One of the biggest & boldest modern TV series, TWD revolutionized and redefined the zombie subgenre – with humanity, emotional resonance, tact characterization, post-apocalyptic sociological discourse, & palpable ATL-based storytelling. 8.8/10.
Plot Synopsis: Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, this gritty drama portrays life in the months and years that follow a zombie apocalypse. A group of survivors travel in search of safety and security, constantly on the move in search of a secure home. But the pressure each day to stay alive sends many in the group to the deepest depths of human cruelty, and they soon discover that the overwhelming fear of the survivors can be more deadly than the zombies walking among them. At times, the interpersonal conflicts present a greater threat to their continuing survival than the walkers that roam the country.
Full Review Coming Soon
The Official CLC Best Episodes Of #TheWalkingDead: Too Far Gone, TS-19, Days Gone Bye, Internment, Guts, Infected, 30 Days Without An Accident, Made To Suffer, Pretty Much Dead Already, Walk With Me, Welcome To The Tombs, Hounded, Save The Last One, Wildfire, What Lies Ahead,
Season-By-Season Reviews: S1 – 9.6/10 / S2 – 7.6/10 / S3 – 8/10 / S4 – 9.2/10
*Possible Spoilers Ahead*
Season 1 – The Biggest Show On Television, TWD has created a legion of a fanbase more obsessive and unquenchably ravenous than the eponymous ‘walkers’ plaguing the streets of Atlanta. 13 Seasons, 150+ Episodes, Multiple Spinoffs, And Billions Of $ Of Revenue Later, it’s clear to see how The Walking Dead revolutionized the zombie subgenre with a legacy set in stone.. however, going back to the beginning, it’s far from the MCU-like blockbuster dumb spectacle event you’d expect it to be. From the opening flickers of Ep. I ‘Days Gone Bye’, there is a zenith focus on characterization and dark, mature, complex themes far more analytical of the living than its dead; like the classic ’28 Days Later’ that arguably foundationalized the concept a decade before it, TWD focuses more on the terrors of mankind [racism, sexism, war, genocide] and existential crisis of postapocalyptica against unfathomable odds-of-death when we become the hunted instead of the apex species hunter than zombies. Grief, loss, fear, betrayal, and paranoia haunt the crew of pro-and-antagonists as much as the possibility of being eaten alive by dead-eyed drooling freaks – and it’s brought to life by a godly score of unrelentingly aggressive minor key arpeggiation by Bear McCreary and, foremost, crew of magnificence. From the audience surrogate prodigal savior-archetype cowboy career role Rick to imperfect selfish jealousy-riddled fallen-from-grace cop Shane to abuse victim and domestic abuser Ed and Carol to redneck trash not quite what he seems Daryl [and his unspeakably (pointfully) infuriating brother Merle] to sisters-ripped-apart Andrea and Amy to heartbreakingly tragic Morgan, the performances are incredible and unbelievably-advanced for an event series of this pop-culture magnitude – and what endears most about S1 is that it feels 10x more indie and self-focused, like it didn’t quite know [obvious to AMC execs by the short 6 ep. season-length] it would even be renewed for an S2 let alone become an unforgettable part of 2010’s entertainment zeitgeist. The Greek Tragedy is best exemplified in a full-circle between the Morgan’s wife and TS-19 CDC (Bonus points for being focused on Atlanta to us as Emory University graduates [where the Centers For Disease Control is located and I personally studied there as a Zoology/Bio Pre-Med Undergraduate Major] arcs of people even choosing suicide in a blaze of glory > life against the walkers in what (maybe apart from a little more information on the who? what? when? where? and why? of the pandemic, and better theme analysis of the capitalism/consumerism roots of the zombie subgenre when it’s clearly meant to reference George A. Romero’s ‘Dawn Of The Dead’ by the mall setting in the hyperthrilling guerrilla warfare arc on the streets of Atlanta from its opening cliffhanger) a near perfect season of television amongst the most game-changing the world has seen. Fans and critics alike usually point to S1 as what feels ‘like a different show’, from the fact its budget was twice as much per episode to more risks taken out of incompacency (more main characters died in six eps of S1 than other seasons even in combination; arcs like the CDC and Dixons are not from the comics and genius plot decisions for once actually the show > comics) the change in tone synergistically because Frank Darabont the exec prod. x showrunner of S1 was fired going into S2 over creative differences of higher evolution like smarter zombies (retaining old memory flickers, tool-utilization, etc.), governmental corruption, and bold complex social issue exposition not always easy to watch (I.e. Merle’s racism, Ed’s domestic abuse x mysogyny, anti-stereotypification in the Vatos gang, etc.). Tragically, HBO turned down becoming the network for the series, and AMC turned from quality drama x horror-survival sociology analytics < mass audience action-horror, and the results are easy to see in S2. They don’t make ’em like this anymore. 9.6/10.
