A Season In An Episode

By Ygal Kaufman

WalkingDeadI’m just going to assume you’re all among the roughly bazillion people who watch The Walking Dead each week.  I know I am, even though I’m the worst of kind fan to have; I hate the show usually.  The first four seasons sprinkled some meaningful moments, decent suspense and solid action among hours and hours of boring wastes of time. 

Then the season five premier hit this past Sunday and changed everything.  Well. They really just changed this one show.  Into one I don’t hate myself for watching. Up until now, Walking Dead has been the comic book nerd’s equivalent to watching Real Housewives.

The premier did so many things Dead normally fails to do on a weekly basis; there was hardcore action galore, cannibalism, which we haven’t seen much of, an invigorating reunion to keep hope alive, some thoroughly unlikable villains and the seeds of a new direction for the show that is more nomadic.

One of the big failings of the previous few seasons was the tendency for the gang to find a place and hole up in it for episodes on end while nothing happened.  This exposed a major failing of the show; in a movie like Dawn of the Dead, for instance, (and let’s not kid ourselves, this show never really strayed far from the concepts that movie laid down) the protagonists hole up in a single location and we only have to stay there with them for 90-120 minutes.  So it doesn’t get old.  But on TV, getting into the nitty gritty?  It may sound like compelling TV, but it really wasn’t.

Aside from a refreshing turn from British stalwart David Morrissey as The Governor, the show has been mostly lacking a certain something for a while.

Now finally in season five, it finally appears the show will be willing to let them roam for a whole season without relaxation. Which would be to actually blaze new trail for the zombie genre; castle defense is overrated.  Right now they seem to be ready for a charismatic villain to step into the fold, which was part of the beauty of the clean slate wiping the season premier unleashed.

The Walking Dead airs on Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on AMC.