I Walk, Therefore I Am

So, are Paris Hilton and Mario Lopez as voice talents really a draw for your knock off, sub-par Sy Fy looking talking dog movie, ABC Family?  That does not bode well.

On the other hand, AMC seems to have a winner on it’s hands with the zombie drama The Walking Dead.  This is a case of the people adapting the work getting what makes the source material work.

Comic fans are aware of Robert Kirkman’s popular Walking Dead series.  From the start, it has been about “what happens to people when societal conveniences are taken away.”  When there is no cable TV, no microwaves, no washer dryer combos… what do you do?

Focusing first on Rick Grimes, a police officer wounded in the line of duty.  He wakes up to find the hospital empty and in shambles.  It’s a haunting scene, particularly the moment when Rick sees a chained and padlocked door… the door pushed open and spindley fingers slip out between the doors…hinting at the horrors trapped behind the doors.

Rick’s survival ultimately becomes luck and skill-luck that he is found by the living, skill after he understands what has happened.  The comic and show are working because they are about the living.

A zombie is a monster that creates a visceral reaction…it’s horror is clear…but it is not a compelling monster.  Zombies are about the scary mass… and to drive a series on zombie attacks would never work.  Last nights episode shows that the creators of the show realize this.  While the zombie threat was a heavy presence in the first two episodes, this episode had them as a looming background threat.  Yet, the episode was never boring…because the creators get that the Walking Dead is about the survivors and how they cope.

I plan to be more in depth later…but for now, I want to say the past three Sundays have been excellent storytelling.  The critical acclaim is well worth it.  I am already looking forward to the Blu-Ray set and getting amped for season two-whenever that happens.  Good job, AMC.

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