Walking Dead Season Finale Review: Ya kinda LOST me

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Season One/Episode 6: TS-19

Last night the mini first season of AMC’s smash insta-hit, The Walking Dead went out with a great big zombie plague origin story bang. Among the casualties were a couple of non-comic book canon characters who won’t be missed and lots of precious plot cohesion, plausibility or originality. I love the sheer, unadulterated page turn-ability of the Walking Dead comics and the first two episodes of the television show were incredibly good with the promise of even more great things to come. So it is with great regret that one of the only nice things I have to say about how the first chapter of the TV adaptation wrapped up is that new survivor Daryl and his crossbow will be around next season.

When I interviewed the cast and crew at NYCC Comic Con , I asked Norman Redus (Daryl), Laurie Holden (Andrea), and Steve Yuen (Glenn) if they were nervous about dealing with comic fandom’s geek army, who, as all respectable people know, can be notoriously prickly and meticulously critical of film and TV adaptations of the stories they love. But I didn’t realize I’d be one of those nerds. The first two episodes of The Walking Dead were smart, tightly scripted and faithful to the comic without being distractingly so or derivative. Those two episodes worked. But right around episode four, things went off course and now they’ve officially LOST me. And by that I mean, we’re six episodes in (HALF of the running time of a regular television season) and the show’s already receiving criticism for becoming unfortunately Lost-ian in its introduction of new and unnecessarily sprawling scenarios. Kirkman’s basic story template is so strong and provides such a firm and easily transferrable foundation for a television series. It’s truly a shame that Darabont and fellow executive producers, Gale Ann Hurd and Robert Kirkman, were unable to trust the strength of that source material.

Take the start of the episode, for instance. Was it truly necessary to flashback to Shane at the hospital? Did we really need to labor on whether or not he was trying to save Rick or leave him for dead?  

Why start there, only to cut back to a series of farfetched and wholly odd scenes of the survivors interacting with the only remaining scientist at the CDC, Edmund Jenner? And, worst of all, there wasn’t a single freakin’ zombie fight in the whole friggin’ episode. Man. What I wouldn’t have given for a crossbow to the brain right about the time Rick drunkenly confessed to Jenner he was running out of hope for survival and humanity and Shane was attacking Lori. Shane should totally be dead by now anyways!

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Shane, who should already be dead, may or may not have thought Rick was dead when he left him for dead (Photo: Courtesy of AMC)

The intent of those scenes seemed to be creating a subtle, climatic build up to the penultimate scene of Jenner explaining your brain on the zombie virus. Instead they just came off as spurious and obvious. While it was intriguing and informative to delve into how zombie “resurrection” happens that knowledge could’ve been better executed. As I said last week, the introduction of the CDC excursion storyline played more like the introduction to an entirely new TV show. It would’ve been more respectful to the television canon so far (not to mention the comic’s) to continue to mine the intra-survivor dynamics for drama. Speaking of survivor dynamics, where the heck is Merle? Or Morgan and his son? Why were the specters of rendezvousing with Morgan and son and rescuing Merle introduced and then dropped? If Darabont and Co. are going entirely off comic book canon, an effort to stay within realms that are believable and organic to the show’s storyline so far should be observed.

To that end, don’t even get me started on the whole mad scientist setting off the Countdown to Decontamination Clock thingy.

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I'm a keerayzay scientist! (Photo: Courtesy of AMC)

That was just played and, worst of all; totally superfluous and distracting. Prior to the CDC “hatch” storyline, The Walking Dead TV show, while diverging wildly from the comic, was still grounded in the fresh and original premise of basically realistic characters losing their shit as they deal with a fucked up, apocalyptic scenario. Hopefully, when next season picks up on the car caravan of survivors rolling away from the CDC explosion, Darabont and his new team of writers will return to strong storytelling based on character development. They’ve already made the show a hit, now they just need to make it as great as the first few episodes suggested it would be.

In spite of my strongly negative opinions on the finale and second to last episodes, I think the odds are good that they’ll succeed in ironing out the kinks. This was a short season and there were some things that had me intrigued last night. I’m wondering just what Jenner whispered to Rick and whether or not Carl will off Shane eventually. I also can’t wait to see how they introduce the Governor. Heck, I’ll watch for the prospect of Daryl crossbow-stickin’ it to more of the undead alone! In summary, even with my dissatisfaction with how the first season wrapped up, I remain an avid and eager viewer of this show.

