Major Series Review: The Walking Dead Season 1
The Walking Dead just started it’s 5th season this past Sunday. My girlfriend and I are huge fans of the show, so we took advantage of my week vacation from work and thought up the awesome idea of rewatching the entire series, seasons 1-4, all week leading up to the season 5 premier. So in typical Me fashion and my need to review everything I watch, I wanted to review each season and share my thoughts on this zombie-epic! So, does The Walking Dead begin with a bang? Or stumble out the gate?
Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is a sheriff’s deputy in Atlanta, GA. On a seemingly normal patrol with his partner and bro for life, Shane (Jon Bernthal), the pair get a call about some criminals and a shootout occurs, leaving Rick shot and put into a coma. When Rick suddenly awakens from his coma, he sees the hospital he is in has been trashed and abandoned by all. Even the city itself is lifeless (😃eh?) Zombies, or as they’re refered to here as Walkers are EVERYWHERE! Houses have been left behind, car wrecks litter every street and hungry, flesh eating monsters are always a stones throw away. Rick has no idea what’s happened and sets out to find his wife, son, bestfriend, or ANYONE in this hell!
I like to compare Walking Dead to Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Like Batman before Nolan stepped in, the zombie genre, at least to me, was strongly in need of either of a show or movie that brought back attention and respect to the genre. The Walking Dead is my genration’s staple for ANYTHING zombie related from here on out. The first season of a show is always gonna be a bit wierd and awkward, is Walking Dead like that? Sure. This is the shortest season yet. You’re like Rick, you slowly find out things piece together story points and character relationships. It can be a slow paced but I think that’s what makes this show not only one of the best horror shows on TV, but one of the best shows on TV PERIOD
So Shane now leads a group of survivors. Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and Carl (Chandler Riggs), are Rick’s wife and son. They’re part of Shane’s group and have started their lives over together, like a new family. This whole story line gives WD’s first 2 seasons a tremendous story arch and character development for the three main leads. We meet the rest of the survivors as well: Daryl (Norman Reedus), Andrea (Laurie Holden), Glenn (Steven Yeun) and of course the always fun Michael Rooker as Daryl’s volatile older brother, Merle.
WD has a pretty big cast of people to keep track of, you’d think they’d all be faceless, forgettable walker food, but the writers succeed at giving each character life and that’s also compliments to the actors that bring out that life. Andrew Lincoln is great as Rick, he can have that ferocious side when it’s called for but when he needs to a father or husband he can easily show that tender moment. Callies is also very good as Lori, her character has squished between a rock and a hard for a good amount of the season. Her on screen time with the also very good Jon Bernthal always made for great drama.
The drama and character development of the show is a treasure for the WD. I can’t name another zombie movie or show that puts so much heart and reality to it’s characters, you become part of this group. When an important character is killed off, it can feel harsh!
Brutality is another star in WD’s fantastic presentation. The gore, MY GOD THE GORE! It’s beautiful, honestly! The Walking Dead has the best make-up on television, bar none! You know how on most zombie flicks, you can easily pick out lame zombie extras in most movies? (Look at the Resident Evil movies for example) Well I challenge anybody reading this to point out a crappy acted or looking walker. Each walker looks unique and different. Sometimes, you can even make up your own backstory for some of the walkers like the Bike Girl. How did she die? What happened to her lower half?
I can’t end this review without mentioning the show’s writing! As I said, this show’s pace is like Drake, it can from 0 to 100 real quick. Yes, Drake refrences! When a light hearted moment happens you better enjoy the hell out of it! One minute we’re having a bonding moment with Shane and Carl and the next a walker gets it’s skull kicked in like a water balloon. It might seem an unbalanced tone, but the writing and story structure for these episodes always pays off! Every now and then you get flash backs like that add some development to a certain character or sometimes you’ll get an episode like “Vatos” where most the run time is dialog between characters and then there are either one or two moments of action. Now while that may not seem like much action, when the bullets do fly and when heads do get kicked, it is glorious!
The Walking Dead is, without a doubt, one of my favorite TV shows right now and of all time! Season 1 is a great start to this series, introducing well established characters, a top notch blend of drama and horror and some of the best make-up effects on the small screen. If you haven’t started yet, you owe it to yourself to watch this near perfect series. Of course, The Walking Dead Season 1 gets a rating of “GOTTA F*CKING WATCH IT!”
Are you guys Walking Dead fans? Do you prefer the comics instead? What was your favorite moment from Season 1? Drop a comment and LET’S TALK TV!