Maybe it's a sign of the times, or maybe it's coincidence, but if what we're watching on TV right now is any indication, humanity's future doesn't look too bright.
If you include the just-concluded "Falling Skies" from TNT, right now, the TV landscape is full of shows -- "The Walking Dead," "Revolution" and "Fringe" -- that don't give the Average Joe much of a chance to survive after calamity hits.
So, if you had to be a character on one of these shows, which would you choose? Consider:
FALLING SKIES: Scenario: Aliens conquer the human race, and ragtag militias attempt to drive them off world.
Advantages: In this future, guns and ammo seem to be relatively easy to come by, but fuel and food doesn't. Joining the militias, especially the 2nd Mass, can vastly increase your survival. Also, the "skitters" who serve the alien overlords are plotting their own rebellion, and could be allies.
Disadvantages: The aliens possess superior intelligence and technology. They are also after human children to enslave.
Outlook: Humans in this scenario have shown themselves to be resourceful. If they fight long enough, they may just convince the invaders that Earth isn't worth their effort.
FRINGE: Scenario: About 25 years in the future, the beings that humans evolve into go back in time and capture our world, turning it into a police state.
Advantages: Very little. You've got a great group with the Fringe team, but they are extremely outnumbered, and can't even protect their own, as witnessed by last week's shocking death.
Disadvantages: Not only do you not have allies or resources, but the Observer overlords have the abilities of time travel and telepathy.
Outlook: With only Walter Bishop's crazy reset-button scheme to go by, chances are very small that one would survive in this world.
REVOLUTION: Scenario: After all electrical, nuclear and combustible power ceases to exist, society has regressed 15 years from now, with America divided up into militia dictatorships. Without any technology, life becomes extremely difficult to even exist.
Advantages: One of your team was a co-founder of Google and has a piece of tech that may turn the power back on. Your team consists of an alcoholic super-soldier and a super-hot explosives expert. Unfortunately, your team leader is a self-centered, moronic teenager. However, the fact that she can survive in this world means that just about anybody can.
Disadvantages: You have to pretty much walk everywhere, and the best guns available are muskets. You're being lead by a self-centered, moronic teenager, and your hot British doctor just died.
Outlook: Even though you lack leadership for your group, apparently so does the enemy. One wonders how this guy Monroe manages to lead an entire republic, given that he doesn't seem the sharpest or most bad-ass guy around.
THE WALKING DEAD: In the present, a zombie plague has wiped out most of humanity, and walkers now roam freely, devouring their victims. Since people who died also morph into walkers, humans are the minority.
Advantages: Your team has become a lean, mean fighting machine. You've gotten rid of some of the dead weight (Dale), the troublemaker (Shane) and some other people we didn't care that much about. The survivors, especially Rick, Glenn and Daryl, are kind of an all-star team when it comes to zombie-killing. If the group can hold onto its new prison home and somehow get Andrea and Michonne back and dump Lori and T-Dog, your chances seem OK.
Disadvantages: So far, you're stuck with Lori, and there's almost no food. Bullets are at a premium. In addition to hordes of walkers who can't be reasoned with, you've also now got The Governor, a crazy would-be dictator, to deal with.
Outlook: Not great. There's really no place you can go, and food and medicine is hard to come by. Plus, anyone in your group who dies becomes a walker, which is just plain awkward when you have to kill them again. You pretty much know the rest of your existence is living day-to-day.
So, which crappy future existence would you want to find yourself in? Personally, though my friend Kerry and I have done a lot of planning for the zombie apocalypse, "Falling Skies" seems to offer the best hope in getting back to a normal world someday.
WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: With the premiere of "Last Man Standing" and "Malibu Country" on ABC from 8-9 p.m., "Shark Tank" gets pushed back an hour.
"Fringe" (Fox, 9 p.m.) is new after last week's stunning death, as is "Nikita" (CW, 9 p.m.) NBC has a new "Grimm" at 9 p.m., while CBS has "CSI: NY" and "Blue Bloods" from 9-11 p.m.
On cable, "Haven" (SyFy, 10 p.m.) is new, as is "Hunted" (MAX, 10 p.m.)
On Saturday, Ole Miss visits UGA (CBS, 3:30 p.m.), while at 8 p.m. on CBS, there's a rematch of last year's title game between No. 1 Alabama and LSU.
On Sunday, Fox's sitcoms return from 8-10 p.m. This week's "Good Wife" (CBS, 9:30 p.m.) offers a pretty good twist at the end, following a new "Amazing Race" and preceding a new "Mentalist." (Be wary of football running over).
ABC has new episodes of "Once Upon A Time," "Revenge" and "666 Park Ave," while the Falcons battle the Cowboys at 8:30 p.m. on NBC. On PBS, a new "Masterpiece" continuing "Upstairs, Downstairs" follows "Call The Midwife."
On cable, I've expressed my disappoint with the past few "Homelands" (Showtime, 10 p.m.), but "Dexter" has rebounded surprisingly well. HBO has new episodes of "Boardwalk Empire" and "Treme."
"The Walking Dead" (AMC, 9 p.m.) is new, as are "Talking Dead" and "Comic Book Men" from 11-midnight.
Finally, the much talked-about docudrama "Seal Team Six" debuts on NatGeo at 8 p.m.