The Walking Dead

5 out of 5

Director: Ernest Dickerson, Frank Darabont, some other people you may or may not care about

Well now. So many TV shows are produced like movies nowadays that it’s not surprising to sigh high quality sets, or costumes, or effects. But instead of just getting Hollywood to act as an executive producer or perhaps to direct a pilot and then check out, The Walking Dead’s first season – perhaps thanks to it’s short span of 6 episodes – maintained a feeling of quality and consistency and, though written and directed by different people episode to episode, maintained Frank Darabont’s dedication to visual and story to an impressive degree, no doubt thanks to his firm involvement with each episode. The Walking Dead – as pitched in Robert Kirkman’s comic – is an attempt to elevate the regular zombie story by focusing on what it means to live in such a world as opposed to just focusing on ‘OMG ZOMBIES R SCARRY’ . While personally I feel the comic is a bit clumsy, it’s written very visually, and this combines with Darabont’s good use of melodrama to make for some truly stunning and surprising television. There’s really no story summary necessary. Cue apocalypse, cue interesting characters, cue a reason to watch each moment – not just beats leading to a cliffhanger. Everyone is acted wonderfully, and written wonderfully, flaws and all, and good lord are the effects something to write home about. It is astounding and awesome that AMC allowed the crew to get away with so much gore, but it’s even better that the team put so much into it. So this is good TV. This review being written before season 2 airs, I’m a bit wary of expanding the season beyond 6 episodes (the compression worked well for pacing, I think, allowing just enough room for subplots but not enough room to add stuffing) and especially worried about Darabont’s departure… But. Season 1 will still stand as out as amazing.

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