The Walking Dead: Best Commercial Free Zombie TV

Sunday night was the series premiere of Season 2 The Walking Dead.  A small group of campy citizens has survived Season 1, and is fleeing the area under attack from the zombie apocalypse.  With Emmy Award winning prosthetic make-up, Walking Dead made no disappointments in its premiere.  *spoiler alert*

The episode opened with the group on the move.  Almost instantly there is conflict.  The roadway is bogged down with abandoned vehicles and dead bodies inside.  With the quick decision to scavenge for supplies, everybody files out of their cars and begins searching the road on foot.  Enter zombie mob.

Interestingly enough, the show never refers to the undead as ‘zombies,’ but rather “walkers.”  Minutes onscreen can equate to hours of make-up application for the actors playing the walkers.  Our travelers know a few rules that apply to the undead:

  • No loud noises.  Conserve your bullets, they can attract more walkers.
  • The smellier the better.  Masking your ‘live’ odor with eau de zombie helps protect you should a mass of undead come stumbling after you.
  • Don’t get bitten.

I'm ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille.

The heroic leader of the ragtag gang is Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln), a Sheriff in normal world, who woke up in the hospital in Season 1 and fought his way to his family and the few other survivors.  One intriguing dynamic is Rick’s relationship with Shane (played by Jon Bernthal), his old partner and another natural leader in the group.  What Rick doesn’t know is that Shane had an affair with Rick’s wife while they thought he was dead (back in Season 1 – Who knew a zombie show could be so melodramatic?!)

So, we have an army of zombies headed straight for our survivor renegades, and their response to such oncoming doom…hide underneath the cars.  Minutes slowly tic by without commercial interception as you see foot after bony, rotting flesh foot pass them.  In fact, I think you can smell their flesh while you’re waiting.

Once they think the coast is clear, they start to crawl out from under the vehicles, but a child is noticed by the walkers and flees into the woods to escape.  Rick runs after and diverts their attention from the child, saving her, and yet losing her at the same time.  So that creates problem number one.

Problem number two is that the group is starting to lose morale.  Especially Andrea (played by Laurie Holden).  She was caught up in the zombie apocalypse while on a road trip with her younger sister Amy, who didn’t survive season 1.  Andrea already tried to kill herself once, but was saved by Dale (played by Jeffrey Demunn), however she as of yet feels no gratitude for that kindness.

And problem number three is that Shane isn’t handling Rick’s reunion with his wife very well.  His plan is now to slip quietly away from the group and face the odds on his own.  Can he abandon his longtime friend, Rick, and leave things unspoken with Lori, Rick’s wife?

I won’t give away the final cliffhanger of the season premiere, but trust me, it was a “C’mon!  You’re seriously ending it here!” kind of moment.  We do know from the season 2 buzz that the group makes contact with more survivors on an abandoned farmhouse, but we have no idea what kind of dynamic these new people will bring.

Sunday’s premiere of Walking Dead also kicked off AMC’s Fear Fest this Halloween season!  Sixteen days of your favorite Halloween movies!  I know I’m pumped!  See the listing of films by clicking the link above.  Much to my surprise, I got a voicemail message from my local video store reminding me I hadn’t been in for awhile and offering me a free rental plus 14 days of 1/2 price movies.  SC”ORE!  Another opportunity for me to stock up on my favorite thrillers and gory flicks.  I’ve already watched such classics as Carrie and The Shining this past week.  And if you’re into the FREE route, you better tune in to AMC’s Fear Fest or visit your local library, which I’ve done and reserved many more spooky films.

For more zombie goodness, check out Sonia Medeiros’ zombielicious post The Zombies are Coming!  Did I mention her post is about zombies?!  Go check it out, there’s games and links and a vote for your favorite and least favorite zombie flick.  She thinks of everything!

Your turn!  Did you tune in for The Walking Dead premiere?  What did you think?  Were you totally on edge or what?  Do you enjoy the zombie craze we’re seeing in the media (even Jane Austen has gone all Zombie Slayer)?  What is your favorite Zombie movie?  Tell me, and then vote on Sonia’s blog! 

27 responses

  1. I’m with you that zombie anything is good. I watched lay night and loved it. The writing, makeup, acting are all A . And I was all over the AMC King movie marathon this weekend. Great show recap and fun post!

    1. Did you tune in for the Talking Dead interview afterwards? Apart from the “In Memorium” photo montage of dying zombies, I thought it was a bit lame. But the show was awesome!