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Hey buddy... psst psst, here's what's up for Season Two... (Photo: Courtesy of AMC)

What do y’all think? Was I too harsh on the finale? Or not nearly harsh enough? What do you want to see more or less of in Season Two? Will you be tuning in next Fall or is this it for you? Sound off, people.

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The survivors head out to the greener pastures of the great unknown (Photo: Courtesy of AMC)

Comments

  1. I think Jenner whispered that Lori is pregnant.

  2. Reuben says:

    I think that Kirkman has always said that this would be a different beast then the comic, He also said he would do this FOR the fans of the comic, because whats the point of a scene by scene remake. In a 2hr. Movie that’s really cool in a 7 – 10 season/year television series (which let’s not kid ourselves all television producers are hoping for that kind of run) would be kind of lame, could you imagine just pulling the dust off very loved issues and just going “I know what is going to happen next”… Anyone that wants can call themselves a fan of the comic book but not television and this is what the Walking Dead TV series is for fans of comics and Television.

  3. I think Jenner whispered that none of this would have happened if LeBron had stayed in Cleveland. Just my gut feeling.

    I actually enjoyed several aspects from last night. I liked the flashback to the hospital,…the fear Shane felt in that scene helped to explain his general wimpiness when they were in the camp. I laughed out loud with Daryl’s line “Your head ain’t”. And the end of the episode, with people choosing whether to stay inside to die, was touching. The way the show ended means that they can also let some Zombieverse time elapse prior to next season. The two kids in particular are going to look different after aging a year, so a cliff-hanger ending might have been quite difficult to carry through seamlessly a year down the road if everyone looks a year older.

  4. John Warren says:

    Your assessment of the last episode (and the whole trip to the CDC) is right on the money. Here’s hoping things get back on track quickly next season.

    Here’s a weird thought: What if Shane was right and Rick really was dead for awhile? What if that is related to Jenner’s comment to Rick? It’s a long shot, I know, but there’s got to be some reason for the Nick/Shane scene, right?

  5. Shannon OLeary says:

    @Reuben – agreed but, IMHO, the TV show is going to have to, at the very least, employ the kind of character driven storytelling readers of the comic (not to mention AMC viewers) have come to expect.

  6. Shannon, I pretty much concur with your statement “In summary, even with my dissatisfaction with how the first season wrapped up, I remain an avid and eager viewer of this show.”

    A lot of small things have kept this good series from becoming great (IMHO, of course). But at the same time, it’s entertaining and enjoyable enough that I’ve been catching every episode live, and haven’t felt the same sense of boredom and ennui that led me to quickly drop FlashForward and The Event.

    The worst part of the finale was the super-futuristic voice-activated CDC Star Trek Computer. Ugh! Talk about completely taking you out of the gritty, street-level survival tone of the series. And yes, I’m a bit annoyed that they dropped the whole Merle/Morgan plot threads. But I’m hoping next season will start strong and feel more cohesive throughout.

  7. Jeremy says:

    Here’s the thing for me. A lot of people who are big fans of the series seem very caught up in what is and isn’t realistic about the CDC. How many of those people were less questioning of a one armed one eyed man emasculated man surviving without a doctor after hours of torture surviving to drive a tank into battle? I mean, nothing about this episode was any less realistic than the original, I gotta say. I with Darabont on that not addressing the fact that the story is set mere miles away from the CDC was a little unnerving even in the books. You can only ignore a thing like that for so long.

    Anywho…I was very happy with the finale and was especially happy with the Shane scene. For all the talk of character driven drama, few people seem to think comic book Shane was given short shrift. I think the Jenner/Rick scene was particularly strong as you see Rick for the tortured man he is. He will force himself to be in charge no matter what he wants. He lets it slip for just a minute in front of someone who actually knows better than him.

  8. Shannon OLeary says:

    @Dara Naghari, As usual your comments provided some sharp, supplemental reading! Or maybe we just have similar viewer needs/tastes.

    @Jeremy – I dunno, I just find what’s happened so far in the comic to be more plausible overall than what’s happened on the TV show. But I totes see your points. And again, my main thing with the show so far is that it’s more plot based than character based. And the plot comes off the hinges A LOT! I’m still into it though.

