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The Walking Dead


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#21 Cunningham

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 02:04 PM

Great article up on The Atlantic about it.

The Walking Dead: Clint Eastwood Meets 'Gone with the Wind'
AMC's new series The Walking Dead is everything you've heard: the queasiest show on any television channel, anywhere; a well-written pitch-black comedy; and a revitalization of the zombie genre on the small screen. But while the gore's gotten much of the attention, Frank Darabont's adaptation of Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard's comic books also lies at a fascinating intersection of two genres that are having hot moments: Westerns, and shows set in Atlanta.

The essence of a Western is the void and the the unpleasant things that lurk in it. Sometimes that void is physical emptiness: the stretch of land between a man and a train he desperately wants to catch, a remote graveyard where no one will know or care if you dig. And sometimes the vacancy is moral, a place where men and woman have passed beyond the rule of law, and the rule of law scrabbles to regain its hold.

...

But The Walking Dead isn't set in just any frontier community, and in this case, location matters. The Walking Dead has the potential to be the best, most elegiac fictional look at the fall of Atlanta and the return to the countryside since Gone With the Wind. In recent years, the most prominent Atlanta television shows have been the family dramas Meet the Browns and House of Payne out of Tyler Perry's shop; the near-farcical Real Housewives of Atlanta; and now the upcoming Sex-and-the-City-in-the-South show Single Ladies. Unlike these shows, The Walking Dead takes Atlanta as seriously as a beacon of hope and a symbol of despair as Gone With the Wind did, even if no one's going to recover from Walking Dead's horrors by opening up a pie shop.

#22 M. Leary

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 02:28 PM

The first episode suggests that the "tv-makers" (what is the TV analogue of film-makers?) might be willing to go there though.


That was my impression as well. This is by far the most grotesque made for TV thing I can think of, which seems to indicate this is the bar they have set for themselves.

#23 Jason Panella

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 02:31 PM

That was my impression as well. This is by far the most grotesque made for TV thing I can think of, which seems to indicate this is the bar they have set for themselves.


And, if they continue to follow the comic (even in a general sense), they're going to nudge the bar up quite a bit more.

#24 Tyler

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 10:44 AM

You can watch the premiere on Hulu.

Edited by Tyler, 06 November 2010 - 10:45 AM.


#25 Cunningham

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 11:01 PM

I just re-watched the first episode, and I still don't understand something. Why did Morgan start shooting the zombies when he knew that they would come after him? I didn't get that scene at all.

#26 John Drew

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 12:20 AM

I just re-watched the first episode, and I still don't understand something. Why did Morgan start shooting the zombies when he knew that they would come after him? I didn't get that scene at all.


I think he knew the danger but, IIRC, I think he also mentioned to Rick that the zombies in the neighborhood weren't as prevalent during the day. Also, he was trying to stir them up in hopes that his wife would appear.

A question I had, that may be answered in the comics, do these zombies rest or sleep? That would be something different from other zombie franchises. I refer to the zombies that appeared to be resting in the bus when Rick rides into Atlanta, as well as the zombie in the tank. George Romero zombies seem to be like sharks, always on the move, never "resting". And since I don't consider the "rage" infected humans from 28 days later... to be zombies, the few that seem to be resting in the church in that film would not count as a comparison.

#27 Evan Day

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 01:45 AM

A question I had, that may be answered in the comics, do these zombies rest or sleep? That would be something different from other zombie franchises. I refer to the zombies that appeared to be resting in the bus when Rick rides into Atlanta, as well as the zombie in the tank. George Romero zombies seem to be like sharks, always on the move, never "resting". And since I don't consider the "rage" infected humans from 28 days later... to be zombies, the few that seem to be resting in the church in that film would not count as a comparison.



It may or may not apply here, but in the comics I recall, the zombies don't sleep, but can be divided between "Walkers" and "Resters." That is, some zombies are significantly more aggressive than others, and some just seem to sit around doing nothing but moaning occasionally. Characters would often find such zombies lying around in hallways of deserted buildings.

One twist I'm particularly interested to see if they keep in the comics is whether:
Spoiler


But the books are less concerned about the hows and what's of the zombies than the people's reaction to it. I think Kirkman may have flat out stated that he will never completely explain the cause of the virus plague in the books.



#28 M. Leary

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 10:20 AM

I was pretty upset by last night's episode. Apparently, zombies can smell you, and your smell can be masked by a generous application of zombie guts.

Why didn't anyone ever tell me this? It changes everything.

#29 Jason Panella

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 12:42 PM

I finally watched the pilot on Hulu (thanks for the link, Tyler!) and was smitten enough to order a season pass on Amazon. I won't repeat what others already posted, but it exceeded my high expectations. I've seen some slightly less-enthused buzz surrounding the second episode, but I'm excited regardless to watch when I get home from work.

