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December 18, 2014

Alive, The Walking Dead are far from TV's first apocalyptic tragedy

by Danny Gallagher, posted Aug 14th 2009 3:03PM
Mushroom clouds that bring a smile to your faceI'm just as thrilled as ol' Annie that AMC is bringing the walking dead back to the barely alive audiences of prime time television with Frank Darabont's revisioning of the iconic Walking Dead. I was even tickled to hear that J.S. (I don't know if he hates that name or not) knew of a post-apocalyptic drama series in development hell called Alive. I've been a big fan of the post-apocalypse genre since the oil barrel zombie in Return of the Living Dead taught me that I don't have as much control over my bodily functions as I once believed.

But even though these two shows have shown just as deep TV has tried to dig its own heel-mark into the genre, it goes a lot deeper and frankly, I'm not sure you want to dig that deep. This is a show about life after an unfathomable nuclear accident that kills everyone in the world except for six people who are left to fend for themselves in an unrelenting wasteland of death, despair, destruction and death ... and it was a sitcom.

And before you ask, yes, it was on Fox.

Back when the Fox Network first formed in the mid-80s, they produced a string of low budget, cut rate and just plain bad shows that saved UPN, the Baywatch spinoffs and everything The Brady Bunch ever did on television outside of their initial show from dominating "Worst Shows of All Time" lists.

Woops on FoxOne of the network's earliest productions was a sitcom about the wacky hijinks of six survivors of an accidental nuclear holocaust called (I swear I didn't make this up) Woops!. I have never actually seen an episode, but based on the descriptions I've read from various sources such as Television Obscurities, the book "What Were They Thinking?" and TV Guide's "50 Worst Shows Ever Made," it sounds like the mother of the MOAB.

The only evidence I could find of this Defcon-2 turkey's existence was its opening, posted in an un-embeddable video format on Retrostatic.com. That's an even greater testament to how bad this show must be. Even YouTube, a media giant that built its empire on kittens playing musical instruments and guys voluntarily getting smashed in the junk for our entertainment, won't show it.

The opening tells the story of an America busily concerned with trivial concerns such as the Pennant race, surfing and a small town homecoming parade. A local military base also joined in the parade by letting their soldiers, tanks and even a hot nuclear missile march down the street while a crowd of simple American folk looked on without a care in the world. Suddenly, two kids playing with a remote controlled car somehow set the missile off, causing World War III times two. And after the Earth's population are reduced to crispy chicken nuggets, apparently THAT is when the hilarity starts.

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Rich

I watched Whoops. I can confirm that this show did exist, and that it was not a great show. Remember those episodes of Gilligan's Island where it was kind of about what a society of just a few people would be like, where Mr. Howell has his own private country club and when Gilligan discovers he is a millionaire due to a lottery ticket suddenly he is allowed into Mr. Howell's country club. That was kind of the nature of Whoops. It was about a small group of stranded people, much like Gilligan's Island, except without the lovable characters, trademarkable idiosyncrasies, and the other things that made Gilligan's Island rise above its innaness.

August 16 2009 at 12:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Travis

Jeremiah was solid. It's too bad (from what I remember reading) J. Michael Straczynski couldn't get along with MGM. Hard to say if it was MGM being stupid, or the other way around but I remember hearing him say there's no way he'd ever work with them again.

Now, just to be clear, if Darabont keeps The Walking Dead honest to its roots, I can't think of a single other TV show that has ever been made that will be quite like this.

The Walking Dead isn't so much about the usual zombie style stories of finding a cure, or what happened... it's about staying alive and how at the end of the day, you only worry about yourself. And there's death... a whole shit load of it.

If done right, as a friend of mine said, he's already scared.

August 14 2009 at 8:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Travis

Jeremiah was solid. It's too bad (from what I remember reading) J. Michael Straczynski couldn't get along with MGM. Hard to say if it was MGM being stupid, or the other way around but I remember hearing him say there's no way he'd ever work with them again.

Now, just to be clear, if Darabont keeps The Walking Dead honest to its roots, I can't think of a single other TV show that has ever been made that will be quite like this.

The Walking Dead isn't so much about the usual zombie style stories of finding a cure, or what happened... it's about staying alive and how at the end of the day, you only worry about yourself. And there's death... a whole shit load of it.

If done right, as a friend of mine said, he's already scared.

August 14 2009 at 8:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jayhawk

Don't forget the post-apocalyptic kids' show - Ark II

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63_lcQUdxxE)

August 14 2009 at 6:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Man

I liked Jeremiah and The Tribe.

August 14 2009 at 3:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Man's comment
Pocket Full Of Goldfish

I always wanted to see Woops! I'm sure it's terrible but the premise seemed so odd I've been trying to track it down for years.

On the zombie note though It's a shame that Babylon Fields never got picked up. That was a brillant pilot.

August 14 2009 at 3:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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