    @Leo – Daryl gets all the good lines.

  9. I personally thought this was the best episode to date. The reaction of everyone to what they thought was a safe haven, to getting drunk to enjoying their first shower in many months to breaking down and crying, was all great. Also showing what happens to Shane and how he left Rick makes him more human as he did try to save Rick. All of this in an episode where Shane seems more of a monster, almost raping Lori. Keeping Shane around a bit longer makes it more interesting.

    What did Jenner whisper to Rick? I’m going to guess that Jenner was watching the monitors through out the building and saw Shane try to rap Lori. Or as Ben suggested he discovered that Lori is pregnant.

  10. Ron Thibodeau says:

    I think my big WTF moment, was that Rick (who is a cop) along with everyone else see the obvious fingernail scratches across Shane’s face.

    It is obvious he was scratched. They ask him what happened, and he said he must have done it in his sleep, and that is the end of it.

    That didn’t ring true for me, after spending a few episodes making sure that no one was scratched, bit/injured by a zombie.

    Jim is bit, and gets quarantined. Shane has ‘mystery scratches’ across his face, and nobody says a damn thing about it.

    Bizarre.

  11. Ian Boothby says:

    The part about Rick’s heart not beating was interesting if it was true. Maybe Rick died and came back but didn’t go all no brain.

  12. Sean McGurr says:

    I got more of an Alien feel than Lost. The characters having a joyous meal around a round table before things get bad. The confined space. The female computer voice announcing the self-destruct sequence.

    I was glad to see the grenade brought back. I had been waiting all season to see when it would be used. I had thought it was going to be Rick’s way out of the Vatos Mexican standoff; that would have been more realistic that the grandma intervention.

  13. That new writing team will surely straighten everything out to the satisfaction of all.

  14. Shannon, I have to disagree on a few points here:
    “Was it truly necessary to flashback to Shane at the hospital? Did we really need to labor on whether or not he was trying to save Rick or leave him for dead?”

    Uh, yeah. Considering that Lori was accusing Shane of some truly deplorable shit, the kind of shit that might get you kicked out of the tribe. Plus, we get to see the efficiency of the soldiers gunning down anything that moves.

    Also, I don’t think you HAVE to have a zombie fight *every* episode. Were you one of the viewers of Friday Night Lights who asked, ‘you what we need more of? More football!” Not to split hairs, but there was some gratuitous zombie killing at the end. If that’s not enough for you, I don’t know what else to tell you. I mean, the whole world is zombified. I’m sure they’ll have another chance at it.

    I’ve noticed a lot of people who regularly read Walking Dead have been disappointed with the finale. I’ve also noticed that people who haven’t followed the book did like the finale, including my wife and her bank co-workers (who berate her if she’s not up on her WD come Monday morning).

    Jenner’s role…meh. We needed someone to explain what was going on and that seemed fine. He seemed downright douchy there at the end, taking his ball and going home.

    Actually, I was surprised that everyone freaked out when Jenner said that everyone else went down. Was that scenario any different than the day before? Plus, he said he didn’t know what happened to anyone else, just that no one was communicating anymore. Kind of a big leap there. That’s probably me being picky, but that’s what I didn’t like about the finale.

  15. Joe Lawler says:

    About Shane’s survival: I remember early on in production talk about keeping Shane alive for a Jack/Sawyer/Kate type love triangle. I just find that amusing, since clearly Daryl is the Sawyer of this show.

    And I’m glad that grenade in the first act/explosion in the last act rule was followed, even if it wasn’t zombies that got blowed up.

  16. If I may add: the fact that so many people with different takes on the show are all enthusiastically discussing it points to the fact that despite all of our disparate pet peeves, the show as a whole is strong enough to keep us all glued to our TVs (and/or DVRs). That’s more than can be said for 90% of the other dramas on TV. I’m definitely looking forward to season 2.

  17. Sim Jhooter says:

    I think his whisper was in the script as, “NOTE FROM FRANK: DEAR WRITERS, YOU’RE FIRED. LOVE, FRANK.”

  18. Shannon OLeary says:

    Wow. I’m genuinely surprised that reactions seem to be 2/3 super into the finale and about 1/3 weighing down on the meh side. I guess I’ll have to rewatch it sometime in the next 10 months and see if my opinion changes.

