Vanity Fair profiles The eXile: "Gutsy...visceral...serious journalism...abusive, defamatory...poignant...paranoid...and right!"
MSNBC: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
Entertainment / November 23, 2010
By Eileen Jones


There’s this hit series on AMC called The Walking Dead . Just so you know—in case you hear different—it’s a rotten show. Like zombie flesh, it reeks and festers, but not in a good way.

A lot of critics say it’s great because “it’s not really about zombies, it’s about relationships.” If that doesn’t set off alarm bells, you’re not the readership I take you for. Because we know what that means: characters implausibly standing around expressing their Screenwriting 101 feelings about non-essentials while the undead are tearing down the door.

That literally happens in Episode 2. See, I hated the pilot so much I thought it couldn’t possibly be as bad as I made it out to be, so I had to go back and watch some more. But I was right the first time.

In Episode 2, a little knot of main characters are trapped in a shopping mall with the zombie hordes just about to bust in on them. (The mall is an irritating George Romero tribute, irritating because it keeps reminding you of how inspired his zombie trilogy was and how lame this show is.) They get the last-ditch bright idea to disguise their live-person scent with dead blood and guts, on the theory that the zombies won’t be able to detect them and they can escape. So they find a corpse and an axe, but before they get on with it, our hero stops, pauses lugubriously, and kneels down to do a little impromptu pre-dismemberment tribute to the dead stranger.

Now, I don’t claim to have a superior understanding of human nature. Half the time I don’t know what people are on about. But I’m damned if I can imagine this scenario unfolding anywhere there are real, contemporary human beings who want to live. The zombies are breaking down the last barriers, every second counts, gory vile annihilation is staring everybody in the face, and these schmoes are all standing around passively watching the king of the wankers get out the corpse’s wallet and ID and start sermonizing:

His name was George [Whatever-the-hell-it-was]. He had twenty-eight dollars in his pocket, and a picture of a pretty girl…

Further significant pauses, even! And nobody grabs the ax and kills King Wank so they can use his guts as a disguise, which he’s begging for! Or, if they’re too nice for that, why don’t they just shove him out of the way? Meanwhile he drools on about how one day, when he’s reunited with his wife and kids, he has a hunch, he plumb reckons, that he’ll tell them about ol’ George What’s-his-name…

Zombies massing all around! Skull-bashed bodies piled everywhere! A handful of survivors whose odds of staying alive and unzombified are almost nil! Are you getting this scenario? Because the people doing this show are not. They can’t seem to remember for ten minutes together that zombie take-overs are serious. If you don’t take them seriously, you should be doing Shaun of the Dead , a spoof. The Walking Dead is in unfunny-spoof territory half the time.

The pilot set-up went this way: Kentucky cop Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his cop partner start off having one of those dismal getting-to-know-you-as-characters interludes where they talk about stuff in their lives that will all take on big resonance later, in what is supposed to be a convincing people-really-talk-like-this manner, only nobody really does. Partner makes fun of how his girlfriend can’t remember to turn off lights behind her or some such nonsense, and this turns into a somber talk about how Grimes’ wife doesn’t understand him. Women! Can’t live with ’em, can’t kill ’em. Not till they get bitten by zombies, anyway.

These two annoying lawmen get caught in a shoot-out. Our wounded hero winds up in a coma in a hospital, and by the time he wakes up the zombies have taken over. And he wanders around alone awhile, gaping at the apocalypse.

Yeah, you’re right, we already saw that hospital-wake-up-to-zombieland thing in 28 Days Later . I don’t know who did it first, the 28 Days Later filmmakers or Robert Kirkman, the author of the comic book series The Walking Dead is based on. But it doesn’t matter, because in the on-screen world, WE ALREADY SAW THAT, pretty damn recently too, and 28 Days Later did it better.

Anyhoo, Frank Darabont executive produces the series and directed the pilot, and he’s the guy who did The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile . If you suffered through those, you now know what the series creators were going for, Darabont-wise: a zombie show so slow and ponderous and pumped full of rancid triumph-of-the-human-spirit cliches it’ll make the critics sing for joy. And all the idiots who pride themselves on only watching “quality television” will forgive the zombie vulgarity and brag about how much they love this thoughtful relationship drama. It’s perfect for the HBO/AMC TV snobs; nothing but the finest character studies for them, all making whimsical use of lurid, lightly-taboo subjects. Gangsters and drug dealers and undertakers and survivors of zombie massacres; isn’t it amazing how complex and human they all really are?

