Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – The Walkers Versus Humanity

AMC no longer means American Movie Classics. 

This week, Amber West and I flip channels over to the revamped AMC and discuss a few of the channel’s new original programs in this week’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday as we review the very popular Mad Men and The Walking Dead.

The supernatural element is taking over the television world today, and AMC joins this phenomenon by telling the story of a small group of people working feverishly to survive a widespread zombie epidemic in the great state of Georgia in The Walking Dead.  The series begins with small town sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) waking from a coma to discover he is alone in every sense of the word: the hospital is desolate, the town looks like a post-apocalyptic war zone, and his family has vanished. 

A man and his son save the deliriously weak Rick from his first encounter with a walker, or zombie as we know it, and nurse him back to health while educating him on the events that transpired while he was recovering from a gunshot wound suffered weeks earlier while on the job.  The outlook appears bleak, but Rick insists his family is alive and sets out for Atlanta to find his wife and son.    

Meanwhile, Rick’s wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies), son Carl, and his partner and best friend Shane (Jon Bernthal) flee the city hoping to reach the Center for Disease Control to seek refuge.   While trapped in traffic, Lori and Shane witness the US military’s bombing of downtown Atlanta and all hope fades.  They join others and set up camp outside Atlanta to assess just how bad the damage really is before proceeding into the city.

Beginning his track to Atlanta, Rick borrows a horse from a nearby farm and rides unknowingly into the city where he finds himself trapped in a tank surrounded by walkers, hundreds of walkers.  Miraculously, he hears a voice over the radio and follows the man’s instructions (Glenn played by Steven Yeun) to safety, but the horse isn’t so lucky. 

Warning: The Walking Dead is a bit graphic at times.  Honestly, I almost stopped watching at this point; I did not like seeing the walkers devour the horse.

Now, back to the story…

Glenn is not the only human in the city; fellow survivors Andrea (Laurie Holden), Merle (Michael Rooker), and T-Dog (IronE Singleton) are hiding out inside a department store attempting to make their way back with supplies to the camp site, ironically the same camp site where Rick’s family is holed up.  Rick immediately establishes himself as the team leader, and after a small mishap, everyone escapes but Merle. 

Rick reunites with his family, unaware of the intimate relations shared between Lori and Shane (in their defense, they assumed Rick was dead). After only a few short days at camp, the men make a final attempt to go back into the city to rescue Merle.  Working with Merle’s brother Daryl (Norman Reedus), the survivors find the remains of a sawed-off hand where Merle was last seen handcuffed.  Despite the fact that Merle’s demise is almost certain, Daryl buries the hatchet and decides to work with the rest of the men, utilizing his vast knowledge of hunting and experienced survival skills against the zombies.

After the camp is infiltrated by a group of walkers and a few lives are lost, the survivors retreat, pack up and head out.  And so the journey begins….or continues in this case.

The Walking Dead is shot without the vibrant colors of Hawaii Five-0 and CSI: Miami, but while not black and white, still appears dark and gloomy in relation to the current state of events.  The episodes are not for those with weak stomachs and are filled with suspense, leaving us hanging on by the seat of our pants.  Not every character is likable, yet we find ourselves hoping that the walkers don’t bite anyone else.

The first season of The Walking Dead is only six episodes, making it perfect for a marathon style viewing party (that’s what we did).  And don’t worry; season two is now airing on AMC. 

How popular is The Walking Dead?  Two episodes into this season, AMC announced it picked up a third. 

It’s difficult to decide which rating I should award The Walking Dead.  For bringing zombies to television, I’m leaning towards a GTV rating; but for the mere fact that each episode doesn’t leave me wishing the story would continue immediately without waiting another week, I’m leaning towards a JFTV rating

Therefore, I’m taking a page out of Amber’s book and I’m combining the two – The Walking Dead earns a TBP rating (Twice Baked Potato).  It’s not predictable like most television programs, making it absolutely delish with all of the combined flavors of butter, sour cream, cheese, chives, and bacon, but it’s still not good for our cholesterol at all (just like our favorite bag of greasy potato chips).      

So, what do you think?  Do you watch The Walking Dead?  Do you find it bizarre that knowing what we know today, the characters never once refer to the Walkers as Zombies?  Will humanity win out, or will the walker epidemic claim the rest of the survivors?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of the incredibly sexy Jon Hamm, I mean the TV series, Mad Men.    

Come back next week when Amber and I review our DVR Priorities in a special Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday edition.

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future. 

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

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29 Responses to Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – The Walkers Versus Humanity

  1. I wonder if the show uses ‘walking dead’ instead of ‘zombie’ because the latter has been used so much and carries an explicit horror feel. ‘Walking dead’ sounds more like people, whereas ‘zombie’ sounds more monster-ish to me… Hmm… Great point, regardless! I’ll have to check the show out. Thanks, Tiffany!

