Saturday, October 29, 2011

NEW!: (rapid-catch-up) The Walking Dead 1:1 - Days Gone By

Overall Rating: 9.0

As we set the stage for my sister to begin covering the second season of this gritty, grotesque horror series, I will quickly cover the first six episodes.  This one gets a big A grade for being EXTREMELY well made and being filled with moments that make you appreciate your humanity.

Plot Synopsis:

Cop gets shot in a nasty stand-off with some thugs.  Cop falls into a coma.  When cop wakes up....ZOMBIES!!!! :)  Seriously, though, this isn't a new plot concept by any stretch of the imagination...but this has to be the creepiest, most attention-grabbing way to premiere a zombie series that I've ever seen.

The Skinny:

I think this presentation holds so much power over me because it carries the same sense of discovery (and horror) that we would if we woke up in this world, and because the struggling survivors are presented as being fiercely human.  I don't know if we'll see the African American father and son again, for example, but if we do, I sincerely look forward to it.  I love, for example, how the dad was insisting that his son retain his spirituality, his manners, and his civility despite the nature of these dark times.  And I found it especially moving when the father waiting behind in the suburbs to draw out his dead wife so that he could shoot her (the merciful thing to do) and then he couldn't bring himself to do it.  That was one of the best pieces of acting I've seen anywhere.  Ever.

I am not actually that into zombie stuff...I was skeptical that I would find this series all that compelling, but as with the best of's not about the zombies.  It's about the lengths we'll go to in order to survive and the lines we're willing (or unwilling) to cross.  And, at lest early on, I like that the writers seem interested in keeping our survivors remotely civilized and humane.  When you compare this to, for example, 28 Weeks Later, the contrast is quite keen.

Writing: 10.0

I'm giving this episode a huge writing bonus because they brought us into the story in the perfect way (and because the production values were so stunning.  My reaction upon watching this premiere was to say "well I clearly need to watch the next episode NOW damnit!  Which I did. :)

Acting: 10.0

As mentioned before, this is looking like a great least the people we've met in week one.

Message: 7.0

Bonus for the awesomeness of the desire to retain our family values and our civility in the worst of times.  The last half of this is filled with our sincere attempts to be merciful and hopeful in our worst hour.  Very cool.

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