Author Topic: AMC's The Walking Dead  (Read 32265 times)

DKT

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on: November 02, 2010, 03:53:26 PM
I got a chance to watch the premiere last night and roped some of my friends who weren't familiar with the comic book into watching. In short: Everyone loved it.

It's an adaptation of Kirkman's comic and does pretty much everything right (at least in the first episode). It might've changed a few things, but it absolutely nails the looming sense of dread and loneliness, the humanity of the characters, and all the pain and loss that ensues. Oh, and it's scary. And I dig that there was a scene in a darkened stairwell with a character lighting match after match punctuated by intervals of darkness. I kept waiting for something to be there when he lit the next match. There never was, but that doesn't mean Frank Darabont didn't do a great job terrifying me with the possibility of something being there, and then terrifying me with something slower and more horrifying.

The zombies are monstrous and pathetic all at the same time, and like in the comic, the way that the characters deal with them and each other really makes this story feel human and incredible.

So, yeah. Absolutely great in my book. Gotta go read TPB #4 of the comic now and start catching up :)


Sgarre1

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Reply #1 on: November 02, 2010, 04:51:27 PM
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The zombies are monstrous and pathetic all at the same time, and like in the comic, the way that the characters deal with them and each other really makes this story feel human and incredible.

Thank goodness SOMEBODY in the zombie revival realized this essential part of Romero's approach - the zombies are both frightening and sad.  Seems to be an essential element missed by most.



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Reply #2 on: November 03, 2010, 10:17:47 AM
I am honestly GIDDY about this.  I adored the first year of the comic, missed the rest of it when I got laid off and it's never quite made it back to the list of my 'Chase these down and read them pile'.  Planning on changing that:)



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Reply #3 on: November 03, 2010, 11:43:01 PM
I never read the comics, so I have no point of reference for contiunity.  I really like the show so far.  Did anyone enter the contest for a shamble on role?

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Alasdair5000

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Reply #4 on: November 05, 2010, 11:09:06 PM
I got a chance to watch the premiere last night and roped some of my friends who weren't familiar with the comic book into watching. In short: Everyone loved it.

It's an adaptation of Kirkman's comic and does pretty much everything right (at least in the first episode). It might've changed a few things, but it absolutely nails the looming sense of dread and loneliness, the humanity of the characters, and all the pain and loss that ensues. Oh, and it's scary. And I dig that there was a scene in a darkened stairwell with a character lighting match after match punctuated by intervals of darkness. I kept waiting for something to be there when he lit the next match. There never was, but that doesn't mean Frank Darabont didn't do a great job terrifying me with the possibility of something being there, and then terrifying me with something slower and more horrifying.

The zombies are monstrous and pathetic all at the same time, and like in the comic, the way that the characters deal with them and each other really makes this story feel human and incredible.

So, yeah. Absolutely great in my book. Gotta go read TPB #4 of the comic now and start catching up :)

The scene with Rick talking to the horse honestly broke my heart.  That was so genuine and human and sweet and you know what's coming but...GOD.  If the rest of the show is a TENTH as good, this is going to be phenomenal.



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Reply #5 on: November 08, 2010, 06:25:55 AM
Nice to see Southerners portrayed in a fashion other than racist stereotypes or inbred hillbillies. Also nice presentation of them as Everymen and not fixating on the location.

For several years I worked a couple blocks from where they shot the scene with the tank. I just want to say that although our mass transit system is pretty terrible, our buses are a bit more modern than depicted.

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deflective

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Reply #6 on: November 08, 2010, 07:31:31 AM
atlanta was a refugee center, everything on wheels would have been moving people into the city at one point.



Fenrix

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Reply #7 on: November 08, 2010, 03:24:34 PM
atlanta was a refugee center, everything on wheels would have been moving people into the city at one point.

Fair enough, although the shot was a couple blocks from the central transit hub. And maybe a half-dozen more from the Greyhound station. It didn't lose significant verisimilitude for me with the old bus, and what that lost it gained with my familiarity with the area.

If we really want to get a good justification, it probably has to do more with the price of a trashed old bus for a scene on TV versus the price of a trashed new bus.

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Reply #8 on: November 08, 2010, 05:28:15 PM
Jesus, did anyone see last night?!  The zombie smearing scene?  I'm loving this show!



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Reply #9 on: November 08, 2010, 09:13:38 PM
Jesus, did anyone see last night?!  The zombie smearing scene?  I'm loving this show!
That was incredibly gruesome! The foley artists had WAY too much fun with that scene :D. Thoroughly enjoying the show. I haven't read the comic books, but i knew of their existence before this series was made. I may have to pick up the TPBs now. Anyone know if the other seasons will be more than 6 episodes? I really hope they can get at least one more season out of this series.



