Then the conversation reached my dinner table. I've hadn't heard such praise for a show since Breaking Bad (RIP Walter). 'It's not really about the zombies' was the sentence which convinced me to give it a try.
We begin again and this time we start at the beginning. Season 1, Episode 1: Sheriff's Deputy Rick Grimes gets shot in the line of duty and wakes from a coma some time later (we know this because his vase of flowers are well and truly dead) to find the hospital ransacked and completely deserted. Dead bodies line the corridors. A chained door with 'DEAD INSIDE' scrawled on it moves ominously. Not a good sign. Outside is even worse. Bodies are piled in the loading dock, tanks lay abandoned and not a soul can be found.
We meet our first zombie as Rick desperately tries to make it home to find his wife and son, Karl. It has no legs and is dragging itself along the grass by it's hands. Pretty gross. Rick has no idea what is going on but he makes it home, finds his wife and son gone. Luckily he runs into a live person who explains how Rick has been in a coma for over a month and in that time a deadly virus has overrun the area turning it's victims into 'walkers' who feed on human flesh and pass the disease on through biting. The only way to kill them is to destroy the brain.
And so begins Rick's hunt for his family and we follow him as he joins a small band of survivors battling to stay alive as they search for the source of the 'walker' virus in a post-apocalyptic world.
Ok, I'll admit it - we were hooked by the end of the first episode and it has only got better since. We are coming up to the end of the second series and I'm already worrying what I'll do when I run out of episodes (currently Seasons 1-5 are available on Amazon Prime).
So what about the zombies? Well everyone was right, it isn't really about the zombies. Once you've seen a few episodes they become like wallpaper. I never thought I'd hear myself say 'Once you've seen one zombie you have seen them all' but... The story is about the relationships and dynamics of the survivors and the zombies just give the story a catalyst. What you really care about is Rick and his family and who is going to die next because, like Game of Thrones, this show isn't afraid to cull characters left right and centre. The rules are simple: Don't get bit...
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