Nov 1, 2010

Talking The Walking Dead

I thought I was prepared. I'd read the comics. I'd ordered in. I turned all the lights off. And then I saw it. A female zombie crawling along the ground with only the upper half of her body left. I immediately put down my food. It's official. I've wussed out.

I'm really not a squeamish person at all but last night seems to have changed all that. In case you've been living under a rock, the event I'm referring to last night was the premiere of The Walking Dead on AMC. Let me start off by saying, it was FREAKING OUT OF THIS WORLD GOOD. Like many others I expected it to be and was not disappointed. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show broke AMC's ratings records with 5.3 million people tuning in for the 90-minute premiere. And, if you count the two subsequent repeat viewings that night it had 8.3 million according to Robert Kirkman, writer of the original comic (who must be pretty happy right now). This is fantastic news for comic book adaptations.

I haven't read all of The Walking Dead yet but I have read the first few books so I had a good idea what was coming in this episode. The atmosphere was perfect. You can thank director Frank Darabont for that. He expressed the exact tone of the comic and made the introduction to this new world easy for non-readers. My hope is that the non-comic reading zombie fans out there will love the show so much that they'll go pick up the comics as a result. (In which case...)

As far as my weak stomach is concerned, well, you can thank the little lady above. I was doing fine until we got to her. You see where the picture cuts off? Yeah, that's basically where she ends. I never thought it would happen to me but I had to put down my food after that scene. The rest of the premiere lends itself to the usual zombie look/violence but for some reason this did it to me. Regardless, the zombies looked amazing. I've never seen them look so...for lack of a better word, normal. It felt acceptable that they could be walking the streets.

This is fantastic news for comic book adaptations. It opens the door for comic series that wouldn't stand a chance of making it in the theaters but just might find a perfect home in television. Take for instance Fables. Though it was announced late 2008 it would become a series on ABC and has yet to be developed, it will allow for continual storytelling far past one two-hour film.

The Washington Post asks, "Have we found our next Lost?" Although The Walking Dead is on cable I'd have to say yes. This is the kind of show that will keep audiences riveted from week to week, especially if they've never picked up the comic. The 90-minute premiere felt like a whole movie and we've barely scratched the tip of the iceberg. We've all got a lot to look forward to as long as AMC can keep up this level of quality television. I'm just not sure if my heart can take it every week. Or my stomach.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree completely. Although I didn't wuss out during the show, I did stay riveted to my seat the entire time. I even watched round two and didn't regret it in the morning, who needs sleep.
Awesome story, tremendous fx, talented actors pulled together for great adaption. This will do for the small screen what Iron Man and Batman did for the big screen.
@cbnewfrontier

TS Hendrik said...

I'm a grown man and I'm not ashamed to admit that parts of it really freaked me out. lol
I was hoping for greatness and it clearly exceeded expectations.

Nick said...

Hope the goodness of this series stays on par with the comic.

Side note: A tv series based off of Locke & Key has also been making a lot of traction in the news lately, maybe with the success of The Walking Dead it'll get it and Fables pushed out onto tv a little quicker

Budd said...

The tank scene was just so tense. I really thought that he wasn't going to make it to the second episode.

jhota said...

i fell asleep watching it.

not bored, just tired.

and then found out it's not available streaming online anywhere. *shakes fist* darn you, AMC! darn you unto heck!

i understand why it's on late; subject matter, etc. but why can't they stream it somewhere for those of us without DVRs?

but what i saw was really good. looking forward to falling asleep during the next episode.

B said...

The 1/2 zombie didn't bother me but the scene with the horse did me in but that's because I'm an animal lover :( lol

Daniel Campos said...

I sat through all three viewings and I still couldn't get enough, it was that good!

Sorry that the bicycle girl zombie freaked you out but what about the scene where he goes back to see her later? Pretty touching considering that one half of that scene was a torn up zombie torso.

That and the wife, husband, and child dynamic in the house really sold this series for me. The little personal touches like this are what seperate a good zombie story from the "running around like they're on crack" stuff that abounds in today's ADD entertainment. After all the zombies in these type of stories are us just y'know...dead.

I don't watch alot of television but I do know what I will be watching on Sundays as long as Walking Dead keeps going. I hope, much like it's zombie stars, that it does so for a long, long time.

Robert Palmer said...

I love the way The Walking Dead is going. I was so afraid that they were going to wuss out and not put real zombies on TV. I was expecting a little fake blood and not much else.

If you haven't seen the second ep, don't read further.

Did you see the chop shop action they foisted upon that poor bastard just to get enough guts to cover themselves in? That was way too cool for "regular" TV.

The only thing I'm not too keen on are the "celebrity" guest appearances. I don't know if Norman Reedus's character will be a series-long counter to the not-quite-gritty-enough-yet protagonist but I doubt it.

Anyway, if you didn't like what I had to say or just wanna get angry at me, take it to thegeekrebellion.com