The Walking Dead

It has been a long time since I was as excited about a television series as I am about The Walking Dead. It premiered in October of 2010 to critical and popular acclaim and the third season began this past October. From the director of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, The Walking Dead is yet another AMC success and is based on a comic book series of the same name written by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. As the title suggests, this series is of the post-apocalyptic zombie horror genre. Yes, it has been done before—but not with such an excellent cast, script, and direction. Rick Grimes regains consciousness after being in a coma to discover that during his absence, the world has been overrun by zombies, a la the classic zombie film “28 Days Later”.  The zombies, known as “walkers” are reminiscent of creations by “The Godfather of Zombies”, George Romero, who was responsible for the cult classic “Night of the Living Dead”. Andrew Lincoln, best known for his role in the BBC drama “This Life”, portrays Grimes. As a former sheriff’s deputy, Grimes is equipped with enough combat and survival knowledge to successfully set out on his own in search of his family and other survivors.  The series is set and filmed on location in Atlanta, Georgia. Grimes initially must find his way out of the badly damaged hospital to the depths of the Atlanta metropolitan area in search of his family. Once there, he miraculously finds his wife and son. He leads them, along with a small group of survivors, to the Northern Georgian woodlands in order to find a safe haven from the zombie hordes. Like all of the most terrifying zombies, the walkers eat anyone they can catch and their bites are infectious to humans. The plot centers around the main group of survivors’ attempts to escape the zombies, how to deal with the loss of friends and loved ones, and how to cope with the introduction of new survivors, some of whom may prove to be as dangerous as the zombies themselves.

The Walking Dead has been incredibly well received by viewers and critics alike. Its critical commendations include one Writers Guild of America nomination and a Golden Globe nomination for best TV series drama. With 10.9 million viewers, the third season premier of The Walking Dead also broke various Nielson rating records to become the most-watched basic cable telecast in history. The Metacritic score of 82 out of 100 indicates The Walking Dead’s universal acclaim. This series is popular not only because of the talented cast, smart script, and genius direction; it is also popular because of the classic theme that is handled with such mastery and care. While full of gore and gruesomeness, the show is not riding on cheap blood thrills—the action and violence is genuinely scary and artfully done. Viewers are drawn more and more into the story with each episode, making it impossible to watch just one.

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