On October 23rd, the world gets to experience the return of one of the most highly rated and viewed shows in television history-AMC’s The Walking Dead. If you haven’t at least heard of this show by now, I would seriously question whether you have been around for the past six years. The Walking Dead has been a pop culture sensation since it premiered on Halloween night back in 2010, and it has managed to stay in the spotlight it created for itself ever since. It’s easy to say that its popularity strives from its already existing comic book following or that any apocalypse show can receive a large audience, but The Walking Dead isn’t quite that simple.
A basic synopsis of the show would explain how the show follows a sheriff’s deputy, Rick Grimes, from a small town in Georgia who is thrown into a coma after being shot on the job. When he awakes about a month later, he finds himself alone in a hospital with the world gone to shit, making his main mission to come to grips with his new reality and to reunite with his wife and son. That itself is a thrilling concept, but the show strays very far from the generic apocalypse survival story. Of course, the crew goes above and beyond with its revolutionary use of prosthetic and practical effects to bring this zombie-ridden world to life, but those aren’t only defining qualities of the show.
The Walking Dead definitely fits the bill of a horror show with gruesome and gut-wrenching events in basically every episode, so if you’re searching for some suspense and action, you’re in the right place. The show is consistent in delivering thrilling brawls. Whether it’s between our main characters and the living dead or our main characters and the straight up living, things get intense. We get fist fights, we get ambushes, heck, we even get rocket launchers every now and then (and yes, I am being serious about the rocket launcher). The amount of badasses on the show is enough to satisfy everyone’s need for some kickass combat.
However, if you’re just looking for an emotional or dramatic show, well…you’re actually still in the right place. When I say drama, I don’t mean the stereotypes like couples cheating on each other or people getting smacked across the face (although that does happen on occasion), I mean the stress and pain of characters trying to find out how the world they are in is going to change them. For better or worse. The show has a complex storyline and manages to keep you invested. It’s one of the details that has brought me back to my couch on Sunday night for the past six years. Along with the necessary action sequences for any apocalyptic series, the writers and cast manage to emphasize that the characters on screen were in fact people before their world was brought to an end. You see these regular people, from all kinds of social and cultural backgrounds, undergo changes of character and identity that have you sucked right in. Each character this show brings to the table has their own complex identity and personality, developing the story that makes you obligated to stay by their side through their stint on the show. The least suspecting characters such as everyone’s favorite badass, Daryl Dixon, will surprise you by being so much more than what we see on the surface; you just have to give them the time to show it. They bring you to tears, they make you laugh, they make you feel like you are part of the family. And that’s a dynamic that a lot of shows lack: the sense of community both on and off the screen. Despite not having many award-winning titles to back them up (even though that is a recognition they truly deserve), the investment that so many people have in this should be enough proof that there is a magic behind the show.
If any of that peaks your interest at all, I suggest doing your best to catch up before the Season 7 premiere late this October. You’ll definitely be in for a treat when you find yourself three seasons in before the week comes to an end. With the introduction of the series’ biggest villain on the horizon, I suggest you get started so you can experience the earth-shattering chain of events coming our way along with the rest of the world. But honestly, no article can truly do the show justice it deserves; there is no way to put into words the emotional rollercoaster that this show provides. There are aspects to it that I believe everyone can come to love and appreciate, whether it’s the characters, the horrifically realistic effects, the star-studded cast, or just a kickass storyline. You don’t have to just take my word for it, go see for yourself.
(P.S. I suggest to bring along plenty of comfort food and a box of tissues…or five.)