The Walking Dead is a post-apocalyptic drama show with obvious elements of horror throughout. Its story is based on the comic book series of the same name, and centres on Rick Grimes, a sheriff’s deputy who awakens from a coma to find that society has broken down, caused by the rising dead – or walkers, as they are commonly referred to.
This show is definitely my kind of thing. If I could sum it up in three words for someone who has never seen it before, I’d just say; Zombies, Guns, Gore. But that really doesn’t do it justice. The drama elements in this show are just amazing – the way the relationships between the survivors can become strengthened or break down completely is something that affects the show’s tone on an episode-by-episode basis. Similarly, The Walking Dead shares with Game of Thrones a love of killing off its characters at a moment’s notice. Some would say that this devalues the impact of these shows – by resorting to wanton death and pain in the place of actual storytelling. It just doesn’t though; if anything the death of a character that we have become attached to as a viewer can only heighten the emotional impact of the narrative, especially when you see how well these characters have been created. The Walking Dead has gone from strength to strength each time it has been renewed for another season. Without giving too much away, the first season sees Rick join up with a small group of survivors – who include his missing wife and son, and aim to head for the CDC; seemingly their last safe haven in the post-apocalyptic ruins of America. The first season features a good balance of gory action and narrative impact, and does well to pack it into six episodes. The second season was given a longer run of thirteen episodes, and as such was forced to slow down in terms of action and dramatic storytelling. This has been picked up on by critics and viewers alike, and has become a point of criticism for the show. To me, this criticism is needless; the setting of the second season forces the action to slow down somewhat – I’ll admit that. But the new setting and the tone that comes with it allows for so much more character development than the first season, which is why I think the second season does so well. But the third season is when The Walking Dead really starts to shine. After Rick moves his group to a safe location, they are set upon by another group of survivors, who are led by The Governor – the show’s first real singular antagonist. The conflict between the two groups makes up most of season three’s action, while Rick’s leadership is also called into question. The Governor is such an amazing antagonist though – some of the things you’ll see him do will have you shouting at your television, yes; it’s that good. In a similar vein, the third season also does well to highlight the evil of people, rather than the danger of ‘walkers’ and shows how people can be just as bad, or worse.
The Walking Dead has recently started its fourth season, and it looks to be on track for another very balanced one, between awesome action and powerful storytelling. If you’re not already watching this show, I cannot recommend it enough with mere words.