Oct 31, 2010

LiveBlogging: The Walking Dead

I don't know what kind of mass appeal the show is going to have, but I sincerely liked the first episode. I wasn't blown away, but that can be attributed to the fact that I have read the comic books. I want to see a horror show actually succeed, and, of all the ones I've seen, The Walking Dead definitely has the best chance.

11:22 - The lingering temptation to commit suicide is something I imagined would be present, but it's not something I really, honestly thought about until now. If I were trapped in a tank with a "dead" zombie, there's no telling what I would be thinking about.

The scene involving the horse feast is a definite nod to George A. Romero.

11:20 - Yep. Hiding under a tank feels as sufficiently claustrophobic as I would have thought it to be.

11:12 - I'm ready to see images of a zombie-ravaged Atlanta, but, aw damn, another commercial break is interrupting it.

11:11 - Seeing him wrangle the horse brings to mind images of old cowboy movies.

11:04 - Headin' down I-85 toward Atlanta.

They just showed new characters. Oh, man, Jeffrey DeMunn is awesome. He has the coolest voice in all of filmdom, in my opinion. I've been a fan of his since I listened to the audiobook version of Dreamcatcher. He's the scraggly, white-haired guy in the fishing cap.

10:59 - One of the underlying ideas about zombie lore is that it gives regular people the right to kill indiscriminately. In fact, you are supposed to kill the undead. It is encouraged for the sheer fact that to not do it is to risk all of human civilization.

What The Walking Dead does is confront that notion with a simple conundrum: what if one of the people you are supposed to kill is your wife? Even though it's not her her you're shooting, it's still kind of her, and even though it's the smart thing to do, it's not the easiest. You say now you'd do it, but would you be able to?

10:57 - It's odd hearing ethereal music behind the sight of a zombie dragging itself (herself) across a grass lot.

10:45 - Second commercial break.

10:43 - What's great about the Rick / Morgan dynamic is that Rick's experience with Morgan is the exact opposite of his own, which will (ultimately) cause him to head toward Atlanta. Unlike Morgan, who knows that his wife is (un)dead, Rick does not, and it will become a motivation for him to move forward, to find out, even if finding out is as terrible for him as it was for Morgan.

10:39 - In seeing Morgan's wife, I have the hope that this show will be much more about the psychology of being involved in an intense, life-altering situation such as this one, rather than about the zombies. It seems counterintuitive, but it's what sets The Walking Dead comic apart from other pieces of undead lore. The characters are so well-drawn (forgive the expression) that you end up actually rooting for them, which is rare in the horror world.

10:35 - Morgan and Rick are discussing the Zombie Apocalypse (ZA) right now. I'm so jaded by zombie mythology that I have trouble sitting through the explanations of "what's happening." I almost find it tedious that every piece of zombie fiction feels the need to make this explanation.


What makes me happy is that, somewhere out there, there are people experiencing zombies for the first time, or at least experiencing them seriously for the first time. Zombies are so pervasive now that it's hard to have a defining experience, but I'm sure it's happening for some people. And I love that.

10:29 - First commercial break.

Overall, I like the show. Since I read the first several issues of the comic years before, I both have a vague sense of remembering what has happened without knowing the details. It's as though I'm experiencing dull deja vu.

I'm interested in getting beyond the stuff that I've read. I can't speculate or anticipate very much. It seems as though they're sticking to the source material with some fidelity.

10:25 - The show is very deliberately paced.

Lennie James (Morgan) is a bad-ass. That headshot was excellent, even despite the level of CG involved. In the last few months, he's played a pimp (Hung) and a zombie apocalypse survivor. Lucky guy.

10:21 - Characters in post-apocalyptic movies tend to walk in disbelief through the remnants of the final moments of humanity, among dead bodies and ruined structures, mostly to show the viewer the horrors which have taken place. I don't know. I've never been overly impressed with that method of storytelling. I understand why it's there, but it's so far removed from what 99% of the population would do (which is perhaps why 99% of the population is dead at this point) that it strains the suspension of disbelief.

Also, the Return of the Living Dead-esque lady in the grass - gross.

10:15 - I've suppressed just how similar to 28 Days Later this opening hospital sequence is. We have been told why he wakes up in the (non-functioning) hospital. Did we ever get that in 28 Days Later? Not sure. Having visions of Left 4 Dead and The Stand, also. Are there only a few horror archetypes that can exist in an epic (post) apocalyptic work? Is that the connection, or am I unnecessarily drawing on similar apocalyptic worlds?

Also, the chick in the hallway - gross.

10:13 - They're not shying away from the blood. Great.

10:09 - I like the way Darabont is shooting the show so far (though I'd be lying if I
said I knew if it had any distinct Darabontness to it. I don't know what Darabontness would entail.) They don't seem to have gone out of their way to make the show seem absolute in the awareness that it was a comic book in a previous life.

10:06 - The Southern accents aren't too terribly distracting, which is nice. I know, as a southerner, I shouldn't ever be personally offended by much, but southern accents are usually egregious enough to be prosecutable. All right, the dialogue sequence is over. Here goes...

10:03 - I still think Timothy Olyphant would be a great Rick Grimes, but I can see that Andrew Lincoln fits the bill as well. Also, the burgers in the post-title sequence look delicious.

10:00 - The show has just started. What I'm afraid I'm going to do - especially early on - is try to pick out the places where the show was filmed. This is sad for two major reasons, the major one being that I don't really know Atlanta well enough to be able to do that, so I'd be lying half the time if I did pretend to know.

Happy Halloween!

1 comment:

  1. I liked reading your thoughts on the show as I watched it. It felt like we were watching it together. Very cool!