I came into the whole Walking Dead thing a little late, jumping in about the beginning of the current season. I kept hearing about how The Walking Dead was an engaging, different kind of zombie show, but I have to admit I was skeptical after having seen my fair share of corny, gratuitously gory zombie movies and television shows. I had grown tired of the masses of the undead vacantly declaring their undying (pun intended) love for the grey matter that inhabits the skulls of the living.
But I gave The Walking Dead a try. From episode one of the first season I could tell the show was something different. Where other zombie stories rely on the monsters to inject much of the horror elements, the writers of The Walking Dead have rely on the human characters and their emotional responses to the changing landscape they find themselves in. Seeing how families, friends and individuals react to one another when they are relentlessly pursued by zombies in a place that is seemingly overwhelmed and lawless is fascinating.
The show constantly has me questioning what I would do if I woke up from a coma and found the world had been turned completely upside down. Having been in some desperate situations myself I know the answer is that I don't know, because you never know how you'll react until you are in the moment. I've seen big tough guys cower and cry like babies, normally calm people become blithering idiots and wallflowers rise up to action.
I won't lie: The Walking Dead can be pretty intense. Unlike some shows, there is an air of danger and tension in each episode (though some are more that way than others). One of the biggest things that makes such a feeling of tension possible: any character could genuinely die at any time. I don't want to spoil anything for people who haven't watched the show, but let me tell you death is a common thing in the post-apocalyptic world. In a way this element is refreshing, since knowing that certain characters won't die no matter how bad of situations they find themselves in kills much of the tension in other stories.
That being said, I do have favorite characters in the show (who are fortunately still alive). By far my most favorite is Daryl, the crossbow-wielding brother of perhaps the biggest jerk in the whole series. At first he didn't seem like a very complex character, but over time Daryl has proven to be quite complex and human in a way others are not. Personally, I think the whole group could learn a thing or two from Daryl about surviving in the cruel new world.
Sound off! Do you watch the show? Why or why not? Any favorite characters, moments or other opinions? I would love to hear them!