The Best Zombie Series to Binge Watch on Netflix
Zombie films have been done to death. But just like zombies themselves, the genre refuses to stay dead. We’re several years removed from the slow-shuffling, feet-dragging, brain-hungry monsters of old. Today’s zombies run the gamut from sprinting, black-blooded terrors to mysteriously returned dead to suburban real estate agents.
Streaming giant Netflix has produced some pretty good original zombie television shows along with a few others that are available on the platform. With an eye on series—there’re simply way too many movies to include—here’s a list of the best zombie series to binge on.
7| Black Summer
This Netflix original is an unevenly paced series with variable length episodes ranging from 44 minutes to 20 minutes that drop you right into the heart of a zombie apocalypse without any explanation. It’s chaos from the very beginning and all the basic rules of modern zombie flicks apply, from instant infection to unfettered movement.
There’s the novelty of the episodes broken down into tiny segments and how all the characters’ paths eventually converge. It’s an extremely quick binge, easily finished in one sitting, and doesn’t cover a lot of ground. Ranked last on the list mostly because it feels more like a zombie sampler than an actual satisfying story.
Not a zombie show in the traditional sense, but this Australian series features people mysteriously returning from the dead, which should count. These returned, or Risen, are connected in mysterious ways that eventually get revealed over the course of two seasons consisting of a total of 12 episodes.
This is no apocalypse scenario, and the risen dead are in as much trouble and have to deal with more problems as those they once left behind. Unable to leave their little town of Yoorana—the risen end up hemorrhaging through their eyes and if they try—there’s much to figure out. Australia is set to premiere a third season, and Netflix is likely to air it soon after.
5| Z Nation
While The Walking Dead seems like a true zombie of a show that refuses to die and continues to rot, SyFy’s Z Nation is a five-season show that doesn’t take itself too seriously and actually has an endgame in sight.
The zombie series kicks off with Alvin Murphy, a former convict who participated in a government experiment, is the only known survivor of a zombie bite, and who might hold the key to curing the world. The biggest charm of this show is how it turns the zombie apocalypse into a comedy setting and explores so much more than the tired cliches, from zombie-human hybrids to mind control. The writing is over the top, the characters are interesting, the plot is unique and it truly goes into some quirky and wacky territory.
4| Santa Clarita Diet
Although news recently broke about Netflix canceling this series, this original take on zombies featuring an ordinary suburban couple is one of the best shows on the streaming service. Featuring Drew Barrymore as a real estate agent who suddenly finds herself craving human flesh, Santa Clarita Diet is a refreshing and heartwarming look at family dysfunction and marriage with the undead condition acting as both a real and metaphorical plot device.
The show is funny, the characters are great, and the world is compelling. Even if the series finale ends with a cliffhanger, it ranks high on the list because this zom-com is a guaranteed good time. Sometimes Netflix needs to ignore its algorithms and take a chance on an original show rather than spending for reruns of Friends.
3| Ash Vs The Evil Dead
Bruce Campbell returns with original creators Sam and Ivan Raimi to revisit the world of the evil dead, set 30 years after the original trilogy. It’s fun and funny, gruesome and gory, with genuinely scary moments.
Once again, Ash is up against the Deadites, evil demonic zombie creatures that are less Walking Dead than they are darkly comedic Exorcist. This time around, Ash has a terrific supporting cast that includes Lucy Lawless, aka Xena. Unfortunately, the series topped off at three seasons after it was canceled, and Campbell has refused to return to the role. Still, it’s a glorious, action-packed, bloody disgusting run that feels like a true sequel and successor to the original trilogy.
Santa Clarita Diet wasn’t quite the first to come up with the zom-com concept. Before Sheila and Joel Hammond there was Liv Moore and Major Lilywhite. This police procedural hinged on the concept of zombie Liv feeding on corpse brains at the morgue, which had the nifty side effect of giving her insight into and the skills of the person whose brains she ate.
Over the course of the past four seasons, it’s been funny, creative, and pushed the envelope by zombifying all of Seattle. Loosely inspired by a comic of the same name, iZombie is entering its fifth and final season this May.
Hands down the best zombie series on Netflix and arguably one of the best television shows, zombie or otherwise. Set in Korea’s medieval Joseon period, Kingdom follows the story of a crown prince whose father has fallen mysteriously ill and who has to deal with both a zombie outbreak and the political maneuverings of his young stepmother.
There simply isn’t anything quite like it, both in terms of setting and the fact that it also deals with political intrigue. It also has slightly different zombie rules, which play heavily into leading us to a greenlit second season. From breathtaking cinematography to storytelling, Kingdom sets the bar high for what a zombie story should be.