The Walking Dead: Season One Review
Original Review over at HorrorAddicts.net
There are zombie movies and TV shows, and then there is The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead tells the story of Rick, his wife Lori, their son Carl, and a band of survivors who are trapped in a world gone to shit, and they will do anything to survive.
The series kicks off with Rick and Shane. Both of them are cops, and damn good ones at that. Although from the get-go, it is obvious that Shane is not as peachy clean as he makes out 🙂 (more of that later).
Early on into the piece, a high speed chase takes place down the Interstate. Rick and Shane barrel off in the cruiser and help set up the blockade to catch the crims. As luck would have it (or fate), Rick gets shot during the gun-fight and ends up in hospital in a coma.
Fate has a way to deal a harsh blow. And in this series, no one is innocent as a virus is released, killing all but a handful of people. But it doesn’t stop there. The virus not only takes the lives of millions, but brings them back from the dead, and the dead are hungry for one thing – blood!
Rick – Rick awakens from his coma, sometime after the epidemic has done its damage, and he stumbles out of the hospital to see what is left of humanity… The dead are everywhere, littering the sidewalks and streets like common trash. As he struggles to find his family in a world gone to hell, he must come to terms with the Dead been risen from the grave, and make choices he wouldn’t otherwise consider.
Rick has a chance meeting with Morgan. A street-wise survivor who will do anything to keep him and his son safe from the Walkers. He forms a fast friendship with Rick, and they agree to keep each other’s backs, even if it is by CB Radio.
In his journey to find his family, he has an unlikely meeting with one character who will become a regular on the show – Glenn. Glenn’s knowledge of the streets of Atlanta turns out to be a valuable asset, and it inevitably saves Rick from what would otherwise be his very short-lived appearance. Glenn navigates Rick to safety and after some run-ins with a horde of Walkers, (and of course hot-head Merle), Glenn takes Rick back to base camp.
When he does find his beloved family in the middle of the bush (but close enough to Atlanta), the reunion is not euphoric. Lori – thinking that Rick had died – had been sleeping with Shane (for some time apparently), and Shane thinks he is the one destined to keep Lori and Carl safe.
If the group is to survive, they will need to band together, set aside their old-world prejudices and do whatever they can to survive one day after another. For tomorrow, the Dead may just have their fill.
Along for the ride in Season One are:
Merle – Merle is the original hot-headed, trouble making SOB. A former criminal, he is extremely racist, spiteful and very cynical about everybody and everything which causes nothing but trouble between him and anyone else that he comes into close contact with.
Daryl – Daryl is the younger brother of Merle. Unlike his hot-headed brother, Daryl does have some redeeming qualities, even if he acts like a hillbilly and eats road-kill. Daryl is a survivalist, and a skilled tracker and hunter. He is also an expert with his favorite weapon of choice, a crossbow.
Dale – Dale is the ever present voice of reason in this post-apocalyptic world, even when it is not asked for. His biggest flaw is his compassion for humanity and his over-protectiveness for Andrea. Dale serves as the father-figure of the group, even if his thoughts and morals are not exactly shared by anyone else, especially Shane.
Shane – There is a lot that can be said about Shane. Unfortunately, not any of it is good 🙂 Shane is a man of action, which for him, is not always a good move. (Shoot first ask questions later). He was a Sheriff before the outbreak happened, and a good friend to Rick. Since the outbreak, he convinced Lori that Rick was dead and set-up home (in a tent) with his new family. Shane is aggressive, single minded, narrow minded and quick to pass judgment on anyone who doesn’t agree with his opinion.
Carol – Carol the meek… Carol the silent… Carol the schemer. 🙂 There is something that can be said about the quiet ones.. They are often the most dangerous.. But, I am not going to spoil anything for you here. Let’s just say that in Season One, we meet Carol, who is frequently abused by her idiot husband, Ed. Carol’s world revolves around Ed and their daughter, Sophia. What Carol lacks in confidence and self-esteem, she certainly makes up for with her empathy. As mild as she is in Season One, just wait til you see her in later seasons.
Andrea – In her former life, she was a civil rights lawyer. It is no wonder that she doesn’t take BS from anyone, not even her father figure, Dale. Andrea is more comfortable with a gun than being in the kitchen “playing house”. Andrea is opinionated, head-strong and although a rank amateur with a gun, she soon becomes a great sharp-shooter, thanks to Shane’s teaching.
