The Walking Dead: Dystopian or Social Commentary?

Walking Dead

Walking Dead

I watch very little television these days. There’s not much that really catches my attention. There is one show that I wouldn’t dare miss, and that’s The Walking Dead, AMC Sundays 9pm EST.

It has just wrapped up for season three. Tightly written and always finishing with a cliff hanger, yes it is a show about the zombie apocalypse, but that’s only part of it. Or at least I think so. But read on gentle reader and see if I am stretching it! Maybe I’m over thinking things.

Rick admires his new home, the prison, in Walking Dead. Location, location, location.

Rick admires his new home, the prison, in Walking Dead. Location, location, location.

There were two locations featured prominently in this past season. The main group of survivors we have traveled the show with since the beginning were living a secure life inside an abandoned, save a few walkers, prison.

In this prison they lived happily, free to come and go, with cross bows and rifles at hand, at their leisure. Rick, their hallucinogenic leader, is prone to seeing his wife’s ghost occasionally, but still he’s a good leader, admits to his mistakes when he has to and tries to include the entire group in the decision making process.

OK, there are 8 foot fences surrounding the perimeter, topped with coiled barbed wire and the gates are locked, but the group are free to come and go and do their shopping. Baby formula, diapers, a crib, and other such sundries that you would need to survive a zombie apocalypse. No one seems to care about shampoo or conditioner or deodorant, so apart from the rotting bodies roaming the countryside, the zombie apocalypse is going to be really stinky.

Woodbury from Walking Dead. Trash collection has been suspended.

Woodbury from Walking Dead. Trash collection has been suspended.

Then, on the other side of town, we have Woodbury. It is guarded on the perimeter by walls and tires and mad guys with rifles. People roam freely within the guarded walls of Woodbury, and life seems pretty close to the days prior to the zombie apocalypse.

But wait! Not so fast with those crazy ideas that Woodbury is the place to be. Oh no! Look before you leap, as they say. The governor, yes that’s what he refers to himself as, says that no one can leave Woodbury, and if they do they are gunned down. So in this paradise people are imprisoned, but in the prison people are free, get it? Reminds me a little of the Eloi and Morlocks from The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.

The show is pretty ground breaking in that during the show people are given “this week’s hash tag” and sometimes the hash tag is posted on twitter so often it breaks records. My own personal favorite was #Oneleggedhershel

This fool, that's who!

This fool, that’s who!

After the show there is a one hour discussion called Talking Dead, I mean we just can’t seem to get enough of these zombies.

You can even turn yourself into a zombie with the official iPhone or Facebook Walking Dead App. Now what fool would take things to that extreme?

The show as far as I am concerned uses every digital media tactic out there to get noticed. And it seems to be working. Between 9.21 to 12.26 million viewers have been tuning in to this season of Walking Dead.

The only criticism that I have to make about the show, actually this comes from my son who is 14, is that if the zombie apocalypse occurred in 2010, and the world is in lock down mode, how come Rick and his posse are driving a 2012 Hyundai? Maybe they’ve figured out a way to train the zombies to assemble cars? Hopefully it will keep the prices down a bit.

This message is not sponsored by Hyundai or AT&T, but Walking Dead is. That’s pretty clever too.

It may be 2010 on the set of Walking Dead, but Andrea has a set of wheels from 2012.

It may be 2010 on the set of Walking Dead, but Andrea has a set of wheels from 2012.

Just one more picture with Andrea. She made many mistakes this past season, apart from driving a 2012 Hyundai in 2010 she bedded the governor, missed two opportunities to do him in and then the icing on the cake was that she couldn’t grip the pliers between her toes fast enough to save herself from the zombified doctor!

Phew! Andrea, you are a great example of how not to make choices. andrea


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