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You Haven’t Lived Until You Watch ‘The Walking Dead’

Shane Hannon | Monday, March 25, 2013


For the record, I have never been into TV series. As cliché as it sounds, I am always more into watching SportsCenter than a weekly drama or reality show. Obviously, I watched “24” (Who didn’t? It was only the single greatest television series of all time, besides, perhaps, “Friends”), but since that went off the air in 2010, I’ve resorted to ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” (PTI) and reruns of “Two and a Half Men.”  

However, this past spring break, instead of drinking on the beach with hundreds of wild and attractive college kids in the wee hours of the morning, I was lying in bed until 5 or 6 a.m., watching a show that has finally captivated my attention, “The Walking Dead.”

Currently in the latter half of its third season, “The Walking Dead” is an apocalyptic-zombie-horror drama that first aired Oct. 2010 on AMC. Developed by Frank Darabont, who has directed such films as “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile,” “The Walking Dead” centers around a man named Rick Grimes, played by actor Andrew Lincoln. Grimes is the leader of a small group of people trying to survive in the rural outskirts of Atlanta after the world as they knew it was destroyed by a zombie apocalypse. There is no mention of how the zombie apocalypse originated. All we know is that the United States government has been overrun and citizens have been left to fend for themselves. Infected people are stricken with a debilitating fever that kills them within days but brings them “back to life” as zombies. These “walkers” cannot run, are unintelligent, feel no pain and eat people. The only way they can truly be killed is with a fatal blow to the head. Grimes’ job is to ensure the survival of the group, which includes his son and wife, as they attempt to find a safe haven to build a new life.  

The great part about “The Walking Dead” is it isn’t simply a shallow shoot-’em-up series. Trust me, I didn’t watch 30 episodes in four days because of the mass zombie slaughter scenes. No, it actually has an interesting plot with intriguing characters and storylines. Among the gore and suspense are storylines involving love, lust, joy, despair and betrayal. “The Walking Dead” producers have successfully integrated all the features of modern dramas into an interesting and unprecedented scenario.  

The part I personally find so addicting is the portrayal of human nature in the show. “The Walking Dead” brilliantly explores the darker side of human nature, the side that surfaces in times of desperation – the dog-eat-dog mentality we all feel but rarely act on. The ethical and moral dilemmas Grimes faces in every episode are so frustrating because I know what should be done, but I don’t know if that decision is actually the right one. Contrary to what you may think, often the biggest threat to Grimes and his crew is another competing group of survivors. Decisions must be made regarding the life of an innocent stranger versus the safety of the group. This raw, survivalist portrayal of humanity adds a little something extra to the show.

This show truly has something for everyone. Do you love action and violence? Got it. How about romance, relationships and dramatic personal dilemmas? Got it. Sex? Yup. The balance between the two extremes of violence and drama makes “The Walking Dead” the most enjoyable show on TV today.

What I’m trying to say is, “The Walking Dead” is amazing.  If you care about grades, I wouldn’t start up until the summer.  But if you know what’s good for you, you’ll at least give it a shot.