AMC’s The Walking Dead: Seasons 1-3 (a different take)
WARNING: The following are the opinions of a man (with pubes and everything) who has NOT read any of the Walking Dead comics (or graphic novels if you prefer). I would venture a guess that all my esteemed colleagues have read some, if not the entire series. Those of you who have read them can debate which incarnation is “better” than the other. Usually that honor goes to the version we’re exposed to first and since I have no such point of reference, here goes…
In case you’ve been exploring the depths of Uranus (or your anus if that’s what you’re into), for the last two and a half years, you know AMC’s The Walking Dead is based on the comic/graphic novel series created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore which chronicles the exploits of Sheriff Rick Grimes and his rag-tag group in their struggle to survive the non-stop party known as the zombie apocalypse.
Episode one premiered on October 31, 2010 and I can admit to you (on account of how we’re such good pals), I’ve been hooked ever since. Rick (played by Andrew Lincoln) wakes from a coma and discovers things aren’t quite the same as he remembers them. The trek to the CDC in Atlanta is the main storyline of the season, with requisite twists and turns along the way; the Rick-Lori-Shane triangle being the most prevalent of these. The finale takes place at the CDC facility. The sole survivor there, Dr. Jenner (Noah Emmerich) whispers something in Rick’s ear just before the group makes its escape.
WHAT COULD IT BE???
Season two centers around the search for Carol’s (Melissa McBride) lost daughter, Sofia. We meet some more new characters when the group finds Hershel’s (Scott Wilson) farm after Rick’s son, Carl (Chandler Riggs) is accidentally shot. We also discover Lori is pregnant, but the father is in question, and I suppose, it technically still is. Shane and Rick are increasingly at odds during the season, which culminates in Shane hatching a plan to lead Rick off and kill him. Rick ends up stabbing and killing Shane, and when Shane turns, Carl shoots him. The shot draws a herd (swarm? school?) of walkers that overrun the farm causing the group to abandon their little haven and regroup on the highway minus Andrea (Laurie Holden) who gets left behind. She manages to survive and meets up with a mysterious, hooded, sword-wielding figure.
A jedi perhaps?
Season two concludes with Rick divulging what Jenner told him back at the CDC. Morale killer.
The camera pans out and we see what appears to be a prison off in the distance.
I was really glad to be rid of Shane. Little did I know an even greater nemesis loomed in the distance.
Season three picks up several months after the escape from the farm. Rick and Co. finally find the prison (I guess it was farther than it appeared) and begin to try to make it habitable. Hershel is bitten and Rick has to cut his leg off in order to save him. Lori goes into labor, but Hershel’s older daughter Maggie (Lauren Cohen) has to perform an emergency C-section, which in turn kills Lori. To complicate matters, Carl has to put her down before she turns. That was probably the most difficult scene to watch thus far. Rick starts to (understandably) unravel shortly thereafter. The main storyline of season three revolves around Rick’s group at the prison and the quaint, little town of Woodbury, run by The Governor (David Morrissey). The Governor is a bad dude (that’s why they call the game Bad Dudes) who wants the prison and its inhabitants wiped out. There are several skirmishes in the prison and between the two factions resulting in some characters making their unceremonious exits.
At the conclusion of season three, it would appear he has failed in his quest. At least for now.
My opinions of this series are generally positive. The visual imagery is for the most part stunning and the sets are very well done, both greatly help in setting the bleak tone. The acting does have a tendency to grate on the nerves, whether done intentionally or otherwise. The strong storyline helps overcome that. There are also some geographic issues I have with the show. It took them that long to find the prison??? They could’ve found Woodbury just as fast as it turns out. Everything just seems a little closer then it should be.
My minor gripes aside, the good outweighs the bad in this case and I’ll be glued to my seat in my pitch-dark front room when the show returns in October.
Four disgusting, rotting corpses out of five.
Greg “G Virus” Randolph