Now that House of Cards is behind us, the ZF household turned its Netflix evening wrap-up to The Walking Dead. The show had been recommended once or twice, but I didn’t know much about it beyond: zombie apocalypse television. Which is good enough for me.
So. In case you don’t know, the pilot episode of Walking Dead is excellent. As a film and television viewer, I’ve always prized first and foremost an original experience. When you see something that is unlike anything you’ve seen before, or experienced before, it’s a rare treat.
I didn’t think The Walking Dead was going to fit that billing. As a fan of the post-apocalyptic genre–I’m an American, ain’t I?–I had no reason to believe this show would surprise. It’s not easy to make new and original zombie-apocalypse material, and no one had suggested much to me about The Walking Dead. The opening even bears strong similarities to 28 Days Later, a signal that it wasn’t working to tread new life into the genre.
But as our bicycling Sheriff’s Deputy encounters his first dead, a truly gruesome torso dragging itself on the grass, only to return to it later, out of pity, I realized: I’ve never seen anything quite like The Walking Dead on television. The show was exciting, gory, and, most surprising: actually scary. We’ll see where it goes from here; it’s only one episode.
As if to highlight the rare experience of excellent television, my wife and I followed up The Walking Dead pilot with last night’s episode of Bones, which we still watch out of habit. It was a particularly poor episode of Bones to begin with; but following the wonderful Walking Dead pilot (is “wonderful” okay describing zombie-horror tv?), Bones was nigh un-watchable. Bones was so clever, years gone by. Time to put that baby to rest, methinks.