Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gory Matters Here: The Walking Dead Returns

The Walking Dead Season 2
Last Fall a phenomenon hit the small screen and AMC brought to life a graphic about zombies, called The Walking Dead.  The Walking Dead followed a group of people who were attempting to escape zombie attacks and find sanctuary near and in Atlanta.  The genius behind the scenes was creator and executive producer Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile). Tonight the show kicked off the first part of second season with a 90 minute episode entitled "What Lies Ahead."

The first season of the show (only 6 episodes) ended with an explosion and the main cast on a caravan to find sanctuary.  The second season starts with our group on their drive, and they are stopped by a road block of cars.  While they get trapped by this road block a large group of "walkers" approaches the scene.  Everyone climbs under their car, but one of the young girls on the road with group Sofia is found and she is chased into the woods by the "walkers."  The episode centers around the hunt for this young girl and works to attempt to tie up the loose ends from last season.

The first episode was one of the best episodes the show has produced since the pilot.  The show was well paced and set a strong tone for the rest of season two.  The search for Sofia held a lot of emotional context. Rick Grimes (the leader of the pack) took to the rescue.  Meanwhile Dale pretended to fix a radiator so the caravan could continue, while the radiator was already fixed.  Dale's sentiments show the desperation of the cast.  Dale stated that he did not want this action to prevent survival of the many to have an impact the survival on an individual.  Dale's fear was that the group would want to move on from the search for young Sofia.  The Walking Dead is more than a show about zombies.  This show represents the ethical principles of human nature.

What does man and woman do when they are forced to deal with struggle in an extreme circumstances?  There are more television shows and movies that are using symbolic mechanisms to get their message across, and I think The Walking Dead does an amazing job of not only have truly suspenseful moments but it understands its characters and human nature.

This past summer the show fired creator and executive producer Frank Darabont.  Many of the cast, crew, and fans think that AMC has made a huge mistake.  Darabont has put his heart and soul into this show, and there is fear that without him this show will turn into a lifeless mindless, well zombie of a show.  I know that Darabont still had input into the first half of the season so I can understand why this episode was great, but I hope the show stays true to itself with their executive producer.  At the end of tonight's episode I screamed out "No!" and now I am ready for another five episodes this fall.  This is one of the most creative shows to grace television and I hope its strong start is a signal of more greatness to come.

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