Season 2 – The Litmus Test For A TV Phenomenon [Or Blockbuster Franchise By Its Movie-Counterpart: Sequels], the follow-up has been absolutely critical going back to the ’80’s zombies first boomed in at your local multiplex megamall. Unfortunately for TWD, their S2.. sucks. Well, it’s not awful – just maddeningly-unfocused, wily, and all-over-the-place.. > than its walkers, wasting the biggest and most important zombie setting of all-time in public consciousness dating back to the film and man that started the entire subgenre and concept [George A. Romero’s ‘Night Of The Living Dead’: the farm. Why the showrunners would purposely write the entire major arc of the season to be a lost rando-girl we have absolutely no reason to care about and whom got her own self into her predicament by inexplicably running away instead of listening to Rick’s clear instructions is beyond me.. and (together with a progressively-boring Carl Got Shot arc) makes for unbelievably snoozefest plotting in stark contrastive juxtaposition to the CDC arc of S1 we could’ve watched an entire television show itself about by its pure fascination. The characterization treads the fine line between horror-action and soap-opera by how little to do besides have conversations retreading previous themes like the practicality of living or ‘opting out’ in a walker world, and quite a few characters are written unlikably [Lori, early-Herschel, Andrea, etc.]: a shame because the performances are every bit as compelling and the characterization (even with fantastic new additions that would become major players in the series going forward like strong, rebellious farmer’s daughter southern belle Maggie and cautious and detached yet god-fearing vet-surgeon Herschel) – especially when it comes to the patriarch of the series. Make no mistake, Jon Bernthal carries the season ~single-handedly on his Atlasian shoulders here – making a case for why he (at least early on) was every bit as much of the poster child for the show as Rick Grimes, while being a more interesting character and thunderous power twinged with wily craziness in every aspect of what’s easily a career performance. The horror aestheticization is epic – [quite literally] darker than S1 from the high school to town square to farm with walkers crawling at night. There are moments of genuine brilliance in the season like the barn shootout and Sophia resolution in Pretty Much Dead Already, plot-twist of pure malevolence in Otis, survival vs. benevolence exposition, western-esque shootout [+ questionable strangers] at the bar in Triggerfinger, and epic action-packed finale also pushing Rick Grimes to the edge (perhaps a fall from grace, and tension by the fascinating plot-twist of universal infection with whatever agent causes the zombie transformation upon death). If only they weren’t so few and far-between. Just like life on a farm, the pace is *drastically* too slow and complacent in a world this exciting and full of possibility, and while 2B > 2A, it’s too little too late. 7.6/10.