    @Albone, call me crazy but on a zombie show – f*ck yes I want to see gratuitous zombie fighting. The heart wants what the heart wants.

  19. The season finale was the worst thing that could have happened to an otherwise phenomenal series. It seems the previous now-unemployed writers got lazy. Stick to the comics! I’m glad they ended this whole CDC arc by blowing it up in the end instead of trying to drag it out.

    Also, here’s an interesting comparison on the Walking Dead the recently departed Lost. The similarities are annoying. I know the Walking Dead is so much better than what its become. So here’s hoping Darabont gets Season Two back on track. http://ology.com/screen/walking-dead-zombie-rip-lost

  20. Albone made an interesting point regarding people enjoying the finale more if they hadn’t been reading the comic series. I would fit into that group. This weekend I quickly read through a compilation of the first WD stories and I actually prefer the plot direction and pacing of the TV series.

  21. Shannon OLeary says:

    @Leo, @Albone, @MattFab – Like I said, I guess I’m one of those nerds who’s hopelessly in love with the source material. I’ll try to work on letting go.. sniff!

  22. brandon says:

    huge fan of the comic. hated episodes 4 and 5. But I actually liked the finale.

    First, I was glad they introduced and dealt with the entire CDC thing and didnt drag it on like they did with Atlanta. It felt contained.

    Second, I loved the flashback. Mostly because of the chaos of the outbreak and Shane’s tough decision.

    Finally, I actually didnt know whether those two characters would live at the end when they had their heart to heart. For a second I was duped into thinking the two were dead meat.

    The negative: The character that died was meaningless. An afterthought. I dont even remember her name. It was a cheap and easy death.

    The clock was the dumbest idea ever because of the whole power drain concept mentioned with the video games, showers, etc.

    Alcohol at a government facility? really?

    Zombies need to eat more.

    I will check out season 2 with a lot less patience because of how bad some of these episodes were.

  23. Brian Spence says:

    Good series. Much better than the comic book, which I thought was trying too hard to be a TV show (but I do like the book overall). There were too many cliches early in the comic. It was so lame to have it start EXACTLY how 28 Days Later started. I’m glad the show expanded on that beginning on Sunday and changed it up a little. I think the characters are more real in the show and that’s probably due to the acting and directing. I’m actually looking forward to the better twists and turns from the book, like (SPOILER) the prison stuff, the chick who was walking around with two zombies on a chain, etc. The good thing about such a long running series is that the show can just pick what works from what doesn’t. I’m becoming a bigger and bigger fan. Good for AMC!

  24. John Dominguez says:

    You pretty much nailed it Heidi. At least now all the extra characters are weeded out except for T-dog and Darryl. And they can hopefully get back to following the comic.

  25. Anyone know if people who work at the CDC have responded to this episode? I’m curious to know how the Walking Dead CDC stacks up to the real thing.

  26. brandon says:

    @Brian Spence

    Kirkman in the early letters pages of the first few issues of the comic addresses the 28 Days Later problem you mention.

    He claims he’d written his story prior to movie coming out and Image held the series back months to release it around Halloween (after the movie release).

    Whether you believe him or not is another story.

  27. Jesse Post says:

    As someone who hasn’t read the comics, I still agree with Shannon!

    Looking at it solely as a season of TV, the finale disappointed. No resolution or significant changes unless you count the unsupported and likely-soon-to-be-undermined assertion that all of civilization has crumbled. Anyone who isn’t an isolation-sick mad scientist would naturally want to keep looking for hope given the scant evidence that there is none.

    And as everyone has pointed out, the list of unresolved subplots is sadly long.

    At the end of the season we seem left right where we started:

    • The zombies have taken over and no one knows why, how it started, what’s being done to stop it, and who out there is still alive
    • Rick is an in-control, inspiring, steel-willed leader who asks questions first.
    • Shane is an unpredictable, slightly frightening, steel-willed leader who shoots first.
    • Dale is old and wise.
    • Glenn is wise beyond his years.
    • Darryl is racist and doesn’t respect or trust anyone
    • Merle has no hand and is driving around Atlanta in a bus for some reason

  28. CBrown says:

    I find myself interested in the series despite its problems. I’ve only read the first bit of the comic series, so I don’t have the burden of expectations of where the story will go.

