Nonevents: 7 'Viral' Shows To Stream While You're Social Distancing
The COVID-19 virus is wreaking havoc on schools, stores, businesses — and events. As concerts, talks and big gatherings get cancelled and people spend more time at home, LAist is temporarily switching our events column to a "nonevents" column to help us through this time of social distancing.
And, until it's safe to go out again, please consider contributing to your local arts organizations, or to individual artists during this difficult time.
Since most of us are hunkering down at home with a lot of time on our hands, we're turning first to some of our favorite TV shows that deal with viruses, bogey(wo)men, pandemics or the apocalypse.
Last Man on Earth (2015 - 2018)
For a few laughs at the world's end.
Will Forte created and stars in this post-apocalyptic comedy. It opens in late 2020 in Tucson, Ariz., with Phil "Tandy" Miller (Forte) seemingly the last survivor after a virus decimated earth's population. Throughout the show's four seasons, Phil finds other survivors in different parts of the country; Malibu serves as the group's season two encampment.
While the show starts off a little like Tom Hanks' Castaway, it blossoms into a zany road trip ensemble program, with regular cast Kristen Schaal, January Jones, Mel Rodriguez, Cleopatra Coleman and Mary Steenburgen. The show's surprising guest stars - including Jason Sudeikis, Fred Armisen, Mark Boone Junior and Kristen Wiig - also bring the hijinx.
Available on: Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube
The Terror Season 2: Infamy (2019)
For those who want a little history with their, well, terror.
The second season of the AMC series was broadcast in 2019. Set during World War II, the story focuses on the lives of Japanese fishing families living on Terminal Island, near San Pedro. A series of mysterious deaths haunt the South Bay families, even after they're shipped off to various internment camps.
The storyline is steeped in Japanese folklore of the yūrei, a spirit that can shape-shift and infect living beings. The 10-episode horror anthology features a cast of Japanese descent, including George Takei, who co-starred and served as a consultant on the show. His family was interned at Santa Anita Park, Rohwer, Arkansas and Tule Lake, California.
Available on Hulu
The Strain (2014-2017)
For those who want to watch the Big Apple face a plague of vampirism.
Originally airing on FX, this horror-drama is based on the novel trilogy by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. When a jet lands at JFK and mysteriously shuts down, the CDC is called in to investigate. The rapid response team finds all but four people dead, and parasitic worms onboard, convincing them initially that it's an Ebola-like virus. But nope, this virus turns out to be an ancient strain that causes vampirism and possibly the end of the human race.
Available on Hulu and Amazon Prime
12 Monkeys (2015-2018)
For time-traveling, sci-fi TV junkies.
The Syfy show is a loose adaptation of Terry Gilliam's 1995 film of the same name. The series follows scavenger James Cole (Aaron Stanford), from the year 2043, as he travels back to 2015. He must convince virologist Dr. Cassie Railly (Amanda Schull) to help him locate the creator and source of the "Kalavirus" before it decimates 7 billion people in 2017.
Of course, the show is a little more trippy and complicated than we can explain here, but it gets better each season. The characters travel to different periods and places, and the cinematography is terrific.
Available on Hulu, Amazon Prime
Ash vs. The Evil Dead (2015-2018)
For fans of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead Franchise
The Starz series picks up 30 years after the trilogy's final film, The Army of Darkness. After saving the world, antihero Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) has pretty much wasted the last three decades of his life, working a stock boy, and boozing alone or in bars. A plague of deadites — undead spirits that possess bodies — descends upon a small town in Michigan. It's up to Ash and his sidekicks to save the world once again. True to the film franchise, the show's three seasons are loaded with blood, gore, horror and humor.
Available on Netflix, Hulu, Starz
The Rain (2018-2020)
For fans of Danish apocalyptic dramas
Six years after a virus that's carried through the rain wipes out most of Scandinavia, two siblings are forced to leave their bunker. They join up with a band of young survivors to journey across a decimated Denmark and Sweden in search of safety and the siblings' father, a scientist who may have the key to the cure. The third season and final season of Netflix's first Danish original drama will be released sometime this year.
Available on Netflix
The Outsider (2020)
For fans of good TV
Based on a Stephen King novel, The Outsider starts as a straight up crime drama that focuses on a murder of a child. The cut-and-dried crime is pinned on the local little league coach (Jason Bateman, one of the executive producers and director of the first two episodes). But the whole case is thrown into disarray as the suspect was seen in two places simultaneously. Without giving too much away, an infection, possession and the supernatural add further dimension to this slow burning thriller. Performances by the ensemble cast, led by Ben Mendelsohn and Cynthia Erivo, are riveting and keep it grounded.
Available: HBO Now, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube