Title: Daybreak (Season #1)
Released: 2019

Fix: Teen Comedy with Occasional Angst and Zombies
Platform: Netflix

Netflix Summary:

Living his best life in post-apocalyptic L.A., a slacker strives to find the girl of his dreams while outwitting mindless ghouls and cliquish gangs.

FYA Summary:

After an apocalyptic event zombifies all the adults, the teens have taken over Glendale. The former high school cliques now operate like tribes, but Josh Wheeler is a free agent and T-H-R-I-V-I-N-G with his pre-existing survival skills. And he’s going to need everything — and everyone — at his disposal if he has any hope of finding his girlfriend, Sam, who’s been missing since that fateful night when everything changed.

Familiar Faces:

Colin Ford as Josh Wheeler

It’s not surprising that I found him to have a very Jared Padalecki vibe, considering that I probably first saw him as Young Sam in Supernatural.

Austin Crute as Wesley Fists

It’s Alan from Booksmart! If that performance made you want to see him in more stuff, here’s your chance.

Alyvia Alyn Lind as Angelica Green

In my headcannon, she’s the older version of another small blonde girl with a slightly scary streak, Angelica from Rugrats. (Fun fact: her mom is Deb Scott!)

Sophie Simnett as Sam Dean

Given that she’s the object of Josh’s affections and the Supernatural connection, that name can’t be a coincidence, right?

Matthew Broderick as Principal Burr

Ferris Bueller has come full circle, as the ultimate slacker is now a high school principal.

Krysta Rodriguez as Ms. Crumble

Despite her lengthy Broadway career, I only knew her from a forgettable role on Smash.* She gets to be way more interesting here.

*That making-a-musical show that foolishly tried to convince the audience that Katharine McPhee would be a better Marilyn Monroe than Megan Hilty? Anyway.

Cody Kearsley as Turbo Pokaski

I couldn’t figure out why this meathead character looked so familiar, until I recognized the actor as another meathead on Riverdale.

Couch-Sharing Capability: High

A young hero embarking on a dangerous quest in the name of love, but with literally deadly high school cliques — this show is so firmly in the FYA wheelhouse that I’m surprised we didn’t actually groupthink it into existence. It’s loads of fun and so easy to get lost in a weekend binge, as evident by my own marathon over the holidays. Grab a friend to watch it with, so that you don’t have to write about it on the internet in order to talk about it like me!

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Low

There might be a few moments that will raise alarms for the squeamish — it is a zombie-ish show, after all — but alcohol isn’t generally needed to enjoy it. The cringiest thing that first comes to mind is the complete lack of geographical awareness; someone can’t be both from Toronto and also claiming to be from a small town! (I’ve typed and deleted many an extended rant, because it’s Classic Me Getting Hung Up On Insignificant Minor and/or Canadian Details.)

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Excellent — With a Caveat

The word that I keep going back to for describing this show is confident. Like, it knows exactly what it’s doing, it swings for the fences, and it hits it out of the park. (Especially some of the later episodes; I just marveled at WOW, a freshman series DID THAT.) The post-apocalyptic worldbuilding is delightful and diverse AF, and it’s putting a unique spin on a familiar story.

Sadly, however, this will be the only season of the show,* which is a bummer since the finale sets up a really promising second season that’ll never come to pass. (Not in an OMG NO ANSWERS NO CLOSURE way so it’s still safe to binge, but a definite loss to not see how things would play out.)

*It was cancelled two months after it was released. SLOW YOUR ROLL, NETFLIX, and promote your shizz so that it can actually grow an audience!

Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she oversaw all things FYA Book Club from 2013 to 2023.