In a small town in Georgia, Sheriff Deputy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), is seriously injured during a shoot out with bandits. He's soon hospitalized and eventually slips into a coma. He reawakens and finds his town completely out of order from what he remembers, with scores of dead bodies wrapped in white sheets, plus the hospital appearing as if a small war was waged. He encounters a father and son who explains to him that the dead has risen, and they're eating the living. Grimes returns to his home to find his wife and son gone, but has faith that they're still alive. He journeys to Atlanta in hopes of finding them. -summary
Now, this is what I call a fantastic show. It's strange when I think about it, but just recently I had pretty much given up on the zombie genre, because it seemed as if no one could take it seriously anymore. From American filmmakers to Japanese anime directors; these folks have continued to churn out one lackluster project after the other. I can think of only two zombie romps that have wowed me in some way within the last 5 years or so; Zombieland directed by Ruben Fliescher and The Horde directed by Yannick Dahan. Despite my enjoyment of the two films, the former was very hard to take serious for various reasons, while the latter sacrificed coherent storytelling for the sake of coolness. The Walking Dead on the other hand seems to have a specific aim, and it stayed on course throughout the duration. This is a zombie apocalypse done right for the most part.
The Walking Dead is a TV series based on the graphic novel written by Robert Kirkman, who also wrote the superhero zombie tale Marvel Zombies. The story takes place after a zombie apocalypse, and it follows a group of survivors lead by Rick Grimes and his best friend Shane (Jon Bernthal). As a heads up, I will point out that I haven't read the graphic novel, so I have no idea how well this TV series follows it or if it does at all.
I enjoyed the direction after Rick wakes up from his coma. The narrative moves at a slow pace, yet it's very methodical in its approach. I was immediately sucked into the story, and I felt as if I was in the main character's shoes. The writing brings you into its world, and gives you the time to get settled with the atmosphere. I never felt bombarded by the events at any time due to the pacing. The story just had a natural flow and it moved gracefully from one scene to the next, even the character interactions never really dragged, and the development was done well enough to the point where I understood how each character felt.
The plot is pretty simple and it follows the usual zombie formula, at times, it even re-uses many elements from earlier zombie films which would go on to become cliches. But I felt the characters and the danger of the moment concealed those "seen it before" moments quite a bit. The various subplots developing via hidden romances and rivalries also carries the plot very well, and I kept wondering what would the consequences be for so and so's actions. I was pretty much gripped to everything about the show and I can say there were no dull moments.
The production values deserve a mention as well. For a TV series, the gore rivals and surpasses many zombie films I came across. When the zombies come for their meal, they damn sure dig in. There are some pretty good zombie chow moments that are indeed skin-crawling. You will see the flesh pulled off the bone like fried chicken in graphic and lovely detail, plus guts, intestines, and liver being devoured. The bullets and crossbow shots to the head are a plus as well. I can't say anything bad about the squeamish and disturbing gore scenes, I just loved it all. However, I only have one problem in the style department and it happens to be the music score; with the exception of the ending themes which vary after each episode I believe. The BGM felt pretty bland during various moments, but it didn't hurt the action scenes, because they were that good to me.
When it comes down to my horror and zombie entertainment, I take tonal shifts very seriously. In truth, I hate to laugh during movies or shows like these. I cannot really stand zombie-comedy, and this is a genre that I really want to see just go the hell away already. The Walking Dead maintains its serious tone throughout giving it a sense of believability that so many of its type severely lacks. This wouldn't be possible if not for the stellar writing, as each of the characters are believable in everything they do. I also think the usual themes that are almost always examined are handled very well. There are some very good performances delivered by Andrew Lincoln, Laurie Holden, Jon Bernthal, Michael Rooker and several others. I really can't say a bad thing about it.
As much as I like the show it does have its flaws though, which will only be noticed by those who have seen way too many zombie movies. The issue is that it felt like I seen most of this before, and it can be very predictable. There are moments that just felt pulled from many zombie works. If a well rounded fan can look pass that small issue, and focus on everything else it does right. Then the show can still be very enjoyable.
The Walking Dead has definitely grabbed my attention. I'm interested in seeing where the characters are going, plus I will be reading the graphic novel. This first season doesn't exactly end on a cliff hanger, unless, you're sold on the characters and the premise, because you'll be dying to see what happens next. This first season is 6 episodes that clocks in at a total runtime of 292 minutes. It may sound long to many, but it felt very short. I highly recommend this to the crowd who are sick and damn tired of the "zomedy".
-Production values, acting, setting, gore
-Feels too familiar
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Waking up in an empty hospital after weeks in a coma, County Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) finds himself utterly alone. The world as he knows it is gone, ravaged by a zombie epidemic. The Walking Dead tells the story of the weeks and months that follow after the apocalypse. Based on Robert Kirkman's hugely successful and popular comic book series, AMC's new original series, The Walking Dead, premieres with a 90-minute episode on Halloween night: Oct. 31 at 10/9c. Written and executive produced by three-time Academy® Award-nominee Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile), who also directs the pilot, and executive produced by Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator, Aliens), the series debuts during AMC Fearfest, the network's annual blockbuster marathon of thriller and horror films.
The Walking Dead is an epic, edge-of-your-seat drama where personal struggles are magnified against a backdrop of moment-to-moment survival. A survivalist story at its core, the series explores how the living are changed by the overwhelming realization that those who survive can be far more dangerous than the mindless walkers roaming the earth. They themselves have become the walking dead.
Shot on location in Atlanta, The Walking Dead is led by a cast that includes Lincoln (Teachers, Love Actually) as Rick Grimes, Jon Bernthal (The Pacific, The Ghost Writer) as Shane Walsh, Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break) as Lori Grimes, Laurie Holden (The ...