***Spoiler Alert***  The Show “The Walking Dead” is Not About Zombies

Not even close really. 

I hear a lot of people brag that they haven’t watched “it” because zombie shows are lame and filled with pointless gore. I get what they’re saying and I don’t blame them for feeling that way…When I turned on episode 1, about a year after everyone else had, it did cross my mind that I may be subjecting myself to watching a possessed severed hand dash across the screen at some point but I decided to give it a try and even though I’m not as enamored by the show as I once was, I’m very glad I did.

You don’t have to get very far into the show to see that it’s not about the “Undead” at all. It’s really just about scraping all of the luster and varnish off of life and seeing how far you would go to preserve the species before you completely lose your mind.. What is your morality and where do your loyalties lie? Would you shoot your infected mother after she just gave birth to your baby sister, if you believed she would endanger your life?

You had to hope that somehow in spite of all of the insanity going on around him that Carl would somehow maintain his innocence and grow up to be a happy and stable man. Maybe even hook up with Carol’s daughter and raise a family. Then we found out that this show is not about that at all. Not even a little bit. It’s about letting go of civilization before nature kills you and pretending that the falseness that we clothe ourselves in every day is more real then…well, that’s the question we have to ask ourselves all the time. What is real?

And yes. There are zombies in the show. Herds of them actually. Sometimes they do actually play a role and sometimes they are just a prop. They make great target practice for Daryl’s crossbow or Michone’s samurai sword. Sometimes they actually eat people and it can be frightening but usually it’s just more disturbing. Especially, when someone gets swarmed and pulled under and you watch them get gutted like an animal. The worse part is when you realize that the “Walkers” are never satisfied. Your body would just be like a side of beef to them and then they’d move on. They are not that smart but there are so many and they are insanely persistent.

The character development that takes places especially in the first few episodes is great actually and that is how the shows producers lure you in. They don’t just make up a person. They use actual background and facts to assemble them right in front of you. It’s very fascinating in fact, until they realize how much you relate to and enjoy that character and then after your favorite person is built up, they are slaughtered mercilessly without any warning. 

The show is actually about how worthless technology, money and even time really are  when it all comes down to it. Food, clothes, friendship and shelter are all that really matters when it all comes down to it. The harshest realization I took from it was that the good innocent people are actually the closest to be insane, while the evil people seem to remain the most clear minded throughout the tragedy. What does that say about our society?

Because of that, the Zombies were by far the less frightening creatures in the story. It was people, sometimes even the people you thought cared about you the most that would stab you in the back.. Rick, who started out as the most reasonable and sensible in the beginning ended up as one of the most stonehearted and crazy of them all. Then there is Carol, who started out as a victim, and morphed into a cold blood killer, before just shattering into a billion different pieces.

Really though, deep inside it all, we have zombies around us all the time. They are just ideological rather then realistic. There are always herds of problems following us around, waiting to trap us in a corner or leaning against the protective glass we hide behind and threatening to break through it. Sometimes they even trap us in a prison we are afraid to escape from. 

So really, I believe the reason people refuse to watch zombie movies, is not because they are lame but because there are parts of them that are so real that it scares us and the weapons we have to fend them off with in everyday life, just aren’t as cool or as effective. Take Michone for instance. She’s a badass in the show. Nobody messes with her, even her friends are kept at an arms length. When you first meet her, she actually keeps a pair of “Walkers” as “pets” to keep the others ones away.

She does a lot of the dirty work. It just seems to come natural to her. The Governor is one of the easiest characters in the show to despise. Not only is he one of the most dispicable people the heroes encounter but he actually pretends to be a decent person. That makes it easy to be happy when he finally meets his end. However, it’s a long painful journey to that point. At first you hope that he’s actually created a safe haven where everyone lived happily forever after but that’s not gonna happen in this Series. As hard as it is, you almost hope you can forgive him until you see what he has in store for Hershel.

Hershel and his family are those characters that seem to almost get introduced by accident because a plot twist dictates it. So you don’t even really realize how connected you become to them until something like that happens. Then your heart is ripped from your chest and your not even sure why at first. The reality is, we’ve been connected to highly “intelligent and reckless,” Glenn from the first time we saw him darting around the streets of Atlanta and now he’s got a thing going with Hershel’s daughter Maggie.

Hershel’s other daughter is more Glenn’s age but he seems attracted to the strong independent woman that Maggie portrays. He ultimately pays the price for it too. As something always seems to go wrong for the two of them. However, Glenn and Maggie are the survivors me can see ourselves in. The common man and woman  who have to rise up and find that cold dark part of them that most people try so hard to conceal.

Beth starts out as the innocent little care giver with the sweet compassionate heart. You hope she can stay like that and if nothing else become the big sister/ mother figure that Carl and Judith need. Just like with everyone else, though, the struggle starts to wear her down and she starts to run with Carol and for a minute she seems to be about to hook up with Daryl when she gets kidnapped and everything goes south. Daryl Dixon is the wild card for the good guys. He’s a lone wolf who doesn’t know how to run with the rest of the pack. Even after they insist on him becoming part of the “family” he still hangs on the fringe but you can tell that he actually bonds with Rick and it looks like he finally finds someone that will free him from Carol’s obsessive advances.

It’s around this time that we learn what the show is actually about. It’s about Judith. The young innocent hope of the future who’s cries could put everybody else’s life in danger. You barely see her but she is always there at the forefront of your mind. The birth of “Little Ass Kicker,” was one of the first times we ever saw Daryl Dixon smile. Judith is a constant reminder that no matter how far every else has fallen into the abyss, they still have a heart.

There is so much more to the show. Family, relationships, loyalty, betrayal. Death, murder, love, lust friendship. Hammers, guns, knives, Tennessee Top Hats…

If you’ve watched the show, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t yet, I’m going to stop now before I ruin anymore of it for you but stop making excuses and start letting yourself take that journey into the darkest places of the human heart. You’ll be surprised at what you find in there and you will learn in a hurry that if you haven’t found something that makes your pulse race and your heart beat… if you don’t have something to love and something to hate, if there isn’t a passion burning in your soul that will make you fight for every last raspy breath, then you are…

THE WALKING DEAD!!!!!!

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