I review the first season of my favourite, non-cancelled TV show, The Walking Dead, a zombie survival series.
The Walking Dead Season 1
I first got The Walking Dead Season 1 on Christmas, and have only now started finishing watching it. That’s not because it’s a bad series or anything like that, it’s just that I’ve been so busy lately discovering new shows such as Arrow, Elementary, Supernatural and Leverage, I haven’t been able to work my way through this particular season as quickly as I would have liked. But needless to say, I have finally managed to watch all of the episodes and I must say – this is the best goddamn non-cancelled TV Show out there. The characters, the drama, the the constant threat that anybody can die, the realism, the struggle for survival – The Walking Dead gets everything right.
If you’ve been following the reviews that I’ve been writing for The Founding Fields under the same username for a while, then you’ll know how much I love the zombie genre. I’ve also read the first volume of the comic series that The Walking Dead was based on digitally, and can say that it is as enjoyable as the TV show itself.
Zombie fans should love this particular show, for if you’ve ever got that wish for a zombie drama that “Never Ends,” then The Walking Dead will fit that bill if you’re one of the few people who haven’t discovered this epic already. Kicking off with a great cinematic bang, the episode introduces us to Police Cop Rick, played exceptionally by Andrew Lambert. He’s a strong element to the show and is the series main character so far, with great, realistic characterisation who develops throughout the season, and I am hopeful that he will continue to change in Season 2 and 3. The other cast are good as well, and the benefits of having a small cast means that a lot of characters are fleshed out and developed over the course of the show. Some however, are given more screentime than others, for example we see more of Rick, his family and Shane than we do of T-Dog. Most of the characters however are given different personalities, different backgrounds and establishing traits, such as Daryl – the Hunter, the brother of racist redneck Merle Dixion, and Glenn Rhee, one of the most loyal members of the group who risks his life to save Rick early on in the series before the two have even met.
This is a high-budget series and it certainly pays off with Frank Darabont, the director of Shawshank Redemption, at the helm. Having made the most of his writing and directing abilities to this series, he’s made it come across as one of the most realistic portrayal of a post-apocalyptic world that I’ve seen in quite some time, making this series an accomplishment. For the most part, the zombies look like actual zombies as opposed to humans with masks, and Darabont certainly manages to impress with some great shots of a Walker (as the zombies are called in this)-infested Atlanta in the early episodes of the first season, which is where the show is at its strongest when Rick is on his own.
When he starts to meet up with the survivors and his family again, the show loses its steam a little but the characters themselves are dynamic enough to keep the tension up and the conflict interesting, particularly with the in-depth background created for the characters to help make it more enjoyable. The pace throughout the series is fairly even if the latter half of the show has a few slower moments.
The only downside is the season’s short length, and at six episodes, it’s almost as bad as Sherlock. But I’m aware that Season 2 steps up a notch in the episode count, and I will be certainly sticking around to watch that especially as it, for the UK folks at least, starts showing on 5star from 10PM Today. If you’re Interested in watching the second season if you would want to re-watch it, or just haven’t had the chance to see it yet, then I highly suggest that you do if the first season is anything to go by, for so far, The Walking Dead is the best TV Series that I’ve seen since, well – Firefly. (Which I’ve only seen the first 8 or so Episodes of anyway, but still..)
VERDICT FOR THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 1: 4.5/5
EPISODE GUIDE FOR THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 1: S1x01: Days Gone Bye, S1x02: Guts, S1x03: Tell It To the Frogs, S1x04: Vatos, S1x05: Wildfire, S1x06: TS-19