DKT

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Reply #10 on: November 08, 2010, 09:22:31 PM
Jesus, did anyone see last night?!  The zombie smearing scene?  I'm loving this show!

I haven't watched yet, but I remember that scene from the comics. It was awesome there, too :)

Anyone know if the other seasons will be more than 6 episodes? I really hope they can get at least one more season out of this series.

There's at least one more season greenlit, I think. And I'm pretty sure I read somewhere there'd be more episodes in season 2 (can't remember if that's 8 or 10 or 12...but there would be more than 6).

And I don't think it's going anywhere anytime soon. It was AMC's biggest premiere ever (might have been their biggest watched episode of anything ever), so it's here for at least another season. Yay!


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Reply #11 on: November 09, 2010, 05:08:57 AM
I'm a sad panda.
Hulu has the first episode up, which I saw and enjoyed, but they won't be having the other ones on.  I don't get cable in my apartment, so I'll have to hunt for it in sub-quality. (or torrent it! :O)

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


DKT

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Reply #12 on: November 09, 2010, 05:53:59 AM
I watched it. Was awesome.

Thus far, the deviations from the comic have been interesting but played very well. I'm curious to see how close they stay to the comic...

Also, I gotta say so far Lori (Rick's wife) has a very thankless role. The scripts have not been kind to her. Hopefully that'll change in future episodes.


deflective

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Reply #13 on: November 09, 2010, 05:18:42 PM
i'm trying to figure out which character Merle Dixon (dude handcuffed on the roof) is going to parallel from the comic.  there are a couple options, might even be an entirely new character.

it doesn't seem likely that the series will be as hard and unflinching as the comic, no tv series ever has been.



DKT

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Reply #14 on: November 09, 2010, 05:23:50 PM
I'm guessing he'll be a new character.

It's been a while since I read the TPBs, but I think the whole smearing guts on yourselves was different in the comics. (IIRC, Rick and Glenn smeared it on themselves to go back into Atlanta?) But I think it might've been more awesome the way they did it in this episode.


deflective

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Reply #15 on: November 10, 2010, 02:06:04 AM
i don't remember how they used it in the comic, but i do know we've had a large departure from the comic's story.

one way that this series interests me is how it parallels the japanese manga/anime relationship.  this may actually be the first time that north american media had this kind of simultaneous episodic release of the same story in comic & screen.  anime usually stays extremely faithful to the manga, obviously we wont have that here.

and, as always, nobody's quite the same as they were in my head.  the actor they got to play Carl has his work cut out for him.  kids are challenging to work with in scripts far more forgiving than this.



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Reply #16 on: November 11, 2010, 03:20:23 PM
Also, I gotta say so far Lori (Rick's wife) has a very thankless role. The scripts have not been kind to her. Hopefully that'll change in future episodes.

I haven't read the comics, so, yeah, my wife and i are wondering if she and the partner had something going on BEFORE the outbreak (i don't know if that would be considered spoilery or not, so i just went the safe route). By the way, will we find out how long a span of time passed between the time Rick got shot and the time he woke up? That'd be one of the burning questions in my mind: "How the hell long was i out for, anyway??"



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Reply #17 on: November 20, 2010, 11:26:26 AM
I am caught up.  Yay for DVR, so much better than VCR.  I have a few issues that take me out of the story.  There is no way the highways would look like that.  It was too orderly and both halves of the road would have been packed.  Also, he used a hack saw on his hand.  The hand looked like it was chopped off.  I grok that using a saw on yourself is harder than chopping, but the image ruined it for me.  The scene with the wife beater?  OMFG.  Fantastic scene.  At first there is the, "Yeah, give it to him" feeling.  Then it keeps going and crosses the line.  Interesting group dynamics..

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Reply #18 on: November 25, 2010, 01:09:23 AM
I am caught up.  Yay for DVR, so much better than VCR.  I have a few issues that take me out of the story.  

That was some groan-worthy fake-ass fly fishing at the start of this week's show too.  You'd think they'd have someone on staff to research stuff like this a little.  That was about as bad as making the characters 'play tennis' with golf clubs.

"Didn't dad ever show you how to use a pitching wedge?"
"No, he didn't-- now shutup and serve.  Matchpoint."


