Tuesday, May 03, 2016

What Would Daryl Do?

I've come late to the Walking Dead. But see, nobody told me that it's really about all the other things and not so much the zombies.

If you're not a fan, this post is for you, too, so don't go shuffling off down the road, stick around.

Like I said, I've come late to the party because zombies. Everywhere zombies. On my movies, in my books, all over my TV. In 5K races and on bumper stickers. Even in my music!


Well, that one isn't so bad.

Maybe it was a vampire hangover I was suffering after reading and watching all that True Blood, but I just couldn't tolerate a new supernatural being. I mean, I tolerated it when Game of Thrones (also a latecomer there—I like to jump on board just in time to binge about 4-5 seasons) would slip in more and more supernatural characters each season, but it's kind of gone over the top for me—my husband watched the intro to the season opener and gave me a side eye at the dragons / witches / giants he saw. And he didn't even see the zombies. I mean white walkers.

I've even edited a zombie book before—Chicago Fell First by Aaron Smith. I posted a little interview with Aaron about this book and others on an old blog, MariEdits. So I guess I wasn't totally against zombies, it just had to be done well. Not your run of the mill old zombie terror story. That's what I liked about Aaron's book.

But a show that is totally about zombies from the word jump?

No. Just; no.

Then my son asked if he could watch The Walking Dead, since all the kids are watching it and talking about it at school. Let me check out an episode, I said, I'll let you know. Neither of my kids love scary things, so I shelved this idea and moved on. But then I saw Norman Reedus on an old episode of Law & Order, and I was like hey, that's the dude from the Walking Dead that everyone talks about and then, I tuned in.

The first episode intrigued me. The second episode made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. The third episode hooked me.

I've since watched all 5 seasons, speedballed them, ripped through them like Daryl's arrow through a walker. I would drive down the highway and think about the deserted or parking-lot-esque highways from the show. I hear certain songs on the radio and think how the characters would like them (Daryl would love some Ozzy, I'm guessing. Carl I could see rocking out to Blink 182. Andrea definitely loves some Bonnie Raitt.). During episodes when everyone is calling for Rick, I think it would be funny if he was in an SNL skit with Amy Poehler where she plays the little kid who bounces around her step-dad Rick—only instead of Horatio Sanz it would be Rick Grimes. Maybe she could be a zombie.

And then it was over. Season 6 isn't out for a while and I haven't convinced myself to buy the season on iTunes. I'm downloading those back issues of Entertainment Weekly that refer to the show and try not to read ahead (spoiler alert: I like spoiler alerts and totally read ahead). I listened to a few podcasts and found one that linked to a series of videos about Daryl's character arc. It pointed out a few nuances that you don't see when you just binge the shows, so now I'm starting over at season one, episode one. No more than one episode per day; maybe two. Soaking up the things I missed because I was too busy freaking out over the zombies. And now I'm marveling at how these characters who struggled in season five to integrate with the "normal" people in Alexandria started off so much like them.

Turns out I'm not so anti-zombie after all. Well, maybe I'm more pro-zombie killer than zombie. And I am pricing crossbows on Craig's List because you can't be too careful.

1 comment:

  1. Okay. Maybe I'll watch this show...But not until it's finally over and I can binge the whole thing in a week.

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