The Walking Dead

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The Walking Dead Review: A Dangerous Game of Dress-Up

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Following a series premiere of The Walking Dead that set the dramatic scene, “Guts” picked up the zombie pace.

Rick finally discovered the voice on the radio, teamed up with some survivors and played a little dress-up. Moreover, he’s one step closer to getting back to his loved ones.

Rick on the Run

The best addition to the cast is the character of Glenn. While relatively young and surprisingly upbeat, one would have assumed he’d fall into place as a mere sidekick. However, Glenn proves to be resourceful, smart and independent.

He knows when to make statements and take charge, as well as when to help others. Plus, in a show that revolves around horror, gore and drama, it's nice to have some comic relief. His snarky comments, zombie acting skills and triumphant cheers racing down the Atlanta highway make him a character you want to see survive.

On the flip side, Merle Dixon brings out his bad guy attitude as he finds himself at odds with the rest of the group. Who knew racism could be prevalent when trying to survive a zombie apocalypse? While the confrontation felt a little forced, I appreciate what it suggested. Simply because “Walkers” roam the streets, doesn’t mean that there can’t be conflict between humans. Sometimes the greatest problems are from within.

Of course, there’s lead character Rick Grimes to save the day. While initially causing the issue for the group of survivors, he is able to come up with a plan to get them out of the zombie-infested city. Good job, Officer Friendly.

Because zombies can smell humans, Rick comes up with the ingenious plan of covering himself with the blood and remains of the dead. This was not a moment for the squeamish. The sounds of cracking bones and separating limbs ripping apart by the tendrils was disgusting. I felt like Glenn when he puked. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to endure the smell.

Skull Cracking

This led to the tensest moment of the show, as Rick and Glenn pretended to be zombies. Watching the dead shuffle around the two was nerve wracking enough, but when they were followed closely behind it made it that much worse.

As the one zombie continued to hover over Glenn, I kept waiting for it to realize that he wasn’t dead. I also knew that those pesky storm clouds would bring rain that would wash away their disguises. I kept yelling at my television screen, “run!” and was relieved when Rick finally said the line. It was a great scene that kept me captivated and excited.

There were a couple things I disliked about this episode, though. First, what is the deal with calling the zombies “geeks?” I don’t mind “Walkers,” but does “geeks” even mean anything? It felt annoying to hear multiple times, even if it’s meant to be the cool new moniker.

Second, the whole sex scene at the beginning felt weird. Shane creeping in the woods, followed by a mock zombie attack on Lori doesn’t strike me as a turn-on. What type of guy thinks that’s what women want? Plus, doesn’t it feel a little quick for Lori to have moved on? She seemed pretty eager to unbuckle Shane’s pants and toss away that necklace. I’m interested to see how things turn out once Rick makes it back.

Ultimately, one could argue that we’ve seen this show before. They’re hiding on a rooftop? Seen it. They’re escaping in a car? Seen it. So when it finally comes down to it, how can we watch a series about killing zombies?

The answer is simple: it’s not about the zombies.

This series makes it abundantly clear that it’s about the characters. Personal conflict, raw emotions, and the base of human morals are displayed for us to see. These characters are what drive the show, making it stand-out from cliche-ridden zombie fare. Don't you agree?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (58 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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I have a feeling this is going to be a legendary series. It's really too bad Season 1 is only 6 episodes. I remember Breaking Bad having a short first season too though, so I guess that's just how AMC does it sometimes. Great review. A comment about "Guts": I felt the same way about that intro scene. And then it hit me...she was cheating on Rick with his partner before the "event."

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I gotta say, Frank Darabont's insistence on calling the comic books "graphic novels" is fooling himself. Every month a cliff hanger? Every month a small battle but an incomplete story. That's a comic book. I wonder what he's gonna do with the hand grenade. That seemed an important moment, when he found it, but it wasn't used.

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I thought it was a really good episode. I'm gonna get tired of the cheesy cheating wife romance element pretty fast, but I have a feeling that it won't last.
As for "Geeks". Look it up. A Geek in a carnival was someone who would amaze people by eating anything. Even really disgusting stuff. The name is very apropos. Again, they prove that they are taking no prisoners with the concept of the subject matter. Already, they've beaten the Zack Snyder remake of Dawn of the Dead for gore. Amazing for a tv show. The show treats all the characters as real people, which I like. I'm looking forward to the next ep. A very very good show....if you like zombies. I can't see it as attracting too many non zombie fans though. I'm worried it won't find it's audience the way that Breaking Bad did.

The Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Glenn: You're surrounded by "Walkers." That's the bad news.
Rick: There's good news?
Glenn: No.

Dale: If you see anything, holler. I'll come running.
Lori: Yes, mom.