On a different note, I was wondering when a latino character would finally show up and round things off racially.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2010, 01:25:06 AM by goatkeeper »



wakela

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Reply #19 on: November 26, 2010, 12:51:43 AM
I haven't read all of this thread because I just finished episode 2 via iTunes and am avoiding spoilers, so sorry if this repeats what others have said.

-This is what we have been waiting for, isn't it?  I mean let's face it, do we really want Romero to make more zombie movies?  The zombie horror movies always have characters doing stupid things either because they don't know the deal with the zeds (Ricky was bitten and seems to have come down with some sort of infection. I'll stay with him until he gets better) or the story depending on them being idiots (you search the butcher shop, I'll check out the chainsaw and katana emporium.  No you better not turn on any lights.  Here use this flickery flashlight).  Watching WD is like watching people play a role playing game.  They're doing the kinds if things we would like to think we would do to survive the zompocalypse.

There was a scene where they try to escape the building by going into the sewer.  They talk about it, they set it up, they talk about who's going down, they go down, the sewer is blocked, they come back up, and it has nothing to do with the rest of the plot.   Technically, this may be Bad Storytelling, but it seemed realistic and I liked it.

-It doesn't feel like horror.  It's hard not to call it horror what with the decaying corpses getting their heads bashed in, but it's more like a survival story like the Poseidon Adventure.  The characters are desperate and using interesting solutions to solve their problems.  They are also not a team, just random individuals forced to work together.

-I've said that we like zombies because they are the only group of people that you can't really empathize with.  You can't portray ethnic groups as bad guys anymore, and if you do, you have to have a token member of said group on the good guy team.   Terrorist plots on 24 are usually carried out by multi-ethnic organizations; compare Aliens with Avatar.  (Nazis are the exception.  No movie asks me to understand the Nazi's point of view).  WD comes as close as you can come to doing this with zombies.  There were scenes on both the first and second episode where they point out that the zeds were once people like us, and they remind us that this is a tragic disease.  But that's as far as they go; it's probably as far as you can go.  Both scenes are followed by the tragic zombie getting shot in the head or chopped up with an axe. 

-Not sure why this is, but no one ever says the word "zombie" in a zombie movie (except Zombieland).   I know that it would get tiresome if they ONLY said zombie, but have they said it once?  Did anyone use the z-word in Night of the Living Dead?  It just seems that if you have cities overrun with millions of dead people walking around and craving the flesh of the living, the word "zombie" might come up in casual conversation. 

Overall, I'm very happy to live in a world where this show exists. 

And yes, speaking as a former resident of New Orleans, both sides of the highway would have been opened and packed with cars leaving the city.  Visually-speaking, however, that may not have made as much of an immediate, visceral impact. 



Sgarre1

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Reply #20 on: November 26, 2010, 02:29:50 AM
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Not sure why this is, but no one ever says the word "zombie" in a zombie movie (except Zombieland).   I know that it would get tiresome if they ONLY said zombie, but have they said it once?  Did anyone use the z-word in Night of the Living Dead?  It just seems that if you have cities overrun with millions of dead people walking around and craving the flesh of the living, the word "zombie" might come up in casual conversation.  

In NOTL they were "ghouls", which is a flipped inversion.  As for why no one ever says it, well, up until the Romero model became the standard model (and that probably couldn't be said to be in "general" popular culture until quite a while after DAWN OF THE DEAD (original), despite the popularity of NOTL and all the resultant knock-offs), "zombie" probably wouldn't occur to the common man as these weren't mindless slaves toiling in the Carribean.  Post-Romero until the Triumph of Geek Culture (tm), you have the problem of acknowledging popular culture in a way that doesn't immediately undermine the validity of the threat (see also "vampires"). THE NIGHT STALKER TV movie and the related series were probably the best example of the popular-culture struggle in a narrative of presenting the ideas of monsters that the general public were familiar with but considered generally "kids stuff".

