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Old November 4 2010, 06:39 PM   #155
Zachary Smith
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Re: AMC's The Walking Dead Season 1 Discussion & Spoilers

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Zachary Smith wrote: View Post
Because watching a person try one dead phone or one dead computer after another makes for RIVETING viewing, right?
That's right. It's a great way to build suspense and escalate fear.
I don't think you're going to generate much suspense when every one in the audience and every other character in the story is very aware of the nature of the situation. I think what you're really searching for here is fulfillment of a need on your part for validation of the situation, which isn't the point of the story here. "Night of the Living Dead" told that story. Both versions of "Dawn of the Dead" touched on the advent of the Living Dead. "The Walking Dead" is not about the zombie apocalypse and how it unfolded but, rather, it is about how otherwise sane and reasonable people react to and behave under conditions which are not sane and/or reasonable. It's fair that you wanted to see this story and your criticism is certainly valid from your point of view. After all, story-telling is a subjective enterprise. I think the story-tellers, in this instance made a decision that the audience has SEEN the unfolding of the zombie-apocalypse in numerous other variants and they made an artistic decision to abbreviate the part MOST familiar to audiences and get on to covering new ground. It's a choice I agree with here. Conversely, in the film "Diary of the Dead" I felt the characters easy acceptance and seeming overall QUICK familiarity with the concept of zombies to be incredible and unrealistic. "The Walking Dead" side-stepped this by virtue of having only the single character be in unfamiliar territory and it seems entirely reasonable that a lot of the details were filled in off-screen after the on-screen summary we saw him given. I think this was efficient and effective story-telling which allowed a quick move forward onto new ground from a familiar premise.


[QUOTE=RJDiogenes;4505430]
Zachary Smith wrote: View Post
I'm happy they didn't dwell on this aspect. Everyone has been familiar with the basic initial play-out of a zombie-apocalypse since "Night of the Living Dead" in 1968. We've SEEN the origin of the event story--SEVERAL times in SEVERAL movies. Anyone familiar enough with the concept of zombies to bother tuning in has likely seen at LEAST one of these. Personally, I'm glad it was NOT rehashed here and we're able to get on to traveling some new ground.
If this were a comedy, he could have just said, "I've seen this movie." But it's a drama that needs to stand on its own.
It's a drama that operates initially on a familiar premise. It needs to be satisfying and appealing to its target audience, many of whom have already asked previously, "are there any new zombie stories to tell"? "The Walking Dead" doesn't exist in a vacuum. It is a genre piece with appeal to a certain audience demographic and it therefore carries with it the baggage of all variations that have come before it. It is the story of THESE particular characters within the frame-work of a world we've seen before. As I said, I'm glad this was not a rehash of "Night of the Living Dead" because, how many times DO we really need to see that story told? It was done right the first time and, frankly, rarely done right since--even by Romero. This series is an expansion of that universe.
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