October 19, 2011

The Walking Dead, Season 1.

You would think that by now, I would've watched this series already.  I am a fan of zombie genre, and especially the modern incarnations of it.  But it wasn't until a friend of mine was talking about how he was excited for season 2 that I was finally compelled to see season 1.  

Totally.  Worth. Your time.

You don't have to be into zombies to appreciate the themes in the story.  It mainly follows Rick Grimes, in his quest to find peace in this new zombie world.  Throughout the story you not only follow Rick and the group he's surviving with, but there are also little vignettes of other's lives and sacrifices, and it's tears through your heart.

For those of you looking for a general review, I highly suggest it.  I always go on and on about how well written TV is in short supply, and the Walking Dead gives me hope.  Characters that have depth, setting that doesn't feel forced, and dialogue that isn't ridiculous.  If there are cliches, they are hidden very well.  

It's a well produced show, gross enough for a zombie epic without trying to be over the top.  Nothing is done merely for spectacle, even though spectacle is a tool used.  

If you haven't seen it, and you like a good story, watch it.  Consider the zombies as an extra bonus.


For those of you have watched the show... I am seriously saddened that I can't watch season 2.  Season 1  was brilliantly executed, which although started the way many zombie sagas start: Guy waking up in a coma in the hospital, doesn't know all about zombies.  However Rick Grimes is smart enough to survive the first 2 hours to get to home, and then almost gets eaten.

Throughout the series, helpful strangers seem to be the theme.  We first meet a father and son team that teach Rick about the world.  Then Glen introduces Rick to the idea of escape.  There's the "gangsters" that took over the abandoned old home, the group that took in Rick after he screwed up their escape plan, the scientist that lets the group into the facility on a whim.  Kindness is not lost in this world.

Nor are the stresses of regular life.  Siblings squabble.  Spouses argue.  Bigotry infects.  It's all just amplified with the new stresses of having the undead trying to eat your face off.  And there's no therapy session to help you work through it.  The people who end up surviving in this situation are tough not only on the outside, but on the inside too.  Their convictions are keeping them through.

There's also a good mix of characters to "like" and "hate".  There aren't ones specifically designed to feel  one way or another, throughout the 6 episodes you can empathize with them all.  Shane just wants the comfort of a family, and took it from Rick when he was "dead".  With Rick back, his opportunity of having that is now completely gone.  Who's going to be making a family now?  Jim was probably never going to be fully sane anyway with his survivor's guilt on top of his general traumatic experiences.  Darryl flies off the handle, but he probably has the best survival skills out there.  They get on your nerves, but you can never fully hate them.

And now I'm kicking myself for not being able to see season 2.  Season 1 made it sound like there's no hope for an actual cure, or at least a sanctuary, but I'm still hopeful.  The bullets will run out, the cars will stop moving, and I'll still think they have a chance with their bare hands.  That's just me.  And the show helps you have hope too.

So if you're watching Season 2, don't tell me a thing.  I'll hold on to hope until the last minute of the series.


  1. I'm with you here, coming in a bit late and having only recently watched season 1. It wasn't perfect, of course there were things that didn't make sense from a survivalist point of view (but then, lots of things that would don't make for good tv), but for the most part it was fun to watch and makes you think about ways to do it better if the situation was a reality. I liked the tank scene best, lol.

  2. I think that imperfection is actually kind of realistic. How many of us are actually ready for a zombie epidemic? I have heard said that some people find the dialogue awkward, but then again I speak in random metaphor sometimes so it's hard for me to find it that way.

    And the tank scene is fantastic.