Nice production values, though. That’s part of the Darabont aesthetic, a sky-high budget, everything plush and roomy and well-shot. The best part of the show is the state-of-the-art special effects and CGI. The gore is copious, and some of the zombies look terrific, mouths all torn out and rotting, eyes gelid.

If you were allowed to concentrate on them and fighting them and running from them, it would help, because zombies horrify us profoundly and rightly so. But you can’t, because Darabont and company keep holding everything up in order to make it more “meaningful.” Oh, the ridiculous amount of effort it takes to get our Kentucky cop on horseback, for example, so he can remind us of the classic Western hero when he rides into town to confront the forces of darkness. Since he can’t evoke our grand history of violent American law-enforcement in a Suburu, every car in a trashed world full of abandoned motor vehicles is suddenly unavailable. Deputy Dope trips over a handy horse and takes his Clint Eastwood ride into town in a long-shot throbbing with significance.


Later, in case you still didn’t get it, someone snarks, “Nice moves, Clint Eastwood.”

Grimes is generally so dumb he should be placed under restraint, but then periodically he comes up with a genius plan to save the whole cast, and it’s up to you to reconcile those two tendencies. He gets that poor horse killed by riding it through the city at an easy loping pace, even after he knows it’s aswarm with zombies. Somehow he seems to assume that if Main Street has zombies on it, all he has to do is turn off onto Elm Street and everything will be fine. He’s a weasel-faced, watery-eyed little paleface, and it just amazes me what people will accept as a protagonist these days.

He isn’t a fluke either; every time characters seem like they’re supposed to be admirable or endearing in this show, judging by the narrative context and the music cues and all that, they’re actually so despicable you get confused. Take the blonde female who’s going to wind up as Deputy Dope’s main squeeze (once he realizes his mean brunette wife is shagging his ex-partner back at the rural survivor encampment—but that’s another storyline). This blonde gets her big character-establishing moment while still in that damn mall, in the lull before George gets dismembered. She and the Deputy are wandering around chatting in the Women’s Accessories section, while the zombies hammer on the shatterproof glass, and she spots a mermaid pendant. Big irksome close-up of the mermaid pendant, making sure we remember it for the dramatic payoff sure to come in a later episode. She gushes about how much her missing sister, a goony New Age type, would like it. He urges her to take it for her sister. She frets about whether this might be considered “looting.”

It’s clearly supposed to be touching, that she would still be clinging to a pre-zombie value system, worrying about the ethics of “looting” in the middle of the apocalypse. (Gol durn it, what a sweet purty gal! thinks the Deppity.)

But it’s not touching. It merely seems as if the characters have forgotten the plot of the show. Again. If they’re so addled they can’t remember their own ghastly predicament, it’s hard to stay invested.

And don’t even get me started about the sequence with the cartoon racist redneck and the black man who holds the key to his survival. No joke, there’s an actual key to his survival, and the black man’s got it in his pocket. I can’t think of a better example than that to illustrate just how swamped with meaning this show is.

Read more: , , , , , , , , Eileen Jones, Entertainment

Got something to say to us? Then send us a letter.

Want us to stick around? Donate to The eXiled.

Twitter twerps can follow us at


Add your own

  • 1. tam  |  November 24th, 2010 at 1:26 am

    ‘I don’t know who did [the hospital-wake-up-to-zombieland thing] first, the 28 Days Later filmmakers or Robert Kirkman, the author of the comic book series The Walking Dead is based on.’

    ’28 Days later’ did it first but THAT stole it from John Wyndham’s fantastic ‘Day of The Triffids’ which was written in 1951. And I do mean stolen, it was a blatant rip-off.

    By the way, If you get a chance, watch the 80s BBC adaptation of ‘Day of The Triffids’ which is still terrifying and everything the Walking Dead ought to be, as well as being a reminder the 1980s were a very different time.
    (Not to be confused with the BBC’s more recent remake from a couple of years ago which has some of the worst acting ever. The plants in it have more personality than most of the actors.)

