Are You Dead Yet?

Kristen C.

Staff Writer

Imagine if the world was overrun by zombies. There is no one in sight, and the air is thick and motionless. In the distance, there are faint sounds that might be screams. The dead now outnumber the living, and the living fear the dead. Somewhere out there, a Walker awaits its kill, stalking prey with a lust for blood. Somewhere out there is sanctuary from this anarchy, but no one knows where. The storyline of The Walking Dead is one of a group of misfit survivors learning to cope with poverty, death and moral values.

The Walking Dead is a post-apocalyptic TV drama series based on the comics by Robert Kirkman. The comics first debuted in October of 2003 and are still on-going.  Premiering on October 31, 2010, to over five million viewers, this epic series, which is filmed in Atlanta and features landmarks such as the Cobb Energy Center, follows the life and survival of Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his acquaintances. The first episode, “Days Gone By,” shows a comatose Grimes waking up in an abandoned hospital to discover the world he once knew is now infested by the dead, known as “walkers.” Grimes makes his way home but realizes his wife, Lori, and son, Carl, have disappeared. He then soon discovers that the Center for Disease Control has set up a quarantine zone in Atlanta. Meanwhile, as Sheriff Grimes frantically searches for his family, Lori and Carl found shelter with a group of survivors and Shane, Grimes’ former partner and best friend. Believing her husband had died while the hospital was being sanitized of the virus, Lori began a romantic relationship with Shane. When Grimes finds himself caught in Atlanta, he and other survivors are able to escape the city and find shelter with other locals. Here he is reunited with his family and friend and begins the journey of evading zombies continuously.

The Walking Dead is greatly reviewed by critics. It was nominated Best New Series of 2011 by the Writers Guild of America. The show also received three nominations for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards. People worldwide praise The Walking Dead for “going there,” referring to how the show touches themes like deception, death, violence, and decisions. Sophomore Juan Vallejo stated, “I’ll probably never stop watching the show. It has a great story line, and the potential to continue on is infinite.” Due to the outstanding success of the first season, the show was signed for a second season.

Season two was highly anticipated by viewers.  The season premiered October 16, 2011, featuring thirteen episodes and had a total of nine million viewers. This season was centered on the group leaving Atlanta, attempting to head towards Fort Benning where there is a rumored shelter. When a mass of walkers approaches the group, a young girl named Sophia goes missing. While searching for her, Carl is shot by a man named Otis who was hunting a deer nearby; in desperate need of medical help, Otis leads the group to a farm owned by veterinarian Hershel Greene. Hershel allows Sheriff Grimes and the others to stay at his home until they find Sophia. Meanwhile, the authority of the group is threatened due to Shane’s seemingly irrational attitude. The show also reflects life choices when Grimes must come to a decision on how to deal with Shane’s behavior throughout the season. Mrs. Johanna Marcusky, a literature teacher, commented about this, saying, “The Walking Dead shows how natural leaders step up in certain situations and how survival mode kicks in.” Stepping up is exactly what Grimes does in season two. In the season finale, Shane shoots and kills a young man, which attracts a horde of walkers. To regain control of the group, Sheriff Grimes stabs Shane. Though already dead, Shane awakens in zombie state minutes later. Acclaimed the biggest shock of the season by viewers, Grimes reveals to the group what he discovered at the CDC. Whatever the plague is that causes a person to become a zombie, everyone carries it and will return as a walker, regardless of cause of death. Concluding the season, Rick says, “If you’re staying, this isn’t a democracy anymore.” This line famously coined the “Rickocracy” and “Ricktatorship” now held by the ex-sheriff.

The third season premiered October 14, 2012, and was highly anticipated by many. With high-hopes for season three, screenwriters promise this season to be more gripping than the others. Set in an abandoned prison, it is expected that Grimes and the others will almost always be killing off zombies. Literature teacher Mrs. Sonja Green stated, “I am excited to see how they’re [the group] going to do without Shane and what’s going to happen in the prison.” New characters are introduced including Michonne, a katana-wielding lawyer with two zombies chained to her, and The Governor, who runs an active rural town of survivors. Junior Travis Mendel stated, “I hope season three has more action. Rick seems like he will become more dominant over the group.” This season will show the struggle between the antagonist Governor and the protagonist Sheriff Rick Grimes. Containing thirteen episodes, fans hope to see more blood, confusion, judgments, but most of all, zombies.

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