Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Walking Dead on AMC: Midseason Thoughts

We’re now halfway through the first season, so I decided to revisit the comics and see what the show was doing differently and how they were staying the true to the comics. 

The biggest difference is the addition of people. In the comics, the original camp group was much smaller. I like how they incorporated the new people into the show, such as lines that Rick might have said in the comic are now designated to one of the newbies. The additional people also add a heightened sense of drama. In the comics, other than some petty issues, everyone seemed to get along, while in the show, there are more diverse personalities, which leads to more tension among the survivors. Yeah, I’m referring to Merle.

Speaking of Merle, I can’t wait to see what the writers have planned for him. He’s a loon but you can’t deny how disturbingly mesmerizing he is. Unless he dies really soon, he’s a character who’s going to go off the deep end, but will wreck a lot of havoc before he goes. Hell, even if he dies soon, he’s going to cause trouble. It would be a shame if he didn’t. But I am hoping he sticks around for a little while.

Right now, the show is in the thick of the first trade paperback. Rick’s made his way to Atlanta, and joined up with the others. I’m not sure how much longer the show can keep them at their current location, but I can see it going on for a few more episodes if they wanted to, and that leads me to my biggest complaint about the show diverging from the comic: Shane’s relationship with Lori.

Here’s where it gets a little spoilery, folks. This is the one storyline that has me concerned. In the comic, Lori seeks comfort with Shane for ONE night. ONE. Later on, she says it was a big mistake. In the show, it appears as though the relationship is ongoing. She might have still been doing it for comfort but damn! Girlfriend was enjoying the hell out of it. This was more than just comfort. This was a full on affair, complete with sneaking around, ending only because Rick came along. Since there’s speculation as to whether Shane’s fate will be the same as in the comics, I worry this affair could lead to something a little too soap opera-ish. Sometimes, nipping a problem like this in the bud frees up the characters, so they can develop in new ways. That’s my hope. I hope we don’t have to deal with this for more than a few more episodes, and we can move on to all the other developments that occur in the story.

Courtesy of AMC
My other concern is Shane, himself. I’m all for switching things up and keeping him around for a while, but if the writers don’t stick with his original story, I’m going to be so pissed. Shane’s arc is such a defining event and so important to the development of other characters, that it would be a disservice to the fans to alter it too much.

Now, if I may geek out for a minute and say, “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god! I love this show!” I can barely watch horror movies anymore because my overactive imagination gets the best of me, but not only am I watching this (during the daylight hours), I’m re-watching it. I am so stoked about it getting a second season pick up. If the show can maintain the level of quality it’s established for itself, it will go on for a long, long time.

What are your thoughts on the show so far? What do you think of Shane and Lori? Do you like the changes or hate them? Who wants more Merle?