Friday, July 1, 2016

Binge watching the zombie apocalypse

Posted by: Sonya
In the past month or so, I’ve watched all five seasons of The Walking Dead that are available on Netflix. I’d never seen it before and wasn’t really sure what to expect, other than zombie gore. I used to read and watch a lot more horror than I have in recent years. I never cared for jump scares and at some point I got tired of gore, so Supernatural was pretty much the only horror I watched for a long time. I was curious about TWD, so I thought I’d try an episode or two and then probably not watch anymore. I did the same thing with Mad Men and Breaking Bad. The shows had great word of mouth, especially in the writing community, so I tried them and found they weren’t for me. I expected the same with TWD.

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.

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. ;)


  1. Yeah, I pick C too. I also didn't think I'd like the show very much, but was blown away by Season 1. My favorite season is still 2 (which most guys who love the show think is the worst season because "nothing happened" which - HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Oookay.) The past season made me angry at the show runner, Scott Gimple, who is doing his best to make this show into a cliche, gimmick filled parody of past glory, but I have my hopes the coming season will fix all that. :)

    1. Season two was so, so good. Such great writing. The second half of season four was good too, even though at first I hated it that the group was split up. At this point, my main concern about season six is that Daryl goes back to sleeveless shirts. ;) I've heard a lot of complaints about season six. I loved the first five seasons so much, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that six doesn't ruin it for me.


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