The Walking Dead has debuted to smashing numbers, based solely on CHUD.com’s business-altering preview piece.
We kid. Frank Darabont is the man and television is the better for having him creating horror shows for it. We will be doing Tag Teams of the show (as we do with Boardwalk Empire and possibly more shows) as we go onward…
With your hosts Nick Nunziata, Renn Brown, Joshua Miller, Elisabeth Rappe, Jeremy G. Butler and Alex Riviello
Casting a pretty solid dividing line between fans and critics, the first season of AMC’s The Walking Dead certainly generated its share of discussion – especially among us here at CHUD. We reviewed all six episodes of the first season, so whether you’re rewatching, just now getting around to it or catching up on a few missed episodes, be sure to have this handy-dandy compendium of all of our thoughts with you as you spend some time amongst The Walking Dead.
Episode One – Days Gone By (Pilot – Directed by Frank Darabont) – Click to read!
Sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes wakes up in the hospital after having been shot while on duty and discovers that while he was in the hospital, something has happened which causes the bodies of the dead to reanimate and attack the living. The town he lived in is mostly abandoned, with many dead roaming the streets at night. Believing that his wife, Lori, and son, Carl, have most likely fled to safety in nearby Atlanta, he grabs a stock of weapons from the locker of his police station, and sets out to find them.
Nick Says: “What struck me first about the television show was its style. Doing The Shield has certainly influenced Frank Darabont. It’s evident in The Mist and it’s really evident here. This is as raw a style as I’ve seen from him and it’s apparent out the gate that The Walking Dead is not your typical Darabont effort…”
Episode Two – Guts (Directed by Michelle Maxwell MacLaren)
Due to his gun toting arrival in Atlanta, Rick causes a group of survivors to be trapped by walkers. The group dynamic devolves from accusations to violence, as Rick must confront an enemy that is far more dangerous than the walkers themselves.
Joshua Says: “Goddammit. I WANT to like this show so much. It is making it very difficult for me though. At the end of the pilot I had hoped the show just needed to work through the growing pains of a familiar set-up before it could start clicking, but I liked Ep 2 significantly less than my already middling reaction to the pilot. I won’t go so far as to say the series shit the bed already, but there was definitely a little sprinkle of urine in the sheets here…”
Episode Three – Tell it to the Frogs (Directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton)
Rick makes a decision to go back to Atlanta to retrieve the bag of guns and save a man’s life. Lori and Shane must deal with the surprising return of someone they thought was dead, which was also a surprise to Shane who has been having an affair with Lori.
Jeremy Says: “This episode, I think, did a good job of getting back to the pilot’s ability to give us familiar ground but put just enough texture on it so that it doesn’t feel used up. The abusive husband and Shane’s handling of it, the “No man left behind” return to dangerous ground – they’re all familiar but there’s enough actual drama surrounding them and interconnecting them to make them interesting…”
Episode Four – Vatos (Directed by Johan Renck)
Rick’s mission to Atlanta is in danger when things go awry. Back at camp, Jim becomes unhinged.
Elisabeth Says: “In some ways, I think this episode would have played BETTER before Rick’s reunion. If you’d kept this group in Atlanta — perhaps started them on the road, and then turned them around — I actually think it would have played better. Here it just feels like treading water. I think I’d feel a lot different if I knew we were getting a full 12 episodes, but knowing we only have 6 just makes it all feel like a test run I shouldn’t be that invested in. I really expected it to be super intense and scary by this point…”
Episode Five – Wildfire (Directed by Ernest Dickerson)
The group is led by their newest member to the Center for Disease Control while one of the members is forced to make a choice that has harsh consequences.
Alex Says: “With the fifth episode, the series that offered a few significant changes to the comic’s continuity has finally completely jumped tracks, and I couldn’t be happier. While it touched on some of the strongest material from the books (Jim longing to be left alone to find his family, Amy getting taken care of by her sister, Shane’s first confrontation of Rick) it’s drastically improved every beat. Amy’s death, for one, is genuinely heartbreaking. It’s something that feels unique about the series as a whole, in fact- it’s hard to think of another zombie property that’s done such a great job humanizing the creatures the way this one has, making you sympathetic to their plight…”
Episode Six – TS-19 (Season One Finale – Directed by Guy Ferland)
An odd scientist lets the refugees into the Center for Disease Control. While they stay at the facility, everything seems peaceful, despite the events going on throughout the outside world. However, peace cannot last forever.
Renn Says: “So here’s the thing… I figured if I kept up this criticism that an exploding CDC demonstrates kid’s show logic at best, then sooner or later someone was going to pull out some research showing that yes, the CDC does in fact have a explosive system in place in the event of a catastrophic emergency. So I called ‘em up…”
And there you have it – Season 2 has been announced but won’t air until October of 2011 and you can bet that we’ll be there to bring you more of these Tag Team Reviews once it airs.