Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Recommendation: The Walking Dead

Pictures by AMC

Oh my, it's nearly Halloween already! Time really passes fast. That's why I have to get another Halloween recommendation off my chest quickly. Here they come, The Walking Dead!

The Walking Dead begins in a manner very similar to another of my genre favourites: 28 Days Later. A man, a cop actually, wakes up from a coma in a hospital and has to find out the hard way that while he was unconscious the hordes of the undead, just referred to as 'walkers', descended upon his small hometown. Now he has to make his way in this new society, trying to find his family and work together with any survivors that he might find along the way.

I am not really sure what I think about the premiere date of AMC's new series The Walking Dead. On the one hand Halloween is perfect for the premiere of a zombie TV series, on the other hand, won't the primary target audience of this series be busy being dressed up, having a party and stuff like that? (I surely am planning on being Zoey from Left 4 Dead for Halloween) Still, even if they don't catch it when it first airs then at least the VCRs will be sure to preserve it for later viewing.

AMC, what I have seen of you so far (and my experience ends with Mad Men) I have really enjoyed and you are surprisingly high quality for a relatively small cable channel. Will The Walking Dead be able to fill the sad void that has been left behind after the season finale of the latest season of Mad Men aired?

At first glance it has to be said that the genres are extremely different. Subtle drama on the one hand, bloodthirsty zombies on the other. However, a look at the moderately paced pilot of The Walking Dead could make you think again. Veterans of the zombie genre are often used to a movie spanning 90 minutes. Now the first episode of The Walking Dead is pretty much just as long, but compared to your average zombie movie the plot progresses very slowly. Which is natural and a good thing, actually. Since all in all we will get six episodes in this first season, there is no need to spill all the beans in the first one. I think the genre really benefits from having time to breathe occasionally.

From what I could see so far I think The Walking Dead might surprise us with how far it actually is from your average zombie movie. I have really high hopes for the series and I am also excited to find out how that material does outside of movies, videogames or comics. I haven't read the comic book that The Walking Dead is based on, but all around you hear that it is outstanding and thought-provoking. Maybe it will be a good replacement for Mad Men after all. And it has zombies, on top of that!

I have of course also heard claims of sexism towards the comic book, but I don't think I have seen enough to pass judgement on that just yet. All I can say is The Walking Dead is a treat that zombie enthusiasts should not miss out on this Halloween!

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