Sheriff Deputy Rick Grimes wakes up from a coma to learn the world is in ruins and must lead a group of survivors to stay alive.Sheriff Deputy Rick Grimes wakes up from a coma to learn the world is in ruins and must lead a group of survivors to stay alive.Sheriff Deputy Rick Grimes wakes up from a coma to learn the world is in ruins and must lead a group of survivors to stay alive.
Get Your Fill of "The Walking Dead"
I do not need to say how great "The Walking Dead" is. The critics have chimed in, the show comes from Frank Darabont and Gale Anne Hurd, both legendary in the horror and science fiction field. And the original comic the show is based on? Possibly the most popular and critically acclaimed comic of the past decade.
I admit I was hesitant about the show -- how many episodes can you make about fighting zombies? The zombie movie is often cliché and poorly done, even more than the recent vampire craze. After one or two episodes, you are bound to run out of original takes on a tired genre, right? No. Not here. And the reason is simple: the show is not about zombies at all, even if they are constantly in the background.
At the heart of the show is how people interact with each other when society breaks down. How do people work together for a common goal when they would otherwise rather punch their cohort in the face? You might compare the show to MTV's "The Real World", only taken to a new level, and with a more intelligent cast.
And there are issues that remain constant, even when society disappears: infidelity, love, trust. There is the practical and philosophical question of what is real now: money has no value. Is a marriage real or a canceled government contract? What good is it being a police officer when you no longer have a state to work for or laws to uphold? The whole "game of life" is changed, and you better learn to adapt quickly.
The cast is fantastic, with a mixture of genre favorites and some more or less unknowns. Jon Bernthal, who I do not know, is Shane Walsh, possibly the most complex character on the show -- he is both the protagonist's best friend and his biggest interference depending on the day and time. His motives are clear to the viewer, but not always to his friends.
Sarah Wayne Callies is Lori Grimes, another complex character with a secret. I personally think Callies is a poor actress who exaggerates her emotions, and is the weak part of casting, but fans of "Prison Break" may be glad to see her. Steven Yeun, as Glenn the Pizza Guy, is the strongest part of the cast, and the one character viewers will look forward to seeing, as he is the only comic relief you will get in this post-apocalyptic world.
The genre regulars are Jeffrey DeMunn as Dale Horwath, who has appeared in everything Frank Darabont does ("Shawshank Redemption", "Green Mile", "The Mist"). Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, best known to people from "Boondock Saints", but also starred in the amazing John Carpenter film "Cigarette Burns". And Michael Rooker, who is always great, and took the horror world by story as Henry in "Portrait of a Serial Killer".
How well the show will hold up remains to be seen, with only six episodes down and countless more to come. But with the intricate characters, plenty of open-ended plot lines, and dynamic cast and crew connected with this project, it is sure to maintain a level of greatness for the foreseeable future.
- Mar 1, 2011