      1. I agree that the post interview show was pointless. The in memoriums were a hoot.

  2. Great review. Made me want to turn it on next time it’s on. Thank you.

    1. WHAT?! You mean to tell me you DON’T watch zombie shows? I’m both shocked and appalled Patti.

      1. You’re so funny, Jess. It’s just that with four people in our family, my son who is 17 and my daughter who is 12 and my husband and I, it’s hard to watch everything that “I” would like to watch. My daughter and I tend to agree on t.v. shows and my husband will most of the time acquiesce, but my son’s a rabid sports fan. Makes it all difficult. But I WILL try to watch the show you reviewed. I promise.

  3. I am ashamed to admit I’ve never even heard of this. We are so busy with True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf, The Secret Circle, Sons of Anarchy, and Dexter that we miss a lot. What a shame. It really sounds good. I might see about getting Season 1 on DVD. 😀

    Great review by the way. Very well done.

    1. You would so love this show too. But I hear ya on there being too much to watch. I’m usually a wait for it on DVD person, but this year it’s been my “unwind” moments of the evening. I’m currently watching Walking Dead, Terra Nova, Vampire Diaries and I just got all caught up on The Secret Circle, which is really quite creepy actually. I’m impressed so far with the CW’s run of shows. The jury is still out about Hart of Dixie which is on tonight. Kind of a feel good show, but really cheesy. Have you checked that one out?

      1. We tried Ringer instead of Hart. It was a dud.

  4. We don’t have cable anymore, but thanks for the AMC link. They’re showing some old ones…ones that I’ll get on Netflix -Night of the Living Dead, The Fly and Bride of Frankenstein! I don’t watch horror films made after 1970. They scare the bejesus out of me. The closest I’ve come is What lies Beneath and The Sixth Sense. Enjoy all your Zombie movies, I’ll settle for black and whites. Great review though Jess. Based on what you wrote, i might have been tempted to watch an episode.

    1. I love black and white movies too. I even picked up Bride of Frankenstein at the library today based on your post and hope to find a couple old thrillers that Catie recommended at the video store tonight.

  5. Darn, I didn’t realize the new season had started. I thought it wasn’t coming back until 2012. So, I didn’t read your post yet. I’ll go in search of a repeat tonight.

    1. I’m sure they’ll air it again. They said last year, the premiere and it’s week of reruns hit a million viewers each. Awesome start to the new season. Excited to hear what you think!

  6. The season 2 premiere definitely took my breath away. I think I was literaly on the edge of my seat the whole time. And I didn’t dare breathe. Whew! The new season got off with a bang.

    Thanks so much for the link-love. I’m hoping to get lots of votes for Thursday!

    I noticed a link came through from another site. Your article was there but it didn’t look like it was attributed. Here’s the link so you can check it out:

    1. AAAARRG. You’re right, that’s my whole article copied. I contacted the “writer” but I think it’s a bot, there’s like 20+ posts all published that day. I’m running a scan on my computer now. Thanks for the heads up. And with all the buzz that happened yesterday this is just too much.

  7. This show sounds freaky, I’ll have to check it out!

    1. It is cause of the make up, but the storyline is actually really good!

  8. I haven’t watch season 1 yet- and I need to but it’s on so late- I’ll have to go to my video store and rent it. I did see part of season 2- so good.

    1. The show’s writers are doing an awesome job of making you care for all the characters, who are vastly different.

  9. Doh! I’ll have to come back and read this one…the episode is currently sitting on my DVR, waiting to be watched. I’ll get on that tonight. Loved Season 1!

    1. You’re so gonna love season 2! BTW, I got Bethany’s book now, so I’ll make that out tomorrow for you! 🙂

  10. One night last spring, Lee and I were bored and looking for something to watch, and stumbled on a marathon rerun of season 1. I picked up a book to read while he watched, since it didn’t sound like something I’d be interested in. Five minutes later, I was glued to the TV with him and the book was unopen in my lap. We stayed up til 3 am watching all six episodes. I was so psyched to curl up for the kickoff of Season 2 Sunday, and you are so right – it didn’t disappoint!

    1. Awesome story, Pam! I knew it would hook you! I did something similar for season 1, just walking in while my roommate was watching and suddenly I was hooked and reminding him it was back!

  11. I’ve been reading the comic books for years and the show has proven worthy of their awesome. And I love how the story doesn’t follow every event in the comics. The entire season two premier never happened which makes watching just as much fun for me.

    1. That’s cool. I’ve heard Dexter is like that, that the show takes different storylines than the book but both are good.

  12. […] The Walking Dead is back and opened with an episode every bit as stunning as last season’s (check out Jess Witkin’s awesome post on the Season 2 Premiere here). […]

  13. […] two has started and The Walking Dead: Best Commercial Free Zombie TV from Jess Witkins is a great recap of the first […]

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