Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Walking Dead

I have to admit, the zombie renaissance that we're currently experiencing is something I never expected. I used to have to hunt to find new zombie flicks to watch on the shelves of the local video store. Zombie books? Few and far between. Zombie comics? Just as rare. Zombie tv shows? You're talking crazy. Now all you have to do is throw a rock and you'll hit one of the above. In this case, a zombie tv show based on a popular and long running zombie comic that you can see on Sundays on AMC. The premiere was on Halloween, and a great way to cap off a night of horror movies.

I'm a big fan of the comic, or was. I kinda dropped it around issue 50 as I wasn't digging it as much for various reasons. Up until that point though, it was a highlight of my Wednesday when it came out. How does the series hold up to the comic? So far, pretty damn well. It seems to be a translation of the first two issues, which I never thought would cover a whole hour and a half of tv, but it's handled masterfully and doesn't feel like it is being padded for time.

We follow Rick, a police officer, who is shot in the line of duty. He goes into a coma and wakes up and zombies have pretty much taken over the world. The hospital is in ruins and the city looks like a disaster area. If it sounds like 28 Days Later, you wouldn't be wrong, but the comic and that film came out around the same time and were developed independently of each other so it's just a happy coincidence. Either way, it's a fun way to introduce someone to the world of zombies when they have as much knowledge as we do. Anyhow, Rick heads home and finds his wife and kid have bailed for the city of Atlanta so after he recovers from his gunshot wound a bit more, he heads off to get them and sees just what kind of sorry shape the country is in.

I gotta say, I was impressed with this pilot episode. I love zombies. I love the comic. I love good drama. This is the best of all worlds and we get a faithful adaptation with good gore and zombie makeup, great acting and a situation we're invested in from the get go. It's definitely worth checking out or setting the dvr to record if you're like me and usually rather tired on Sunday nights. I think you'll want to make it until this one ends before sleeping though, as your friends will be talking about it after every episode for sure.

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