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26 November 2010

The Walking Dead [More:]People around me are getting jazzed about this show. I'm giving it my last shot tonight - I'm just not getting it. For one thing, the South thing is very hokey fakey Hollywood. Anybody? Opinions?
I'm with you. I didn't think that much of it either, but a friend of mine ireally loves the show
posted by rollick 26 November | 22:35
I was surprised to like it since I never much liked zombie movies even before they became so ludicrously ubiquitous as recently. I don't think of the representation of the South as being either fake1 or realistic, just stylized and exaggarated and a little larger-than-life, as befits something adapted from a comic book.

1. Except the main character's terrible southern accent.
posted by enn 26 November | 23:07
I like the show a lot. I read the first thirty or forty issues of the comic (however many were in the Walking Dead Compendium, which I picked up for a song at a going-out-of-business sale at a late lamented comic book shop). While I mildly enjoyed the comic, I didn't keep buying it, so my initial interest in the TV series was just curiosity. But the very first episode hooked me, and I've been an avid fan ever since.

Keep in mind that this show, like many good AMC shows, is set up for a loooong arc: there's at least five seasons of story extant in the comics, and the show has just scratched the surface. At least one key cast member hasn't even been introduced yet; we'll probably meet her in season two.

Also keep in mind that this is written by Robert Kirkman, a writer who must really hate his characters, because he has absolutely no compunction about killing them off, even if he's spent hundreds of pages developing them. No one is safe. Ever. EVER.

Developed characters. That's another thing I like. Like Merle's brother, Daryl. Daryl is a racist, a redneck. An unlikeable fellow. But Daryl is more than that. He's the one who figured out the walkers are drawn to loud noises, so he hunts them with a crossbow. Daryl's repugnant, but he's not stupid. The group has to begrudging accept Daryl, because he has skills they need. And Daryl's loyalties to the group and to his brother are pulling him in two directions.

And Rick's partner! Who has a thing for Rick's wife. But he's Rick's best friend, too, and he's genuinely glad to see Rick alive. This has got to get resolved one day!

And I haven't even mentioned the quality of the production. The walkers are creepy and gross and not a bit cheesy. The camera work is crisp and imaginative. They spent a bunch of money making this show, and it shows.

So, yeah. I'm a fan. I'm glad it's been so well-received, because the story (if it follows the comic) is about to really take off and season two should be riveting TV.
posted by BitterOldPunk 26 November | 23:27
I am totally not buying the show. I didn't read the comic and it keeps feeling like they're assuming I know these people and what's going to happen. Adaption Lag.

The makeup effects have been amazing tho. The SFX crew is clearly having a ball.
posted by The Whelk 27 November | 00:57
We've only seen the first episode because Hulu doesn't have any of the others available even though it got the first episode up like three days after it aired. And we liked it, but that is just one episode.
posted by rhapsodie 27 November | 01:44
I'm in the same boat as rhapsodie - only seen one episode, but liked it. I suppose I might feel differently after seeing a couple more.

Do you ever know how long the main dude was in the coma before the zombies started? The whole first episode I kept thinking about how long he could have survived without anyone to take care of him (change his IV, feeding tube, whatever).
posted by youngergirl44 27 November | 02:12
First episode had lots of suspense and mystery and promise.

Third episode feels like a soap opera that isn't taking zombie stuff (or collapse-of-civilization stuff) very seriously. THE PURPOSE OF ZOMBIE WORLD IS NOT TO SERVE AS POIGNANT BACKDROP FOR FAMILY DRAMA.

Keep in mind that this show, like many good AMC shows, is set up for a loooong arc

Oh gawd; Rubicon. Though it wasn't just the glacial pace that pissed me off, it was:
a) Growing suspicion that analyst-gal-with-a-drug-problem subplot has no "plot" at all and is just a timewastery issue played just straight up for no purpose, like it was supposed to be dramatic but they forgot the part where the audience is led to give a shit,
b) Old woman wandering around one or several old houses, for what must be weeks on end in the story world,
c) Main character portrayed as brilliant and punctual in the pilot who in following episodes is perpetually late and desperately thick.

I've been told it gets better but I'm not sure if I can go back in there, coach.
posted by fleacircus 27 November | 03:43
LOVE the show. I was hooked instantly. It's very freaky for me because the city scenes were all shot within shouting distance of where I work, so I walk around those same streets everyday. And seeing them overrun with ZOMBIES... it's fucking cool.

I like the show's unpredictability- one week it's non-stop panic, the next week sort of a slow, creeping dread. Like BOP said, the writer has no compunctions about who could get killed at any moment, and that keeps the tension high. I like that the characters are never completely what they appear to be at first. And I like that every episode so far seems to find a different way to ask the question, "What does it mean to be human, and does it still apply?"
posted by BoringPostcards 27 November | 07:54
Any other good tv shows at the moment?
I liked Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Damages, Bored to Death, Californication, Rome, ...
But nothing good seems to be on at the moment. Am I missing something?
posted by jouke 27 November | 07:59
Full disclosure: I am a True Fan of the comic and of zombie stuff in general.

I loved the pilot, and was deeply impressed with how moving it was -- the pathetic woman on the grass, the family traumatized by the zombie mother attempting to enter their house, etc.

In comparison, the second episode really let me down. Like they were just playing around hot-button issues (racism, fascism, etc) to prove that This Is A Serious Show.

But the subsequent episodes have really impressed me. The rooftop drama of the racist guy, the beautifully-shot and paced conversation on the lake between the two sisters, the Faulkner quote by the fireside, the emerging character development . . . all really good stuff. There's more I could mention, but I don't want to give anything away.

And I totally agree with BOP and BP that the writer can be shockingly unpredictable. I think the gravity of this unpredictability (and the dramatic tension it introduces) isn't obvious yet and can only become apparent with time.

BTW, it's probably worth mentioning that the show, so far, is only following the comic in very broad outlines. Despite the fact that the show exists, I'd still highly recommend the comic -- as a long-arc kind of thing, it is really compelling and remarkable (and isn't over yet).
posted by treepour 27 November | 08:15
The show struck me as fairly wooden. It seemed like I was watching a made-for-TV-movie or miniseries. Here is character A. He is in a scene where he is talking to character B. The scenes were flat with lots of exposition. The characters were stereotypical. Crafty redneck guy! Sisters who are different but much the same!

This was apparently the 6th episode? People were blown away by the first, I hear, but not so much the later episodes. So maybe I'll go back and watch the first episode on hulu and then give the rest of the show the Heroes treatment: read occasional synopses online and see if it gets any better.

When a good show comes along, just netflix it
In case the writing goes all wrong, just netflix it
Cause it might go on too long, you must netflix it
posted by Eideteker 27 November | 10:36
Yeah i am not feeling the show at all. 3 episodes to take what one episode should have, lots of unearned emotion, lots of characters announcing their feelings and motivations at the start of a scene. I'm 5 episodes in and I don't have a firm grip on nyone's name let alone character. It's badly paced and wooden and it really feels like it's holding too close to source material..if it's not and I'm still getting that feeling - weeeeeel.
posted by The Whelk 03 December | 20:10
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