Walking with The Walking Dead … or blowing out their brains

So, I just finished watching The Walking Dead. And even though my original plan was to post episode to episode recaps, I kinda abandoned that because I went through the whole series in two days and frankly, it’s not like ten thousand things happen in every episode, I guess one post is enough for six of them.

Being a fan of all zombie nonsense (and let’s not fool ourselves, most of that zombie-shit is pretty nonsensical from the get-go) I got curious about the comic adaptation for the US channel AMC (who also brought Breaking Bad and Mad Men to this world) of The Walking Dead. I was travelling with light baggage, cause I haven’t read the comics, so canonical stuff and alla that were no issue for me.

If you haven’t seen season one of The Walking Dead yet, there are MAJOR SPOILERS below, so just be warned.

The Ups
The opening scene. Now I do not condone violence of any sort against anyone, let alone children. But for a cop to shoot a blond zombie girl, that is kind of good, in that it leaves me with the notion that we are not necessarily going to witness a family friendly zombie slaughter where the main victims are going to be those who are just not white or middle-class enough.

Jacqui. She’s thin as a needle and was working as an engineer or something. She is compassionate and yet tough. Lesbians of the world rejoice, that woman is a dream. Now, mind you, I am not happy at all that she moves out of the picture later on, because honestly, she was the one character that interested me the most.

via testspiel.de

Zombintelligence. Haha, word mash-up. The zombies learn to use tools and react to sound and smell. They seem to sorta remember things like using doorknobs and stuff. Are we witnessing the first evolutionary steps of zombidom? It is totally ridiculous but could make for fun storytelling along the way.
How good are the zombies anyways? Wandering around, sitting in burnt-out buses waiting for the prey? Let’s see how the whole brain-resurrection thing works out and if we see them starve from the lack of fresh meat.

The Latin thugs caring for the elderly. WTF? was my main and only thought throughout their initial appearance, but how endearingly cute that they take care of those left behind. Okayyyy, I know, it’s totally cheeseballs, but it is cute nevertheless, plus it is not blond women doing the job, but yeah, Latino thugs. And that makes it totally acceptable for me (not that I don’t think that blond women couldn’t take care of people in need. I just don’t want them to be the only ones doing it).

via screenrant.com

Rick and his kid. Umh, Rick? Well, he is the protagonist. I have my issues with him, but I’ve come to like him somewhat, let’s just leave it at that. But his kid Carl, he seems to be a fun boy, intelligent and all. Kewl. From spoileriffic discussions I gathered that he is going to play a bigger role later on, so let’s just wait and see.

And Downs
Ok, just how likely is it that among the few (like really few) survivors of this zombie-apocalypse it is exactly Rick’s family that belong to them – completely. Please please let it only be a device to make his wife or son a zombie later on and throw him into some ethical dilemma, but then again, boy, would that suck as a predictable storyline.

Speaking of which: Anyone else über-tired of the I-gotta-save-my-family-no-matter-what-storyline? Like: What? You wake up and realize that basically 99% of the world’s population have become zombies, yet you completely fail to connect your willingness for survival with a compassion for other survivors? Like, if wifey and son aren’t there anymore, who gives a shit? Ermh, let me just say, that when the people weren’t all zombies, you probably were a major moron. How come I think so? Oh, because you still are (and I kinda hoped that all the morons became zombies).

via tvguide.com

Didn’t we start the survivors group with a pretty diverse cast? The Latino family, a black woman and a black man (and actually another black woman that just vanishes), Glenn, the nerdy Asian guy, and umh, yeah, the rest. Well, by the end of season one we got rid of the Latino family, cause they conveniently want to go visit their relatives. And Jacqui decides she does not want to be in this world no more. Which is a tragedy all by itself, because she was one of the few characters that genuinely interested me. So yeah, we got rid of the misogynist husband and the supposed Nazi-Klan-guy (who’ll probably make a horrible comeback later on), but yeah, blink blink, the rest of the main cast is all kinda very white and often blond, leaving our beloved T-Dog (or is it T-Dawg) as the token black guy, and Glenn as our token Asian nerd. Stereotypes? Where? Meaning we got from semi-diverse to not-at-all-diverse in a matter of six episodes. By the end of season two we’re probably stuck with a completely blond and blue-eyed cast. Urgh.

The whole Shane and Lori thing. I get it, you thought your husband was dead and all the stress for everyone, so to horn it up and shag some is a great relief. But honeys, why not come clean right away? Your husband and best friend can handle it, you’re in the middle of a zombie infested world, y’all. I mean, sheesh, ok, you didn’t throw the jealousy bone in between our feet in episode three, but uh, are we gonna get there, and my guess is it is going to be non-pretty, as in predictable and lame lame lame.

Speaking of lame – and kind of retracing the diversity issue – there are casting choices that should not have been, and Lori is certainly one of them. Sorry, but her one facial expression besides looking motherly down on her son or basically everyone, cause we are supposed to like Mrs. Über-Mom, is wide-eyed-horror, and that look applies to either zombies, husbands, lovers, explosions or any other surprise you could think of from the top of your head. Now she might be an awesome actress, but acting she does certainly not much in this series. And how creative to have every surviving woman be thin and generically pretty, except for grandmas to touch our heart. The only woman with short-cropped hair is the one who is beaten up by her husband, the underlying message being: If you don’t have model-hair that’s long and shiny, there’s gotta be something wrong.

via trendengel.de

Ah, yes, the gender relations. So the women do the laundry all the time? Once again it’s up to Jacqui to question this division of labor, but besides this half-sentence there isn’t much actual protest. Are you kidding me? Or am I kidding myself? The likelihood of progressive feminists being the main survivors is kinda slim given the prominence of conservative thinking throughout the world. But really? I mean, it’s a series and not our very reality, so please spare me the shit. Cause it’s not going to be the models and policemen to be the main survivors either. Then again, models and policemen are very unlikely to be feminist and progressive anyways, so it all kinda makes sense again. Thank the Lords.

My overall impression is pretty good, though. I’ve enjoyed watching this first season and I hope that the second can build up on that without falling into the love-triangle-evil-scientist-trap (that it’s probably going to fall into anyways). Now that I’m hungry for more like a zombie for brains, I’m gonna have to wait an effin’ amount of months. That sucks, but hey, maybe it increases my workflow.

Some final thoughts I just need to share:
Loving the opening credits, they are really well done.
Couldn’t care less about Edward Jenner and his personal tragedy. For one he is not likeable, and this whole schtick with his wife being TS-19 was so on the radar from 800 miles away. Plus, what a stupid facility.
Looking forward to meeting father and son who saved Rick again. They convinced me in the emotional department.
The two blond sisters got on my nerve from minute one. On practically any level imaginable. I know I’m not supposed to, but I was kind of glad that we got at least rid of Amy.
Merle Dixon is so going to get all vengeance on their asses, plus it’s going to include some brother against brother nonsense. Already at this point I cannot wait for this storyline to be over, and it hasn’t even really started. Boy, is that going to suck. Inevitably.

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