Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Weekend I Watched 21 Hours of T.V.

I had just about given up on television. Aside from sports, there was nothing worth watching...or so I thought.

A couple weeks ago, AMC ran The Walking Dead marathon. After seeing the first two seasons are on Netflix’ streaming service, I scrambled to DVR as much of the series as possible. I’ve made foolish investments in DVR space before. (I’m looking at you, Terra Nova.) My expectations were a bit low. (Before we go any further, I guarantee there are no spoilers in this blog.)

Here is the principal cast from season one.

I watched the first episode of The Walking Dead on the iPad. Then I watched the second. Pretty soon it was past midnight and I was hooked. Since I’d DVRed season two, I resumed my Walking Dead feeding frenzy on the big screen. My wife walked by and uttered something about it being gross. Yet, three hours later and she’s saying, “Well, Shane does have a point. I mean Rick is being too nice.”

We caught up to the most recent season three episode several days. That’s 28 episodes. If you fast-forward through the commercials, each one is around 45 minutes. Yeah, 21 hours of television. My word! Thankfully we started this binge on a Saturday. And, I thought I was done with T.V.

So, how did this show suck me in when this genre has been done to death? (pun intended) There are gobs of zombie movies. Plus, a number of terrific post-apocalyptic flicks. Video game publishers have been cashing in on the zombie obsession for years. (To prove how crazy we've gone for zombies, watch this commercial. Yeah, that's real ammo for real guns. The bullet tips are green. Wouldn't want to mix them up with your other bullets.) In short, this series is different because it takes you from point A to B and shows you the choices made to get there in agonizing detail. Allow me to explain.

A lot of futuristic tales depict despondent, callous humans obsessed with survival. But they don’t show you who they were, or how they got there. The Walking Dead does this wonderfully. At the beginning, it’s the humans vs. the zombies. Any surviving humans band together. It’s a given. Joining a group of survivors has a pretty easy entrance exam: don't be a zombie. (FYI: props to the writers for never referring to them as zombies.)

Pushing forward, supplies become strained. Getting more becomes a greater risk. I mean, Hornady Zombie Max bullets don't grow on trees. As you can imagine, humans begin to turn on one another. The Walking Dead makes this transition flawlessly. In a series that prides itself on top-notch zombie makeup, the humanity takes center stage.

Don’t get me wrong, the zombies and effects are awesome. There is a lot of violence. Just a heads up if you’re thinking of watching this with your children.

If any of this interests you in the least bit, sit back and enjoy the ride. Like I said, the first two seasons are on Netflix. I’m sure you could also find them in the video store. The show is currently in the second half of the third season. To fully catch up, you’ll probably need to watch the listings closely and DVR the third season to date. Trust me, it’s worth it. The worst part of the experience will be once you’ve fully caught up. Then begins the weekly waiting.

No comments:

Post a Comment