Lori – Wife to Rick and mother to Carl. In this Walker-infested world, she is determined to shield Carl from the harsh realities that surround them constantly. Self-critical and always trying to find a solution to her family issues.
Carl – Son of Rick and Lori. When we first meet Carl, he is a young boy, and already eager to be an adult. The Walkers he finds more curious than a menace, and his curiosity does land him into trouble on more than one occasion.
Glenn – As I said before, Glenn is street-smart and for the most part, quiet. He is the one most favored to gather supplies for the group. Even if his actions do land him in trouble of his own at times.
Season One lasted for six episodes, and ended with Rick and his group of survivors gaining access to the C.D.C., only to find out that the building is on a countdown to self-destruct.
Unlike other Zombie shows, The Walking Dead certainly has raised the bar on survival horror themed entertainment. The characters, they grow on you…Even the ones who are annoying and deserve to be killed off.
There are other shows that have tried to cash in on the phenomenon that is TWD, but not one of them comes close to this one.
In my next TWD review, I will focus on Season Two, Life On The Farm
Z Nation (TV Series). 2014 –
Stars: Nat Zang, Russell Hodgkinson, Michael Welch, Kellita Smith, DJ Qualls, Keith Allan, Pisay Pao
IMDB Rating: 4.9
Tagline: It’s A Man Eat Man World
Plot: Three years after the zombie virus has gutted the country, a team of everyday heroes must transport the only known survivor of the plague from New York to California, where the last functioning viral lab waits for his blood.
Review: Z Nation. In a post apocalyptic world, a group of survivors must get to California with the only hope humanity has….
If this sounds familiar, it is. For those who are followers of AMC’s The Walking Dead, you will know the plot here. One person holds the key to reverse the effects of a zombie virus and in turn, save what is left of the human race.
Z Nation may seem to be on TWD bandwagon, but I will give credit to say that this show was quite well done with the budget that is obviously nowhere near to the budget for TWD, and some reviewers may slam this show for being similar to TWD, but seriously, how many TV shows and films of zombies has there been with fast-moving flesh-eaters? TWD was not the first, and it will not be the last.
The show opens 3 years after a global infection which has turned humans into flesh-eaters. At the NSA Emergency Command Center, personnel are evacuating to a “secure location” with the exception of Simon/Citizen Z (DJ Qualls), who has to stay behind til the last minute to ensure Delta team escorts a doctor (and any other survivors) to the CDC Mass Infection Lab.
That is when the shit hits the fan for Simon. He gets outside the hangar to watch the evac plane take off (bastards couldn’t wait 5 minutes!) and then crash, killing everyone on-board. Stranded, and alone at the NSA center, Citizen Z spends his time trying to make contact with anyone who is happening to be listening, and having loving chats with his VR girlfriend.
Add to that the never ending supply of zombies, and survivors who love to blow stuff up, we have a winner! 🙂 (Now just add some heros with lightsabers and we have a top ranker!)
Z Nation certainly does entertain, and it will be interesting to see how many seasons it runs for. Character development does need work, I will say, but with DJ Qualls in the line-up, I wouldn’t be surprised if this show amassed quite a following like Resident Evil, Shaun Of The Dead, Zombieland or TWD.
Although I am not big on the whole “zombie genre”, I will say that this is one show I do recommend. If you watch it, watch with an open mind and try not to compare to TWD.
Verdict: Lets Blow Shit Up!
My Rating: 7 out of 10 (for now)
In the Flesh – TV Series. 2013 –
Plot: Four years after the Rising, the government starts to rehabilitate the Undead back into the society including teenager Kieren Walker, who returns home to his small Lancashire village to face a hostile reception as well as his own demons.
Starring: Luke Newberry; Harriet Cains.
Review: Always one for a good zombie show, I took to this like a duck to water. In The Flesh begins by asking, “What if the undead could be cured?” Set after the outbreak of the dead rising from the graves, the government has invented a vaccine that is injected directly into the back of the neck to stop the rotters from turning back into the biters they once were.
The show focuses on Kieren, a recovering zombie who is placed back with his family and he has to deal with his condition as well as the prejudice that comes from the community around him. To catch the allegories of the different social issues and unacceptance that we are bombarded with in today’s society (Sexual orientation, Mental illnesses), you may need to watch this series twice. The show is well-written with a cast of talented actors in this delightful BBC drama. My only gripe is that the series ran for 3 episodes, but I can only hope that there will be more of this show to come.
Very different from AMC’s The Walking Dead, this is a good drama that will be sure to keep lovers of all things “Zombie” entertained. 🙂