**Disclaimer: The Walking Dead contains contents not suitable for younger viewers, including gore, adult language and content. This post will have none of those things.***
Like most twenty-somethings today I love zombies. I love their cute dead eyes, the adorable way they shuffle mindlessly, and all the pretty colors their skin turns as it rots off their bodies. With my love of zombies I also have a love for the Walking Dead franchise, evidenced by the fact that I own most of the comics, the video game, and two seasons of the show. With Halloween next week I thought I'd share my fandom for my beloved undead and talk about the critically acclaimed Walking Dead.
As my friendly disclaimer stated above, the Walking Dead is a horror story set in the zombie apocalypse that is chuck full of scary gore and people swearing, but honestly I'm pretty sure if a bishop saw a zombie shambling towards him he'd let loose some sailor language. Let me just get it out of the way that I know this is not a clean franchise, it's not family friendly, and it does nothing to invite the Spirit, but I find it worth talking about anyway because of the caliber of characters put into this thing, as well as the human element stunningly portrayed between the ewey gooey bits.
Where most zombie stories is based solely around the ultra violence, Walking Dead actually focuses on the people trying to survive the horrors, namely Rick Grimes, a small town sheriff with some big responsibilities. After being thrown into a coma before the first guy crawls out of the ground, he wakes up in an abandoned hospital to find everyone dead and the world taken over by zombies. After finding his hat and a clean pair of underpants he sets out to find the only thing worth caring about at that point, his family. After some misadventures involving a horse, a tank and some particularly angry zombies, he manages to find his lost kin. His main goal after that is keeping is wife Lorie and son Carl safe, as well as the ragtag group of survivors they've picked up along the way. He ends up the group's leader and has to make tough decisions about where to stay, who to trust, and how to find food, all while running from the remnants of humanity. To make matters even more complicated, Lorie finds herself pregnant and with no doctors and on the run from zombies, the fact that the father's identity is a mystery becomes the least of her problems.
There's been an effort in recent years to humanize the monsters, hence vampires are reluctant of drinking human blood and Frankenstein's last incarnation could play a flute, but there really is very little way to humanize zombies any further than they already are, so Walking Dead just humanizes the humans, moving away from the stock characters and into three dimensional people. Despite being the constant hero, Rick is in constant doubt of himself and his decisions, and often he makes the wrong decision just because he has no clue what to do. He's not running around with a chainsaw and winning, he's running around with a little boy and a cowboy hat and trying to keep both out of harm. It's a human struggle story that's incredibly well told, otherwise why would it have a billion comic books and be going into it's third season? Check it out if you're brave enough and it sounds like your thing.