    The main thing I want them to do in season two is get some serious character development going ASAP. Killing off characters has no emotional impact when they’re just red shirts, and right now, they’re all pretty much red shirts. I wouldn’t even care much if Rick got offed, right now.

    I liked the flashback. I wouldn’t mind MORE flashbacks, showing where the characters were and how they reacted to the zombie apocalypse. I might even like some pre-zombie apocalypse flashbacks showing the characters’ old lives, just to get a sense of them as people. Maybe even just one episode like that.

    I didn’t mind the absence of a zombie attack in this episode. There needs to be more going on to sustain my interest. A series that is just hour after hour of shambling zombies lurching after our heroes doesn’t sound very interesting to me.

    Finally, I agree with Brandon: That was one well-stocked wine cellar at the CDC!

  29. Bryan L says:

    I read the comic for a while but got tired of the relentless misery and dropped it. That said, I’m enjoying the show for the most part. There are abominably stupid scenes, like not posting a guard while having a fish fry and letting 20 shuffling, growling zombies sneak up on you (a friend dropped the show immediately after that episode and refuses to watch any more).

    That said, I found the trip to the CDC one of the most plausible elements thus far. Of course survivors would look for the last holdouts of civil authority. They can’t ALL turn feral. I also liked the CDC and the flashback because I didn’t like the way the comic never addressed the zombie outbreak, and I find it very peculiar that the TV show characters NEVER speculate about it at all. Seems like that would be the main topic of conversation during any downtime.

    And I’ll jump on the “zombie attacks get boring” bandwagon too. I maintain that to continue as a legitimate threat, the zombies need to be a bit more active and agile. Right now, unless the characters are REALLY sloppy and stupid (see “no guards” above), it’s pretty easy to overcome almost any zombie “threat.”

    And, to whoever asked about the CDC, they refuse to allow filming or to discuss anything about their facilities. So that was all completely fabricated.

  30. Chris says:

    Okay, I admit that I haven’t read the comic, so I have no preconceptions about “the way that it should be”, or being involved in some sort of pissing contest because it’s not enough like the original source. As I keep telling my daughter when she gets pissy about Watchmen, or Harry Potter, or Scott Pilgrim, or something that veers off the printed ranch, I immediately fall back to Alan Moore – The Book Is Still On The Shelf. Go and read it.

    And I didn’t like Lost.

    So. Having said that, I really like the show. It doesn’t seem confusing, there aren’t too many characters for me to follow, I didn’t find there to be a bunch of plot holes that I needed to leap through, the Star Trek/HAL-like computer didn’t bother me (it’s only one episode, and it’s not that science-fictiony, really), and it felt plausible that one lone scientist would be doing this sort of thing. I didn’t bemoan the lack of zombie ass-kicking, since for me the show isn’t about zombies. It’s about living in a world that’s gone, a world where zombies are the norm. I’d much rather watch the main characters deal with the situations they find themselves in on a more personal level. Of course, it is about zombies, so you have to have some, but a show merely about pickaxes in zombie skulls would get really boring really quickly.

    Again, so. The reason this show is doing well is because it doesn’t repeat the mistake of Zack Snyder. I loved Watchmen, but only because I knew the story. I tried to imagine watching the show through the eyes of somebody who hadn’t read the book, or someone who wasn’t into comics. No wonder it underperformed. Darabont and company are in love with the story, not the comic. Totally works for me.

  31. >>>Seems like that would be the main topic of conversation during any downtime.

    I think they are following the LOST convention of “Exposition equals DEATH” == i.e. showing the characters ever sitting around talking about their situation is considered anathema.

    One reason I have really been enjoying watching DEXTER (currently mid season 3) is that it has no fear of introspection. Granted, it is done via the gimmick of narration, but it allows the viewer to fully absorb all of the nuances and possibilities of the situation.

    A little exposition goes a long way but it should not be totally verboten.

  32. Kinnon says:

    Hasn’t it already been made plain that the whole 28 days later similarity is completely moot? I’m reasonably sure I’ve seen both Alex Garland and Robert Kirkman mention a fondness for John Wyndhams “Day of the Triffids”.

