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.
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 effects are great. A lot of attention and detail went into the zombies (walkers), and things didn't come across as over-done. It looks like real make-up and prosthetics were used and there isn't a lot of crappy CGI to pull you out of the zone. The music, when used, is good, but there are a lot of silent parts too in which you get a sense of what the atmosphere would really be like. Sometimes less is more and this show made good use of that. They didn't take the shaky-camera cop-out, they also didn't exaggerate things to the point it looked unbelievable. They kept it honest - as if they sat around and thought - "what would this actually look like" and then showed it to us as realistically as they could! I was able to suspend my disbelief and get lost in the story!
Another thing I appreciate is that in this season they did not go out of their way to try to make ruthlessly pick on religion. A certain survivor and his son say a prayer over their meal after rescuing a stranger - its fast, short, and too the point. That was appreciated - that a family that just so happened to believe in God was able to keep to their faith and it was no big deal. It wasn't done from a standpoint to try to prosyletize, it was simple just in the show because that was that family's beliefs. Too many new shows I watch go out of their way to make cartoonishly awful religious characters when its CLEAR it had nothing to do with the story line and was just some crack-pot writer standing on a soap box who wanted to throw his or her opinion in your face - so really - it was really refreshing to watch something that was simply about what it claims to be about - the Walking Dead, and how a group of very like-able characters come together to manage in the face of that.