The year is ending so let’s talk about something I’m not completely familiar about – TV series. There were some notable TV-series that came out this year, many of which I never had the chance to see, but probably the most anticipated was HBO’s Games of Thrones (Ana’s favorite), then came Starzz’s surprise hit The Pillars of the Earth which I immensely enjoyed (even made a review about it, c’mon click it!), then there’s also the second and on-going third season of Glee, and Smallville finally got its closure after the tenth season (I’m still in the 7th season, really have to do some catching up!). But truly this year’s biggest winner is the ground breaking miniseries The Walking Dead from AMC based on the best-selling graphic novel of the same name created by Robert Kirkman.
Despite having limited time and resources (any laptop people?), I am still fortunate I was to see the first season of The Walking Dead thanks to the LinuxPuppy. But I’m not really a fan of zombies in our modern pop culture, especially zombie-related films (with the exception of 28 Weeks Later starring the formidable Jeremy Renner, and Zombieland with the lovely Emma Stone).
Even from the very first glimpse of opening trailer I knew I was going to love the series because I saw one very familiar name: Frank Darabont, the mastermind of the entire series, developer and executive producer. Frank who? Ah he’s just the guy who adapted and directed The Shawshank Redemption and truly one of the few filmmakers who have legal access to the bragging rights of having created one of the greatest movies of all time. It’s also my all time favorite, and IMDB’s No. 1. Real big-ass.
Ok enough of that, people let’s talk about the series.
The first episode was so damn good it sets the notion that viewers are in for a wild television experience, you can’t help but get hooked with it. Frank Darabont himself wrote and directed that pilot episode, and he simply nailed that one – hitting what almost every other zombie movies failed to deliver. Instead of giving intense chase scenes and bloodfest galore, Darabont went into silent mode taking as much character spacing, with almost no dialogue used to give a picturesque imagery of the devastation of a post-apocalypse world. It’s one of the best character introductions in years as we see our hero Sheriff Rick Grimes waking up from a comma only to find out the shocking truth of a zombie over-runned city he is in.
But the best episode in the series comes from the fourth episode many would consider as a pulse-pounding, clever and twisted chapter of the story. It is where the group of survivors led by Rick Grimes encountered a band of gangsta survivors causing them much trouble. I really think we were headed for one loud gun fight, survivors vs survivors, but only to make a sudden U-turn of events as we found about the bad guys’ real intentions. Really charming of them. Also in that episode is this unforgettable line coming off from a wisened old character narrating how he got his broken watch from his father:
“I gave it to you my son not that you may remember TIME, but that you may forget it for a moment now and then. And not trying to spend all your breath to conquer it.”
But still nothing can compare with what Grimes and Glenn (a Korean-American streetmart character) did in episode 2 “Guts” where they chopped off, well, the guts of a zombie so they’ll smell like zombies. Gross. Real bad-ass moment.
The season finale is a bit anti-climatic, sort of bitin, as if it was a goddamn teaser trailer of the entire mythology. Although, the way I studied Frank Darabont’s previous works, I believe there was an alternate finale, the one that will put a period to the daring mini-series in case it won’t click. But clicked it did, as the season finale garnered a staggering record of 4 million views.
Overall the entire series is filled with high tension dramas, pulse pounding chases, clever storyline and a whole lot of morality issues getting tackled. But it is also a breathtaking story about the beauty of being alive, that speaks of love for family and friends. And The Walking Dead is a concrete tale of continuation picking up where most zombies left off. Finally here’s a story about the undead creatures that felt so… alive!