Boy, was I wrong. Almost right away, I was hooked. I went through the first six-episode season in a flash. As much as those six eps drew me in, it was the second season when the show really got me in the feels. I found I could handle the gore, though I still don’t like it when the zombies eat. *shudder* The tension is almost unbearable at times, and really did a great job of making me click “watch next episode.” I like that it’s about ordinary people trying to survive the apocalypse, and I like the rural setting and the hint of Southern Gothic. But what I really love are the characters.
Carol’s journey from meek abused wife to scary badass was fascinating to watch. Glenn and Maggie’s relationship is a real bright spot in an otherwise dark world. The things Carl has been through are heartbreaking. Michonne is an urban fantasy heroine in the flesh – I love her so much! And I love the many versions of Rick: Sane Rick, Crazy Rick, Clean-Cut Rick, Shaggy Bearded Rick. My favorite Rick is Clean-Shaven Morally Compromised Rick from season five. (Stop leering at another man’s wife, Rick! You don’t want to go full Shane!)
Perhaps unsurprisingly, my favorite character is Daryl Dixon. Underneath that gruff, rude, desperately in need of a bath exterior is a good, kind, tender-hearted man. He also happens to be tough as nails and a badass with a crossbow, which comes in handy at the end of the world. He’s definitely a man you’d want around in a zombie apocalypse. Not only will he fight zombies and bad guys for you, he’ll make a formula run and feed the baby.
|Daryl Dixon, puttin' on a gun show. Pic via AMC.|
Now I’m addicted to The Walking Dead and can’t wait for Netflix to get season six. There's a lot of crazy on this show, and way more gore than I usually care for, but the characters are what make it great. I can promise you, that's what every writer wants, what we strive for and dream of: creating characters that people cheer and cry for, swoon over, laugh at, hate and love and never forget. Add unforgettable characters to high stakes, and you’ve struck storytelling gold.
And the stakes don’t get much higher than the apocalypse. One day this week, the internet was down for seven hours, plus the power went out for a short time. Not that I ever had any doubt, but it was a clear reminder that I wouldn’t do well in an apocalypse. I need the conveniences of modern civilization, please and thank you. What about you? How would you handle the end of the world? If you could have just one of these things to help you survive, which would you pick?
A ) A warehouse full of supplies.
B ) An armory full of weapons.
C ) Your very own Daryl Dixon.
I’m pick C, because duh. ;)