THE WALKING DEAD – 1.1 “Days Gone Bye”
Last night, I watched AMCs newest effort “The Walking Dead.” It was good. Really good.
A quick summary: Rick Grimes is a Kentucky police officer who is critically wounded in a shootout. Comatose for an indeterminate length of time, he awakens in a hospital bed to find that zombies have destroyed civilization. From there, Rick sets off on a quest to find his wife and son.
The episode, which I watched with the lights off, was superbly creepy. Rick staggers about in a washed out, decaying world, looking at the ruins around him with awe and disbelief. The look of utter despair that crosses his face as he cowers within an abandoned tank really hit home; he thinks he is a man with nothing left.
There’s one point in the episode where the action switches away from Rick and focuses instead on his old partner, his wife, his son, and a few other hapless survivors. I wish the show had stayed focused on Rick’s perspective instead, since to me the most intriguing part of the show has been Rick’s reaction to the world around him. I also think it would have been more effective and more tense if the audience was kept in the dark about the fate of Rick’s wife and son.
I can’t complain beyond this minor quibble however. The show does a great job of showing the psychological strain of people pushed to their limit. The bursts of violence are well choreographed, and the zombies are wonderfully grotesque.
This show will be on my must watch for a while. Judging by the huge ratings the show got last night, I won’t be the only one tuning in.