  • 2. Ben  |  November 24th, 2010 at 1:26 am

    The implausible “waking up in hospital” bit was already a ripoff from The Day Of The Triffids when 28 Days Later did it. Also, the little girl he offs in the flashback opening scene looks suspiciously like the one in the opening of The Dawn of the Dead remake.

  • 3. radii  |  November 24th, 2010 at 3:01 am

    Starsky & Hutch + zombies does not make good television … this show is terrible … the only good thing in it was the half-torso lady crawling around in hunger – this extra has been the best actor on the show so far

  • 4. Toni M.  |  November 24th, 2010 at 4:00 am

    I figured this would happen once it was adapted for television. The comics had a cold hearted pragmatism that only grew throughout the run, and Grimes went from RoboCop good guy to hard as nails, iron-hearted survivor.

    I’m hoping this is just clumsy set-up and the show will move away from this annoying bullshit, but it’s a little difficult to have faith. Still, at least Archer is back soon.

  • 5. Lavrentij "Anarchy99" Lemko  |  November 24th, 2010 at 4:48 am

    Zombies = recession/depression. The specter of Lloyd Blankfein is hauting Europe!

  • 6. Loss Leader  |  November 24th, 2010 at 5:22 am

    yeah It does sort of suck, and is making concessions to lame sentimentality that the comic seems to avoid, but the hospital thing is surely a day of the triffids homage on both counts, Ill excuse them both as a fairly so-so reference

  • 7. Caoilte  |  November 24th, 2010 at 7:12 am

    For the record that hospital-wake-up-to-apocalypse thing was invented in 1951 by John Wyndham for his PA book “The Day of the Triffids”.

    Which just goes to show how little innovation there’s been since, really.

  • 8. Aaron  |  November 24th, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Korea goes nuts and no War Nerd? Come on, Dolan, what don’t we pay you for?

  • 9. Leigh  |  November 24th, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Wow, you criticized something popular. I would write something sarcastic like, “You are so edgy…” except then I’d have to admit I’m not edgy because I work for a PR firm. Ah well.

  • 10. Eric Saarsgard  |  November 24th, 2010 at 9:16 am

    What are you on about?
    It’s a zombie show.
    Enjoy the gore. Snooze during the “plot”.

  • 11. Peter  |  November 24th, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Soooo… One of the best zombie comics comes to life in a fairly true-to-comic tv show and Eileen whatever her name is doesn’t appreciate it… “we’ve seen this before…” is not an argument…. Eileen. We’ve never seen ‘the walking dead’ before… Would you like them to warp the original because your tiny head can’t grasp the fact that 2 movies 5 years apart about zombies have slightly similar plots? I had big doubts about this series because it’s more of a niche and I didn’t think it would catch o… But they did a great job… Hey, Eileen… Ever heard the saying “crappy writers become critics?”

  • 12. Matt  |  November 24th, 2010 at 10:18 am

    It’s funny, I had pretty similar thoughts when I was watching the last episode on Sunday. I was thinking “man all this mopey character development sure is great, but when are they going to get past the gangsta-looking-latinos-with-hearts-of-gold and get back to the fact that there’s fucking millions of flesh eating zombies all around them?” The end kind of delivered though, with the fucking apocalypse returning into view instead of “CUNTRY LIVIN’!”

  • 13. Oscar Z  |  November 24th, 2010 at 11:20 am

    The tag line for a real zombie apocalypse would be: Zombies, Rape, Cannibalism.

    The rape and cannibalism part would be covered by the survivors, not the zombies. Although zombie rapists would be a new angle in the genre

  • 14. dermotmoconnor  |  November 24th, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    The guy waking up in a hospital was first done in “Day of the Triffids”…written in the 50s, and made into a movie in ~1965, a tv miniseries in 1980, and again a tv miniseries in 2009.

    28 Days Later was an open homage to that, if memory serves.

  • 15. Fischbyne  |  November 24th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    I’ve watched this show. Or rather, I left it on while I was in the room doing something else. Some attractive zombie wallpaper, but the real walking dead here is patronizing network TV sentimentality. Which is what you said. Nice review. Now I know why I turned it off. What’s it called again?

  • 16. thus_speaketh_the_butt_trumpet  |  November 24th, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    It’s crap, with Feelings.

