Friday, 2 May 2014

Post-Apocalyptic A to Z: Woops!, Yellow Peril and Zymurgy

Yeah, I'm cheating. I got behind on the Post-Apocalyptic A to Z Challenge because of travel and editing, so I'm wrapping up the last three letters all in one go.

W is for Woops!, a FOX sitcom from 1992 about survivors of nuclear war. Apparently audiences didn't find nuclear war very funny because the show was cancelled before it completed its first season. It got terrible ratings and TV Guide named it the 43rd worst TV show ever. Number one was Jerry Springer, which is its own sort of apocalypse.

As much as I love the genre, I totally missed this show. Did anyone ever see Woops!? Was it as bad as they say?

Y is for Yellow Peril. This refers to the traditional fear of Asians in the United States. It started when Chinese immigrants first started coming to the U.S. in large numbers in the mid-nineteenth century. During the 1930s and 40s the fear switched to the Japanese and now it's gone back to the Chinese.

Yellow Peril is a major theme in much early post-apocalyptic fiction, with hordes of heartless, inscrutable Asians swarming onto the democratic shores of White America to turn it into a feudal hellhole. Sadly, it's been a theme in politics too, and led to the infamous Japanese internment camps during WWII. I'm playing with the Yellow Peril theme a bit in my Toxic World series, with hints that tensions between East and West are at least partly responsible for the fall of civilization. Who was more responsible for those tensions is another question.

And for Z we have. . .zymurgy! Ha! I bet you thought I was going to pick zombies, didn't you? Zymurgy is the process of brewing alcohol. Of course that's not going to die with the fall of civilization. In fact, people will need a drink more than ever!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

End of the world or not, people we be drinking.
Never even heard of Whoops.

Pete. said...

Must look for Whoops- can't believe that one escaped me I have supposedly researched the whole genre.

I was a little disappointed that there has been no mention of Riddley Walker in your A to Z. Have you read it? It is my favourite Post- Apocalyptic novel currently.



Sean McLachlan said...

Alex: No one else has heard of it either, that was the problem!

Pete: Another one for the to-read list!

Sapper Joe said...

I don't remember that TV show, but would have watched it if it was on a night that I was working on back then.

Actually, at first I thought you where going to say the British TV show or the later movie, "Whoops, Apocalypse!" I saw the movie, but only bits of the TV series. The movie has the best portrayal of a SAS rescue mission I have ever scene. It can be seen on YouTube.

Sapper Joe

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