Phuket Entertainment: Stumble into the Walking Dead

PHUKET: If you haven’t seen the Walking Dead, let’s have a short recap – for you ‘dead heads’ out there – sit tight, we’ll be with you in a minute.

Based on a comic book series of the same name, the Walking Dead is an American television drama about a small group of survivors searching for shelter in an inhospitable world after a zombie apocalypse.

‘Biters’ – as they’re aptly named – are everywhere.

The end of the world begins in Atlanta, Georgia, where we follow the wife of a local sheriff and her young son as they’re led through danger by the sheriff’s best friend Shane.

Slowly, our group expands and we add a host of other surviving personalities: the sage; the hicks; the urban type; the doctor; the kids; the emotionally wounded girl.

It may sound like every other “dead” movie you’ve ever seen, but this series has a palpable dark mood, an awkward tension, a tone achieved through compelling sets and zombie extras that suspends disbelief.

While convincing sets and makeup will lure you in, character drama and shocking revelations will keep you coming back to this house of horrors for more punishment. All the personalities you will come to know and love aren’t safe… ever.

If zombie movies aren’t your thing – and that’s OK, nobody’s perfect – this may not be the series for you.

In comparison with such well-funded mainstream Goliaths as Game of Thrones, the show falls short in some regards.

But consider this, according to a press release from the AMC network, the show’s mid-season premiere last week was the strongest telecast for a series in basic cable (non-paid) history, with a viewership of 12.3 million, making it the most-watched basic cable drama telecast.

That many people can’t be crazy in a bad way.

As the story progresses – one which is predetermined by the comic book series – tough talking southern cowboy sheriff Rick Grimes emerges as the leader of our rag-tag band of survivors, after waking from his coma.

Rick will become the show’s central character whose actions ultimately determine the fate of who will live and who must die.

In season one, while looking for his wife and son (who fled with his best friend Shane, though he doesn’t know that) Rick says: “I’m just a man looking for his wife and son. Anyone who gets in the way is going to lose.”

He is the tough guy hero of the series. But as we reach the middle of season three, where we are now, we can’t be sure who the real hero is anymore.

The show has been well received by critics and fans alike and has received many award nominations, including a Writers Guild of America Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Television Series (Drama).

Linda Stasi writing in the New York Post says: “This season… Let me just say I watched it in the newsroom with a headset on and didn’t realize that I had been screaming out loud. OK, this isn’t necessarily unusual behavior in a newsroom, but it’s unusual when it comes from watching TV.”

Overall, the first season was widely regarded the best so far, with the plot stagnating early in season two, then picking up again towards the end of that season. The beginning of season three was a return to the Dead we all know and love, but last week’s mid-season premiere has been met with mixed reviews.

Chris Kirk – who is no doubt a fan of the show – writes of the mid-season premiere on Slate: “The Walking Dead lacks not only any recurring source of real humor but any positivity. The characters have victories but no triumphs. Rick rescues Glenn and Maggie, but it was like checking off a box on an endless list of problems – the characters have no room in their lives for back-slapping or hooting or high-fiving.”

Admittedly, last Sunday’s episode featured some stale dialogue and little humor but I urge you not to pass judgment too hastily. The show has its ups and downs but in the world of the Dead, anything can and will happen.

You can watch for free online at:

— Chris Hudon

Thai Life
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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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