    • I hadn’t thought of that, August. You are right – ‘walker’ doesn’t sound as horror-ish as ‘zombie’. The series is definitely not the typical zombie slasher, it’s more about the survivors trying to, well survive. I hope you check it out and come back to let us know your thoughts.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Jillian Dodd - Glitter, Bliss and Perfect Chaos says:

    I don’t think I could watch it if it’s kinda graphic. I’m such a chicken!! Although with your rating, you seemed to like it!! I mean who doesn’t like Twice Baked Potatoes??

    • Who doesn’t love Twice Baked Potatoes? Yum. I just had a wonderful TBP in Austin this weekend, which helped with my new rating. LOL

      Thanks for stopping by, Jill

      PS. Not every episode is graphic….

  3. Jenny Hansen says:

    I’m with Jillian on this…Zombies kind of freak me out with the gore factor.

    Great post, Tiff!

  4. Alan Edwards says:

    I really liked the beginning of the first season, but it started to get a little stale towards the end. The second season has been worse, sadly. But it has given me fodder for my blog, since it makes me happy to rant and rave afterwards in my episode reviews. So I have kind’ve a love/hate thing going with it.

    • Love/hate. I’m with you, Alan. I love that AMC has brought something so very different to the television, but I hate (my mother hates it when I use this word, LOL) that so much of it has been typical (without giving too much away for those who haven’t watched it – the love triangle). Then, there are moments that are anything but typical (again, without giving too much away – Shane’s Survival-of-the Fittest moment at the school).

      My guy loves it. He loves anything zombie (we just read Chapter 1 of Mark’s new Zombie VYOA – YAY!). So, we will keep watching; but I definitely didn’t feel it worthy of a GTV rating because I’m all over the map with this one.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Catie Rhodes says:

    First, a question. I’ve missed all of Season 1 and whatever episodes of Season 2 that have already aired. We have Netflix streaming, so we’ll watch Season 1 there. Any advice for catching up on Season 2? I’ve seen you mention On Demand. Do you have to buy each episode?

    Obviously, this is one we’ve missed. I’ve seen it mentioned here and there online. With VD and Secret Circle on hiatus until January, this might be just the thing for beating the holidaze. 😀

    Thanks for the review. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

    • I am sure you can find season one on Netflix, but the entire season is also available on one disc at Redbox for $1. 🙂

      Our OnDemand for the network/cable channels is free with our cable service provider (u-Verse). The only movies we have to pay extra for are the new releases not yet on cable. If you have AMC OnDemand, it should be free.

      I hope you and hubby like it…and of course, I’d love to know what you think. Thanks for stopping by, Catie!

  6. Julie Glover says:

    My son reports that this is a popular show among the teens at his school. I didn’t even know what channel it was on! The Walking Dead doesn’t sound like my cup of tea. Your description actually reminded me of Jericho – with a small group of people having to survive a huge life-altering event – only with zombies. Gore is not my thing, though, so I’ll probably look for other options.

    (On the upside, Tiffany, I told my son he should watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and he’s excited about that!) Thanks for the report. So helpful as always.

    • Hey, Julie! I am not at all surprised that The Walking Dead is big with teenagers. Anything supernatural is really their thing….I guess we have them to thank for the variety on television today (Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf, Secret Circle, etc.) . Of course, we had our own “back in the day” with Charmed & Buffy. That is awesome that he’s excited to check out Buffy. Let me know what he thinks!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I’m not a big fan of zombies. As much as I like horror and paranormal stuff, it’s a big surprise, I know. They just totally gross me out. I did really like the zombie trilogy by my friend, Michelle DePaepe (it was pulled from Amazon because it was picked up by a small publisher, yay!), but hers had a great love story with a special twist, which I didn’t see coming. But the zombies themselves make me want to gag.

    My husband and son love the show, by the way. I would probably watch it if I didn’t think it would gross me out too much.

    • Zombies in love…that sounds very interesting. Congrats to your friend Michelle! I may have to check that out.

      To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have watched The Walking Dead if it wasn’t for my guy or for my WatchWed post. But, I’m a glutton for punishment. Once I start something, I must finish it!

      Thanks for stopping by, Lauralynn!

  8. Stacy Green says:

    My husband worships this show. Zombies are interesting to me, and the fact that this is basically a virus has given the show an element of realism. But I don’t watch it, because after watching the first two episodes last year (which were excellent) I knew I was going to get invested in characters that were going to die and/or be afflicted. It was just too much angst to take, lol.

    • Stacy, I have grown attached to the darn characters. Heck, I really don’t like Andrea – but at the same time, I don’t want her to die. There was a moment this week that I was almost yelling at the TV afraid that a walker was going to bite Daryl. It didn’t happen. Not yet. Well, the zombie tried; but he couldn’t get through Daryl’s army boot. 🙂

      I may be in the minority, but I think Rick is a wuss too. He always wants to do right by others and it gets old. It’s no wonder his wife was attracted to Shane.

