I am Jack’s rejoicing soul. I was turned on to the comic book series “The Walking Dead” about two years ago, and in a matter of weeks I was completely caught up in the series (about 12 volumes). I was submerged in this post-apocalyptic world where zombies have taken over and you only have the trust of those around you to help you survive. This genius series was created by Robert Kirkman and it magnificently captures the drama between the characters just as much as the focus on the zombies/horror/survival aspect. Sure, the action and danger is amazing in the story and keeps you on the edge of your seat, but it’s equally impressive the way Kirkman can keep the emotional drama fresh and just as important to the story. You are in each one of the characters lives , and you are emotionally invested to the point where your entire outlook on the story is altered as a character is knocked off. Kirkman has successfully created a zombie-drama whose story has more substance than any competition along with enough gore to compete with the most vicious of horror. Moral of the story? “The Walking Dead” is a superior comic book series that has some of the most impressive story telling I’ve ever read while mixing it with the perfect atmosphere of a desolate and zombie filled nightmare.
It was only a matter of time before Hollywood got its hands on A-grade the material, but deciding to go the route of TV was the better choice in my decision. Trying to jam all the glory of the series in an hour and a half movie would have proven to be a potentially costly chore, picking what to leave in/pissing off the hardcore fans who notice every single continuity error in the story. Adapting it to a TV series gives you the option of telling every single story, as well as continuing the seasons as Kirkman cranks out more new issues. But that didn’t stop the TV show from attracting some Hollywood heavy hitters. Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption/The Green Mile) was brought in as a writer/director and the cast also has some known names and isn’t just composed of nobodies. There’s also a bevy of opportunities to bring in special guests because as “The Walking Dead” gets farther and farther into the story, so many more characters are introduced and with a TV show, an actor can come in for a few episodes and be gone. I already spotted Norman Reedus (The Boondock Saints) in the trailer for the upcoming episodes, which already peaked some interest. But, alas, TV has its downfalls and there were worries of what the show could get away with rating wise. How could you have a zombie program with the strict regulations of TV censorship? Haha, well, just by watching the first episode all my prayers were answered and I can only imagine what “The Walking Dead” had to do to pull off the gruesomeness of their effects (poor horsey *sad face*). Checkmate, Darabont.
Yes, “The Walking Dead” was every bit as good as I could have imagined in my sickest and wildest fantasies. The show was able to capture the drama that Kirkman so masterfully produces in the comics, and so far the casting has been spot on. As I also alluded to above, “The Walking Dead” was also able to have a tremendous amount of gore for a TV show, and there is no worry of dubbed down TV effects in the least bit. The production value is that of a film, looking amazingly shot as well as having enormously engulfing settings. I loved how you knew it would be no holds barred when in the first few minutes, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) puts a slug right between the eyes of a little girl turned zombie as her brains are splattered on the pavement. Sorry for the disgusting visual, but it really brought the realism to the show and gave you that vote of confidence from the creators that “The Walking Dead” will be as graphic and relentless as Kirkman’s comics. In Kirkman’s world, anyone can die at any time, and there is no safety. Another feeling that was captured by the show, even if this episode was just to introduce the back story to the entire series. It’s gritty, it’s brutal, it’s provocative, and it plunges you into the everyday hell of the survivors.
What’s going to happen here is probably a discussion of every weeks new episode. Not much to comment today because as I said, what the premiere was used for was an introduction to everything that is about to come. I’ll also have a better grasp on the characters, because one episode isn’t enough to evaluate them clearly in my eyes. But, so far, “The Walking Dead” is turning into a must watch series after only one episode, and I can’t control how anxious I am to see the next one. All I can say is it took one hour and a half long premier for “The Walking Dead” to best what took “Dexter”about 2 seasons to create. “The Walking Dead” successfully translated horror to the silver screen, something that not many, if any, shows were ever capable of doing. Us horror nerds actually have a show to follow now, instead of those who have settled for “True Blood” and cut their losses. Sunday can’t come soon enough for this fan, and the 5.3 MILLION that tuned in for the premier. Congratulations “The Walking Dead” for becoming the best cable series premier of 2010 along with the best premiered show on AMC ever. Looks like there’s more comic book lovers out there than society lets on, and “The Walking Dead” proves that it’s nothing to be ashamed of.