  33. wahab says:

    Love the book, looking forward to more of the show. although the last two episodes were mostly, “meh” there was some great stuff in there:
    TV Shane= way cooler than comic Shane! I loved the flashback, a lot of readers kept asking for more of that type of stuff in the book but Kirkman seems to have a clear focus of things he does and does not want in the book. I’m glad it was there to flesh out Shane and make us sympathize and not feel so bad about shacking up with Lori. I can’t wait for one of the coolest scenes in the comic to play out in the show, keeping him around longer just makes you wonder when it’ll happen. That’s definitely for the fans of the book (thanks for changing it up a bit Kirkman and Darabont)! SPOILER: Dale and Andrea building up a relationship in the show is great too!!!! Way better to see them like this. None of you mentioned their scenes at all! I already love the interactions they’ve had, I can’t wait for more!!!! Daryl is cool, A great addition to the cast.
    Everything I love about the show has been the characters, now that we’ve gotten all the cheesy CDC/ “origin stuff” out the way : LET’S GET IT ON!!!!!!!!

  34. But I didn’t realize I’d be one of those nerds. He-heh. One of US, Shannon! One of US! Saw the preview clip at this year’s SDCC, blown away by what I saw and heard, and couldn’t wait for Oct. for the tv series to come… Can’t say that next Oct. is as eagerly expected after this first batch of 6.

    Funny how the last 5 mins of the Finale went a long way to forgive what happened in the 55 mins before it— zombie brain-poppings [Oooh, headshot!] and decapitation, and a big ‘sploshun [Things blowed up REAAAL good— almost made me overlook: the suicidal CDC survivor letting in Rick’s gang… just to forcibly join him in death?? Ticking minutes of countdown-boom time spent in Dale convincing Andrea to LIVE, dammit!! … while Jacqui sits nearby, forgotten? Jenner whispering SOMETHING to Rick, playing to the comic-reader’s knowledge of upcoming revelations… but to those who didn’t: LOST-like “mystery” to be revealed next season, or LOST IN TRANSLATION throwaway enigma?

    ALMOST made me forget those. On the “plus” side: I agree that the erasure of the CDC from future episodes’ storylines underscores
    the futility of finding a ‘cure’. Getting rid of Jacqui means that just TWO of the created-for-the-tv characters remain to be extraneous zombie-fodder: T-Dog and Darryl.
    [Darryl's crossbow skillz make him a fan favorite; hope you die a good death next season, T-Dog!] HOWEVER questionable killing off the cast’s SOLE Black woman… which then can only be remedied by the introduction of Michonne (finally)?

    Questions remain: what OF that [non-comics] helicopter that Rick saw upon entering Atlanta? What about the Morales family (and those nice vatos)? What about Morgan and his son? What of Merle Mason [and his still-unseen Klan cousin, Enos Dixon]? How much longer will Shane remain alive? How much MORE
    will the series deviate from the comics?

    That 2nd Season next Oct. sure’s gonna carry some heavy baggage— but at least there’ll be double the episodes so the show can really “start”.The fired/not fired Writers can only build up from what was done with the initial six…

    Till then— we’ll have the new season of TRUE BLOOD. Back to vamps, eh, Shannon? ;)

  35. Wesley Craig Green says:

    Count me as one of those people who dug the opening sequence with Shane. In fact, I hope they include more of them next season. They would be a great way to give some background on these characters leading up to the s**t hitting the fan.

    I also think the scientist told Rick something about his wife being preggers. But I’m hoping he told him something else because I can see they whole Rick/Wife-being-pregnant/Shane storyline getting old fast.

    Wesley

  36. Will Palmer says:

    I agree it was a bit of an anti-climax to what has been an outstanding first series. The scene i thought was totally not needed was the flashback scene showing Shane trying to save Rick.

    I just felt this killed alot of the ambiguity in Shane’s character. Before that, we didnt know if Shane had left Rick for dead on purpose to try and get Lori. Leaving this question unanswered would have left more open questions about Shane’s motives but now we sympathise with this character more when we should be kept guessing.

    Bad move i thought.

  37. AwesomeDude says:

    I too read the comic for a while but dropped it due to the relentless misery of it. I like to be entertained.

    But the show is pretty good. I like it alot.

    I think you guys are only happy when you’re hating on things.

    Relax- try to enjoy yourself, it will make your life better

  38. WD fangirl says:

    I am not a horror fan. I am not a zombie fan. I don’t read comics, and I LOVE the walking dead.