      Okay, I’m talking like these characters are my friends. I will stop now. LOL

  9. K.B. Owen says:

    Eww. I’m what you’d call a sensitive viewer, but I can appreciate that others enjoy it, so hey, have at it! Survivor tonight, Tiffany! Squee!

  10. Bella says:

    Tiffany, I too had to turn away when the “walkers” devoured the horse. It was surreal. I enjoy watching the show but will confess to having nightmares the night I watch it. It has also serves to freak me out whenever I walk past a cemetery close to my house with Roxy. The minute I walk by, I start seeing the zombie scenes from the show and want to run home! 🙂

    • Cemeteries are spooky, period. Night or Day. Maybe I’ve seen too many horror movies?

      Regarding the horse, when Glenn and Hershel’s daughter took the horses into town, I worried. When Daryl took a horse out searching for Sophia, I worried. Surely The Walking Dead won’t devour another horse, right?

      Thanks for stopping by, Bella!

  11. lynnkelleyauthor says:

    You are so right about zombies taking over on TV. I like the premise of this series, but the graphic scenes get to me! Well done, Tiffany. Oh, I like the term “walkers” too. Nice twist on zombies!

    • I guess it’s not just the zombies that are taking over the TV; the supernatural element is taking over the TV. I’m glad too – I’ve always loved witches, vampires, and werewolves….it’s only fair that the zombies, *eh-hem* I mean walkers, are joining the party. Better late than never.

      Thanks for stopping by, Lynn!

  12. Piper Bayard says:

    It’s kind of funny. I had no idea zombies were so popular before I got on Twitter a year ago. I’ve never been a zombie girl.

    However, I really enjoy The Walking Dead (except for the horse scene). I also enjoy the fact that I’ve met a couple of the actors online, and they are so very nice. I don’t get cable so I’ve only seen season 1, but I’m really looking forward to Season 2.

    Thanks for your blog. Heading over to Amber’s to check out Mad Men, another favorite of mine.

    By the way, have I told you I love your rating system? Makes me hungry every time I read it.

    • I’m with you, Piper. I was never big into zombies until I started dating my guy. He LOVES zombies. Anything zombie, we must watch. Immediately. I guess the closest thing to zombies that I enjoyed growing up was Night of the Comet. Did I just date myself?

      Thanks for introducing me to IronE Singleton on Twitter. I’m following “T-Dog” now. 🙂

      Also, I’m glad you enjoy our rating system. TV and food go hand-in-hand for me -they are two of my favorite things. LOL

      Thanks for stopping by!

  13. The Walking Dead is actually based off the comics by Robert Kirkman. On Talking Dead he said that zombies did not exist in his world so people in his world called them Walkers. My daughter reads the comics so I know a little about what happens in the future although the series is based loosely on the comic books. Darryl doesn’t even exist in the comic books.

    Talking Dead is the 30 min show that comes on at midnight on AMC after the shows air. It’s worth a watch to learn more about the background of the series. They generally have two guests to discuss the show plus guest stars from the series on to discuss that week’s episode and their characters or story. I enjoy it.

    As far as Rick and Shane are concerned? I like Rick better than Shane. I have the thought they are setting the characters up to be in a good cop/bad cop situation. It’s worth noting, *Spoiler Alert*, Shane is killed at the end of the first comic book so again the series has deviated from the comic book. Darryl is fast becoming a favorite character along with Glenn who is my favorite after Rick.

    My only complaint? I wish the female characters were a little better written. They all seem to be cardboard cutouts from the same mold we see on tv everyday. I’d like to see some more depth to these women without making them victims or ?itches. 🙂

    Despite the one complaint it’s a GTV rating for me. But then I cut my eye teeth on horror and this is as good as it gets.

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  15. andrewmocete says:

    Tiff, it saddens me to see Walking Dead get a rating less than GTV. *shakes head*

    I love this show and appreciate how much it’s deviated from the comics because I get new surprises to keep me interested.

    I’ve noticed many like the bad-assery of Daryl and kinda think the rest of the characters aren’t as cool. (Except for Glenn. How’d he pull that off?) One thing to keep in mind is the zombie apocalypse is still a new way of life for everyone. I’ll bet there are events in store that will drive the point home that the world they knew is gone and they have to adapt. It’s going to change and harden them and it’ll be interesting to see who hangs on to their humanity and who loses it.

    And as a comic reader of the series, I know for a fact that there’s a bad ass chick coming soon to Rick and the gang. Stayed tuned. Adjust the rating. Then tell me I was right. In that order.

    Or you could say, Hey! Nobody tells me how to rate my biz-nass! Later for you!

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