Zombies on TV, not in front of it!

David Frederick
Journal Staff

As much as I love anything zombie-related, I was worried that a basic cable adaption of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead (Image Comics) would not suffice to my standards. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the show. The Walking Dead (2010, AMC) tells the story of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), a Georgia sheriff’s deputy who is wounded in a shootout with criminals, and ends up in a coma. After a short amount of time, Rick awakens from his coma in a hospital covered in blood and dead bodies. He ventures his way outside to see a world thrown into chaos and then abandoned. Grimes makes it his goal to be reunited with his wife and son, but he first has to survive the decaying suburban jungle that surrounds him.

Rick holds out with a father and son duo and learns the ropes of everyday survival. The story of The Walking Dead is not just an awesome blood and guts gorefest, it is also a serious dramatic story with heart to it. It’s about trusting the people around you and trying to find humanity in a world that has lost so much. It is shot beautifully. There is one long shot that shows Rick Grimes riding down a desolate highway. On one side is a gratuitous amount of cars smashed up and destroyed and on the other is Rick riding a horse. The crystal clear shot is hauntingly beautiful and scary at the same time. The color almost looks distilled to a grey, giving a depressing tone to the show.

The pacing was slow in the first episode, but this was not a bad thing. This allowed for the development of a great story. The amount of gore shown also surprises me. For the hardcore horror fans, they will appreciate the special effects done by Greg Nicotero, who has perfected his craft here. A big surprise was that the first episode premiered with 5.3 million viewers, giving a very high rating to AMC. It was actually the highest rated series premiere ever for AMC. After only two episodes, the show has been approved for a second season. This is another big step for the zombie culture, which has widely throughout mainstream culture in the past six or seven years. I very much enjoyed watching the show and I highly recommend it to anyone. The show is being positively received by critics and fans alike, so expect to see more of Rick Grimes in the future.