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The Walking Dead: Season 1
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After waking from a coma in an abandoned hospital, police officer Rick Grimes finds the world he knew gone - ravaged by a zombie epidemic of apocalyptic proportions. Nearby, on the outskirts of Atlanta, a small encampment struggles to survive as 'the dead' stalk them at every turn. Can Rick and the others hold onto their humanity as they fight to live in this terrifying new world? And, amidst dire conditions and personal rivalries, will they ultimately survive one another? AMC’s The Walking Dead is an epic, survival adventure series from the director of The Shawshank Redemption and the producer of The Terminator and Aliens.
Arguably the biggest hit of the 2010 television season, the apocalypse drama The Walking Dead pulls the zombie subgenre out of its overexposed doldrums and finds, ironically enough, the humanity and emotion beneath its rotting shell. Produced by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) and Gale Anne Hurd (Aliens) and based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead follows a band of Atlanta-based survivors of a viral outbreak that has caused the dead to rise up and consume the living. The group's nominal leader is a sheriff's deputy (Andrew Lincoln) who wakes from a gunshot-induced coma to find the world in disarray and his wife (Sarah Wayne Callies, Prison Break) and son missing. His search for his family and the survivors' attempts to make sense of their lives in the wake of the outbreak is handled with intelligence and sensitivity, which helps to elevate the show beyond the grindhouse take on zombies, which favors spilled guts over character development. That's not to say that the blood doesn't flow plentifully here: the special effects are on par with zombie-movie mayhem, but again, they aren't the show's raison d'être. Solid performances, including Jon Bernthal as Lincoln's partner, Jeffrey DeMunn as the group's leading rationalist, and Michael Rooker and Norman Reedus as a pair of trouble-making rednecks, and gripping suspense make each of the first season's six episodes compelling from start to finish for both horror fans and those who dislike the genre as a whole.
The two-disc set of Walking Dead's first season includes all six episodes, as well as a number of making-of extras, including the show's conception and production, a talk with Robert Kirkman (he's a fan), a look at the makeup by KNB Studios, and the show's panel at the 2010 ComicCon. All of the principal players on both sides of the camera are given adequate screen time to discuss their vision for the show, its influences (George Romero, naturally), and the challenges of depicting the end of civilization on a budget. --Paul Gaita
Inside THE WALKING DEAD Episodes 1-6
A Sneak Peek with Robert Kirkman
Behind the Scenes Zombie Make-Up Tips
Convention Panel with Producers
THE WALKING DEAD Trailer.
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Then The Walking Dead showed the way. With a TV series there was time to do more than be trapped in some building. You could develop characters, move around, show interaction between groups of survivors, open the whole thing up, and this is what the Walking Dead staff and actors have done with great success. It's still a bit limited. You can go into the primary group's relationships and dynamics and this can develop characters, but too much of this and it can turn into a soap opera of who's in love with who or whatever and lose its way. Or, you can introduce the possibilities of conflict with other groups or villainous leaders of groups which creates opportunities for action beyond zombie killing. A few people have complained that it is getting somewhat repetitious by the end of season five, but it is still a somewhat limited template. I don't think those fans would want a full season of peace and happiness which is about the only alternative.
The Walking Dead has tried both directions with maybe a bit too much soap opera in the first half of season two and maybe too long of a single villain arc in season three, but each time has pulled back and brought the show back on track. Mostly it explores human nature when the protected life we knew that allowed us to be ultra-nice people disappears and the world becomes a hostile and dangerous place where niceness doesn't suffice any more and we have to bring out the tougher, harsher side of ourselves.,
The show does this wonderfully well and this is where you start. Be forewarned that the show can be pretty ruthless about killing off major characters. But if the primary characters were always safe like in older TV fare, it wouldn't be very unsettling and would become a bore. Like any of the better series coming out of cable these days it can be addicting. ENJOY!
The main character, Rick is played by Andrew Lincoln who really isn't up to the task. When he has to talk seriously at another character he does this little one step dance like Dustin Hoffman's "Rainman" character. It's comical, but a little annoying. Some of the better performances are turned in by minor characters like Lennie James as Morgan. James is a very good actor who I hope will get a boost to his career from this series.