Right off the bat, in the very first scene of the first episode, The Walking Dead challenges the viewer if they really want to watch the show. The first scene is where Rick runs into a little girl who he assumes is human, but then he sees her ravaged face and realizes he must kill her. He shoots her and she falls as a gout of blood shoots from the back of her head. Squeamish people or people who don't want to watch zombie children getting killed will change the channel after a scene like that. I really respected the director and writers for starting with such a strong scene because that's the reality of the show. It's better for those people to stop watching now instead of two or three episodes in. Plus I always respect the people that will kill children in horror media because it's still a taboo in the genre and still pretty rare to see.
The characters are true to their comic book counter parts, which is amazing since the series is largely driven by the human characters as opposed to the zombies. The themes explored are all about us: what would we do to survive? how do we stay moral without any government or organized society? what do we need to sacrifice in order to survive? Rick is my favorite character because he's thrust into a leadership position that he doesn't really want. He has to make the hard decisions and lead this hodge podge group and it's on him whether they live or die. He's also the easiest to like. There are characters that we aren't really meant to like, such as the Dixon brothers. They are racist, abrasive, and horrible, but do they really deserve to be eaten by zombies? The entire cast is talented and convey the emotional horror of the zombie apocalypse very well.
Although the show follows the graphic novels pretty well, there are significant differences, especially in the latter half of the show. I thought I would hate this, but it gives the comic book readers something interesting to look forward to instead of knowing everything that's coming up. The most significant change is the CDC subplot, which was pretty awesome. I hope it has greater repercussions in the second season. All the other changes are relatively minor and don't really change much at all. The only bad thing about the show was that it was only 6 episodes long.
The Walking Dead first season was a success from special effects to zombie makeup to directing to the musical score. This show is the most realistic depiction of zombies that I've seen and how humans can deal with them. No one is safe and anyone, even main characters, can die. I can't wait for the next season to start! It starts 10/16 and will have 13 episodes.
My rating: 10/10