    And we can all blame Charles Schultz. The Peanuts guy. It all started with those neurotic kids, in 1958 or so. That begat the trend of comic books with Feelings, like the Fantastic Four. Next thing you know you have Ice Road Truckers, The Deadliest Catch, all kinds of drek based on a simple formula. Action, real or fictional, with a bunch of Feelings garbage that used to be confined to soap operas. Soap operas with truckers, fishermen, zombies.

    Apparently the formula works. It does sell.

    It’s good to see cable TV shut-offs at a record pace. The average vidiot pays over $100 a month for their drug. That’s starting to butt up against other essentials, like food.

  • 17. Nestor  |  November 24th, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    The original comic book is relentlessly depressing and grim, so much so that I stopped reading it, but it seems they’re deviating a lot from the source in the TV adaptation.

    (The horse bit was taken from the comic, but it’s not really representative)

  • 18. GARY  |  November 24th, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    must not see t.v.

  • 19. JoJoJo  |  November 24th, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I thought the scene where they chopped the guy up was suppose to be dark humor given that Glenn says “Also, he’s an organ donor” after the Deputy’s schmaltzy speech. But I had no idea that Darabount was the guy behind “Magic Negro” cryfest Greenmile. Combined with the other stuff you mentioned I’m horrified that they perhaps they ARE playing it straight.

    With that said I’m quite pleased at how wonderfully violent it is. I can’t stand these action driven shows with no pay off whatsoever. I think I’ll appreciate this show the same way I appreciated 24. As unintentional comedy + gore porn.

  • 20. Eric  |  November 24th, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    It’s about time someone did a decent zombie flick. I’m sad you rip this one apart as the genre usually suffers from cliche, not meaning. I’m okay with them attempting to add meaning so long as it doesn’t encumber the story… which btw, is way better than most post-apocalyptic survivor stories. I’m enjoying the tributes to different movies out there.

    If you allow zombies, why can’t you also allow for meaning? After all, if any of us found ourselves in a world bereft of hope, wouldn’t you try to find hope and meaning somewhere? Given that everyone around you is trying to eat you, the show would truly suck if suddenly everyone turned into post-doctoral philosophers in their quest for meaning.

    The zombie metaphor, by itself, works and I think they’re doing a good job showing fairly normal people struggle to keep it going.

  • 21. JoeCamel  |  November 24th, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    I plumb reckon: Brilliant!

  • 22. 16 Shells from a 30.06  |  November 24th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    My 14 and 12 year old sons love that shit. They’d give it an Emmy for best-new-show. Even though it does stray pretty far from the comic.

  • 23. Derp  |  November 24th, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Dammit man! Walking Dead is a great show! You’re so elitist you guys just have to dump on the occasional hit to show your underground cred!

    Read the f’ng graphic novel, it’s brilliant! The show’s terrifying as hell. Also, a big theme of the novel is that of those who survived the zombies, those who were the craziest and most evil were in many ways the most qualified to persist which is why you got so many loose cannons out there.



  • 24. jacktar  |  November 24th, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    I really wanted this to be good, but I can only suspend my disbelief so much. Could it really be so hard to find guns and ammo in Atlanta? One reviewer wrote that there were so many weapons in Georgia that even some of the guns owned guns.
    Why were they going into the city for supplies when there has to be miles of suburbs and shopping mall sprawl between the quarry and the city? They didn’t arm themselves with axes or shovels or machettes or even clubs! Not a molotov cocktail between them. The campsite security would have shamed a girl scout troop. Vehicles parked all over the place on a dead end road, tents pitched any which way ( tents!) while they whiled away their days catching frogs and rowing on the pond. Couldn’t they have liberated some camper vans and slept in comfort and safety? I’ve done a lot of camping, and at night you hear every mouse, squirrel, and even large insect moving through the underbrush; yet we’re supposed to believe that a pack (herd? flock? gaggle?) of snarling, staggering, shuffling stinking undead can creep up on a quiet campsite without being heard? For shame.
    I’ll probably watch to the end of the season, then no more.

  • 25. A. Nerd  |  November 24th, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Actually, before it was done in Day of the Triffids, it was sort of done in “The Earth Abides” – except then the protagonist is bitten by a snake in the wild, and later stumbles back into the remains of civilisation. And actually, before that it was kind of done by Rip Van Winkle and also the Sleeping Beauty, and before that, by Jesus.

