AMC's "Walking Dead" falls flat

AMC's "The Walking Dead," a new show about zombies, has lots of blood but no pulse.
AMC's "The Walking Dead," a new show about zombies, has lots of blood but no pulse.

By Zak Buczinsky

Staff Writer

If AMC’s new TV show, The Walking Dead, really wants to make a profit, the extras that play the zombies should swap places with the show’s writers; any extra could write better material than the current staff, and the writers would make wonderful brainless zombies.
The Walking Dead begins when Rick Grimes, the star of the show played by Andrew Lincoln, wakes up from a coma to find the world he used to know overrun by the walking dead, or as they are called in the show, “Walkers.”
After Rick departs from the hospital where he woke up (the zombies apparently missed his room even after ransacking the entire hospital), he goes home to find that his wife and child have packed their bags and fled their hometown, so Rick begins the search for his family.
Within only the first two episodes of The Walking Dead, you can easily see the lack of imagination and effort exerted by the writers in their ideas, ripped off from nearly every famous movie, game or story in the zombie genre.
One of the pilfered ideas is stolen from 28 Days Later, a zombie movie that also begins when a man wakes from a coma into a world of human-hungry walking dead; however, 28 Days Later was equipped with a strong team of writers and a vision of an artistically inclined zombie apocalypse, while The Walking Dead only has intense violence and excessive gore to make it entertaining.
There are also numerous other ideas stolen by The Walking Dead such as the idea of car alarms attracting zombies, seen in the video game Left For Dead, and the idea of a shelter for people in the city that only leads people into danger.
Any movie or show that involves zombies or monsters, or anything that is obviously meant to involve gore and violence, usually is only successful when that gore and violence is embraced, but even though The Walking Dead does have some intensely violent scenes, it tries to be an overly dramatic show based on the characters and their relationships, and this attempt, coupled with bad acting and poor writing, creates an all-around boring show.
However, even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut, and The Walking Dead got very lucky because in the squirrel world they are not only blind, but they are deaf and have no sense of smell.  Despite The Walking Dead’s inability to entertain, the show does have a few strengths.  The show has a fairly strong lead actor, well-done effects, and most importantly, the show is excellent at giving its viewers a look into the world of a zombie apocalypse.  Although it is nearly impossible to relate to the characters, the environment that the show produces and the images it presents, like a legless zombie crawling through a field of flowers, make the viewer feel like he or she standing right next to them.
Another issue with the show is a slight undertone of sexism that can be seen right away in the first scene when the two main characters are exchanging sexist jokes about their wives.  This issue the show seems to have with women continues throughout the show where women are blatantly shown as stupid unable to make good decisions without men. For example, a woman is shown packing photo albums rather than the survival gear the man is packing, and another woman wants to make signs that warn people about going into the city. Her idea is immediately shot down by the powerful and intelligent man who knows the plan is too dangerous.
One of the most frustrating aspects about The Walking Dead is that it still has the potential to be a successful show.  The main problem the show is not a lack of ideas but its inability to carry interesting ideas over to the next episode.  For instance, in the first episode the writers introduce a man and his son who are being tormented by their wife and mother, who has turned into a zombie, but the show ditches the two characters when the main character decides to leave them to continue his search for his family.
Another instance in which the show lets a good idea go is when a character, who is a typical redneck, and who probably would enjoy this show himself, is introduced and immediately is thrown into conflict with a black character.  But this character, along with the relationship that could have been allowed to develop the two, dies when the redneck is handcuffed to a pole and the key to the handcuffs is lost.
It’s a missed opportunity – much like the show.