Reviews / Sci-Fi / TV

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Transforms Geek Outlaw into a Zombie-Watching Zombie

Hot Nerd Girl and Geek Outlaw Zombies
After 3 full days of Comic-Con, Hot Nerd Girl and I were zombies of a tired kind.


Bart:   “Dad! You killed the zombie Flanders.”

Homer:   “He was a zombie?”


As brainless as it may sound, for the better part of my time on this spinning rock, most of my exposure to the zombie sub-genre of Sci-Fi was linked to no more than a few clever Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episodes and a few haphazard B-movie trailers that ended up causing some early morning sheet changes.


You read that correctly, Geek Outlaw has an unacceptable but completely rational fear of the undead.  (This could explain my favorite movie being about four scientists who zap and capture all things non-living with a nuclear accelerator-based laser stream.)


However, much – but not all – of that has changed within the past few years with the introduction of comedy-first based zombie productions the likes of Shaun of the Dead and ZombielandZombieland without question being my favorite – no doubt to the homage it pays to the classic paranormal blockbuster from 1984 that I love more than life itself.


Even the undead need a little R & R on occasion.


Over the past few years, I’ve been told repeatedly (almost to the point of nagging) by many within my circle of friends, family and Outlaws, that I should – scratch that – NEED to start watching AMC’s mega hit The Walking Dead.  Over the past holiday break, I finally gave in to my Cousin Garrett’s recommendation to give the series a shot and to watch an episode or four before rushing to any hasty judgments.


There’s a new living Sheriff in town.


The fact that he volunteered to watch the first few episodes with me definitely factored into the equation and empowered me with the courage to at least get through a few hours of flesh-eating madness.  Armed with his Netflix account, my remote, and a Costco bulk pack of Hanes undergarments, I decided to finally see what the fuss was all about.



It took roughly 32 minutes of the first episode, but I was hooked faster than a bass on a Brad Paisley fishing trip.  While it ended up taking the better part of that day and a few hours into the next, I crammed the entire first season into the limited capacity of my brain, all without needing to turn every light on in the house before going to sleep.


Regardless, it was official: Geek Outlaw was now part of ‘The Sitting Dead.’  My mind wanted nothing more than to commit itself to a vegetative state after taking in every last minute of the series until I was caught up to the most current episode.


“Help me please! I just sat through over two seasons of The Walking Dead and I can’t feel my legs!”


By the time I finished Season 2 – about 24 hours later, I decided that the permanent impression of my body now adorning my couch was a sign that I might want to let the material of my furniture breathe a bit before tackling the first half of the third season.


The Sheriff and the Governor are set to have a “political” meeting in Season 3.


Thanks to the wonders of Al Gore’s incredible invention of computers talking to each other over an electronic network (please tell me you can see the sarcasm dripping from that comment), I was able to find what I needed to bring me up-to-date with the rest of the ‘Walking’ TV zombies.


From my earlier admission, you know I’m hooked — but why you ask?  I’m glad you inquired.  Here are the top three reasons this Outlaw is on board:



1)      “It’s a brave new / old world”

TV Lincoln 1
“Welcome to the wild, wild, south.”


With the zombie apocalypse pretty much reducing society to a pile of rubble, what is left of the human survivors are forced to revert to an old style way of living.  Short of using horse drawn buggies, the remaining few mouth breathers need to learn how to live off the land and protect themselves in ways very reminiscent to the classic western lifestyle.  Dare I say, it’s now an outlaw’s world.



2)      “It’s the characters stupid”

Group Outlaws
If you think I only posted this because of the attractive blond holding a piece while wearing a cowboy hat and tight jeans… then you would be correct.


If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it twice, and I’ll say it until I’m half dead in the face; characters are what ultimately make a show (or any piece of entertainment) worth watching. Without likable and intriguing characters, everything else is dead on arrival…. even if it’s still walking.


Maggie Greene Lauren Cohan Cowgirl
“I should’ve been a cowboy…”


Barring an arguable exception or two, each of The Walking Dead’s main crew has their good and bad personality quirks, which in turn makes them… human.  It should be of no surprise the Outlaw’s favorite character thus far is the very cute horse-riding farm-girl vixen with a southern drawl, Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohen of Chuck and Supernatural Sci-Fi fame).


Quite possibly the main reason Geek Outlaw is still watching this series.


My spurs are crossed that she will survive the unfortunate fate that is the killing of main characters without warning (or a teaser).



3)      “Humanity on the brink”

WalkingDead Group
“Now remember what I said, we don’t start the Charleston until the second number…”


There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it – I like me some end of the world apocalyptic story telling.  I’m not sure what it is, but seeing how people truly react in a time of possible earth-ending chaos is incredibly fascinating.  Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not going as far as to say I actually want to walk into a McDonalds one day to find customers eating the raw ‘employee’ extra value meals right on the counter.


No, my curiosity is peaked by how people as a whole will react to an end game type of event.  Be it aliens, viruses, mutants, or asteroids the size of Michael Moore’s pants, wondering how billions of humans would react to any type of potentially cataclysmic incident is an intriguing, but very scary, proposition.


Walking a Walker
“Awww Pa! Can we keep him? Can we?! I promise to feed him and take him for walks!”


If I was forced to nitpick and choose something I’m not a complete super fan of, it might be the schlocky over-exaggerated depiction of gore.  Before the comments start rolling in by the busload explaining to me the logistics of undead media, let me just say I do understand this is the classic over-the-top way zombie horror is supposed to be depicted (especially with a series based on a graphic novel).


Zombie Axe
“Not my good axe!”


It’s not that I don’t find it oddly entertaining in a sickly demented way either.  I guess my only qualm lies in the fact that The Walking Dead TV series takes itself in a seriously dramatic fashion with regards to character relationships and the subject matter of human extinction.  Thus, the overly graphic and fantasy-esque gore can abruptly halt the tone set by some of the more thoughtful and somber elements.


“Ya got a little something on your chin… here let me get that for you.”


Seeing a zombie rip a square foot of flesh off a body with one bite, which in turn causes blood to shoot out of an artery like black gold spurting from an oil rig, has a tenancy to “kill” some of the more serious moments during certain scenes.  The bright spot is, the gore is so incredibly outlandish (to me), that I haven’t had any bed-wetting incidents during my entire watching tenure, which saw me take in all two and a half seasons in a matter of 72 hours.


Amy Eaten
“Damn it, my mom is going to FREAK OUT when she sees the hickey you just gave me!”


Even with that extremely minor quibble, I’m proud to report The Walking Dead has successfully filled part of my main Sci-Fi series gap that the recent departure of Fringe was about to create.  As long as the story stays riveting, the characters remain interesting, and Maggie is kept alive, The Walking Dead has officially turned this Outlaw into a TV-watching zombie… well, at least slightly more than I used to be anyway.


(Watch the Mid-Season 3 premiere this Sunday at 9/8c on AMC.)


Maggie Greene Lauren Cohan Topless
“Do these look dead to you?”



4 Spurs





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