[TV/Horror] The Walking Dead Season 1-6 feedback and thoughts.

I admit, I have been late, very late on catching on the Walking Dead frenzy. So late that it took me this summer to hang and binge watch 6 years worth of the Walking Dead seasons in less than 6 weeks. But thanks to AMC “The Walking Dead” marathons ran every Sundays this summer, I caught it. I still have to catch “TWD” Comic book series but dang, it was worth it. So much for me to catch and hang on a TV serie, the last one that I hanged on from beginnning to end was……Lost. I guess there are several elements of Lost narrative that are also present in the TWD.
I am not gonna spoil that much on TWD but there will be elements of the six seasons discussed. You are warned.
First, the walkers, the rotten, the crawlers….in other words the living dead. They are the closest of the orginal living dead from Georges A. Romero’s “Night of The Living Dead”. Flacid, slow, flesh-eating creatures that are only ghosts of their former past life. Those bitten by them are also becoming part of the living dead as well. They are devoid of any feelings, any memories and solely relying on their reptilian brain. Indeed, this has became the main method to kill them (by stabbing a knife straight throught the temporal lobe). Again, as in the “Night of the Dead”, we dont know the origin of the outbreak, although at the end of the season 1, as Dr. Edwin Jenner (I guess it is not a coincidence he shares similar name than Edward Jenner, the inventor of the vaccination process), one former scientist of the CDC implies it is a viral infection that is present in every person. Such virus is spreading fast and transform the outbreak into an unsustainable mass extinction, enough to overrun the National Guards.
The starting of Season 1 really felt a lot like “28 days later…” as Rick Grimes (portrayed by Andrew Lincoln) wakes up from a coma to only find a deserted place in chaos. As Rick wanders around, we discover the gravity of the situation and met Morgan, the first survivor we witness as Rick. Morgan also will become a redudant character through the six seasons as we see him loosing his mind to better come back to sanity after his encounter with Eastman. The wandering of Rick in Atlanta streets on a horseback ride was surrealistic, as he will meet Glenn and seal one of the pillar of TWD. Glenn, an Asian-American, strongly remembers me from Romero’s main hero that was an antipode of the classical white man savior. Glenn is certainly the voice of reason and patience of the group that certainly made him one of my favorite character.
It seems that each season will bring one essential pillar to the team.
Rick becomes by default the leader of the group by default, without asking for it. Same that Jack Shepard from “Lost” did by the middle of the first season. He helps the small group of survivors located into a building in Downtown Atlanta to escape, not without leaving Merle (Darryl’s brother) handcuffed on the rooftop without the key to unlock his cuffs. As we progress through, Rick found his wife Lorie now in bed with Shane, his workmate and best friend that once saved his life during the intervention that sent Rick into a comatose. Tensions flare progressively between Rick and Shane for his wife and Carl, his son. This season also learn us a very dramatic and redudant thematic of TWD: the double grievance of seeing one of your dearests dying before your eyes and also the killing of their reincarnation as a living dead. This is certainly what makes the serie so captivating as you get sentimentally attached to many of these characters, making their separation much harder (this is why I speculate it is Eugene that will eat Negan’s baseball bat at the beginning of Season 7, unless the writers are complete jerks ready to infuriate the hardcore fans).
As the seasons go, we end up in a central location that will make the central theme of the season. In Season 1, it is Atlanta and the camp outside it, in season 2 it is Hershel’s farm, in Season 3 and 4 it is the Prison and Woodbury, in Season 5 it is the Terminus and Gabriel’s Church and in Season 6 it is Alexandria.
We see solid characters building tough to the situation such as Carol and Carl, we see hard-boiled men keeping on their principles such as Abraham and Darryl, we see fearless characters becoming human such as Michonne. We see characters that went into Hell and back as Morgan, but we also see characters forging a toughness without sacrifying their humanity such as Glenn and Maggie couple.
All brings this idea that the group finally found a safe haven in which they will be resting and possibly thrive, to only see their hope fading away in flames and torn apart by the walkers. It is probably an allegory of life in which we only learn to savior the comfort of our lives only to be taken by a natural disaster. This is one thing that this serie made me appreciate is to cherish any time of the day because it may vanish within a glimpse of a moment.
One of the remarkable aspect I have to admit is the impressive job done by the decoration and photography, that has made the post-apocalyptic environment so realistic you would expect. It we had some outbreak tomorrow that would shut down the society as we know it, we would be something similar to this.
A thematic that is also present is this idea of tribalism and clanism. We consider it in our modern society as an obsolete and archaic concept of primitive society. Yet, it becomes the essential aspect of survival. Look at Hershel’s family, the Governor’s town, the Terminaliens, the communities of Alexandria and Hilltop and finally Negan’s Saviors and the forecoming Ezekiel’s kingdom. Some are into insane cultism (as the Terminus reverted to cannibalism as their method of survival), herd survivalism (the cops holding in Atlanta’s Gray Memorial Hospital) to the closest form of democracy (Alexandria is appeared the closest of a semblant of democracy).
There are sometimes we feel the writers lost in their writings leading to a lot of empty periods broke only by intense final seasons and new seasons. In particularly I really felt a major chunk of Season 4 and a good half of Season 5. It reminds a lot what we experienced with the hatch and the early Dharma experiment.
Well, now I am back on track I cannot wait on TWD premiere in October and also giving a try to “Fear The Walking Dead” that leaves the Peach state for the arid region of Tijuana and the American-Mexican border.


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