Bonus Live Blog: The Walking Dead

Hey there friends of 31FoT! I’m so psyched for the series premiere of The Walking Dead on AMC tonight I thought I’d do something a little different: my very first live blog. Stop back at 10 and watch me fuck it up!

Just in case you’re not convinced by my drooling anticipation, the show is currently sporting a Metacritic score of 86. To give some perspective, that’s only 6 points lower than than impossibly excellent Mad Men. The graphic novels it’s based on are truly amazing, some of the best I’ve ever read. The story is set in the zombie apocalypse so there’s some undead grossness, but the focus is squarely on the relationships of the survivors, which are complex and believable. I really think you’ll enjoy it, so watch with me tonight or DVR it if you’re a Steelers or Saints fan. Or if you’re watching the world series, like anyone’s doing that.

WordPress doesn’t allow iframes, so just click on the link below and you’ll be taken to the CoverItLive popup for the live blog. Enjoy the show!

Take me to the live blog!

[UPDATE: I finished the live blog a moment ago. The show was really good! I pasted the whole thing below, definitely don’t read it if you haven’t seen the episode yet. Spoilers abound.]

31 Flavors of Terror Live Blog: The Walking Dead

Sunday October 31, 2010

Just over 20 minutes to go, who’s excited?
T-minus two minutes and counting…
“And now, the premiere of the new AMC original series, The Walking Dead.” Woo hoo!
Beat up cop car pulls into view, camera pulls back to reveal several overturned cars.
Looks like we’re starting a little later in the story than the book, after the apocalypse hits.
I’m guessing we’ll shortly flash back to before it all happened.
Rick looks perfect! Exactly right body type, facial features, even his hat is just right. Now he’s walking through a ravaged campsite. He gets to a gas station with a gas can in hand but there’s no gas to be had. What’s the shuffling sound behind him?
It’s a zombie kid in slippers and a bathrobe. Kinda weird that she stoops to pick up a doll, and doesn’t immediately react when she hears Rick talking to her. But hoo boy is that some gross makeup! Did she just run at him? Doesn’t matter, he plugged her ass right quick. And now, credits!
And now we’re back to where the book started, with the addition of some chatty prologue between Rick and Shane before the shootout.
I should have thought of it while I was reading (they are in Georgia, after all), but I was a little surprised to hear Shane’s thick southern accent.
Shane’s face is absolutely perfect, but I’m not sure he should have so much curly hair. In the book I think he was sporting more of a crew cut.
Okay, this talking in the squad car is getting a little tiresome. We get it, Rick and Lori are having problems, Shane’s his friend, blah blah blah.
Ahh there we go – high speed pursuit in progress, requesting all available units. Stick to the script boys.
Pretty tense – they’re waiting for the chase to get to them, installing one of those road spike strips to pop the bad guys’ tires.
And here they come!
Whoa! Flat tires apparently make cars flip up in the air.
Glad to see this show isn’t afraid to say shit. I’ll miss the book’s constant f-bombs, but that’s enough for now.
Rick took a round in the chest but got up fine. Then BAM! A third person gets out of the car and puts one in his back. Walk it off trooper.
Now we’re getting some fuzzy POV shots from Rick in his coma as Shane visits. Is this really necessary?
And now Rick’s awake, talking to Shane as if he was still there. But the beard tells us some time has elapsed. Looks a lot like this…
Holy shit that picture’s blurry. Sorry about that. I was hoping I’d be able to snap a few shots of the show in progress but that would be a pain in the ass and I’d have a hard time drinking while doing all that. Gotta prioritize.
Now Rick’s venturing out of his room. Yes, the waking up in a coma thing is remarkably similar to 28 Days Later, but bear in mind this graphic novel came out way before that movie. So if anyone was copying, it was the movie.
Whoa! That lady is totally disemboweled all over the floor. Way to go AMC!
Their raspy breathing from the other side of the door is awesome. Can’t wait to get a look at the full shambling horde.
Now he’s in a dark room with only a book of matches to light his way. I’m sure he’ll find an exit without incident.
Actually, he did. Hm.
Awesome – he’s now walking through the courtyard, littered with hundreds of bodies neatly arranged and wrapped in sheets. As if the morgue ran out of room inside, and ran out of body bags to boot.
Oh shit, he just found this lady:
In the show she’s missing her lower half but she’s a good bit fleshier. Still, very not bad. The effects so far seem top notch.
He got to his house to find his wife and son gone. I understand he’s freaking out – and doing a very nice job of it – but maybe put some pants on?
Someone’s walking toward him outside the house. But there’s another one behind him. Or not – it’s the father and son. Son hits him with a shovel, dad grills Rick about the nature of his wound after dispatching the zombie.
I’m so glad they cast Lennie James from Jericho – he’s exactly who I pictured when I was reading the book.
First commercial break! There’s some kind of promotional contest where you enter a code from the show on the AMC website to get a chance at being a zombie in a future episode. Sounds cool but I got other shit to do.
Oh shit – I shoulda probably mentioned this at the beginning but I forgot: SPOILER ALERT. I’m gonna blog about everything that happens in the episode, so I will eventually give a lot away. You been warned, and now, we’re back!
We’re in Morgan’s house again – Morgan took over some of Rick’s neighbors place. Rick still hasn’t figured it out, but Morgan tells him he didn’t kill a man, “it was a walker.”
In the book the zombies are rarely called zombies. Rick divides them into two categories: roamers and lurkers. Another character calls them all biters. This is the first I’ve heard walkers.