  • 26. wyseguy  |  November 25th, 2010 at 7:32 am

    As a zombie aficionado, Eileen I can get behind your sentiments to not like this “show”. But this statement:

    Shawshank Redemption…..suffered throught it(?)

    Fuck you Eileen!

  • 27. Beauregard  |  November 25th, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Them femizombettes all look like a Sandra Dee ater chuggin too many Fen-phen & Cuervo shooters.

  • 28. JoeCamel  |  November 25th, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    “patronizing network TV sentimentality.”

    lol, Nice!

    “My 14 and 12 year old sons love that shit. They’d give it an Emmy for best-new-show.”

    Awesome…this just about puts it in perspective.

  • 29. thus_speaketh_the_butt_trumpet  |  November 25th, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Derp, you know what was brilliant? The original Judge Dredd, the COMIC. That thing was fuckin’ awesome. Had some insanely awesome art, at other times Meh, but the stories were always good. Always made you THINK. I still think about it often and I was reading it in the mid to late 80s. Along with great art and plots Judge Dredd taught a lot about statesmanship, dystopias, robot vs human “being-ness”, all kinds of food for thoughts. And the inventions and plot devices, Dredd’s bike that was intelligent and he could talk to, his Lawgiver pistol with the big dial for severity of force on it, stumm gas, the juve-cubes, block wars, what an immersive world it was.

    And wouldn’t you know it, we Americans has to turn it into the crappiest movie EVAR.

    We don’t deserve the real Dredd. Or The Viz Comic. Or even The Goon Show. We don’t even deserve Blue Peter.

    Oh – there used to be a British film industry that kicked ass too.

  • 30. Mike C.  |  November 26th, 2010 at 4:36 am

    Given your continuing admiration for “The Simpsons” so, so, soooooooooooooooooo far past its prime, I figured you’d like anything that refused to die.


  • 31. zot23  |  November 26th, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Wow Eileen, the tone of this review makes the zombies look downright pleasant. So you hate The Walking Dead, The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption (you might need to expand on that, this is WTF territory IMHO), zombie movies, and Frank Darabont in general. Why did you tune in beyond a desire to despise it before the opening credits rolled?

    I’m going to help you out: no zombie movie or show is original. Everything springs from Romero’s original film, the zombies have never really changed in the last 50 years. The only story left to be told is that of the survivors (and yes, their “relationships”.) Same thing with vampires; Bram Stoker nailed it in one, everything since just changes the chairs around to explore a new angle. The monsters themselves are the archtypes, they cannot change from the service they provide. Vampires prey on innocence (usually sexual innocence but that’s Western culture for you), zombies stories are the individual trying to overcome the monolith of accepted culture (amongst everyone else.) You could make a vampire movie where it’s vegan and helps people (or a zombie movie with zombies that lament their crimes and argue amongst themselves) but then these monsters simply don’t work.

    I’ll even help you further: every war movie ever made is either a copy of Richard III or Henry V. Every single one. Richard III translates to war is hell and the naked ambition/darkness of men’s hearts will drive you mad (especially if you embrace it.) Henry V is innocence dies and is reborn into glory on the battlefield, the moral general who inspires his troops to a higher calling against unsufferable odds.

    I can also do cop dramas, roadtrip movies, romantic comedies, sports films, or just about anything else you would care to see. Nothing is original other than the repackaging, humans have been telling stories for way too long.

    Believe it or not, Walking Dead has some brilliant repackaging of the same old stuff. If nothing else, by expanding the standard zombie film from 90 mins to ~infinity, you start to run smack into something left alone by the previous works: crushing grief for those lost and massive survivor’s guilt. The worst situation the survivors run into in the comic is not the zombies (you learn to deal with them fairly quickly and efficiently), but what to do once they find an honest to goodness refuge. Because once they stop running and sit still they begin to think, reflect, remember all the people they have lost, and analyze their actions in hindsight. That process can be very dark and ugly – it’s where this series is going.

    I don’t expect you would return to watch more of the series, but for those who do that’s why you would tune in. That’s where the vaunted “relationships” occur: between survivors, against other survivors (I’ll give you a hint where the show is going with this: people are real dicks), against oneself, against god/faith, and so on. That’s where this show is driving to mine its ore, you can either see it and appreciate it or not. Hating it for taking that tack though is just dumb.

