I'm a huge fan of the zombie apocalypse. Don't get me wrong; zombies were to actually roam the Earth, that would stink. The human race would be toast. In fiction, however, zombies are a popular and fascinating topic. Most forms of media have their own zombie stories starring the undead. Movies, books, and video games set during the zombie apocalypse can be found without breaking a sweat. However, I cannot help but notice one popular format that is lacking: television series. It is a challenge to find a recent, zombie-centered television series; I've only found two. One series from this couple, The Walking Dead, deserves to be seen by zombie-lovers everywhere.
The Walking Dead is a fantastically executed television series. It is based on the graphic novel of the same name. The series is set (surprise!) during the zombie apocalypse. Hordes of zombies walk the streets and small groups of survivors struggle to stay alive. Among these survivors is Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), a former sheriff's deputy. Grimes, the main character of The Walk Dead, is unfortunate enough to wake up alone in a hospital after the zombie outbreak. Alone, confused, and ailed by a gunshot wound, he slowly discovers what has happened to the world. As a husband and father, Grimes' first priority is to find his wife and young son. As he travels out into the dangerous streets, the ex-cop encounters other survivors who he instinctively helps. His exploits eventually lead him to his family. Unfortunately, his troubles only begin here.
However much the writers behind The Walking Dead get paid, it probably isn't nearly enough. Not only is the overall story of Grimes and his family wonderfully thought out, but each episode introduces a new conflict that is unique to the show. In one episode, Grimes finds himself dealing with a gang who has taken one of his survivor companions hostage. The gang's leader offers to trade the captive for a bag of weapons that belongs to Grimes. When I was watching this episode, I was surprised that someone would think to include gang behavior where most zombie-story writers only include general cooperation between survivors. Believe me when I say this is only the beginning; the scenarios only get more intense with each episode. Viewers will never find themselves growing bored while watching The Walking Dead. It is a new a refreshing approach to the zombie genre.
The characters taking center stage in The Walking Dead only compliment each scenario. A racist left at the mercy of a black man. An abusive husband living among loving fathers. A man in love with his best friend's wife. These are only some of the captivating situations created by the characters. Each character has a unique and memorable personality that viewers will either love or hate. However, the individuals' dynamic nature keeps them from being stale and boring. One character may want to kill another at the start of an episode, but will be fighting proudly alongside them by the end. Of course, the survivors are not the only characters in The Walking Dead. One cannot forget the most important stars: the zombies! In this series, the undead are known as “walkers”. They are the slow-moving-but-terrifyingly-deadly-in-hordes type of zombies. They are also attracted to sound, a trait widely feared and utilized throughout the series. Once bitten by a walker, a survivor will die and, over the course of a few hours, rise once more as a walker. This fact, of course, comes into play in a few episodes as some of Grimes' companions fall victim to the undead. Each character in The Walking Dead contributes significantly to the series.
I bought the first season of The Walking Dead on Amazon Instant Video, and I'm very happy with my decision. For those whole like a physical product, I would bet that buying a DVD copy of the first season, thought more expensive, would still be a good idea. Zombie-lovers, you must watch The Walking Dead!