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The 10 Best Apocalyptic Love Stories
by Andrew Osborne
Prophets of doom from John the Revelator to Al Gore have been predicting the demise of humanity since we all came down from the trees and turned human in the first place. Yet rather than killing our spirits, it seems the prospect of annihilation mainly just fires up our libidos as we try to live life to the fullest before (to quote another famous doomsayer) "party over, oops, out of time". And so, in tribute to The Walking Dead season finale this Sunday, Nerve salutes the greatest moments of the apocalypse with ten of our favorite "last days" lovers.
1) THE WALKING DEAD (Glenn & Maggie)
When city-boy Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) gets full-on hot and busy with farmer's daughter Maggie (Laurie Cohan) on a dirty prison floor, it's not so much provocative as…sweet. Maybe that's because, as two of The Walking Dead's most likable zombie survivors, the plucky city kid and the soulful country girl help each other to preserve the crucial humanity that's gone missing from the rest of their death-ravaged world. Both characters' basic decency is what defines them more than anything else, making us root (and fear) for them more than just about anyone else in the show's notoriously expendable cast.
2) BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (Gaius Baltar & Number Six)
For most people, bad sexual choices lead to the walk of shame, a trip to the free clinic or a contract with MTV'sTeen Mom. But for Dr. Gaius Baltar (James Callis), hot sex with a mysterious blonde (Tricia Helfer) leads to a devastating attack by hostile robots and billions of deaths as humanity is forced to find a new home in the stars. On top of everything else, Baltar's paramour turns out to be a kinky Cylon who lives in his head when she's not off fooling around with other dude-and-fem-bots. See what happens when you don't bother learning the names of your hook-ups? Fortunately, the flawed scientist eventually redeems himself, and he and Number Six live happily ever after. Like really forever.
3) WALL-E (EVE & WALL-E)
In a hyper-wired world where today's cutting edge gizmos barely recognize yesterday's technology, it's reassuring to think that an "Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator" (a.k.a. EVE), circa 2805, might still be able to communicate (and couch surf old movies…and eventually space-dance) with an obsolete "Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth Class" like WALL-E (…or, technically, WALL-EC). Even more heartening is PIXAR's hopeful message that love can transform the end of a doomed, wasteful civilization into the beginning of a new (and hopefully better) one.
4) THE ROAD (Man & Woman & Boy)
Marriage can be tough under the best of circumstances. But under the worst of circumstances (like, say, an unspecified doomsday scenario that wipes out civilization and despoils the Earth) it can really be a strain – even for a couple as genetically perfect as Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron (totally rocking a wool hat long after fashion has ceased to exist). In the end, though, nuptial bonds aren't enough to keep "Woman" alive in this cinematic adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's grim end of the world fable, where true love comes down to the unnamed Man's stubborn devotion to his Boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) even when hope and happiness have died.