“The Walking Dead” Pilot Review
Posted by Marlo Stanfield on November 1, 2010
Zombie kid gone.
And so begins “The Walking Dead,” the first zombie based TV series…uh, of the year.
FYI – I love zombies; for Halloween this year I went as Bernie from Weekend at Bernie’s (more of a pseudo-Zombie than anything else, but still).
The Walking Dead follows a small group of survivors traveling across the USA to escape the hundreds of thousands of zombies that now exist. The group is led by Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln), a police officer who awakens in an abandoned hospital to find the world to be basically ended.
I have always felt that the performing and media arts do not work enough with fear. Outside of horror movies, which only on occasion are actually terrifying, do we ever get a legitimate bone chilling thrill from consuming media? The Walking Dead may be the first show to do so at least in my memory. And I never saw Dark Shadows.
What makes this show work is that it’s unpredictable. Just enough suspense to keep me going. I’m certainly feeling that Sunday night void of Rubicon and Mad Men, and The Walking Dead could very well fill my AMC addiction. I also don’t think there has to be much here to keep me enthralled. As True Blood proved a long time ago, good television doesn’t have to always come from clever writing and great acting. Throw in some sexy vampires and you have a hit. Or, in this case, rotten zombies.
Now I’m going to interrupt my review for a related item of business. Ok, divisive poll, but Zombies are easily the scariest of all scary things. And I’ll give you the reasons:
- Zombies don’t think rationally – all Zombies want is to eat you, or your brain. They all have malevolent tendencies, and don’t care about anything. Well, except eating you.
- Zombies are never alone. See the last scene in the pilot. They come in packs. Large, large packs that will always want to eat you and nothing else.
- They are totally in the realm of possibility. I’m not talking about the dead rising again necessarily, but I do mean a vast outbreak some brain altering disease. That makes you want to eat other people.
- They want to eat you. I know I’ve said this like nine times, but think about it. It’s scary enough if a monster wants to kill you, it’s a whole other ballpark when they want to eat you. Many times when you’re still alive.
- And just in case you weren’t paying attention to this episode, if you are bitten, scratched, basically touched by a “Walking Dead” Zombie, guess what? You become a Zombie. That wants to eat people.
No question: the scariest. I’m up for people arguing about this, but I promise you they are the hardest to stop and the last thing I want to be around.
Ok, back to my review. I really enjoyed this show. I just think Zombie invasions are incredibly enthralling. And while I love my satirical zombie movies (e.g. Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead, and the 80’s classic Return of the Living Dead), there is something to be said of the George C. Romero tributes. The Walking Dead will be a hit, I promise you that.