A high school becomes ground zero for a zombie virus outbreak. Trapped students must fight their way out — or turn into one of the rabid infected.
Hyosan High School is your typical microcosm of the teenage social order: you’ve got mean girls and bullies and jocks and nerds and ordinary kids just trying to stay under the radar. Faced with slut shaming or the pressure of parental expectations or the pain of an unrequited crush, most students would call this place hell, and that’s before zombies enter the picture.
But boy oh boy, do zombies
make fetch happen. Through a series of events that I won’t spoil for you, the vast majority of the student body (plus faculty) turn into bloodthirsty, crazy fast, insanely disgusting monsters intent on biting any human in sight. And thus the pandemic (and the panic) spreads within hours out into the city until the government steps in and the country goes into lockdown.
For the most part, the series follows a group of teens stranded inside the high school as they fight to survive—and we know what happens when people end up stranded together under stressful situations! Drama and romance ensue. Oh and death. Lots and lots of death.
Y’all, none of these faces are familiar to me, but I hope this show launches them all into the fame stratosphere because they RULE. THE. SCHOOL. I mean, also kinda literally.
I don’t want to highlight anyone in particular, because similar to The 100, kids be dying 24/7, so I’ll just say that every single character in this ensemble is thoughtfully complex, which is a serious feat given the massive size of the cast. Though initially our heroes may seem like clichés—snooty class president, jolly class clown, tall hot enigmatic dude who happens to be really good at parkour (can you tell which one immediately caught my interest?)—each episode reveals new layers to these teens and their complicated relationships with themselves and with each other. I cannot get over the depth the writers and the actors are able to convey with these characters, especially since they’re spending half of their time sprinting down hallways away from snarling, ravenous classmates. By the end, I dare you not to judge yourself for judging all of them initially and then realizing how WRONG you were because they are TRYING OKAY and damn you would be dead by this point but they are still kicking because what choice do they have and I’m not crying you’re crying.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Buddy System
Similar to surviving a zombie apocalypse, you’re better off with a loved one by your side. Preferably one who doesn’t mind when you yell (at the TV, to characters who can’t hear you) such helpful advice as “DON’T GO UP THE STAIRS!” or “THAT ZOMBIE IS NO LONGER YOUR BESTIE!” or “WHY BE BRAVE JUST HIDE YOU IDIOT.” This is a real nail biter of a show, and you’ll want an arm to clutch (not bite) for the many, many scenes when it gets intensity in ten cities.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Bloodthirsty
Let’s be honest, you’re gonna need something to calm those nerves, because this show puts the guts in gutsy. IT’S GROSS Y’ALL! And it’s terrifying AF. But you’ll still want to keep your wits about you in order to enjoy the character arcs, the extremely timely takes on social media and politics, and the status of the 20 people whom you so desperately care about. Also, make sure to have a bottle of water on hand because you will feel extremely grateful for it, trust.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Brrrr
All of Us Are Dead may seem like a gimmick, or a blatant Battle Royale meets 28 Days Later rip-off, but it’s actually a tender, beautifully heartbreaking series about facing our demons. Like Buffy, it masterfully balances authentic teen angst and LOL-inducing moments with horrifying, nightmarish scenarios—except thanks to Netflix, this shit has a harrrrrrd R. It’s the kind of show that puts you through the wringer and then leaves you begging for more*, no matter how many times you closed your eyes.
P.S. Don’t say I didn’t warn you: fried chicken will be on your mind for days.
*Yes, there will be a second season.