On the plus side, in a sea of boring, routine cop and lawyer dramas littering the new season of television, a gory action drama about battling zombies is welcome entertainment no matter how derivative it is. The Walking Dead boasts awesomely gruesome and impressive makeup and effects and an extremely uncompromising devotion to making things as grim and violent as they want (another example that AMC answers to no one in their original series).
If you ever wondered exactly what shooting a zombie in the head would look like from every angle in slow motion, your days of wondering are over. You’ll get the chance to study the event over and over, starting with a young girl missing her lower jaw.
On the negative side, the pilot really didn’t add anything new to the worn out genre and called to mind other recent, more inventive zombie flicks like Dawn of the Dead and particularly the excellent 28 Days Later (only with an FX caliber hunk Andrew Lincoln rather than the handsome waif Cillian Murphy waking up in a hospital to utter destruction). Is there a strong central character with special skills that will help him survive? Of course. Are some of the only other survivors his wife and son? Yep. Does he find stoic fathers and kids wise beyond their years along the way? Sure thing.
Hopefully, with an entire season to expand on the story, which is based on the comic book series of the same name, the show can spread out and find new ways to tell a living dead story beyond the themes and characters we’ve learned to expect. And even if it follows predictable plot lines, I’ll still tune in – because it’s sure to be more fun than most shows out there.