Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Walking Dead

I’m not a fan of horror films.  I have watched many before, but I never really enjoyed them as much as action films.  I just don’t like the gruesome parts of horror films, and the feeling of being scared a few days after watching one.  So that was my mentality for many years.  Then one year I was watching AMC channel, when they mentioned that for Halloween they would be showing a marathon of horror films in October.  Many of the films included movies from the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s; a time period that I am intrigued by (fashion, culture, music/movies).  The best part was that since it was on AMC, all the stuff I hated from horror films (the gruesome scary parts) would be edited out; essentially becoming a PG rated movie.

Now there was a cost of watching movies like this because it also meant that the other parts that I do enjoy (the swearing, violence, and nudity) would be removed as well.  Any scene with college girls on vacation in the woods would have to wait until I watched the original version.  Not that it really bothered me much because I still enjoyed the edited versions shown on TV.  Flash forward to 2015 and AMC decided to start Fearfest late in October, and rather than show horror films, they showed a marathon of The Walking Dead.  This really made me mad because I was looking forward to another October with castrated scary movies to enjoy.  Eventually AMC did show horror films later on, but they kept running TWD commercials constantly during the breaks.

I finally caved-in and decided to start watching The Walking Dead.  The first season wasn’t too much of a problem because it only lasted 6 episodes, so it served as an introduction to zombie themed shows.  It was a decent first season, but I kind of felt out of placed watching this genre.  I mean I just didn’t appreciate the zombies like I’ve seen others enjoy them (especially people who dress up and do zombie walks).  I kind of felt the story was silly when juxtaposed with serious dramatic scenes that involved life lessons, or the loss of a loved one.  Damn you zombies, you ate my whole family and cat!

This excruciating experience of watching a show I found boring continued for me through season 2, which now had even more episodes (13 in total).  I kept wondering where all the greatness I had heard about was supposed to happen.  I had already watched World War Z and I Am Legend, movies whose goal was to find a cure for zombies, while TWD seemed like people who could barely survive their wretched world, let alone find a cure.  I also started to hate many characters on the show, either because they were annoying, self-righteous and judgmental, or dumb as rocks.

It was through my hatred, or rather my strong opinions that I finally became passionate about the show.  The zombies or finding a cure became trivial, because the real story was about what was happening between the characters.  The only other show I can compare it to is OZ, where chaos exists, but it’s not about trying to escape it, but about establishing a new order within it (the strong will survive).  Once you realize this; that the world has changed, and you either fight to survive or perish, then this show really draws you in.  And when I say this show draws you in, I mean it really becomes hypnotic as you start to see things that are just shocking, extreme and badass and you want to see more.  There are scenes later on in the series that I wonder how the heck they were even allowed on TV.

The show isn’t perfect because it does suffer from the dreaded overly dramatic cliff-hanger endings that many modern shows have relied on.  But thankfully those are few and far, and not as common as in the earlier seasons.  While I do think a show should have continuity from one episode to the next, I also believe the best shows are the ones able to show episodes that diverge and can tell a separate story in and of itself (usually flashback, or one-off episodes) from the main story.  Those “kinds” of episodes not only serve to give further insight into characters, but can also provide you with an emotional connection with a character.  The Walking Dead has truly surprised me in such a wonderful way.  I never thought I would become a fan of a horror show.  And this is what I like about modern TV shows, how they’re able to tell diverse, unique and unexpected storylines.  While modern movies and music today have become stale and uncreative, I am glad that modern TV shows like The Walking Dead have risen to keep me entertained.

The Walking Dead:

1 comment:

  1. excellent post! I personally have never watched the show but keep hearing good things about it


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