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The Walking Dead is back!

10/18/2012

With zombies coming back to life in pop culture the past few years, world-wide zombie walks, costuming, and zombie-related horror films have become more mainstream. In the midst of this zombie frenzy, The Walking Dead has become a cult favorite.

To say that I was excited about Season 3 is a bit of an understatement. In fact, most of my Facebook posts have been a countdown of days to the premier since Season 2 ended several months ago. As I am sure I am not the only die-hard fan of the series, I wonder what everyone else thought about the series opener. Here is my take on it:

The Season 3 premier of The Walking Dead, which aired on Sunday, October 14, started off with a literal bang and no lack of gore. This season hosts a band of new characters, returning lost members, and greater prominence for old characters. As with most other season premiers, not many questions from the previous season were answered, and audiences were left on the edge of their seats with hopes of illumination.

This episode is set after long winter months of apparent scavenging to find food and shelter. The first several minutes of the show had only the sounds of zombie murdering but absolutely no dialogue. It made for both a powerful and awkward opening of the season: with obvious tension between the group of gritty survivors. Although there are tensions that are unresolved, it is obvious that the group has grown between the seasons.

What once was a group of ragtag survivors become more of a family and more skilled in their tactics to vanquish the world of zombies.

The general atmosphere of the episode had a grand “creep factor” obvious from the fact the group had to take over what seems to be an abandoned prison complete with zombie convicts. The episode had an extreme body count from the beginning and action which never ceased. It also seemed that the family of unique characters might need to be more afraid of the living than the flesh devouring dead.

The overall tone for the first episode of season 3 kept well in-line with the feel that fans of the show have come to know and love. While still possibly falling into the of the world of ‘over-drama’, the first episode really seems to encapsulate a faster and more action-packed approach to storytelling.

As the first episode came to an end, viewers were left on the balance beam anticipating the upcoming trials that Rick and company are bound to face. There are plenty of unanswered questions to be clarified throughout the rest of the season. If the season opener is any indication of the rest of the season then it’s time to get our emotions in check for a season full of great shock value.

Anybody who is also a fan of the comic series that the show is based on knows that the television series does not follow the exact pattern of characters deaths. This means that anyone, regardless of their fate in their original comic continuity, can die or prevail at any time which leaves room for a more exciting season.

Who really knows where the season will take us? I, along with every other fan of the series, am ecstatic that it is back, and I cannot wait to see more. With the entirety of the first two seasons of this stellar show now available for instant streaming on Netflix, fans of gore, drama and gritty television owe it to themselves to catch up and join in on this undead phenomenon.

The Walking Dead appears on AMC, Sunday nights at 8pm. Due to mature content, viewer discretion is advised.

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