Jumping on the Bandwagon: The Walking Dead
by Noor Alnaqeeb (@nooralnaqeeb)
We all have those friends who push us to hop on the bandwagon. The specific bandwagon I’m referring to is the “new amazing show that has magically been running for a few seasons without being mass-produced and overexposed to the public” bandwagon. These shows include but aren’t exclusive to Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad … and yes, Downton Abbey. It’s come to the point that if you haven’t heard of the aforementioned series that you’ve either been living under a rock, or you’ve been living under a boulder that crash-landed in your living room and broke your TV.
The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead is the three-season trend that I have firmly hoisted myself to. Last semester, while my scriptwriting lecturer raved on about how important it is that we witness the magic that is modern technology in television series, I realized that every one of his examples ended with “so you should watch The Walking Dead”. “The Walking Dead,” I thought, “Meh, it’s going to end up being something like The Vampire Diaries with love triangles and teenage zombies, no thank you.” I have never been so wrong. Two weeks ago, I decided to give the series a shot… two hours ago I finished all three seasons. With that in mind, I decided to perform an experiment. Locate and watch every “bandwagon” series and find out whether or not the hype was justified.
My first project: The Walking Dead. Fourteen days ago, I found myself in an apocalyptic world filled with danger, walkers and confusion and void of any teenage drama. Perfect. The world needs more shows like this one; focusing on surviving and helping others survive instead of the regurgitation of “Oh my gosh, did you hear that [enter person here] cheated on [enter person here] with her sister?” Get rid of the high school drama, throw guts and gore into the mix and we’ve got a winner. The first season left me thinking it was a weirdly wonderful show, but the lack of a clear direction for the characters left me bewildered. However, not bewildered enough to give up on my experiment. Season two brought character development and a certain kind of attachment to the characters that made my skin crawl and my eyes tear up every second they were in danger (which is practically every second of the show). Season three had its ups and downs, but set up perfectly for a fourth season that could potentially blow every other series out of the water.
With that said, it’s probably worth mentioning that I was lucky to have been oblivious to the gossip and politics surrounding budgets and show running as I was watching. This way, nothing but my own experience of the show could affect my perception of it. There may have been speculation around location being determined by budget cuts, but I didn’t consider the locations to be anything but the consequences of the character’s choices. The walkers themselves look so real that you want to reach out and touch their rotting flesh. Now in reality, they’re all lovely people dressed up in stage make up and rags, but don’t blame yourselves if you start locating every sharp object in the room incase the world is suddenly overrun by them. In conclusion, The Walking Dead was definitely worth the hype. I should thank my scriptwriting lecturer for introducing me to this world of madness, and putting my through the agony and excitement of every episode. And now with the show off air until October 2013, I’ll have the summer months to fill with another bandwagon, but which should I go with first; Games of Thrones, Breaking Bad or Downton Abbey?