There's not a whole lot going on in 'Daybreak' that you haven't already seen, and while splicing together familiar tropes and genre nods together can sometimes yield something new, you're still lacking in originality.
This is the central fault of 'Daybreak', which aims to mash-up John Hughes / 'Ferris Bueller Day's Off' teen comedy with George Miller / 'Mad Max: Fury Road' dystopia. To say it leans into both too hard is an understatement. It willfully trades in this kind of knowledge, with the central character breaking the fourth wall at every available opportunity to explain what's going on, while the antagonists drive around in spike-covered cars.
The story sets up the world in brisk order, and utilises the teenage proclivity for shutting out the world as to why the exact reasons for the apocalypse appears so vague. There's a bomb blast which wiped out every adult in California, but the ones that remained are called Ghoulies, which act like zombies and are attracted to blood and shamble across the wastelands. The story jumps back and forth from life before and after the apocalypse, setting up the character's lives and motivations and why they've all become heightened versions of themselves. This, in turn, plays into the tribes that have risen up, with the jocks now acting like the War Boys from 'Fury Road', the fashion-centric types calling themselves the Disciples of Kardashia, so on and so on.
Despite drafting in the likes of Matthew Broderick, Ken Marino, Krysta Rodriguez as the adults, there isn't enough here to make 'Daybreak' particularly exciting. The comedy falls flat and tries far too hard to prop itself up with pop culture references. Not only that, jacking teen tribalism into post-apocalypse tribalism is way too obvious a move. Ultimately, what you're left with is something that should familiar, but instead just comes off as lazy.
The unfurling nature of the story from episode to episode equally drives home the point that 'Daybreak' is just another teen dramedy with some interesting flourishes. The performances from the core cast - Colin Ford, Austin Crute and Alyvia Alyn Lind - are all decent, and Ford in particular channels his co-star Matthew Broderick, both with his foppish haircut and his smart-alec ways. The scripting, however, doesn't do them any favours and is often so leaden with pop culture references, world-building and teen angst that it doesn't connect nearly as effectively as it could.
By and large, 'Daybreak' is fine. It's not terrible, it's just not good enough to warrant anything other than a cursory glance as you scroll past to something else.