#30 John Drew

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 12:52 AM

I finally watched the pilot on Hulu (thanks for the link, Tyler!) and was smitten enough to order a season pass on Amazon. I won't repeat what others already posted, but it exceeded my high expectations. I've seen some slightly less-enthused buzz surrounding the second episode, but I'm excited regardless to watch when I get home from work.


That's unfortunate, because I really thought it was better than the opener. While I thought the opener was terrific, it didn't actually offer a lot of scares, as far as I was concerned. But the second episode had moments that really got under my skin.

#31 Jason Panella

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 10:16 AM

That's unfortunate, because I really thought it was better than the opener. While I thought the opener was terrific, it didn't actually offer a lot of scares, as far as I was concerned. But the second episode had moments that really got under my skin.


I definitely agree — I thought the pilot was fantastic as far as storytelling goes (and had a lot of genuinely heartrending moments), but "Guts" was really thrilling. They really deviated from the comic in some spots, and for the better:

Spoiler


Michael Rooker's Merle character was ridiculously over the top, and I feel like they're setting him up for something more.
Spoiler


Even though the first season is only six episodes, it seems like they're taking their time covering elements from the comic. If you're familiar with the comic —
Spoiler

Edited by Jason Panella, 09 November 2010 - 10:16 AM.


#32 Jason Panella

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 11:51 AM

Anyone see last night's episode, "Tell It To the Frogs"?

I felt like it was a great follow-up to last week's more action-focused episode.

Things I liked:

-Rick's arrival back to camp, which was emotionally complex without getting obnoxious.
-Dale actually getting some screen time.
-Glenn glumly watching as his companions dismantle the Dodge Challenger.
-"Hey now, you better chose your words carefully." "No, I have — douchebag is what I meant."

Spoiler


#33 Thom Wade

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 01:02 PM

The final image of
Spoiler


was chilling.

It was a great episode, and like the book, proved it could sustain itself with little zombie presence. It's the people that are driving the story.

#34 Tyler

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 02:18 PM

I finally watched the first episode, and besides the geek factor of Lennie James (Jericho), Laurie Holden (X-Files), and music by Bear McCreary (Battlestar Galactica)--although I don't recall a lot of music in the show--I thought the most impressive thing was the way it set a tone with silence and stillness (I could easily see several shots as graphic novel panels).

One thing that puzzled me, though: Since Rick shoots the little girl zombie in the opening scene, we know there were zombies before he got shot, but the world seemed relatively orderly and controlled. When Rick wakes up in the hospital (which totally ripped off 28 Days Later, but I'm okay with that) and starts wandering around, though, the zombie problem seems a lot more advanced than it had been before. Was he out for a really long time? Was I misreading the order of the world at the beginning? Is there some development in later episodes that explains this stuff that I just need to wait for?

#35 Thom Wade

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 02:36 PM

It's a bit of a time trick. The little girl sequence takes place after he is shot and wakes up. He's going to the gas station to get gas for the car and is on his way to Atlanta. Then it jumps back in time to before the zombie invasion when Rick gets shot.

#36 Jason Panella

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 02:52 PM

One tell-tale sign is that Rick has the gas can in the 'intro,' and has the same gas can when he later finds the horse.

#37 Tyler

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 02:55 PM

It's a bit of a time trick. The little girl sequence takes place after he is shot and wakes up. He's going to the gas station to get gas for the car and is on his way to Atlanta. Then it jumps back in time to before the zombie invasion when Rick gets shot.


Okay. That makes more sense now. Thanks!

#38 jfutral

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 06:14 PM

I was pretty upset by last night's episode. Apparently, zombies can smell you, and your smell can be masked by a generous application of zombie guts.

Why didn't anyone ever tell me this? It changes everything.

This helps me a lot since I live in Atlanta. I can't TELL you how many zombies I have to dodge in the course of a day.

Joe

#39 Anna J

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 08:41 PM

Loving it so far, especially episode 3. The scene between
Spoiler
was the most terrifying/fascinating thing I've seen yet, way more so than any old zombie. And Norman Reedus was an inspired casting choice, I must say.

I generally stay away from all scary/horror movies, but this show has got me hooked.

#40 Backrow Baptist

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 10:48 PM


I was pretty upset by last night's episode. Apparently, zombies can smell you, and your smell can be masked by a generous application of zombie guts.

Why didn't anyone ever tell me this? It changes everything.

This helps me a lot since I live in Atlanta. I can't TELL you how many zombies I have to dodge in the course of a day.

Joe


I'm in Athens about an hour away. Can't remember the last time I saw so much kudzu on screen.