    The show really is more about the people than the zombies – which is pretty necessary for a continuing cable tv show. If it was mindless zombie killing for an entire hour I’m sure it would deter many of its current fans.

    “And again, my main thing with the show so far is that it’s more plot based than character based. And the plot comes off the hinges A LOT!”

    I disagree with your view, Shannon, that the show is plot-based than character-based. Although they added plotlines that weren’t in the comics, each added characterization. Where we saw Shane and Rick holding Darryl back when he found out his brother was left behind, we learned that Shane and Darryl can also work together as they both attacked the locked CDC doors. The mere presence of Shane’s flashback shows characterization, and if there were more zombie killings, it would definitely affect the amount of time we spend on the human moments of the show – which I believe are the real show-stealers. (So, wanting a more character-based story AND a zombie-killing spree is a little contradicting and it’s difficult to do).

    Also, some of the plot differs from the comics, but I actually think it makes more sense in the real world than the original one. The CDC was a good addition and I’m surprised it wasn’t part of the original comics. When you have a post-apocalyptic world and you live in the city where the CDC is, it would be pretty natural to attempt to find an answer or seek help from the government.

    I really enjoy the pacing of the show and the way they tell the story. I read TWD #1 after watching the show, and it felt cheesier, more cliched, and less character-based (think Morgan’s family and their zombie-wife dilemma). I’m glad they aren’t sticking to the comics totally..and I don’t think comic fans would really want them to either.

    Even Kirkman admitted that he didn’t play out a lot of the potential drama in the characters as he didn’t know how long his comics would continue. The show is more refined, dramatic & character-driven than the comics in my opinion. Killing Shane already (when he’s been built up as the main character’s best friend and the man his wife is cheating with) is wasting good drama and characterization. Also, his flashback and other camp scenes give the Lori/Shane relationship, and consequently, their characters more emotion and reality than the comics.

    I love the way the show is going and I hope they continue to intrigue and excite their fans :)

  39. WD fangirl says:

    One last thing, Jenner was much-needed. He became a little mad-scientisty near the end and was a total jerk but I actually think the show was more of a middle finger to LOST. They actually attempted at an answer (even though it wasn’t much more than a biology class with sci-fi effects) and gave information about the world outside their camp and outside their city. In a show that is obviously very intelligent and was created to satisfy all kinds of people, they needed to give us that reminder that this show is not narrow-minded in its approach to telling a story. It’s not limited to Rick and the group, and by addressing the existence of other facilities and other countries, they make the show very realistic. I don’t think the show will really go to the extent of meeting people in other countries, but the fact that they mentioned it is a tribute to the show’s portrayal of a post-apocalyptic society.

    This might be a discussion more suited to an english class, but TWD really is a show about people and society and how we deal with problems. The zombies are merely a device to push people to their limits. In our world, where, let’s be honest, the oil will run out soon, nuclear war may be a potential danger and natural disasters are becoming more & more frequent; we might face a crisis that really tests our endurance, ethics and roles in society. During a crisis, will women choose to stay back or fight/forage for food (will it even be a choice)? How will we maintain what we consider to be “human” and “moral”? Will racism persist even when we’re all trying to stay alive? Will there be a social class/education/occupation divide? Will the people consider continuing the human race or is there hope of finding people to form a community? How do laws and rules become regulated (and who gets to make them, who gets to enforce them)? Will we die out because of the lack of electricity and incapability to live off the earth?

    .. I could go on and on, but there are so many points about society that this show portrays and how we deal with problems. In the end, the show really is about humans and their fear of Death (zombies are like death personified).

    Sorry for the intense essay, but I felt like the show wasn’t getting enough credit :$

  40. WD fangirl says:

    Oh! and I forgot too, how easily people give up in a crisis. Would you die as the CDC blew up or would you die due to a bullet in your head? Would you mind becoming a zombie or feeling pain? What if you were the last people left in the world… How easily would people go crazy like Jenner?

    Ugh, I just love this show so much!
    I’m a science student, but I can’t help but write a literary discussion on how awesome The Walking Dead is!

  41. I helped myself to some homemade biscuits that had been left within the kitchen. I thought they looked a little odd, but they tasted rather good. I observed out later they had been homemade dog treats.

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