As it is the final day of Zombie Week, you might have noticed one particular banner that was popping up that had real life actors and a zombie. That banner is for AMC’s The Walking Dead, a television show that aired last year. To put it simply, it is a zombie apocalypse show, which is a bold undertaking for AMC. The series is based off of a comic series that I had never heard of until I saw this show. Season 1 has ended and they currently are filming season 2, but for those of use that did stick through all 6 episodes, was it worth it?
The Walking dead is very much a zombie survival show. They are constantly at odds with the zombies and the remaining humans still trying to survive. The show started out copying 28 Days Later. Our main protagonist is Sharif Deputy Rick Grims, who earlier that year was shot while trying to apprehend suspects and was subsequently put into a coma. Waking up dazed and confused he stumbles about the hospital only to discover that it was abandoned and he thought that he was alone. That is until he stumbles upon a horde of zombies locked in a room. Not knowing what happened he heads home to find his wife and son. As the show goes on and Rick is trying to find his family we get a good impression of who he is and it is something that draws you in. In the first episode he shows sympathy for the zombies and almost treats them like humans. It is his character that really stands out and sets a stage for the show.
As I mentioned, The Walking Dead is a zombie show, but it has a much deeper level than that. While the setting is a zombie survival situation, the real design of the show was to put a strong emphasis on the characters. Not only is Rick interesting to watch, but all the other characters have deep sides and complexity to them. In the first episode, when Rick is still trying to figure out what is going on, he meets Morgan and Duane Jones, a father and son pair trying to survive. As we learn about what is going on we learn that Morgan’s wife was turned into a zombie and was wondering around the area. There is a powerful scene where the zombie actually comes up to the house they are held up in trying to open the door, this causes Duane to freak out and we get a close look at how this is effecting the people on an emotional level. It is that kind of drama that The Walking Dead is all about. Complex stories about the people and what they deal with. I don’t want to go into too much detail since this isn’t a review, but you can expect to connect to the characters and it will make you want to cry several times while watching The Walking Dead.
After watching the show and hearing about the comic I decided to pick up and read a few issues of it. I will say that there is a stark contrast in the story and there is quite a bit of television only stuff. However, AMC does a good job in changing the story. I feel like some of the characters stand out more and ultimately will prove more interesting as time goes on. Plus it makes it a lot easier to read the comic book since you aren’t reading the same thing over again. If you have watched the television series it might just be worth checking out.
So was it worth it? Yes! AMC did such a fantastic job of drawing us not only into a zombie apocalypse show, but it drew us into a complex story filled with fascinating characters. AMC also does a fantastic job of keeping it like a zombie movie. Often at times it can be very violent and gruesome, just as you would expect from any horror movie. Even that didn’t deter my parents from watching the show and I wasn’t didn’t tell them to either. They enjoyed it quite a bit and found themselves drawn into the character aspect of it. The Walking Dead will make you want to watch the next episode just to find out what happened to the cast. And that is the reason you should give the show a chance because it will defy your expectations. Season 2 is on the way later this year and I hope it does a good job in keeping The Walking Dead a success!