The internet is rediscovering a virus-themed drama series that originally aired in 2019 – but now it’s hitting a little closer to home. As based on the non-fiction book of the same name, The Hot Zone is a six-part TV series starring Julianna Margulies and Noah Emmerich about a potential outbreak of Ebola in Washington, D.C. in 1989. With a second season on the way later this month, folks are rediscovering the first batch of episodes and sharing their reactions online.
Needless to say, after having lived with a real-life viral outbreak over the past couple of years since The Hot Zone first arrived, its subject matter has gained a lot of extra weight and meaning. As one Twitter user pointed out, it’s arguably a heck of a lot scarier than a classic horror movie.
2001 movie Contagion got a surge of newfound popularity last year after the COVID-19 outbreak, so if you’re looking for more fiction that parallels life then The Hot Zone is for you.
That said, it’s probably not for the faint of heart.
But it’s certainly an educational watch.
The upcoming second season of the show, which is taking an anthology approach, is titled The Hot Zone: Anthrax and instead follows the anthrax attacks of 2001, which saw letters containing deadly anthrax spores sent to various media outlets and politicians in the wake of 9/11. Five were killed and 17 were infected. Daniel Dae Kim and Tony Goldwyn star as the microbiologist and FBI agent investigating the incident.
The six-part second run will air on National Geographic across three nights starting this November 28. At some point later, it will likely join the first season on Hulu. If you haven’t done so yet, you can stream The Hot Zone on Hulu now. Catch the trailer for season 2 here.