Despite the best efforts of the central planners in the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, the economic recession is still with us. High unemployment is the new normal, general economic malaise persists among the American people, and the government has repeatedly failed in its predictions of recovery summers and the end of the recession.
Naturally, we turn to television to help make sense of it all. Here are the five shows that best reflect today's climate of economic fear and political loathing.
5. The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead, based on a zombie comic of the same name, became one of the most successful cable shows in history when its second season premiere broke cable ratings records last year with an audience of more than 7 million. While it might be appealing to interpret the popularity of The Walking Dead’s diet of post-apocalyptic strife as a nod to the recession’s harsh economic realities, the resurgence of zombies in American culture predates the current downturn by at least half a decade with the success of films like the Resident Evil franchise and the remake of Dawn of the Dead. Nevertheless, the pop culture trope of America’s zombie future has been embraced both by government officials and those skeptical of government power.
Bonus points for our age of police abuse: In The Walking Dead world, the sheriff takes charge and acts as judge, jury, and executioner. Sound familiar?