Last night, along with about 8 million other people, I watched The Walking Dead, AMC’s new series based on the eponymous comic book about life post-zombie-apocalypse. I’m a bit of a wimp, but I watched it with a couple dozen folks and happily was able to hide my face in my friend’s shoulder at regular intervals.
My first inclination was to say that it was unnecessarily gory, but after thinking it over some, I’ve decided the gore was appropriate, and rather beautifully done. As someone who is admittedly pretty unfamiliar with horror as a genre, I think the show does it extraordinarily well. I don’t watch much current television — that includes Mad Men — apparently, this is to be expected from AMC.
Having just read The Stand, I find myself wondering whether Walking Dead had been influenced by it, or how much. Surface differences aside — in the former, the threat is humans who’ve gone bad and are being influenced by the devil-like Randall Flagg; in the latter, the threat is, well, walking dead people — the question remains the same: After a catastrophic virus that wipes out a huge portion of the population, how does society reform itself?
The Stand was pretty comprehensive as a tale about survivors in the U.S. King considered nearly all possible outcomes for the .4 percent of the population who survived the virus, and while I think he went to some strangely misogynistic places at times, it still made sense. But while the main characters were fairly relatable, the story lacked any sense of what was happening outside of the country. I’m wondering how The Walking Dead will tackle that aspect of it, and having not read the book, I’m looking forward to seeing the answer.