The Walking Dead—Where No One is Safe

The Walking Dead

A Review of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” by Tiffany A. White

While many of us still refer to AMC as the American Movie Classics channel, it’s more than that today… In addition to the fact we can still find many of the older flicks on AMC when scrolling through our TV guides, we also see the channel’s attempt at original programming—an attempt that is highly successful with shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and today’s choice, The Walking Dead.

The supernatural element is taking over the television world today, and AMC joins this phenomenon by telling the story of a small group of survivors working feverishly to survive a widespread zombie epidemic in the great state of Georgia in The Walking Dead. Since the program is already halfway through season three, and I don’t like to give away spoilers in my reviews, I will only briefly discuss the opening to the series for those who might still be unaware of this hit.

The series begins with small town sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) waking from a coma to discover he is alone in every sense of the word: the hospital is desolate, the town looks like a post-apocalyptic war zone, and his family has vanished. A man and his son save the deliriously weak Rick from his first encounter with a walker, or zombie as we know it, and nurse him back to health while educating him on the events that transpired while he was recovering from a gunshot wound suffered weeks earlier. The outlook appears bleak, but Rick insists his family is alive and sets out for Atlanta to find his wife and son.

Meanwhile, Rick’s wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies), son Carl, and his partner and best friend Shane (Jon Bernthal) flee the city hoping to reach the Center for Disease Control to seek refuge. While trapped in traffic, Lori and Shane witness the US military’s bombing of downtown Atlanta and all hope fades. They join others and set up camp outside Atlanta to assess just how bad the damage really is before proceeding into the city.

Beginning his track to Atlanta, Rick borrows a horse from a nearby farm and rides into the city where he finds himself trapped in a tank surrounded by walkers, hundreds of walkers. Miraculously, he hears a voice over the radio and follows the man’s instructions (Glenn, played by Steven Yeun) to safety, but the horse isn’t so lucky. Notice: The Walking Dead is a bit graphic at times. Honestly, I almost stopped watching at this point; I did not like seeing the walkers devour the horse. But back to the story…

Glenn is not the only human in the city; fellow survivors Andrea (Laurie Holden), Merle (Michael Rooker), and T-Dog (IronE Singleton) are hiding out inside a department store, attempting to make their way back with supplies to the camp site (ironically the same camp site where Rick’s family is holed up). Rick immediately establishes himself as the team leader, and after a small mishap, everyone escapes but Merle.

At the camp, Rick reunites with his family, unaware of the intimate connection forming between Lori and Shane (in their defense, they assumed Rick was dead). The men regroup and make a final attempt to go back into the city to rescue Merle. Working with Merle’s brother Daryl (Norman Reedus), the survivors find the remains of a sawed-off hand where Merle was last seen. Despite the fact that Merle’s demise is almost certain, Daryl decides to work with the rest of the men, utilizing his vast knowledge of hunting and experienced survival skills against the zombies.

As expected, the camp is infiltrated by a group of walkers and a few lives are lost, but the survivors retreat, pack up, and head out.

And this is how it all begins.

The Walking Dead is shot without the vibrant colors of shows like Hawaii Five-0, but while not black and white, still appears dark and gloomy in relation to the current state of events. The episodes are not for those with weak stomachs and are filled with suspense, leaving us hanging on by the seat of our pants. Not every character is likable, yet we find ourselves hoping that the walkers don’t bite anyone else (well, in some instances anyway). And probably my favorite aspect of the series is this—no character is safe. Not one. The unpredictability of the safety of the main characters is intense… and I like it.

The first season of The Walking Dead is only six episodes, making it perfect for a marathon style viewing party. Seasons two and three picked up the pace with thirteen and sixteen episodes respectively, with the final half of season three premiering February 10th. And don’t worry; AMC has already renewed the zombie-fied television series for a fourth season.

How do I rate The Walking Dead? For bringing zombies to television, I’m leaning toward a top rating; most supernatural TV shows focus on vampires and werewolves. But the mere fact that each episode doesn’t leave me wishing the story would continue immediately without having to wait another week, I’m leaning toward making it just a guilty pleasure. I love food just as much as I do TV, so I’m going to compare The Walking Dead to a Twice Baked Potato. Its unpredictability is absolutely delish (with the combined flavors of butter, sour cream, cheese, chives, and bacon), but it’s still not good for our cholesterol at all (just like our favorite bag of greasy potato chips).


Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery “Football Sweetheart” series. She blogs at The Ooo Factor and is available for contact via Twitter at @Tiffany_A_White, Facebook at Tiffany A. White, or by email at tiffany@tiffanyawhite.com.

© 2013 Tiffany A. White. All written content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact us at the above links to request permission.

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