Maya Apocalypse Was a Bust, But There’s Always Zombies!

28 Dec

Posted by: mthep

We’ve survived the end of the world, again! I think this was the 4th or 5th time in my life the world was predicted to end, so I’m feeling pretty lucky.

However, I don’t expect to be so lucky when the zombie apocalypse hits. I’m quite certain that, due to a severe shortage of survival skills, and a lack of overall athletic ability, I’ll be zombie-bait within the first few hours. But after watching three seasons of  The Walking Dead, I’m starting to think that might be the way to go.

Beyond the break is a spoilery post about the series thus far. For those who care, and who aren’t caught up to the mid-season finale (season 3, episode 8; “Made to Suffer”), please enjoy The Walking Dead credits set to Growing Pains theme music.

The rest of you, shamble along with me beyond the break!

Yep.

I’ll cover the basics, just in case anyone  reading this hasn’t seen the show, and doesn’t mind being COMPLETELY SPOILED (so probably just Alex, and my mom. Hi Mom!)  – but really, turn back now if you think you’ll ever get around to watching.

The show is set in current times, and for as-yet-unknown reasons, people were infected with a zombie virus, it spread quickly, and now, “zombies outnumber humans about 5,000 to 1” (thanks Walking Dead Wiki!). The show makes a habit of  referring to the undead as “walkers,” and sometimes “biters,” or “lurkers.” I like to think they’re avoiding using the “Z” word to make things a little more realistic. As though the idea of zombies actually existing was too unreal for people, so they, consciously or unconsciously, labeled these creatures something else. People grew up with make-believe zombies in movies, but when family members started tearing out each others organs, shit got real. Maybe it was just too much for people to call their former family members, friends, and neighbors  “zombies,” even if everyone knows that’s what they resemble.

We learn at the end of season 1 that the virus is dormant within everyone, ready to turn you into a walker regardless of whether you get bitten or not. We don’t really see this in action until the end of season 2, but afterwards it becomes standard practice to brain all dead or dying people, to save them the trouble of becoming a walker. This has an especially dramatic effect when that dead or dying person happens to be your mother.

The second season is mostly wasted on the group trying to find a lost kid, only to discover she’s been turned into a walker, and has been right under their noses the whole time. This season was basically a verse straight out of Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic.”

By the 3rd season, the show has finally progressed to its most interesting story arc; sure, walkers are still a persistent nuisance, but our group is learning that their fellow survivors might be even more dangerous. Isn’t that just the luck?

Nearly a year of kill-shots, decapitations, and death have made our group a little cranky, and very attached to whatever bits of normalcy they’ve managed to eke out for themselves.  It only took a couple of  wild west-style run-ins with other survivors to make them more than a little distrustful of newbies, so we’re left to wonder how the few remaining survivor groups could ever begin to rebuild, if they can’t trust anyone.

After months of killing every walker that gets in your way, can our survivors turn that instinct off when confronted with super-creepy-possible-psychopaths who get in their way? Should they? And if the goal isn’t rebuilding, then why keep going? Since I haven’t read the graphic novels this show is based on, I am really looking forward to seeing how the series deals with these questions.

As much as I enjoy this show, I think it’s appropriate to also point out that there are some really poor choices being made with respect to race and gender portrayals, but I don’t have anything more constructive to add here. I’m just hopeful that these criticisms will amount to some changes in the coming episodes/seasons, because the “Iron Law Of The Walking Dead” is really disturbing.

If you’re looking for more Walking Dead to fill your days with, while we wait for this stupid mid-season hiatus to pass, I highly recommend;

The continuation of season 3 will air February 10, 2013 on AMC. 

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