Let me just begin by saying that I really hate zombies. As a girl with a way over-active imagination and a brain prone to god-awful, cold-sweat-producing nightmares, I've not allowed myself to watch horror movies for about six years.
That being said, I took it on good authority from numerous friends that Walking Dead was going to be GOOD. Even my own husband tried out the comic book and said, "It's good, I wanna try it." So, ok. I did try it. And, honestly, it was really good.
The whole "Zombies Getting To The Heart Of What It Means To Be Human" thing has been around a long, long time... like... as long as zombies. It's not anything remarkable or new and neither is the lone decent man, roaming the land in search of other survivors. Having to shoot someone you love in the head because their brain is all melty zombie mush isn't new. Wondering whether you should just end it all, right there in the basement/car/rooftop because the world isn't worth living in isn't anything that hasn't been one before.
So, what sets Walking Dead apart from Every Other Zombie Everything? Well, I'm not really sure. It's beautifully shot and even though it's disgusting and gory and sad, it's shot more like a regular police procedural. The washed out post apocalyptic grey/sepia scale effect that digitally colors every single post apocalypse movie isn't present here (except in the promo image above for some reason.) The colors are all alive and well and the regular old noises of nature (summer cicadas, rustling wind, bees, flys) are still fully present. Life goes on. Just... maybe not human life.
More than anything else, this show really looks like a Western. I mean, come on, our hero even dons his Sheriff's hat and rides into Hot-Zombie-Lanta on a freaking HORSE. (btw- I was totally ready to abandon ship if the horse turned out to be a zombie too... thankfully this wasn't the case) Walking Dead also feels like a Western, especially with the Sherrif's Deputy aspect going on.
So here's the report card:
Beautifully shot and directed.
Watch next episode? Yes. Though, this is contingent upon my ability to sleep tonight.