Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Top 10 TV Shows of 2010: #4 The Walking Dead

© TWD Productions/Courtesy AMC
The Walking Dead seems to be just the right amount of everything. That may include some over the top grotesque moments that may turn some people off of the show, but to me that is the right amount. I'll admit I don't read the comic book series by Robert Kirkman. I'm sure I would enjoy it, but I just have never gotten into comic books or graphic novels. Although I do always enjoy it when they are adapted for the screen so I found myself getting really excited when this show was announced. The amazing work AMC did promoting the show combined with the excellent teaser promos (see below) that were put together helped make this show the big hit it quickly became. How big of a hit? It was the most watched Drama Series among Adults 18-49 in Basic Cable history. That is the important data that advertisers look at, and what networks primarily use to help decide what shows stay on the air or get cancelled. Pretty impressive.

A zombie movie can be destroyed very quickly by its makeup effects. It can also be carried very strongly because of the care put into it. This show hits that extra level of realism with how these zombies look, react, and move around. By putting a backstory at times with some of these dead "walkers" you start to reach more into the main character's developments. It is done in such a way that at times you really start to view this show as how it would really be, how people would have to live, and how you would most likely deal with the situations at hand.

What separates this show from zombie movies is how many issues are dusted throughout the episodes. Human issues, like the morality on when to kill someone who has become infected. Emotional issues, like the main character Rick Grimes' (did you know he's British?) search for his family. And relationship issues, specifically the unknown love triangle between best friends and the jealous that comes with it. It was amazing how at times throughout the first season I almost saw the human drama to be a bigger issue for certain characters than "walkers" eating them alive while they sleep. These kinds of issues combined with a few unfinished storylines from the first six episodes (what happened to Merle?) that gets me excited for next season. Luckily this upcoming season will be the full thirteen episodes, which depending on when the premiere is could have us watching heads explode on Christmas (it falls on a Sunday!).

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