Review – The Walking Dead Episode 1

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Walking Dead CastThank you, thank you, thank you for the jackass pirates who leaked the first episode of the upcoming AMC series The Walking Dead.  To say it’s amazing is an understatement, as it not only meets expectations but also surpasses them as well.  The acting, directing, story, it’s all top notch and the quality programming you’d expect from a channel like AMC.

Based on the Image comic book series created by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead follows the survivors of a zombie apocalypse.  It’s main protagonist is Rick Grimes portrayed by the talented Andrew Lincoln.  After being injured in a line of duty Grimes awakes to a world destroyed and ravaged where the dead shamble about.  He must figure out what’s going on and attempt to find his wife and son who may or may not be alive.

The acting is amazing and direction fantastic.  The first episode follows the series quite well and is a great adaptation.  How this show fares on AMC is beyond me as it’s brutal.  It doesn’t hold back, which is fantastic and a huge relief.  And as the first episode shows, the focus is on characters, not scares.

If you’re new to the series, watch it.  This isn’t about scares or gross outs, it’s about characters.  It’s perfect for AMC.  The show deserves to be it’s next hit and if this first episode is any indication, they have one.

Direction: To say the first episode’s direction by Frank Darabont is top notch and expected from a man of his talent.  The pacing and set up is pitch perfect.  No detail is left out and the build up is paced exactly as it should be.  And the choice of scenes to linger on are exactly how I’d of done it, showing off that we can expect a character driven drama that examines humanity.

Acting: The focus on the first episode is Andrew Lincoln and he gives us more than enough to make us care about him.  We’re rooting for him to find his family, and make it through.  Lennie James also gives us a powerful turn as a man struggling with how to deal with his zombified wife.  Here, you have two actors who just show emotional depth, and set up our expectations on what to expect for episodes to come.

Plot: The first episode follows the comic book series pretty well.  We’re given everything we need to understand the rules of these zombies.  We’re given a perspective from Rick’s view and only know a little more than him.  For the most part, this is a world through his eyes and we learn as he learns, mistakes and all.  This is just an amazing first episode, perfect in every sense.

Overall: The worst part of this is I wasn’t able to watch all of the rest of the episodes right away.  Instead I watched the first numerous times.  It’s amazing in every sense and you need to do yourself a favor and give it a chance, zombie fan or not.

Grade: A+

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