I was a little late to the game with this, but I finally caught the first episode of the new Walking Dead series on AMC last night. Like most people, I was really taken back by the quality of this new show. I'm not much of a fan of horror movies or shows in general, because very few of them understand that suspense isn't about showing people getting their faces torn off and gore for the sake of gore. The people who put The Walking Dead together DO seem to get it - and the result is a show that's actually frightening.
I was surprised at how closely the first episode followed the comic, and I'm excited to see what comes next. The special effects - makeup, computer imaging, whatever - was incredible. I've seen movies with budgets that had to dwarf that of this cable-based show, and I've never seen a zombie like what they had on the first episode. Incredible stuff.
I do have a few concerns. First, I wonder how they'll manage the actor who plays Carl. He'll be growing up throughout the filming of the series faster than the timeline for the show, and that's always tricky for shows to work around (Waaaaaallllt!).
Second, I wonder how the slow pacing of the book will translate to the show. The first episode moved pretty slowly, I thought (which wasn't a bad thing), and I'm not sure how people tuning in to see zombies get their heads beat in will react to that.
Lastly, I wonder what will happen if the show ends before the book does. Let's say that the show has a nice five- or six-season run (at which point Carl will be what, 17?) and everyone involved decides that it's time to wrap it up, but the book is still going strong. Does Robert Kirkman come up with a meaningful ending for the show? Does it stay the same for the book? Do the two stories diverge at that point? It's something obviously not worth worrying over right now. But I'll be interested to see what happens if it gets this far.
Seeing as how this series has already been renewed for a second season, I'd say that I'm hopeful for many more great episodes of this truly chilling show. And when the second season starts to film, Larry and I are totally going to try to be extras on it. It beats all of the other extra work I've done in the past, and I think I could handle sitting in the makeup chair for hours if I got to be a zombie for a day or two.
Oh, and did anyone else notice Carl wearing a Science Dog t-shirt in the episode (he's wearing one in the picture above, too)? That's quite the in-reference. I loved it.