EW has dubbed this the best show of 2010. Despite only six episodes, it’s already been renewed for another season (though, in truth, it was renewed after only two…) and has been a monster hit for AMC (wow that was totally not meant to be a pun). Premiering on Halloween was a gimmicky move of brilliance for AMC, though it wasn’t surprising that the ratings dropped in the week that followed. But then everyone realized that episode two still had quality and came back and the ratings picked up. By the finale (mid-season or entire year?) viewership had surpassed the premiere.
There a lot of great things about this show, though I don’t love it the way Entertainment Weekly seems to. I think my main problem is I don’t actually care about Rick and he’s the main character. I sort of feel like he lacks dimension.
The show follows Rick Grimes, who wakes up from a gunshot wound to find the world he knew in utter chaos. Zombies (called walkers and geeks) have taken over the Earth. Well, taken over is perhaps given them a little too much credit, seeing as they are totally non-sentient and only care about eating–human flesh. All that’s left are small bunches of of survivors, scavenging what’s left to survive. And Rick Grimes is desperate to find his wife and son.
Of course, the strongest part of the show is that though Zombies are a huge (and surprisingly interesting) part of the story, it’s more about the relationships–between Rick and his wife, Rick and his partner, and amongst the various survivors. I’m glad that the writers realize how important that is, since it is surprising how many shows–sci fi in particular–fall into the trap of thinking more about their special effects than their characters. It’s amazing how much politics can revolve around the simple fact of survival (it sort of reminds me of Stargate Universe in that way, people desperate to survive and fighting amongst themselves when they need to stick together simply because too many people think too much of themselves or cannot shed old and defunct prejudices). That being said, there are some characters that I wish we could have seen more of. Mostly Amy and even Merle for all his stupidness (though I suppose we will see more of him soon enough because you know he’s not dead and I also suppose you could argue that his brother is basically the same as having him). The most upsetting loss was Amy, particularly because we’d just seen her bonding with her sister and getting to know her character. I care less about seeing her sister fight her grief than i did seeing them bond (that fishing scene and that necklace scene were fantastic) because it felt like we were only just getting to see how much they cared for each other. I also hope they reveal to Rick the relationship he had with Rick’s wife. That would be interesting.
It’s surprising how far the storyline has come in only six episodes. It feels like a ton has happened, almost as though things are being rushed along. It would be nice to have an episode or two that are a little quieter, to let us see more about the people we care about and get to care about others (think how Lost had all those background characters so that there were excess people to kill, but how we all came to know and love Bernard and Rose despite their minimal role).
Can’t to see how season 2 goes. When does that start?
What are you feeling about this?