Tuned In

Talking Dead: What Did You Think of AMC’s Walking Dead Premiere?

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Spoilers for the debut of The Walking Dead coming up:

As I wrote in my review and earlier on this blog, I really liked Frank Darabont’s pilot for The Walking Dead; the second episode I liked not nearly as much, but the third episode was in turn an improvement on that. The bottom line is, I’m not sure I’m going to be doing a weekly Walking Dead Watch yet, but here are a few other observations about the pilot I didn’t work into my review, and then I’d like to know what Tuned Inland thought:

* There’s been comment about how Rick is a bit of a blank as a protagonist, and that’s true (I’m told his character develops complexity further on in in the comic, which I haven’t read), but I did enjoy the moments, like his preparation for the shootout early in the pilot, that give a sense of the focus and determination that will help him survive.

* I’m not a huge zombie-movie aficionado, so maybe the having-to-shoot-the-body-of-a-loved-one trope comes up far more often than I know, but the way Lennie James portrayed trying to steel himself to put down his walker wife’s but was just devastating.

* The effective use of silence in the pilot applies to the music too; nothing against Bear McCreary, but the lack of soundtrack early on said more than any suspenseful music could have.

* Another thing that may be a standard zombie-flick trope for all I know, but was used effectively here regardless: the notion that the walkers, while not highly sentient, have some level of lingering memory of their lives.

* I know she was a zombie, but I was still stunned by having a young girl be our first glimpse of the zombies, and then seeing Rick (regretfully) put her down with a shot to the forehead. Which is not to say Walking Dead shouldn’t have done it—very early on, you saw that this show means business.