'The Walking Dead' a study of horror and character, some thoughts
By April MacIntyre Dec 8, 2010, 7:18 GMT
A television adaptation of Robert Kirkman\'s apocalyptic graphic novel which sees a Georgia lawman awaken from a coma to a world gone mad, decimated by a virus that renders the dead into zombies who must fee on the living. ...more
You don't have to be a fan of the zombie genre to appreciate what Robert Kirkman, Frank Darabont and the assorted producers and writers of "The Walking Dead" have done in six short episodes.
The interesting thing about the new AMC mega-hit series "The Walking Dead" for me was not just the excellent work that Greg Nicotero and company turned out for the makeup design, or the lush Georgia landscapes and artful lensing and editing, but how cleverly the writers kept the human elements of a post-apocalyptic reality so true to form.
The cast of 'Walking Dead" expertly reveals when grief and survival are entwined, and how one's character is bared in deep distress and fear. The series realistically and without false notes gave us a sense of each and everyone's pain and strips away class, race and wealth as societal markers. Even the worst of them, like racist Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker), we felt for and understood what made him so twisted up. The zombies were the least of it, which is saying a lot for a zombie-centric drama.
The Season One finale featured the bliss the group shared when ushered finally inside the CDC. They luxuriate in the everyday conveniences we all take for granted, a soft clean bed, a hot shower, good food, drink and a chance to forget your troubles for a moment. All those safety valves that keep us sane.
Then, the regrets of a lustful coupling and the cementing reunion of a marriage; the odd man out pining for a woman he cannot have anymore and must face everyday as if nothing happened. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Shane (Jon Bernthal) will come to loggerheads undoubtedly in the future, as impetuous Shane is an Alpha male, and will exert himself some how, some way.
Finale "TS-19' was the episode that gives us their realization the walkers were not just local to Georgia. The previous episodes Rick and all those alive were all hopeful that there was help on the way, more humans, less of the animated dead. The scope of the outbreak hits them all at the CDC, and makes their new family of survivors all the more cohesive, worried, resolved to keep alive.
Dr. Jenner (Noah Emmerich) leaves us in the lurch, as his "guests" are clean, rested and fed, and now led right to the gates of certain doom it seems. The survivalists and those who succumb to the resignation that there is nothing left for them is what we are left with.
So we have the unknown of Merle, Morgan (Lennie James) and the unresolved love triangle between Shane, Rick and Lori, and many possibilities which makes this series one to savor again, and look forward to for the continuation of this very human drama.