TV: The Walking Dead

You really have to hand it to George Romero.  Before his 1968 fright flick Night of the Living Dead, a zombie was a dead man raised to life as a mindless slave by a voodoo priest.  Here’s the best explanation of it ever:

But after the Romero flick, zombies got kind of mushed up together with ghouls–who eat human flesh–and so they’ve remained in every film and video game ever after.

Enter, as it were, The Walking Dead, AMC’s new horror series about a zombie apocalypse almost as bad as the Obama administration.  Based on a comic book by Robert Kirkman, it debuted Halloween night with a 90-minute episode.

Was it good zombie stuff?  Yes, it was.  The story was excellent, full of thrilling and touching moments.  The acting was strong.  It largely avoided cheap thrills and went for situational scares.  If you’re into shambling half-rotten corpses who eat the flesh of the living, go for it.

As for me…  not sure.  There was one scene in which the star, Andrew Lincoln as Deputy Rick Grimes, tracks down a skeletal body that’s been torn in half and left to crawl along the earth seeking to assuage its hunger.  “I’m sorry this happened to you,” says Grimes with compassion.  Then shoots the creature dead.  It’s an excellent, intelligent scene, emphasizing the lost humanity of these creatures…  but I was left asking myself:  “Do I want to spend my evenings watching torn in half skeletons crawl along the earth seeking to assuage their hunger?”  Your call, but I may stick to Mad Men.

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  • Chudmorlock

    You’re better off with Mad Men Andrew. Kirkman’s a hack and his comics are rehashed versions of everything 80s.

  • MrBee3369

    IMO, zombies are popular because they’re the only creatures left that you can shoot with no guilt. Which is why a “zombie rights” movement is in the works.

  • Bea M. Garcia

    I read this last night & I believe it may offer another option to Mad Men.

    This trampling of the soul is the plight of all men without grace, but in the Gospel we are privileged and called to a life of abiding in the Son of God. You may only possess the holy place “for a little while,” but this is not your inheritance in Christ. Do not let your soul be trampled by the influences of this age, the lusts of the flesh, and the pride of life. Do not surrender your days or evenings to the enemy, dear saint. Let your heart be stilled before Him morning, noon, and night, and He will enlarge His own character and nature in your soul. The purity, tenderness, compassion and power of Jesus will become Your witness, and God Himself will be your portion and joy. Watch over your heart then, child of God.

  • http://stkarnick.com/culture Daniel Crandall

    I caught the episode and liked the emotionality it brought to a zombie-pocalypse story. I actually thought that scene worked well, especially as it was paired with the man wresting with having to kill his zombie-fied wife. Let’s be honest, Romero’s work are nothing more than zombie slaughter-fests. In order to make The Walking Dead work on television it must hook people emotionally. I think those two scenes did that for me.

    And I never got into Mad Men, and couldn’t care less about that prime time soap opera … so there ya go.

  • http://stkarnick.com/culture Daniel Crandall

    Wasn’t Reagan a big part “of everything 80s”? :)

  • Mgs2ss

    I love this series. It really isn’t about a zombie apocalypse – that is just the background. The real draw of the series is the way that the characters react and change because of the outbreak. We see Rick devolve from a man who goes out of his way to put this dead woman to “rest”, to actually murdering other survivors just because he suspects it is necessary in order to keep his son safe.

    Plus, there are some awesome action scenes, and extremely badass characters like Michonne, Andrea, and Tyreese.