“The Walking Dead” is Resurrected for 2nd Season

My first encounter with The Walking Dead was in the form of a graphic novel.  I read a collection of the first 6 comics in the series, The Walking Dead Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye, sometime in 2007.  Being a college student who found out I was living beyond my means, I couldn’t afford to buy volume 2.

I was reminded of the series when I read a newspaper article discussing the premiere of the AMC show.  Being a horror enthusiast and a client at the George A. Romero Halfway House for Undead Addicts, I was giddy about the prospect of a weekly zombie fix.

Zombies are the ultimate horror creatures.  Not because they are smart or fast or handsome or even all that scary (at least one at a time) but because we can use their lifeless corpses to draw rich metaphor and powerful social commentary.  And what’s scarier than seeing yourself reflected in the empty eyes of the dead?

After viewing the first episode of Walking Dead, I understood why it was airing on the channel that got its name showing “classic” movies.  The show was so heartbreakingly boring that I stopped watching.

It wasn’t until the 2nd season premiere that I heard anything else about the show.  Suddenly, everybody in my Facebook feed was talking about The Walking Dead.  Still, I wasn’t persuaded. Then I stumbled across an article on Slate that changed my mind. (Here’s the link.)

Torie Bosch, the article’s author, presents the show (and other zombie fare) as commentary on white-collar workers.  In this alternate universe, we become zombie chow because our white-collar skills don’t include things like auto maintenance.

So, I decided to resurrect a series I thought was dead in order to watch it through my newly acquired point-of-view.  (It should also be said the fact that the first season was only 6 episodes long was a major selling point.)  What I’ve found is a shambling yet enjoyable series.

At times, the show’s pacing feels as fast as one of its resident zombies, which is to say slow.  Odd in a show with guns, sex and explosions.  It’s possible the people behind the scenes want to paint as realistic a picture of the apocalypse as possible.  But they threw that out the window when they decided to include zombies.

However, the thing that makes Walking Dead a success is its ability to place the viewer in the shoes of its characters.  Every choice they make may result in life or death and the best one doesn’t mean everybody lives happily ever after. Or–for that matter–lives.  Watching the show, I found myself weighing the options along with the characters and trying to figure out what I would decide.

The true horror of the show isn’t the zombie menace, but realization that you might choose to leave a little girl, who was under your protection, because she ran into the woods and got lost.

-Benjamin Rexroad
Managing Artistic Director

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