Despite popular belief, the Walking Dead does not refer to me in the morning but rather the the much anticipated series that aired Sunday night on AMC. I have been curious about this series since I saw the promotion at Comic-Con. (The promotion was an actual set from the show.) Not only that but I recently became hooked on the graphic novels after I read the Walking Dead volume one. It is really well written, thoughtful but also very entertaining, if we gave Babbles out to comic books I would give it a 5, but I digress.
Zombies are all the rage right now, so question going into show was simply, what will separate this zombie show apart from all the others? As most of you know, we here at B5 place a high emphasis on the idea of “story” and maybe more pointedly, “character” since they drive the story. The writers of the Walking Dead show have a particularly difficult challenge. They must take and adapt a brilliantly written comic and transfer it television. Not an easy task, considering the dynamics for writing comics is completely different then that of TV, especially since the early part of the series does not have a lot of human interaction. Not only that, they must effectively recreate the post apocalyptic world of the comics in a way that is truthful to the books but also appeals to new viewers.
Based on just t he first episode, I would have to say the show has hit a home run, or at least a triple. County sheriff Rick Grimes awakens from a coma to find himself in a world completely over run by zombies and his family missing. So he sets off to investigate and meets some unexpected allies along the way who explain to him about the horrible new world he lives in. The story then proceeds as he heals up, collects his gear and sets off to find his family, who hopefully fled to Atlanta.
The dialogue is engaging and intelligent and the acting is very well done. As for the world itself, AMC did a bang up job recreating the world of the books. Cars litter the highway, bloated, swollen corpses lie rotting out in the open, and worst of all, many of the dead did not stay dead, and instead roam freely around looking for new flesh to feed on. The show did a great job capturing the death and destruction and creating the feeling of desperation and doom that pervades the graphic novels. It also does a nice job setting up some very tense scenes.
On another note, if you have read the graphic novels, the show does try and mix things up a bit. While following the overall plot of the books they do add little twists here and there that keep the plot fresh and from being to predictable by those who have read it. Then again, if you have read it you probably won’t want them to change to much, and so far they seem to have struck a nice balance between the two.
It is only one episode in, so I am reluctant to give to much praise or too high of a rating. I need to see how the rest of the series goes. That being said, I hope the show succeeds. I was pretty impressed with pilot and I think it has a lot of potential. Only time will tell.
I give the pilot 4 Babbles.
On a side note, I think it would be great if they hired Joaquin phoenix as the main character, then they could call it the Joaquin Dead. Yeah, I went there….