Monday, November 8, 2010

AMC's Wondrous Walking Dead

When is the last time you cried during a zombie movie? Honestly, AMC's new series "The Walking Dead" (based upon the successful cultish graphic novel series) is, after Breaking Bad and Mad Men, their third show poised to be a remarkable and heavily awarded television series. Graphic in its gore content and violence, the pilot nonetheless presented a plausible and terrifying "end of the world" tale that is surprisingly personal with moments of great poignancy.

The central character, Georgia Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes, is shot nearly fatally spending a long (unknown) amount of time lying in a coma, awakening from it and, barefoot and clad only in his hospital gown, stumbles through and out of the hospital to discover a world devastated by some mysterious catylcismic event and nearly devoid of life.

Once again a fairly unknown British actor takes the lead in an American television series, but having watched Andrew Lincoln as Rick in this series, I fully believe the guy was made for the role (or the other way 'round). For nearly 70 minutes, Lincoln's Rick is mostly on his own, but his face - a magnificent mirror registering every emotion from self doubt, fear, grief, utter despair but also the hope of finding his wife and boy. Lincoln's is a tremendous performance of made all the more remarkable considering the genre and thus a rare opportunity for subtlety and introspection.

Rick's interactions with another father and son who capture, but ultimately rescue and aid his return to health, has a deep resonance in a world where men are considered stulted in understanding or expressing their emotions (a topic which is introduced nicely in the shows opening scene with Rick and fellow officer Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal).

If you love zombies (and who doesn't?) this new series is a must see. I honestly was blown away after the premiere, powerfully moved and properly scared to death!

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