As for whether or not this is what we've been waiting for, well, the jury's still out for me.  I wanted a Romero zombie style TV series back in the early 90s and now it all feels - well, the jury's still out, but I've changed a lot since then.  Too much focus on survival and the central nihilism of the Romero concept get undermined and it becomes just another variation on 1980's ROAD WARRIOR bullshit-culture ("the nuclear war we may have to start to kill Communism, when it comes, will be survivable but only by hardened survivor types that know you have to enforce Democracy with wanton violence"), another "possible threat" of the movies/pop-culture neutered by serial narrative (see also the pallative purpose of THE X-FILES in the 90s - "it's okay of the Government does something behind our backs because everybody believes in conspiracies and all conspiracies are equally crazy and thus equally valid/equally dismissable".  I expect the defusing "environmental threat" pop-culture narrative to be popping up any year now.  The "constant surveillance is okay because it helps reduce crime and terrorism" pop-cult narrative seems already in place in the UK with things like TORCHWOOD).  On the other hand, embracing the inherent nihilism of the Romero model quickly leads to a darkly unwatchable show (I wryly joked with my friend, after watching the first episode of THE WALKING DEAD, that each show should follow a new character until the episode's end when they make some fatal mistake and get eaten.  Every week, new variation of the theme!).  Too much soap opera (which seems to be the hidden secret weapon of the "new television", lifted from comic books in general) and I'd turn it off either way.  Maybe it's just that I don't really trust the serial format anymore, regardless.  But then I'm bitter.

As for empathizing, I have a somewhat different view than your "political correctness" idea.  I loved Romero's films (and dislike most modern zombie films) because Romero went out of his way to give the audience moments of empathy with the zombies (Barbara's brother and the little girl in NOTL, The Nurse stuck in the door in DAWN, Bub in DAY), humanizing them (sometimes by making them laughable).   "They're us" not just because of the propensity for violence, but because we'll all end up like that someday.  Specifically, the scenes of non-aggresive zombies in DAWN OF THE DEAD (original, of course) underline this point - the dead are to be pitied, not hated (so obviously, I disagree that "that's as far as you can go").  The Modern take makes them the "killable enemy" (amongst other things by, yes, making them fast-moving, roaring monsters - something the WALKING DEAD hasn't really done much of yet, thank goodness), extending another subtle point of Romero's films (that in the end, the audience is getting off on watching people die, really - just "people" redefined so that you don't have to care about them) into uncomfortable (for the thinking) but more pallatible ("it's fun!") territory and missing the point.  Or perhaps not - and here I can link to a wonderful article Scattercat found, at http://people.williams.edu/cthorne/articles/the-running-of-the-dead-part-1/.

The Hobbesian Conservatism of the new zombie film, as posited by the article, is wonderfully served by making the zombies "the masses" and leaving out the empathizing.  It gives us all the illicit thrill Romero was playing with, with none of the troubling social commentary (like most modern pop-culture)! As to what that may be training us for, well, my current take on the New Zombie is that they represent the pop-cult audiences' subconscious hatred of the actual reality of Democracy in the modern age (and how it conflicts with the goals of Capitalism), in which everyone, including the stupid and violent and slow and angry and hungry and poor, have to come along and get annoying things like "human rights" as well - wouldn't it be good if we could just feel better about shooting them until "the problems" are solved and "feel bad" about it later - a kinder, gentler, ROAD-WARRIOR-esque "final solution" for rough-tough survivalists?  But then, I'm the kind of cynic (on my bad days) that hopes I'm not alive for the private security forces gunning people down in the streets during food riots while FOX NEWS shills tell us how it's okay because they're breaking the law and thus "deserve it" (and the pussy Neo-Libs do nothing, as always, for fear of their treasured "honored opposition" status).  Yeah, I'm "that" kind of crazy...

But I really do hope THE WALKING DEAD turns out to have a lot up its sleeve.  We'll know eventually.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2010, 02:54:09 AM by Sgarre1 »



goatkeeper

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Reply #21 on: November 29, 2010, 10:31:51 PM

The Hobbesian Conservatism of the new zombie film

wow.  he really went there.
 :)



deflective

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Reply #22 on: December 01, 2010, 03:25:58 AM
the writing staff has been let go.  they plan to rely on freelancers for the second season.

i'm ok with this, after the pilot episode my opinion of the show has been steadily dropping.



DKT

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Reply #23 on: December 01, 2010, 06:01:33 AM
Yeah, but...I'm not sure you can blame the staff writers for what you see as a decline in quality when the showrunner (Darabont) is the one who let go the staff.

Really, this is very odd. Not sure how I feel about it. One of the things I think that is really unique about writing for television is that you're on a team. I wonder why Darabont decided he didn't need a supporting staff and wants to go just with freelancers. I mean, as the showrunner, Darabont is in creative control. But this article makes it seem like he wants more creative control. Weird...


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Reply #24 on: December 01, 2010, 01:13:39 PM
I have no problem with characters makimg mistakes.  I just want the zombies to have a set of rules and follow them.  The assault on the camp was too well timed.  My wife and I are enjoying this show.  I do not want to give the appearance that I only have complaints.  I feel that most people reading this thread have an appreciation for the quality of the show.

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