Two episodes in, I'm very happy to say The Walking Dead is all that and then some. As much as I am a fan of the comic, I'm loving how it's been adapted for television. Given the show's large ratings ensuring a second season, I look forward to seeing how the show progresses. Especially knowing where the comic goes, this could be really interesting season after season.
Given the nature of the comic, I'm quite happy that the show has kept up a very similar tone. That said, I'm amazed at what is OK to do on a cable TV show these days. Not that I'm a prude; I'm just a little too aware of those TV watchdog groups whose sole function is to go after shows they think are corrupting people's minds. When you have a show where zombies are shot in the head, it's pretty much a guarantee that it's going to turn people away.
Since Mad Men is priority watching in my household, I don't blame Matt for politely passing on The Walking Dead. As a fan of good zombie flicks where the drama and tension between the characters is paramount to the zombies themselves, I find Darabont's direction welcome.
What's most interesting to me is how this seems like the antithesis of a mass-appeal show. I'm not going to try to force anybody to watch this since I understand that zombie stuff is not everybody's cup of tea. And with the things that happen in the second episode, I especially understand those who don't want to watch. It's grim, tense, and almost completely unrelenting. So, my father, the Rubicon and Mad Men fan, might not want to tune in on Sundays at 9 for now.
Even though the first season is still in its infancy, I'm happy to say that this show has been well worth my time. Way more so than Diary of the Dead, Survival of the Dead, and Dead Snow combined. There might be only a dozen different ways you can do a story with zombies, but The Walking Dead has a very, very fresh take on it.