Zombies invade your TV

Posted by ron On August - 5 - 2010

AMC is the latest to venture into the popularity of comic book adaptations with the Walking Dead. This post apocalyptic world created by writer Robert Kirkman chronicled a Georgia policeman awoken from a coma, only to face a world populated by moving corpses hungry for living flesh. The title itself was a reference to the uncertain future of the remaining survivors who may lose their sanity before their number is up. One wonders about the TV ratings for such a bleak existence. It’s a safe bet that the first couple seasons will be atop the ratings chart. However, the zombie craze hasn’t been known to have a long life span. How will television succeed where cinema has failed in sustaining a serious zombie horror story?

Garfield may not look like Rick Grimes but if he can channel him, the Walking Dead will do justice to its fans.

Zombies pose a unique challenge. They don’t exhibit much personality. Watching only lifeless corpses roam around aimlessly would test even the most enthusiastic nature channel lover. Therefore, the story doesn’t sell without compelling characters. All eyes will be on Love Actually’s Andrew Lincoln to deliver the goods as Rick Grimes. Lincoln is the only actor cast that has very little resemblance to his comic book character. One can only assume his tryout was so impressive that comic book creator Robert Kirkman and director Frank Darabont were willing to disregard the aesthetic differences. Hopefully, Lincoln learned not to use the same cliche’ Southern twang that most U.K. actors use like a crutch in their dialogue. Modern American audiences are well traveled enough to realize these characters are in the South without reminding them in every single sentence of dialogue. Otherwise such a grievous error ceases to become pertinent to the character and more of a characteristic to a dated stereotype.

Survival of the Dead’s box office returns were more frightening than the actual movie. Not even Romero’s die hard fans came out to embrace this chapter of his never ending zombie saga.

Zombies are not an easy subject to keep the audience’s interest. Just ask the legendary George Romero. Twenty years after Day of the Dead (1985), Romero tried a comeback with diminishing returns. Different directors have tried to switch the formula up with some success. Zombie satires seem to be en vogue. However, no one has touched the idea of a TV series till now.

With Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim’s director Edgar Wright had greater success breaking the box office ice with a hysterical satire on the zombies.

Ruben Fleischer followed with Zombieland. Will zombies ever be taken seriously again?

Frank Darabont was challenged with adapting this monthly title into a weekly TV series. Darabont has the resume to make even the most hardened zombie cynic hopeful. He directed several adaptations of Stephen King’s works such as the Woman in the Room, the Shawshank Redemption, the Green Mile, and the Mist. If there’s one thing Darabont can capture, it’s desperation. It will be a recurring theme on a show where the elevator of emotions only leads to the basement. If the TV series is loyal to its source material, there will be no stylized acts of zombie killing. It’s really a drama about human beings clinging to what shreds of humanity that they have left. Survival and morality will be the two muses tormenting them at every step. With both Kirkman and Darabont overseeing the project, I recommend the Walking Dead for your viewing pleasure in a dark world. The Walking Dead debuts on AMC in the Fall.

32 Responses to “Zombies invade your TV”

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  9. Thoughts on your reviews: I'm not a critic, just honest says:

    Dear Ron,
    I find your review to be utterly confusing and disconnected. You jump around from criticizing zombie flicks to ranting about how the Lincoln doesn’t look like Rick Grimes to criticizing the “cliché Southern twang” that is necessary to maintain the theatrical illusion of being in the South. Good job alienating any of your readers with an accent. As someone from the South, people do talk like that all the time; it is not a trait you can turn off. Criticizing Lincoln’s use of a Southern accent just because, in your own opinion, it is a “grievous error…characteristic to a dated stereotype” is absurd simply because people in the South have yet to rid themselves of their accents and ridding a Southern character of said accent would decrease the authenticity of the role.
    Personally, I find your reviews difficult to read and follow and find your journalistic style repulsive and offensive.
    PS- George Thorogood did not write “One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer” nor was he the first to cover it. Written by Rudy Toombs, the song was originally made famous by Amos Milburn over a decade before Thorogood’s 1977 release. John Lee Hooker recorded the song in 1966 and did a much better version.

    • ron says:

      Dear Amber heart,

      The comment wasn’t to criticize fake Southern twangs or accents or even stereotypes directly but to note: Apparently in Hollywood, there aren’t any good working Southern actors to play Rick Grimes. So much so, that the powers that be felt they had to go ACROSS the pond to the good ol’UK to get someone to do it for America. That’s kind of like Othello with Laurence Olivier. Now, I love Laurence Olivier but I can’t fault any black man from saying, “Hey, what’s up with that?” Likewise, I am sure Lincoln will be serviceable after having seen his performance in Love Actually.

      Since you find my reviews repulsive, I am fortunate not to have to worry about you inconveniencing yourself. Likewise, it’s not our intention to try and retain people who hate Our site.

      Best of luck,

      PS: NEVER SAID George Thorogood wrote, the song One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer. I just liked the tune and it was playing in the Spring Lounge in NYC when I got the name for our site. As for the the other versions, I’ll take your word for it.

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Thoughts on Cinema is dedicated to film reviews. An uncompromising opinion on the intellectual, artistic, and entertainment value to the consumer. With rising ticket prices, we dedicate ourselves to present to you content regarding what you should or should not be viewing. -Ronald H. Pollock Founder and Editor in Chief



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