Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Review of AMC's The Walking Dead, Season I

When TWD first started, I was so ready to hop on that train. I had the premiere date stored in my phone’s calendar for months. I checked my DVR about sixteen times to make sure the recording would go off without a hitch (I wasn’t home at the time of the premiere). I was ready. Ready for zombies.

The following Saturday, I sat down in front of the TV with some Cheez-its, pressed Play…and was so disappointed I promptly deleted the series recording from my DVR.

But I watched as the buzz grew on Twitter and Facebook. My husband told me his friends at work couldn’t stop talking about it. My cousin expressed sheer horror that I’d thought TWD was boring.

I decided to see if I’d been wrong about the show. A few weekends ago, my husband and I watched all six episodes of Season I on Netflix. And I found out…that I wasn’t entirely wrong. Granted, the show did get better. But the issues which originally made me turn it off never completely went away.

First: It’s boring. Which you would think is difficult to achieve, what with all the zombies, and the screaming. The problem I found is that this isn’t just a zombie apocalypse—it’s the same damn one I’ve been watching in movies and reading about for years, only on television. In places, they don’t even pretend like they’re not completely ripping off other film and written works. The stalwart man of authority, on a quest to reunite with his son, the father unable to find the heart to kill his zombified wife, the violent, bigoted redneck with a lust for power, the last scientist who has given up all hope and tries to take the hope of others…not only have I seen all these storylines before, but in terms of the apocalypse, zombie or otherwise, they have been beaten to death. Unfortunately, though, they clearly weren’t shot in the head. And yes, I know…supposedly, there are no new stories. The fix for that, though, is to tell the old stories in new ways. And there’s very little new in the plotlines of TWD.

Also contributing to the boring is the pacing. My husband says they’re taking the time to set up, since they have more time as a TV show as opposed to film, but I say that time can be better used. Anyone who’s a writer or even an avid reader knows that you have to hook ‘em early. Hook ‘em, give them the Cliff’s Notes, and then sprinkle explanation evenly throughout.

Second: The people, they are stupid. And if I want to watch stupid people for an hour, I can go outside and sit on my front steps. They make ridiculous choices I doubt even my dumb-ass neighbors would make. One of the biggest problems I have with that show is the so-called gun shortage.

Oookay. Number one: you live in Georgia. Not Rhode Island. This is a state where most pickups come standard with a gun rack. Number two: you have passed enough dead soldiers to outfit yourself and your stupid friends sixteen times over. Number three: Where do guns come from? From the gun store! Get a brick, break into one, fill your purses, pockets and backpacks. If I, as a female living in Pennsylvania, know the whereabouts of four gun stores within a thirty mile radius of my house, well, guess what? I bet you have a few, too. Check the yellow pages. Number four: If, for some inexplicable reason, you are unable to find a gun store…or a Walmart…break into a house with a pickup truck in the driveway and take their likely vast collection of firearms. You live in Georgia, remember? Leave a note, if it makes you feel better. 

Also, random pet peeve…they call them Walkers, and Geeks. People, you are clearly dealing with zombies. Call a spade an effing spade, will you?

So, yeah, TWD got better, but not enough to make me say, “Wow…this is a good show.” It has potential, though, and for that reason I’m going to keep an eye on it and catch up on Season II this Sunday. “Potential” in this context, though, simply means there are a lot of things that could and should be happening which aren’t. I expect them to start.

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