  • 32. Luther Blissette  |  November 26th, 2010 at 9:46 am

    thus_speaketh_the_butt_trumpet: “And we can all blame Charles Schultz.”

    No you FUCKING CAN’T!

    Read the early Peanuts again – pure humanist cynicism. Nothing to do with the crap today.

  • 33. Jay  |  November 26th, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Eileen, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. When’s the last time you saw a flesh-eating zombie-themed serial on TV? That’s right, never. Sure it’s not perfect, but some of us are hungry for, um, any kind of flesh we can get.
    Personally, I find particularly lazy the show’s stealing the “Prison Break” girl plus the Sourthern racist guy who loses a hand from the same show, but… what’re ya gonna do? Stop watching? That would be the Ames-ey thing to do. Unless you’re Ames, that’s too Ames-ey. It’s free on the Internet. Get over it. Fast forward if you have to.

  • 34. El Hombre Malo  |  November 29th, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Not even Romero was Original… his take on zombies mimics the classical The Black Smurf comic album by Peyo, published 8 years earlier than Night of…

  • 35. Flatulissimo  |  November 30th, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    I only saw the first episode, and while yes, the conversation in the squad car was contrived b.s., I still gotta say, hey, zombies. I’m going to withhold judgment until I see a little bit more, but so far it looked good to me. So I think Eileen may be full of shit here.

    However, kudos to her for calling bullshit on the Shawshank Redemption, the Hallmark-card prison movie. Even if I disagree on the Walking Dead, she gains some props from me for that.

  • 36. A Silver Mt. Paektu  |  December 1st, 2010 at 4:37 am

    You don’t tend to respond to comments so I know this will go unanswered, but I’d like to know what you thought of Darabont’s adaptation of “The Mist.” While it definitely had more than a few Screenwriting 101 moments, it certainly lacked the schmaltz of “Shawshank” or “Green Mile” and probably had enough action and a sufficiently bleak outlook to keep you happy. I ask because his work on “The Mist” is what landed Darabont the zombie gig.

  • 37. radii  |  December 1st, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Ah, one of those lines of demarcation pops up:

    Shawshank Redemption

    Real fans of cinema dismiss this trite, overly sentimental film as a decent film, yet it lives in the minds of the masses as some sort of cultural touchstone – a GREAT film according to most fans of it … it is #1 on IMDB – which is laughable

  • 38. rapier  |  December 1st, 2010 at 10:56 am

    This whole show is a metaphor on present times,the characters including that poor bastard George are based on people in real life.

    Most of whom are pretty fucked up in the head,if you say looting is cool in the TV show.One of the retards in real life who views one of the Telly character as a realization of his own image,might decide to go Klepto.

    I wish more tv shows would just make stories without having to have some input from some unsung heroes in real life.

  • 39. AR  |  December 1st, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    The best reason to become a Philosophy professor is to teach this class:

    PHI 400: Moral Relativism. Should we “be clinging to a pre-zombie value system?”

  • 40. wengler  |  December 2nd, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Having watched the first five episodes, I can tell you that yes it is boring as hell and the characters are not at all engaging BUT…IT STILL HAS ZOMBIES.

    In the zombie-less shitscape of American television this single fact outweighs all other reasons not to watch it.

  • 41. CensusLouie  |  December 2nd, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    The recent Dawn of the Dead remake was the best zombie movie ever precisely because they dispensed with any pretense, barely suxtextual hints that MAN IS THE REAL MONSTER, and profound pontificating on relationships (okay, mostly). They knew it should be all about frantic zombie violence and they wasted no time getting into it.

    It seems the trend in entertainment these days that every show/movie with an entertaining premise eventually succumbs to being entirely a soap opera about relationships.

    The Office, House, and now zombies. Once great shows watered down to soap opera tripe in order to broaden appeal to the Grey’s Anatomy crowd.

  • 42. Whim & Warning  |  December 2nd, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    @Derp said:

    “Also, a big theme of the novel is that of those who survived the zombies, those who were the craziest and most evil were in many ways the most qualified to persist which is why you got so many loose cannons out there.”

