Original Air Date: October 31, 2010
Run Time: 60-90 minutes per episode
By now, any true zombie fan worth his/her salt is at least familiar with the television series “The Walking Dead.” Many have seen every episode multiple times already, myself included. It’s an impressive accomplishment to already be so ingrained into the fans’ minds, especially since the series only debuted less than two months ago.
Many, many people have asked me for my “professional” opinion on the first season, which consisted of the 90-minute pilot episode and five subsequent 60-minute episodes (all minus commercial breaks, of course). Some folks even wanted me to post a review after the first few episodes, but I politely declined, as I likened reviewing a still-in-seasonal-progress TV show to reviewing a book after only having read a few chapters; it just didn’t make sense, and I wouldn’t be able to give an accurate evaluation of the entire picture the season had painted. Now that we are in the last days of 2010, I feel that the time has come to share my thoughts on the series’ first season.
I don’t need to be a professional horror critic to tell you that, obviously, the first season of “The Walking Dead” was far above average. Based on the comic book series created by Robert Kirkman in 2003, “The Walking Dead” was a long-gestating TV project, originally touted to the four major networks, then slated to be produced by and aired on HBO, before finally landing on AMC.
I felt the same about Lori. So many times I’ve wanted to slap her silly. It doesn’t ‘feel’ like she loves her husband– didn’t feel like she even “liked” Shane from the start. Some of that could be “shock” and numbness based on what’s happened in that “world” but her performance bothers me the most about what I’ve seen so far. I have not read the comics, so I don’t have an already formed conclusion about her–just from what I’ve seen on TV.
I really enjoyed the show and might have to think about picking up the Sat package that includes AMC on it to watch it next year. It was a good Sunday night event for me– decked out with popcorn and excitement, something I haven’t done since the first season of Heroes and the last season of Lost. (So, ok, I’ve done it before…but it’s been a little while).
A few small “issues” I had trouble with 1) Why Daryl doesn’t seem too concerned about where his brother Merle is after their RV was hijacked? It’s like…his angst and worry to find his brother is just completely gone. *poof* no one cares anymore. And they assumed it was him that took it and that was that. They don’t “know” for sure. But Daryl just…goes along with the idea. I know he’s acting like a “hillbilly” but for him to just suddenly stop caring where his brother might be seems “off”. 2) There was a scene toward the end of the series where the camper broke down and mysteriously suddenly was “fixed”- a heavy edit. The scene itself was an emotionally charged one- so I can understand the cut– but it was a pretty severe feeling edit there. You got the sense that the broken down camper would be a “problem” -but it got pushed aside. Not really sure it was needed at all, if it was brushed aside so easily. Maybe the bonus features for the DVD box set will have more footage.
Anyway– 🙂 Really enjoyed the show and had a great time with it. “Guts” was an AWESOME episode. LOL.
Great review Tony 🙂
I have enjoyed the show quite a bit, and have seen quite a few complaints about the quality deteriorating in the later episodes, and the stories about all the writers being fired and that they want to rotate the stock of them…
Personally, I enjoyed the show and didn’t have too many complaints. I actually think that Lori is portrayed well. She and Rick were having problems before he was shot, and I always felt like she loved him in the comic, but there was a disconnect between them, that grew with time and the stresses of their situation. Maybe it’s just me, but I like the actresses portrayal.
The Vatos episode did seem a bit extreme as far as making those guys out to be good guys, and felt a little forced, but I can forgive things like that as the series creators try to feel their way through this new experience of zombie television. They need to figure out what works and what won’t, and while I don’t mind them going ‘off script’ from the comics, I do hope they turn it back toward the main story that is in the comics, because I feel there is so much there that is so compelling and I want to see it on the screen. But so far, so good. I want more than anything, as a zombie fan, to see others pulled into this world and to see and understand what makes this so compelling. So they may need to do a few things I might not feel are necessary in the scripting to keep the casual fan glued to the show…but in the end, I hope they remain true to the spirit of the comics in future seasons.
It’s a great start and I am thrilled with the results thus far.
Hey Tony… Great review of a series I truly enjoyed watching. I’m looking forward to your comments about next season. Meanwhile, how’s that erotica horror short story you’re writing for New Line Press coming along? Have a great New Year. Terry Wright