Hope you have all enjoyed your weekend. So, earlier in the week I promised you all a debut post from The Manc Geek, Big Al. You’ll be pleased to know that he’s here with his thoughts on the upcoming new series of The Walking Dead and what has made the show the cultural behemoth it has become. Make sure your doors are bolted and your weapons are close to hand because the dead are walking the earth and Big Al is bringing them your way..
Warning: This post will contain SPOILERS for The Walking Dead. Stop reading if you haven’t seen the show and do not wish to know what happens.
Zombies have been used far too often in popular culture recently. You only have to go online to any major retailer to see all the straight to DVD/Blu Ray movies that feature zombies as the main antagonists. Why so many? zombies are easy to do. You get a person, put a bit of nasty make-up on them, get them to walk slowly and that is it, Zombie.
So, what make The Walking Dead (TWD) so special? Firstly, it’s a TV show. This allows it to tell an interesting story over time with twists, turns and the all important character development. Secondly, zombies aka walkers aren’t really the main focus of the show. Yes, they are always a possible threat, but they become common place. Surviving a herd of walkers becomes the same as surviving a bad weather storm. I think the show is really about the humankind’s will to survive.
You’ll notice that even in the premiere feature length episode, killing walkers isn’t an easy thing to do as smashing the brain in of something that looks like a living person, must feel like you are killing a living person. A lot of the characters have real hesitance when having to carry out such violence. However, as time went on and seasons passed by, for Rick and his fellow survivors taking out walkers is an action that eventually has no hesitance or second thought. Many times we see that hesitation usually results in death. Neither are the survivors disillusioned by hope, unlike others. *cough* Hershel *cough*.There is none, humankind is fucked and all survivors need to adapt to the new environment.
The only threat in season one and two were the walkers. Yes, Merle was a dick, and there was a tug of war for power in the group between Shane and Rick. There were also the occasional randoms who were always looking to kill people and snatch a bit of post loot. This is a tiny sprinkle of things that were going to come into the spotlight during later seasons. Season three was very important as this was when the new main threat was really established. That new threat was…fellow HUMANS! KABOOM! MIND BLOWN!
Supplies are scarce, which means different groups of people that come across one another tend not to trust each other. Eventually, the us or them mentality kicks in. This is what The Governor was all about, he personified that concept. His survival instinct was kicked into overdrive. He even managed to create a safe self-sustaining community, Woodbury. But underneath The Governor’s layer of strong leaderships was a man who couldn’t let go of the past or admit the fact that his daughter, who was kept shackled up in a closet, was a walker and there was no way to bring her back. No matter how many guns, medical supplies or military convoys he took out.
A human that doesn’t understand that walkers who formerly were their loved ones, can be a threat to themselves and others (e.g. The crazy Irish woman who kept her walker husbands head in a bag and fed it). And as expected, Woodbury came crashing down because it was built on deceit and lies. The threat of other survivors is now constant. Only occasionally others can they be trusted.
As seen in season four of TWD, Rick had to strangle someone, Carol killed two people in order to stop the influenza virus spreading in the prison and was forced to kill Lizzie, a (messed up) child! Things are not black and white any more, even the shows protagonists are now having to make difficult choices. The kind of choices that make me think “Are these actually the good guys? Or is no one good in this new world?”. Last season ended with Terminus not being the safe haven everyone expected. Locked in a train carriage Rick said “”they’re screwing with the wrong people”. This is another way of saying “we are going to fuck them up”.
It’s the multifacetedness of TWD that keeps me watching, many things are going on at once with many different sides. There are so many more things that I haven’t mentioned. I could probably write a book analysing each series. But this post can only be so long before I feel like I’m just going over every single moment of TWD so far. Which is why I’m going to leave you with the 5 greatest moments (note: these change daily) and what I’m expecting from season 5.
5 GREATEST TWD MOMENTS
- Sophia being revealed as the last walker to come out of Hershel’s barn.
- Shane shooting Otis so he could escape a herd of walkers.
- Merle being a racist red-neck.
- Theodore “T-Dog” Douglas sacrificing himself like an absolute fucking hero.
- Anything to do with Glenn and Maggie aka Glaggie.
- Daryl killing a tank like a G.
- Rick answering the telephone and having conversations with to dead people.
- Hershel having his leg amputated after being bitten.
- “Look at the flowers, Lizzie. Look at the flowers”.
- Morgan can’t kill his walker wife with his sniper rifle.
Yeah I know. I listed 10 moment. So what?
WHAT I WANT FROM SEASON 5
More of the same complex character development, some absolute fucking carnage and great cliffhangers. I love cliffhangers. As long as it keeps toying with the same themes in different ways I’ll be happy. Don’t even ask me what I want from season 6, which was announced just under a week before the new season begins. AMC must be very happy.
Just this morning I got a response from the official TWD to a tweet about all the shows I’m currently watching. The response simply said “Hunt or be hunted”.Yeah, shit hitting the fan confirmed.
This is Big A, signing off.