Friday, November 26, 2010

The Walking Dead: a TV Thriller! (pun-tastic!)

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So, by now you must've heard about the new show on the wonderful AMC, The Walking Dead. If you're not watching yet, lemme tell you, this show is definitely a sweet upgrade from the shit that is on most regular (ish?) cable. The Walking Dead is another addition to the amazing line-up of other original shows on AMC, right next to Mad Men and Breaking Bad, and next to those two giant hits The Walking Dead rounds out the need for something with a bit more of a fast paced tinge and action edge, but to say it is any less fantastic than the other two is impossible to say. Frankly, I've been enjoying the motherfuck out this show, and I kinda feel the need to tell the world about it (THANK GOD FOR BLOGS RIGHT? Usually I just write in my diary, and that doesn't have sweet image embedding and being able to make things italic!)

The Story:
(skip if you're bored by reading shit that shouldn't be in paragraph form)
At its core, The Walking Dead is somewhat old school as far as Zombie stories goes. The show (yes, I know it's a comic, fuck off) starts by introducing our lead character, Rick Grimes, who's name shouldn't keep you from liking him as the hero, like it did when I read the comics, anyway, Rick is the sheriff for a small town in Georgia, where he lives with his son and wife. Before the show even really begins Rick is already on the rocks with his wife, and things aren't going well.

Rick gets shot in a kickass shoot-off with some redneck hoodlums (oxymoron?)and heads to the emergency room in a pretty dire state. He wakes up in what looks more like a war zone than a deserted hospital, which is full of rotting corpses, some dead, and some less than dead. If it sounds slightly like 28 Days Later, it kinda is, but hey, it doesn't feel like it in the show.

On the flip side, Rick's family and police buddy are together with other strangers in a camp just outside of Atlanta, and they are definitely not waiting up on rick, because they think his dead. Too add a bit more drama to the situation, the reason his wife and kid think Rick's dead is because his cop pal told them so, AND he's been fucking the Miss on the side. (OH NO HE DIH-ENT!)

Basically the show runs from there, and even after he finds his family, the drama continues as himself, family, and fellow survivors are surrounded at their thought-to-be-socluded camp by flesh hungry Zombros.

Oh and as a side note, the Zombies in this show are definitely Romero style, they aren't different than your regular zombies, they shuffle (and run), they smell you, they hear you, aren't coordinated, and want to rip into you, they infect you by bites, and you die eventually and rise again. Simple stuff, which is great to me.

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Why I love it:
The Zombies are Dumb- Like I mentioned above, the zombies in this show are simply simple. They walk and run, but they aren't any different than your Night Of the Living Dead zombies. I think it was after Resident Evil 4 (the game) when people suddenly thought our Zombies need to be different to stay interesting to us, suddenly Left 4 Dead revived zombies, but now we had ones that spat green shit and had tongues that could strangle you. What I love is that these are straight zombies, stupid pack animals that will bite and that's it. It keeps the show better grounded and lends less interest on the zombies, and more on our characters...which leads me to my next favorite thing about this TV gem:

The Characters are well done- Our hero Rick, his family, his hateable-yet-relateable best friend, and the assorted camper-survivors are all great characters, they're simple, but in the depth of the situation they are all different and interesting. Our fine characters are believable, they all start out as normal people, and the way they lost everyone they love is different. What are characters without good actors to potray them? Shit, that's what. The Walking Dead has fantastic actors, with everyone playing their parts with finesse, prowess, and other fine adjectives.

Superb Production Values- The Walking Dead has a budget, and a good one at that. A show can't be about the end of civilization and the world as we know it without having a good budget, and be convincing. Everything about the show screams that somebody put some love into making this shit. The first episode really showcases the amazing effects and care for realism in the show when Rick walks up to a zombie that is missing her lower half, her entrails are slowly dragging behind her as she creeps towards our curious hero, it's grippingly real, and disgusting. Atlanta looks great in ruins, and I definitely get the feeling that it's a pain in the ass for the producers to get those empty street shots. To top it all off there's great filming, cinematography, color work, and clarity to the great gore...and about that gore...

The Lack of Mercy on the Viewers-
The Walking Dead pulls no punches. That's known in the first 4 minutes of the show when in a precurser to the violence and zombie outbreak ahead, Rick is forced to shoot a little girl in the head after she tries to take a bite out of him, and if you think this happens off screen, you're fucking wrong, we see this little girl fall back, with blood shooting from the back of her head, and it's gorgeous. I love this show for it's lack of mercy violence wise, there's buckets of gore...per episode. Headshots with gooey explosions of the head, crossbow arrows taking out eyes, ax chopping, all of it looks great, and brings a weight to the action on screen.

It's all around fucking great-
The Walking Dead is simply my new favorite TV series on right now, it's very different that what we are used to on cable television. The characters are full of depth, but are also believable, and they themselves hold their own when the gore stops and the need for character development begins. Their storylines are still being fleshed (get it?) out, but they are still interesting and I can't wait to see them develop. The action is great and believable, and definitely stays as one of the biggest draws for the show. To top it all of, this is a gorgeous piece of work, with amazing make-up, effects, gore, and filming, I can't get enough week to week.

So, if you're bored on a Sunday night at either 8:00, 9:00, or 11:00 PM, fucking watch the new Walking Dead episode, you won't be disappointed. Really, it'll be flesh-ripping and roaring good time! (that's a good one huh?) FARTS.

-Matt Galey

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