Everyone and their Mother’s Mother has already seen The Walking Dead. Or some part of it. Or Chris Hardwick talking about it; The Walking Dead first person shooter video game; The Walking Dead lunch box; The Walking Dead Ice Cream.
I might have made that last one up. You get the idea.
So I’m going to make this quick.
To start with, I don’t dislike The Walking Dead. I watch it. I enjoy it.
I feel that I must make this very, very clear lest all you adulants come to my house and torch me. I can’t have that. Neither can my neighbors, Bank of America and the Chicago Police. They are already in line on my stoop with their pitchforks and torches. Everyone wants their piece of flesh.
Can’t we all just get along? NO.
Not even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.
Which brings me to the AMC TV series, The Walking Dead. Yes, the zombies are doing zombie shit. However, the solid part of the show is the human drama, which could be played out in any story framework. The actors do an amazing job portraying the interpersonal relations of the group. The entanglements, the uncertainty, the treachery and the love. This is what draws me back to the show each episode. The zombie story-line actually annoys me. That is saying something. You know I love zombies. All zombies. I love them right in the….well, you can grasp what I’m gettin’ at, I think.
So, what is it that peeves me so? Isn’t this just another piece of zombie entertainment that I should lap up? I don’t need ground breaking new TV, which this show is not. I don’t need great special effects or huge-mongous production value. Nevertheless, the show does deliver on that.
It’s all about expectations. I knew Arachnoquake (review upcoming!!!) would be a steaming pile of horror mess. As such, it did not disappoint me. I watched it when I wanted to see just that kind of nonsense and was happy as a zombie in the newborn ward of General Hospital. LOOK AT ALL THOSE BEAUTIFUL, TASTY-LOOKING INFANTS!
The Walking Dead and its consorts are selling me something else. They are selling me epic. They are selling me “best written blah blah blabbity blah”. They are selling me the greatest zombie viewing experience I will ever have the pleasure. Plus, social networking, games, constant discussion and marathon viewing events (quirkily and lamely called Season [insert upcoming season #] Previews).
They are charlatans.
To illustrate my point, there was a scene where our survivor crew was out in the woods searching and hunting. Now, despite the fact that zombies are sort of dangerous, the survivors are actively SEARCHING the woods (as opposed to taking a leisurely jaunt in the woods with a fatty and an ipod touch blaring in your ear), and every one of them is armed…
one of the party is snuck up on by a zombie. Such a clever, quiet zombie that it nearly got close enough to touch this survivor before she even noticed. Perhaps this is a new breed of stealth zombie that the show has not introduced to us before this moment?
Sneaky, sneaky. No, not the zombie. The writer. Sneakily ignoring all sense in order to create imminent danger needed at that moment to move the plot along. To further the human drama.
Sneaky, but lazy.
You can rag on a boom mike getting caught in frame on some B Horror movie all you want. I find this type of thing just as pitiful.
I’m not telling you not to love this show.
But for my sake, please stop acting like something monumentally spectacular has happened in the genre. I could be convinced that getting this produced as a TV series with great production value is spectacular. However, the story is just another zombie story and it is certainly not flawlessly executed.
I dig the show. I’m into the drama. It still ranks below sliced bread. And really, behind an unsliced, but freshly baked loaf as well.
OK, light those torches. It’s been freaking dry as hell here in Chitown, so you might want to run. The conflagration will be spectacular.
(That was quick? :P )
- The Zombie Graph (storiesbywilliams.com)
- Day Of The Dead (2008) (thatguythatreviewsstuff.wordpress.com)
- Ernest Dickerson Talks Walking Dead Season 3 Premiere (dreadcentral.com)
- Zombies storm Germany (bigpondnews.com)
- The Walking Dead FPS Announced (g4tv.com)
- Animation Monday: Walking Dead (geekalabama.com)
- The Walking Dead (livinglavidamommy.wordpress.com)