Morgan’s laying down the rules: “bites kill you, the fever burns you out. But after a while, you come back.”
Oh fuck, one of the zombies just set off a car alarm. The walkers are on the move.
OH SNAP! When junior says “She’s here”, we see a pretty zombie lady. Must be his mom. That’s pretty messed up. Definitely not from the book, but I’m not sure if it’s a bad thing.
But now she’s working on the doorknob, which is something I don’t remember the zombies in the book being able to do.
Rick just aced a zombie in front of the house the following morning. Took like 5 hard swings with a baseball bat to the head.
Ah, we’re getting a better explanation for why Rick goes to Atlanta – he notices photos are gone, clothes have been packed. Not enough to go far, but enough to get to Atlanta. Like in the book, big cities are refugee centers.
Pretty flimsy, but that’s what I’d do too.
And now we’re at the police station. They’re ecstatic to be able to take hot showers, pretty funny.
More commercials. Boo.
And, we’re back. Nice explanation of why Morgan doesn’t want to try Atlanta himself. Now it’s time to get the guns. So many of my fantasies coming to life here.
Hmmm, they’re working in a way for Morgan to get in touch with Rick – Rick gives him a walkie talkie, promises to turn his on every day at dawn for a few minutes in case he decides to come to Atlanta. Not in the book, but I wouldn’t mind having more of Morgan and Duane.
He just popped a buddy from the force, one I think we saw earlier during the car chase shootout. Rick has adapted to his new circumstances pretty quickly.
Hard to believe we’re already an hour in and Rick still hasn’t left his hometown. They’re really gonna drag this out as long as possible, which is fine by me as long as it doesn’t get too tedious.
Rick’s back to mercy kill the cut in half lady. Meanwhile Morgan is capping zombies from his bedroom window. The idea seems like target practice but I think he’s doing it to lure his wife back so he can finish her. That certainly explains the tears.
Back to the cut in half lady. She really is pitiful. Rick is pretty touching when he apologizes before killing her.
And now it’s Morgan’s turn. But he can’t do it. It’s interesting when you think about it – why does he need to kill her? She’s not a threat to him. It’s certainly not for her benefit, since in my mind behind undead is better than being dead. So bear in mind as they talk altruistically about putting the zombies out of their misery, they’re more likely killing the boor bastards to help themselves sleep better at night.
More commercials.
That was quick.
Only 20-25 minutes to go, so I’m guessing we’ll finish- whoa WTF
He’s using his car’s CB radio. And guess who’s responding – a bunch of folks, including Shane!
Phew, good news – the communication cuts out before they can talk to each other at all. Glad they didn’t let Rick know there were people out there, especially glad he doesn’t yet know who those people are.
Shane’s already starting to unravel a little. But he talks Lori down from her plan to head out and do something unwise. So that’s okay. But now they’re kissing! Whoa shit! In the book they railed once, right after they escaped their town. It’s hinted at and revealed eventually, but Lori considered it a huge mistake. In this version, it’s like she’s given up on Rick and she’s happy to make out with Shane like he’s her new man. Not sure how I feel about that, although it might be interesting if they reveal that she and Shane had been having an affair before the zombie plague hit. Still, I always worry when an adaptation strays from its great source material.
Back to Rick, he’s out of gas. So I guess we’re immediately after he killed the little girl zombie in the beginning. He’s on a farm looking for a new ride, when we hear a horse whinny. Rock and roll, cowboy.
That is one scruffy lookin’ horse.
And at 11:11, we hit the shot from the all the ad posters:
And now, a word from our sponsors.
So we have about 15 minutes to go, this is probably our last commercial break. I’m guessing Rick will make it into Atlanta and meet Glen, but I can’t imagine he’ll get back to the camp and find out Lori and Carl are alive. If all that happens, the pace will have to pick up considerably. Then again, it would be a perfect way to end the episode.
What’s up Hot-lanta! This town is fucking DEAD.
Love the shot of Rick riding past a bus, when a few zombies seemingly wake up at the sound of hooves on pavement. Funny to think of zombies sleeping.
Hmmm, Rick just saw a helicopter coming off the roof of a building. That’s a big plot point later on, wonder if it was the same thing. Seems a bit early.
Whoop, out of nowhere the horde approaches! Rick rides away but it’s too late, they’re everywhere. The horse is a goner, but Rick gets away for a moment. He climbs under a bus and when he realizes they’re gonna get him anyway, he puts his revolver to his temple, apologizes to Lori and Carl, and…
Climbs into the bus through an open hatch! Oh wait, it’s not a bus, it’s a fucking tank. I’ll just grab this extra gun from the corpse lying on the floor and OH SHIT HE’S A ZOMBIE SOLDIER! Rick blasts him and goes momentarily deaf.
The tank’s radio cuts in. Some kid is calling him a dumbass, asking if he’s cozy in there. It’s Glen, but we probably won’t know that until next episode. In the meantime, the camera pulls back to show the horde clawing at the tank’s hatch and feasting on the poor horsey. Cute song plays, the camera elevates and we see the street is filled with zombies. Not bad, not bad at all. Oh, and the code is SURVIVAL. So go enter that on AMC’s website or whatever. And enjoy the daily AMC email updates you’ll inevitably get.
Well kids, that’s it. This was pretty fun but my laptop is burning a hole in my thigh so it’s time to hang it up. I really had a great time this month and I hope you did too. Happy Halloween!

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