this show intentionally goes for its over-the-top, over-acted style of humor that has turned some people off from the show.
What’s it about? Joel and Sheila are a pair of California realtors who wake up one day to find that Sheila now craves human flesh. Santa Clarita Diet explores the comical side of how a husband, wife, and daughter might deal with such a life-changing event.
Despite the over-the-top humor, Santa Clarita Diet is smart comedy. No laugh track, no inconsistent punchlines, and lots of mature character development. It’s one of the best sitcoms to watch on Netflix right now.
6. Dead Set
Horror, Drama | IMDb: 7.7 | RT: N/A
Do you like your TV shows to be more than mindless entertainment? Then you’ll probably enjoy Dead Set, which is an exploration of what might happen on the set of Big Brother if the world succumbed to a zombie outbreak during filming. It’s horror, yes, but also acts as commentary on the state of modern media and entertainment.
Would you expect any less of Charlie Brooker? Indeed, the guy behind Dead Set is also the guy who created Black Mirror, an anthology series about the unintended consequences of new technology. If you love Black Mirror, then Dead Set is one of the next TV shows you should watch.
NB: Dead Set is a five-part mini-series, so you could treat it as one long movie cut into five acts.
Containment follows the story of an epidemic outbreak in Atlanta, which results in a quarantine that keeps a group of people stuck inside the city as the outbreak spreads. Not a situation you want to be stuck in with an illness brewing all around—doubly so when that illness turns people into manic zombies.
Here’s the thing about Containment: it’s one of those shows that’s hated by critics but enjoyed by the masses. If you’re looking for a thrilling disaster movie-type experience without a care for artistic nuance or original story beats, this show will be right up your alley.
NB: Containment is a 13-episode limited series.
From the creator of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica comes Helix, a science-fiction show that follows an Arctic research team tasked with investigating a disease outbreak. While infected victims don’t necessarily become zombies, the similarities will satisfy zombie tastes.
Unfortunately, Helix received mixed reviews and was canceled after two seasons. It’s not a bad show per se, but many viewers thought that it tried to do too much and failed to deliver satisfying resolutions. But if you’ve run out of zombie shows to watch and dying for more, it’s certainly worth a try.
9. Black Summer
Black Summer has a simple premise: a mother is separated from her daughter and will stop at nothing to find her and be reunited. The problem is, the world is six weeks into a zombie apocalypse and she’s going to run into plenty of obstacles on her journey.
Black Summer is produced by the same company behind Z Nation, so if you liked that one and want more like it, you should definitely check this out. There are elements that are different, of course, but it’s an enjoyable zombie drama with enough action to keep you on the edge of your seat.
More Thrills and Chills for Halloween
Image Credit: leolintang/Depositphotos