Review – The Walking Dead Season Opener

It has been a long, long hard slog with no new episodes of AMC’s The Walking Dead since last December. For a zombie junkie like me, it forces you to watch the entire first season over and over and over again because they really did get it right.

I won’t go into my feelings on the canning of Frank Darabont because this posting is about whether the season premiere kept me glued to my seat like the season finale in December. (You know the one, where we saw the brain scan showing the virus taking hold of the brain stem inside the crazy CDC doctor’s wife. That scene, by the way, will go down as a classic scene for zombie freaks like me.)

Anyway what did I like about the season opener? Well, I enjoyed the zombie migration on the highway of death. That was kind of cool. I liked that Rick is struggling with the leadership role he’s assumed. I liked that he feels responsible for everything bad that’s happened, you know, hero’s journey and all of that. I like that Rick’s wife Lori is putting Shane in his place once and for all, but I’m surprised that nobody knew until the season opener that Shane and Lori were boinking buddies. That was a bit of a stretch. Loved the zombie horde. Loved the scene where Rick and Daryl (who was much less redneck white trash and more determined zombie killer in this episode, thankfully) checked the innards of the zombie they whacked. Lots of gore. Gore is always good in zombie lore.

Here’s what I don’t like, though, because while the show was a strong first start for the new TV season (7 million people tuned in) it’s not without faults. Notably, children who freak out and run off into the bush when the zombie horde has just walked by your improvised shelter underneath a car. (You’d think that after living in a post apocalyptic world of the living dead, kids would have figured out the best way to survive is to, I don’t know, NOT run off into the woods shrieking.) I don’t like that the pace of the show slowed to a crawl when they decided that it was getting dark and they’d be wise to wait until daybreak to continue the search. (Much more drama could have been presented along with a variety of nightmare scenarios had they gone looking for the girl in the darkness. THAT would have been cool.)

I didn’t like that Andrea is all “why didn’t you let me kill myself back at the CDC you’re a big jerk Dale Horvath, Mister I don’t have a radiator hose for my Winnebago, who died and made you the spiritual guru for our rag-tag band of survivors.” That got old really fast and Andrea, frankly, is the weakest link on the show as I see it. Mostly because I hate whiners. She whines. A lot.

I know The Walking Dead isn’t just a show about zombies. I know that we need to get into the head of each character in order to understand their motivations and secrets, but monsters are everywhere and there were far too many “quiet times” during the season opener.

Finally, did anyone NOT see Carl getting shot coming from a mile away when he went to pet the deer. (I was secretly hoping the buck would gore him or something, but no, he got shot. Ugh.) And while we’re at it, what’s with the whole “Carl is old enough to go searching for the missing girl” when the reason she is missing is because children, apparently, don’t freaking listen when the zombie apocalypse is happening? What’s wrong with, “Carl, get your ass up the highest tree you can find. Shut the hell up and wait until we get back. If you come down, I’ll belt your ass for not listening.”

If we ignore the slow bits, it was still a pretty good first kick at the can for the new season. I’m still wondering where the hell one-handed Merle ran off to, and what about Morgan from the very first episode? Are we going to meet up with him? Did he finally shoot his zombie wife? Is his kid okay, and more importantly, does his kid listen to his Dad unlike the kids in Rick’s band of survivors?

So, a hopefully spoiler free review. Still a great show and did anyone get MASSIVELY excited about the ads for the new AMC show HELL ON WHEEL’S? A western!! A western!! In prime time!! Be still my beating heart!

Happy Tuesday, all.

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