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The Walking Dead: Season One
DVD Review
© 2012 James LaFond
I have been researching disasters with a ‘high human cost’ for my upcoming novel Forsaken, which is still a couple years away from completion. The storyline focuses on time-travelers going into the past to bring forward people who died in shipwrecks and in conditions of extreme squalor; in other words those who would not be missed. Toward this end I have been reading some post-apocalyptic sci-fi.
Serendipity is that much abused writer’s tool by which an unlikely coincidence advances the plot. I experienced it recently. On the same day that I cracked upon a collection of vintage post apocalyptic fiction, a young coworker [a kind man from this current sub-literate generation of couch dwellers, who charitably brings me his DVD collection one at a time because he feels so sorry for me living without a TV that it pains his heart] handed me the DVD set of an AMC TV series in the same vein. So here goes a serendipitous review.
The Walking Dead
The Complete First Season
AMC, 292 minutes, by Frank Darabont & Gale Anne Hurd
Based on the graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman
I don’t like zombie flicks. I was encouraged to watch this by most of the younger people in my life, and now I’m glad I did. The writing is not predictable, the acting is surprisingly good, and the plot is murderous. Main characters die in this show. It is filmed on location in Georgia with an attention to atmosphere that borders on cinematic. The thing I like the most about the way it is filmed is the use of out-of-sequence scenes from the past—as opposed to flashbacks—to serve as episode prologues.
The casting and well-developed characters seemed to have come together in the best possible way. As a viewer you can ‘get behind’ most of these characters and also marvel at the sprinkling of jerks among them. The best thing about The Walking Dead to me is not the appeal of the zombie genre, or the deftly handled storyline. For me this series is about the human condition in extremis. If I had to categorize this story in a sub-genre it would not be in the zombie-horror category but the post-apocalyptic sci-fi niche. I highly recommend this to anyone with the stomach to watch it.
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