Quick Thoughts on AMC’s The Walking Dead

So I’ve gotten a few request to talk about some of the Half-Life monsters I left out in my rundown of favorite HL monsters post, so that’s in the works, along with some more Let’s Play Half-Life episode commentary. But that’s not what I’m here to discuss right now. Right now we’re going to talk about AMC’s new series The Walking Dead.

Now, I’m not generally a huge zombie movie fan. Don’t get me wrong, there are several zombie movies I like–Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later and Zombieland among them–but I don’t generally care for zombies in and of themselves. (Usually because zombies mean the kind of gratuitous and bloody violence that I don’t tend to enjoy very much.) Because of this, I hadn’t planned on paying much attention to The Walking Dead. I’d never read the comic, after all, and had no investment in–or even real knowledge of–the story or characters.

Still, the first episode got such wonderful reviews that I decided to check it out the next week. (AMC was kind enough to run the first episode right before the second–and in fact they’re doing a whole catch-up marathon before episode 3 this Sunday.)

Boy, am I glad I did.

I was a little dubious about the first episode though. It’s beginning was SO ridiculously similar to one of my all-time favorite movies (28 Days Later), and that put me off quite a bit until I did a bit of research and discovered that the comic book creator who conceptualized that opening developed independent of, but at almost the same time as, Danny Boyle and his movie. Weird.

Thus assured, I as able to sit back and enjoy the first two episodes. What a fantastic ride. This show, at least so far, is far more about the characters and their predicaments–physical and otherwise–than it is about the zombie apocalypse itself. The destruction of life as we know it is more of a backdrop, an experimental situation into which the characters are placed so that their true traits and natures can be examined. The cinematic feel of the sets, the emotion, the characters…it all adds up to the most fun I’ve had in front of a television since season seven of The X-Files. If you get the chance, I highly recommend checking it out; it’s well worth an hour of your time a week.

Also: Shane and Lori are douchebags, and need to have their brains chomped by zombies. That is all.

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