    To quote Roger Ebert (in an older review that applies here):

    “Was there any way to make this material original? To find a new twist? Was there anything the filmmakers wanted to say about the situation – other than the crushingly obvious fact that troublemakers in peacetime often become heroes in war?”

  • 43. CensusLouie  |  December 3rd, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Just for those who are curious, the Walking Dead comic was just as bad, possibly worse. It had all the embarassing takes on the human condition, plus the zombies were Romero slow. That means that all deaths happen due to stupidity. I’m not exaggerating when I say that 98% of the zombie deaths in the comic were from people stopping in front of dark doorways then turning their back to it.

    The absolute nadir of zombie symbolism lies in 28 Weeks Later. American soldiers occupy a foreign country, but when zombies break out and start attacking civilains, soldiers are freaking out because they can’t tell the two apart in dim light and are forced to start shooting everyone! We deserve a lot of crap for Iraq, but nothing as bad as that movie.

    Re: Shawshank. There’s this deep public love of movies where the protagonist has this natural gift that makes him the best at something without trying, being thrust into a position of great demand: Shawshank, most of Matt Damon’s work (Good Will Hunting, Rounders, Borne trilogy), A Beautiful Mind (another hugely overrated piece of smaltz).

  • 44. ...winter?!!  |  December 6th, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    The only difference between those zombies and teabaggers is the zombies don’t carry signs. Look at the similarities: the shows zombies are infected with a physical epidemic
    but teabaggers have been bombarded for years with psychological pathology by first Limbaugh then the next waves of multi millionaire cheerleadering demimondes. They seem to share the same methods of debating
    tactics as well; grunting that stands in for reasoning, unrelenting on the attack, with attacking itself being the sole motivation, they share the same objectives too, to prevail in a desperate last ditch quest for survival of their species.

  • 45. Mike  |  December 9th, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Bothered by 2 things – 1. lack of humor 2. lack of any character knowing anything about zombies.
    If you have been alive you know “head shot.” etc etc etc. Lack of humor is the worst aspect of this drama.

  • 46. scotsman  |  December 9th, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    HAHAH americans. what pretentious wankers. all of you. it’s a show. most of you are all really up yourselves. i’ll give eileen the credit here but as there is a lot of abuse in the comments and it takes a special kind of wank to write een a tiny portion of this type of critique.
    anyway point is that out of all of the garbage ob this page the only relevant thing to come out of it is this
    “PHI 400: Moral Relativism. Should we “be clinging to a pre-zombie value system?”
    who wouldn’t want to take that class. it’s given me an idea so thank you guys. HAHAHAHA mad retarded americans.

  • 47. OWAIS  |  December 13th, 2010 at 3:14 am

    Very good site and very nice……;.;.;.;.;.;

  • 48. good review  |  January 13th, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    This review is pretty much spot on… but I watch the show anyway because I’m a complete sucker for anything zombie. Goddamnit if I don’t spend half the time cringing at the ridiculously banal sentimentality and 1 dimensional characters though.

  • 49. TrangleC  |  January 14th, 2011 at 12:03 am

    I don’t get how so many people can do the typical “Yeah, the movie/show sucks, but the book/comic is much better!”-thing in this case. I didn’t like the comic for mostly the same reasons that are criticised in this review.
    Too much blah-blah and unrealistic characters plus in every issue one one of the characters snaps and runs off screaming into the arms of a zombie. That got pretty boring after issue 50 or so. In that regard the show is even better than the comic.

  • 50. J2B  |  September 23rd, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    I’m a weird fucking guy

  • 51. J2B  |  September 23rd, 2011 at 2:44 pm


  • 52. Flatulissimo  |  November 21st, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    I finally watched more episodes, and it only gets worse. Eileen was right. Show blows donkey dicks.

  • 53. João Alpoim  |  June 30th, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    what about you all keep your opinion to yourself’s? This is like all TV series, an enternaining show, and guess what, apocalypse+zombies entertains people. I dont care if the X scene is a ripoff from some other show. I like zombie movies and i think this is the best. Yes, sometimes it is boring when they start talking while zombies are getting in they’r hideout etc… but nothing is perfect and this show is what comes closest to perfect.

    CUMPS, mthfkrs

Leave a Comment

(Open to all. Comments can and will be censored at whim and without warning.)


Required, hidden

Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed