You Just Rang the Dinner Bell.
I believe I intended to write a review for this TV show last October but I must’ve forgotten. This year I would not make the same mistake. The October Horrothon has given me the excuse to watch the Blu-ray that I purchased when it released in 2011. It sat on my shelf for 2 years, forgotten. It was not intentional on my part. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this show, but it got filed away with the other shows like Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad that I subconsciously refuse to watch because they’re supposedly so good. Maybe I’m afraid that these shows can’t possibly live up to the expectations that the world has set for me for them. But it’s October, season four is about to start, and I need to find out if I wasted money on The Walking Dead Season One, based on the graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard, developed for TV by Frank Darabont, and starring Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Emma Bell, Steven Yeun, Jeffrey DeMunn, Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, IronE Singleton, Jeryl Prescott Sales, Melissa McBride, Adam Minarovich, Andrew Rothenberg, Michael Rooker, and Noah Emmerich.
Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is shot in an altercation with some criminals and slips into a coma. After an undetermined amount of time, he awakens to find the hospital torn apart, with blood and bullet holes lining the walls. He returns home to find it deserted, his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and son Carl (Chandler Riggs) apparently having escaped. While trying to wrap his mind around the situation, a young boy named Duane (Adrian Kali Turner) hits him in the head with a shovel. When he wakes up, Duane’s father Morgan (Lennie James) explains that while Rick was unconscious the world was overrun by zombies, or “walkers.” Rick gets them into the police station where they get stocked up on guns and ammunition, and then Rick sets off alone to Atlanta, where it’s said there is a safe zone.
This show gets a mighty “Hell Yeah!” from me. And I’m told this isn’t even the best season! I can only hope that’s true because this season was fantastic. It’s awesome because it’s equal parts zombie horror and human drama, and both of them work fantastically. The show opens very effectively, giving the audience the zombie stuff that we need because that’s what brought us in before giving us the backstory we also require. And it gives us so much in that small amount of time. It shows how long things have been like this, how bad they’ve gotten, and the scene with the little girl zombie shows us that Rick is a good guy. He tries to save her until he realizes half her face his missing. The length of time was well-illustrated by the deserted cars at the gas station, but poorly illustrated by the mail overflowing from the mailbox. How does that make sense? It was bad enough for Lori to abandon her home but the mail service continued for a week? But that first episode doesn’t only open strong; it also closes with a bang. The reveal of the picture at the end of the episode was harsh. The second episode taught me a couple of things. The first is that women really do like to fuck in dangerous situations. I thought that was just a thing they did in bad horror movies because they wanted to get some boobies in their movie. But when this show does it I believe them. The second thing I learned is that this show is good enough that they can make me feel bad for a racist dick like Merle Dixon. When they reached episode four, I was surprised to see that the Vatos Locos from Blood in, Blood out apparently survive the apocalypse. They weren’t kidding when they said “Forever” were they? Then they started making me angry because they were acting like Rick’s crew started the fight. You guys jumped them! And if you’re going to argue that those guns could’ve belonged to everyone since they were just left in the street, then you’re right. So it’s a good thing that the first people that came across them were the actual owners, I suppose. Then they take a rather interesting and unexpected turn with the Vatos, catching me off guard yet again. I was also expecting some huge reveal near the end of the season that Merle brought the walkers to the camp. That’s not the way they went, but what they did was still very emotional.
I can’t really say a whole lot about the look of this show. It’s fantastic. There’s not much more to say than that. The corpses are amazing, the walking corpses are amazing, everything is amazing. I specifically use the term amazing because I think about how amazed the people that inspired these stories would be if they realized what was possible now. On TV no less! Romero’s first movie couldn’t even imagine this level of zombie effects. All they did was white face paint!
Every actor in this deserves the accolades they’ve been given. They’re all amazing. I was especially impressed with Andrew Lincoln when I watched the Behind the Scenes stuff. That dude’s from England! He has an English accent! Never would have guessed that from the show though. And beyond that, he’s still one hell of an actor. Lennie James was also fantastic, particularly in scene in the when he was about to shoot his wife. I would’ve liked a little resolution with his story, but the story is so well-written that I have to imagine they will pay it off at some point. They did with the grenade and I was all but sure they forgot they had that. I did get irritated with his son though. I understand the reason for him crying when he sees his mom as a zombie, but do you have to be so fucking loud about it? I know people can cry without screaming; I’ve seen it happen. I might have smothered him with that pillow instead of getting him to cry in it. I would have to say I never really got on board with this Lori Grimes lady. Sarah Wayne Callies does a great job playing her, but that woman works my nerves something fierce. Much more in season two, but she did her part here too. I could say it was because she fucked Shane, but I don’t really blame her for that. Now when she fucked Rick in the same tent where her young son was sleeping, I can blame her for that ickiness. How do you know he won’t wake up? Did you test that theory out with Shane a few times? I kept going back and forth on my feelings about Laurie Holden’s Andrea character. I hated her when I was first introduced to her, when she got all up on Rick’s jock for getting them into the situation with the walkers. He didn’t do shit to you! He got HIMSELF into the situation. Glen got you all into the situation by choosing to rescue Rick. Rick owes you a thanks, but you can go ahead and shut the fuck up. Then I got a little confused by her when she started complaining about having to do the laundry, but mainly because it was an instant before it cut to four of the menfolk risking their lives to save Merle. But you’re right: rubbing clothes against a washboard is tough stuff. I did get back on board when I thought she might make a critical (and cliché) zombie survival mistake involving her sister, but thankfully she did not. I also found myself quite fond of Steven Yeun as Glenn, especially since we meet him as he’s dressed like a grown up version of Short Round or Data from Goonies.
I’m done wasting time on season one of The Walking Dead. I’m almost done with season two by the time I’m finishing writing this. Season one is real good. I was not disappointed, and that says a lot with the level of praise I had heard for this series. Season two seems to be turning out well also, but we’ll get to that later. For now, I will recommend you find a way to watch this series. I had already purchased season one, and season one caused me to purchase season two. I’m told it’s on Netflix. Do it whichever way you like. Season four is not far away, as I have been told. GET INTO IT!! Season one of The Walking Dead gets “I remember my dream now; why I dug the holes…” out of “We’re going to need more guts.”
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