The Walking Dead

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The Walking Dead

I’ve never been a big fan of zombies. It’s just not my corner of the pop culture world. So when my husband and my son started watching The Walking Dead based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard, last season I just kind of rolled my eyes and resigned myself to reading in the bedroom.  They didn’t start watching the series when it first aired on October 31 of 2010, they actually needed  to watch two or three a night until they were caught up to the current episode.  Hiding in the bedroom I could of course still hear the screams of victims and the groans of the cursed through the walls. I found that occasionally, when I emerged from my sanctuary I was inexorably drawn to the drama in front of me, lingering over a glass of water in the kitchen watching the macabre scenes through the kitchen door. Eventually I just caved and my family agreed to start watching the entire series from the beginning again so that I could watch with them. Of course my son couldn’t resist an “I told you so. I told you it was good, see?”.  Yup, I was good and hooked.

I still don’t consider myself a huge fan of the zombie genre so what is it exactly that draws me to this show? Zombies themselves are so ridiculous. Really! You can’t take them seriously but what you can take seriously is the human drama, the character development, the relationships, and the story lines developing in the face of an apocalyptic event. The zombies are the comic relief.

I think I like this show for many of the same reasons I liked Battlestar Galactica. It asks the big question: What defines humanity?  The stories explore both the politics and moral issues involved in survival. Is it a simple fact of our biology that we are human? Perhaps it’s our capacity as emotional beings to feel love, remorse and regret? Or is it our values and our morals that make us what we are? When faced with the actions required for survival do we lose our own humanity?

I was excited when the show started up again for its third season. Now unfortunately though I’ve got to wait all week for the next one.

I wonder how you get to be an extra on that show?

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