Review: We're Alive

(Originally posted September 15, 2018)

Genre: Post-Apocalypse, Zombies, Survival
Possible Triggers: Some Graphic Descriptions, Death
Safe For Work: Wear Headphones
Content: PG-13

General: In a world where zombies are the new, far less attractive vampires, a podcast about the zombie apocalypse is almost a given. We’re Alive features a group of humans, following them from the beginning of the zombie invasion and through their journey to survive.

The story starts with Michael Cross, an Army Reserve Soldier and college student, whose world is shattered when reports start coming in about riots in the streets. Michael is called in for duty, but the base is deserted when he arrives (after witnessing the horrors in the streets). He finds two fellow soldiers, Angel and Saul, and together the three of them get equipment together, borrow a tank, and head out into the streets to find other survivors. They have no idea what’s going on. They don’t know what they’re fighting. But they’re soldiers, and as far as Michael is concerned, their uniforms will give hope to any civilians they find.

After searching the streets and coming across a few more stranded humans, they commandeer an apartment complex, scout it out to make sure it’s safe, and begin fortifying it as their safe base.

And the fight for survival begins.

Overtime, the apartment complex (dubbed The Tower by the survivors) becomes home to an almost unruly cast of characters. A lot of the characters are your typical stereotypes – the old, gruff war veteran, the paranoid guy who thinks everyone is out to get him, the flirty guy, the “do everything by the rules” guy, the rude woman who thinks she knows everything and constantly talks down to everyone, the ditzy woman who can’t quite seem to get things right, the foreign shop owner, and of course, walking stereotype Michael Cross, who thinks he knows everything, takes charge without any input, and begins ordering people around like he somehow knows more about what’s happening than anyone else.

The cast is pretty by the numbers, but the story is what keeps you listening. Everyone always thinks they know what they would do in the event of any world-ending catastrophe – there’s an entire genre dedicated to “preppers” who think the end of the world could come any day now.

You can’t be prepared for every situation, however. And the characters of We’re Alive do their best on the fly. They find the Tower and immediately fortify it, begin organizing supplies they salvage from empty apartments, work out a guard rotation schedule so one person isn’t responsible for watching over everything. Tommy, a teenage resident of the Tower who arrives with his aunt in chapter three, even sets up a security system so they can completely block off the entrance hall and watch it without having to put themselves in danger. The group sets up a generator to keep electricity going in the tower, begin a rooftop garden, organize a “store” of sorts for supplies – honestly, for a group that can’t go five minutes without someone getting into a fight with someone else, they work together pretty well to maintain their base. The need to survive overcomes the need to be stubborn.

By now you’re probably wondering, “Wait, but what created the zombies?” The survivors wonder that as well. It’s a persisting mystery throughout the series, with the survivors trying to figure out ways to fight the zombies, what attracts them, how they find victims, and the best ways to avoid them. Where did they come from? How do you stop them?  You’ll have to listen to find out.

And in the mean time, there’s something much worse than zombies roaming the streets of Los Angeles. What could be worse than zombies, you ask? Other human beings. While the residents of the Tower are stubborn and often clash with one another, they’re all good at heart and watch out for each other the best they can. The same can not be said for other factions of survivors – they have no interest in cooperating with people outside their own little group, and only look out for themselves. In the world of the zombie apocalypse, humanity somehow still remains the most dangerous thing.

We’re Alive is told in an audio drama format, with each character getting their own voice actor and a chance to tell the story from their own point of view as the show grows beyond Michael Cross. You could hear the same scene two-three times from two-three different points of view, and no narrative will be the same. Episodes are in chapters and parts (Chapter One, Part One, Part Two, Part Three; Chapter Two, Part One, etc.), with each chapter being narrated by a different person. You might love some of the characters, you might hate one or two. You might hate or love them all. And while hating them all can sometimes make listening annoying, it also works to make the story more compelling – and no, not just because you’re rooting for someone to die. It’s oddly fascinating to hear how these characters survive, even when you don’t like them. It’s like watching a car crash – you know it’s horrible and yet you can’t look away.

And hey, maybe you’ll get some good tips for when the zombie apocalypse comes.

Beginner Friendly?: Yes, but start at the beginning

LGBTQIA Friendly?: Yes (several characters)

Pay to Listen?: No

Length: 20-30 minutes

Overall: We’re Alive is a fascinating combination of the best and worst in humanity (which, as we’re shown here, aren’t mutually exclusive) and how mankind’s will to survive overcomes almost every other obstacle. You don’t have to like someone to live with them when living with them is your only choice. You discover talents you didn’t know you had until you put them to the test. You discover how far you’re willing to go in order to live.

While the original series has ended, the story is far from over. Check out for more details on upcoming shows, to find downloads for the original series, and so much more.