The Walking Dead: Season 1 (2010) Review

Plot: Police officer Rick Grimes leads a group of survivors in a world overrun by zombies.

Review: OK, maybe I’m a little late to the party but after (literally) years of people talking about this show ad nauseam and describing it as “The greatest TV series of all time!” I thought I’d finally check it out.

So I bought Season One a few weeks ago and just finished watching it; was it worth all the hyperbole?

Yes, I have to say that it was very much worth the wait and even exceeded my expectations.

It is still at its core a zombie movie done in a TV format; zombies needing shot in the head? Check. Social commentary? Check. Hilarious gore? Check. But that’s not what makes this show so good; it’s the characters themselves because we actually care about them.

The protagonist Police Officer Rick Grimes, played to perfection by British actor Andrew Lincoln is incredibly sympathetic and you are with him as soon as he is on screen. He wakes up in a deserted hospital after being shot and he tries to put the pieces together about what happened to his family.

One of the nicest pieces of writing is a perfect example of “See Don’t Tell” to demonstrate the passage of time. When Rick is in hospital at first, he has fresh flowers next to his bed but when he wakes up, we see that the flowers are dead and he has clearly been out of things for quite a while. There are all sorts of little details like this throughout the show which is why it has been such a spectacular hit.

The supporting cast are all superb and Shane is a complex and interesting character, torn between his loyalty to his best friend Rick and his feelings for Rick’s wife.

Michael Rooker gives a barnstorming performance as racist redneck Merl who I have a feeling will show up in Season 2 again.

My favourite character though has to be Daryl (Merl’s brother) played by Norman Reedus; he’s hot headed and a redneck but he’s reasonable and you can’t help rooting for him. The fact that he has an awesome crossbow doesn’t hurt either.

Someone told me that The Walking Dead aren’t the zombies but these survivors themselves who are desperately trying to get by, which makes complete sense.

The show is a little slow in places and is more about characters rather than an out and out splatterfest.

There is plenty of zombie killing action though and because we care about what happens to the characters, it gives it all a genuine sense of threat. The zombies themselves are the best I’ve ever seen and are utterly terrifying with stunning make up.

At only 6 episodes it was all over rather fast and I am now going to pick up Season 2 and 3 so I can catch up ASAP.

Overall, The Walking Dead is indeed one of the best shows on television and although some of it may be a little slow, it’s never anything less than gripping.