Observations on The Walking Dead

I never read any of the comics so as I watched The Walking Dead the storyline was new to me but not the concept. The zombie apocalypse has been pretty much done. What hasn’t been done are deep, flawed characters in a zombie apocalypse. I found myself investing in these characters much like reading a book. So when I originally heard that The Walking Dead was coming to TV, I was excited but had my doubts. How can producers keep a story about a zombie apocalypse interesting? Strong characters for one. Another is avoiding clichés from movies. So far so good.

The Walking Dead gives enough horror to keep fans of that genre interested, but at the same balance it with characters of substance. For example, the character Shane seems to be a real hot button on most blogs I’ve read. He’s flawed and complicated. He slept with his best friend’s wife, and believed that his buddy was dead – that is until Rick surfaces alive and kicking. Shane is tormented. He’s in love with his buddy’s wife, happy that his buddy is alive but at the same angry he’s back in the picture. This kind of storyline will propel the series for season two. Where it might fail is if falls into clichéd zombie traps. Don’t let the characters hold up in a mall against walkers, don’t let the characters seek refuge at an army base, or a farm-house in the middle of nowhere. It might entertain for an episode but the series should find interesting, challenging ways the characters look to survive.

Sunday night’s season finale left us with cliffhanger. Characters are on the run again. Low on food and fuel – armed with plenty of drama. I hope the writers, producers, actors, etc are looking to one up the six episodes of 2010. Here’s what I would like to see in the next season:

  • More of the old dude and the cute blonde. Dale (old dude) is wise and doesn’t have any throw away lines – I’d like to see more of him. And what is the connection with him and Andrea (cute blonde). Lovers? Friends? Complicated?
  • More back story on each character. It would be cool if an episode was spent showing how each character dealt with the outbreak of the walkers and then met up with the current group. Take the opening scene from the season finale. It was interesting to see Shane deal with Rick in a coma while trying to figure out how to escape. Take that same approach for each character – that would be cool!
  • The crew tries to take over a town from the walkers and try to rebuild. Could happen and would be interesting.
  • Obviously, bring in more characters to change the dynamic a bit.

Of course, as I write all of this I haven’t read a single page of the comic. I might be way off. Those of you who have read the comic probably know what happens next. It’s a long what till Fall 2011. Ugh!

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