The Walking Dead Season One Retrospective

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Last week, I was doing a bit of Christmas shopping with the family, and came across a couple gifts for myself–Walmart had huge bins of television seasons on DVD for ten dollars, and unlike the hit-or-miss bullshit in most cheap bargain bins, this was all good stuff. So, I’m watching Walking Dead again from the beginning, the week after the season five mid-season finale.

I think this is actually my first time watching season one straight through, though I watched each episode as it aired in 2010 (I’m an old-school fan of the comic, since 2003). I find myself wondering all over again why AMC let Darabont go. Season one was a great, self-contained miniseries, that would have surely become an instant classic had additional seasons never been picked up. Instead of a huge essay, I’ll offer a few quick thoughts:

— T-Dog actually had a decent part in season one, for a supporting character. It’s all relative, of course, and I’d have rather seen IronE Singleton playing a more prominent character, but he did have speaking roles in more than one episode.

— Darabont Andrea was Best Andrea. She pulled a gun on Rick the first time she met him, and again when he tried to come between her and her dead sister–a far cry from the copious mistakes she made in season three. I honestly don’t remember much of her season two arc other than her being pissed at Dale and (I think) talking Beth (!!!) out of killing herself. I do know that Season Three Andrea is not much like Comic Andrea. The promise of Comic Andrea has been pretty much fulfilled in Show Carol, though.

— I did NOT know until today that Nicotero himself actually played the zombie who bit Amy. Yay for DVD bonus features, especially for the season that didn’t have the benefit of Talking Dead.

— Darabont zombies, though…not so much. Nicotero’s effects were great, but I wasn’t really down with the fast movements, the rock-wielding or the fence climbing the dead sometimes exhibited.

— His human threats, though, were spot on. We had Merle, a hint of the Shane-issues to come, and of course, Jenner. Jenner was a great warm-up for the likes of the Governor, the Claimers,¬†Gareth and Officer Lerner.

— It’s been great to revisit all the characters who’ve been gone for the past few seasons, and to see the bright beginnings of the wonders that are Daryl and Carol, all over again.

Now, it’s time to dig into season two. Of all the seasons, it’s the one I like the least, but I’m sure I’ll find some gems in there. Most of all, I’m looking forward to revisiting the farm, and meeting the Greene clan again.

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