Season 3 – From the opening flickers of S3, we get straight into the action – and the showrunners keep us there in what is easily the most action-packed [and casuality-laden] season of TWD. There is more gunsmoke, grudges, greed, and gall than an old-town western or ’80’s action flick – and, in that regard, Season 3 flies spectacularly wherein its predecessor failed… without losing the iconography panache while even creating more its own. The Prison setting is absolute brilliance – a now-legendary zombie setting that has become synonymous with the franchise even down to merchandising, theme park attractions, and arcade games bearing The Walking Dead moniker, and it paves way for characterization and social themes numerous as the count of cellblocks and prison inmates-turned-walkers. From the janky aggression of Tenoch Huerta’s squad leader to A+ new characters in Michonne, Tyreese & Co. to powerful arcs/performances led by an Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes (deserves a damn Emmy for how spectacularly he paints the devolution of the perfect messianic cowboy to a flawed griwf-stricken shell of a man wallowing in the depths of pain and struggling to rekindle the lost flames of his humanity) Emmy-worthy the epic returns of S1 legacy characters from the very beginning to give them entirely new arcs and acting showcases like Morgan and Merle [even – impossibly – redemption in the latter case by powerful screenwriting often delivering a death-blow gut-punch for maximum catharsis and emotionalism by evocation of first words we got introduced to them with on their death bed], the people arguably take 10x more frontal status than the walkers in S3: a good thing in all of the aforementioned cases, yet a mixed case in a major new setting for the series – Woodbury. What begins as a genius idea in a secret Romanesque small-town america suburb guarded by tall walls to restart a civilization of resemblance to life before the apocalypse led by a fascinating front man in The Governor drags more than the feet of the walkers over continental numbers of miles over an imbecilic 16-episode length that loses any ounce of steam or interest by the time its put out of its misery; AMC follows The CW in wriging out pop culture viral sensation TV Series for no operable reason with such long ep orders when the 10-12 standard is absolutely enough time while trimming the fat and keeping filler [some egregious snail-paced ones throughout like an hour-long conversation between Rick and Phillip to no purpose because it changes nothing about the plan; worst episode of TWD?] to a minimum. Overall, S3’s power of ideas is more than enough to justify it as one of the better seasons of TWD – even if the execution is mixed, blamable ~entirely by network politics. 8/10.
Season 4 – Well, color us shocked. We [wholeheartedly] believed TWD made a dire mistake continuing the prison aesthetic into S4 – and were immediately cautious at the preponderance of new faces in the opening scene alone in what looked to be a repetition of the sins of S3: crowding the canvas with too many cooks in the kitchen, detracting and distracting from the original crew experience we first came to see: Rick Grimes & Co. [not Woodbury]. Bizarrely, though, by sheer magnitude of screenwriting panache… S4 has one of the strongest beginnings of any season of The Walking Dead – faking us out with all those new faces being [synergized] pig canon for the slaughter of nightmares in a big splashy S1 cliffhanger only doubling down and reproving to the world the genius and icon status of the background setting all over again, juxtaposed with a contagion/quarantine angle to dial up the horror x adrenaline and yet again sprial our heroes into tragedy. girl annoying all deaths her fault feeding walkers wtf, never say what caused strain how do dead get sick, scariest walkers by far eyes bleeding looks dmonic, major changes carol killer leaves, great dynamic herschel god rick jesus, his death one of most tragic in tv history just when proud of rick saw eyes and completely pointless death gutting governor finally gets justice against catharctic in what’s honestly good enough to be a season finale amongst the best eps of the series in just the mid-season takes prison no one wins governor more hypocrisy and hatability but end makes it worth it, too far gone masterpiece ep amongst the best in tv analysis on what have to do to survive and if too far gone answer yes makes you hate him power of his performance few characters ore purposely blood boiling as the governor ep even a masterpiece down to smallest detail clara woman from pilot as zomb in crowd bringing too far gone exposition full-circle balances action and character and death drama one of best ever in one ep i’d argue it’s the episodes that really cemented twd’s climb to become the #1 most watched tv show worldwide rare satisfies every part of the fandom, huge lull after prison finale but splits up new ground brave, new character introduced interesting abraham rosita and scientist eugene claims to know what caused zombies and how to fix