W is for The Walking Dead

Written by Kerry E.B. Black


Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) woke from a coma to discover the hospital in which he convalesced was largely abandoned. He wandered the halls in a sort of disbelief. Signs of struggles led him to a locked hallway. From the other side, he encountered his first walkers.

Amazing special effects and the FX makeup provide a visual feast, if the viewer has a penchant for the macabre. Thought is put into each walker’s cause of death, the amount of time they spend as a walker, and weather conditions’ effects on the undead. (For example, walkers are more sluggish in the cold.)

Rick visited his home and found signs of his wife Lori and son Carl’s survival. He met a neighbor, Morgan, and Morgan’s son before setting off in search of Lori and Carl. He met up with some amazing survivors including Glenn the one-time pizza delivery guy, Daryl (who doesn’t appear in the graphic novels), and his work partner and betrayer, Shane. He leads a small group, and they struggle together to adapt to their changed world.

The true villains of the series are people with confused or bad intentions. Surviving a zombie apocalypse “does things to you,” and this American horror drama explores the varied reactions of people faced with surreal and extreme circumstances. One worrisome aspect of the show is viewers are best advised to forgo attachments and know any time a character becomes a moral compass for the band of survivors, that character is destined to die. Also, most every episode ends with a cliffhanger, including this most recent season finally where Negan was introduced. Eeny Meeny Miny Moe, into a tizzy viewers throw. The next new episode airs in October, 2016 on AMC.

Frank Darabont adapted the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard, and the show has earned its many awards and nominations. The acting is believable, and despite better judgement, I can’t help but grow attached to the characters. I will say I’m disappointed by their behavior this season, especially murdering people in their sleep. However, the world they inhabit is brutal and chances of survival are limited. The show has become ingrained in the American psyche, and as a result, there are spin off shows, comic series, and Comic Con presences, but fans will still have to wait until October for the seventh season to discover the fate of the captured Rick and his group.