The Walking Dead: Premiere Episode 1 Recap

By: JD Sunday, October 31st, 2010 10:29 pm GMT -5 1,143 views 7 Comments

Happy Halloween everyone! The Great Pumpkin has arrived at our sincere pumpkin patch and brought us a prime time, AMC, ultra-violent zombie series. What?

It’s an interesting show. I liked it, but as with many pilots, it’s hard to say for sure. It didn’t give me anything I haven’t gotten from zombie movies, which was disappointing. The performances were a little meh, but the way it was shot and the effects were fantastic.

Specifically, the gun shots and the zombies themselves. The decay was well done, and their movement was very creepy. The fact they managed to keep enough character in some of their faces was impressive, some of the zombies in the end around the tank actually seemed to emote, if that’s possible. I’m not a fan of violence but the gun shots here were satisfyingly loud and explosive. Every time a zombie took one in the head it felt resonate and real. The blood, the sound, the reaction, the lack of cutting away or panning. It was graphic, but in a very satisfying way. Also, that poor horse.

The characters I’m not sold on yet. Maybe it was my hang-ups with having seen a few of the main actors in other things but I didn’t really identify with the two cops at all. The main guy I saw last pining silently for Keira Knightley in Love Actually and his light-switch-loving partner was on both The Class and an episode of How I Met Your Mother as a total surfer dude, bro. It might take a little time for me to warm up to them. The father and son I liked more, but found their struggle with a zombie mom a bit contrived. I also thought it was coincidental that the boy’s mother was the only zombie who kept a pretty face. Maybe if she was missing lips and cheeks it’d be easier for him to shoot her.

I also had a little bit of issue with the pace. At an hour and seven minutes long it was already pushing my limits of attention span for a show and the very deliberate, slow pace worked for atmosphere but also wore thin on my patience. I felt like the opening moment with him shooting the girl established the tone so many other scenes repeated.

I am curious to dive more into the world, which is what I was hoping for from a series about zombies versus a movie. In a series we’ll have time to explore the global reaction to the event, what caused it, any metaphorical issues it brings up for the survivors. I hope that’s a direction the show takes. It seems like it might, since someone was talking to him from inside the tank.

What’d you think? Will you keep watching?

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7 Comments »

  • Matthew said:

    I REALLY wanted to like this. I really did. Unfortunetly it seemed a bit too derivative ( watch 28 days laters opening scenes, then this shows. Identify any changes :) )

    THe characters were okay, and I liked that people didnt know WHY it had happened., it just had.

    Shoot em in the brain = standard way to kill zombie :)

    All in all kinda fun, but Im not seeing anything that is really going to pull me back or in (apart from of course if they start casting famous actors in zombie roles… BETTY WHITE for the WIN!

    • Matthew said:

      Okay Part 2.. or 3 etc :)

      I watched it again the whole way through and Im gonna totally turn my first statement on its head. I enjoyed it. Even with its huge budget , i still found things ‘low’ key until the main protagonist (Rick Grimes) turned up in Atlanta and got a surprise. From his encounter with Morgan and Duane. to his horseride and eventual escape to the ‘relative’ safety of the Tank, the 2nd time around this really enthralled me.

      Lennie James was awesome. He played Morgan so well, the kid actor was upset when he needed to be , but it was never over the top. I even had a few twitchy moments (and Ive seen a LOT of Horror movies).

      * The scene where Morgan is explaining that if you keep really quiet and done let the light in, the walkers will generally ignore you. Then we see his wife shuffling around through the slit cam effect and my moment of twitch was when she turned almost quizzically to look up at the house before gradually shuffling up and attempting to get access. Rick pearing through the keyhole, and the wife doing the same was defintely a moment for me.

      * The opening scene. I knew the girl was gonna be a zombie, I doubt anyone didnt know. Still it had to be shown. Its very rare that violence towards young people is shown on tv (even if they are zombie young girl). Being Australian we dont get AMC, do they often take such risks?

      *Did I spot Laurie Holden of Flash Gordon ‘fame’ ?

      * Morgans sniper nest scene. That damn scope brought the humanity of the situation home. Its amazing how a device meant to help aim a shot, can humanize such a dehumanized subject like killing. His mind was racing as he considered killing his zombie wife. This is what I want, decisions like this. This is my connection to the show. Its just a shame that we may never see Morgan again. Lets home he dosnt try Atlanta

      *

      • Matthew said:

        Hi Editors, Id like to try and see If I can do the reviews for this show if nobody else is stepping up.

        • Meghana said:

          I really loved the premiere – even watched it twice. I’m a huge fan of the zombie genre, but I enjoyed the pacing, and the actors involved. I liked the good cop. I also loved Morgan and his son. I don’t want to restate what has been said a jillion times, but I find the slight traces of humanity left in these zombies really fascinating. Morgan’s wife. Was there a glimmer of familiarity there? I like that they show the tragedy of the situation, in any case, by showing that zombies were once people.

          Excited for the second ep. Yeah.

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