The Walking Dead: Guts (Review)
If I were forced to pick one word to describe AMC’s new hit series The Walking Dead it would be… Intensity. This review will be written over the span of a couple days, but these first few paragraphs are being written immediately following the airing of the second episode Guts.
It is very rare anything, television or cinema, has to ability to garner my full attention; but The Walking Dead has done just that. My iPhone and Kindle spend the hour nestled into their respective docks well out of reach. Just because the show has my undivided attention does not make it intense, what makes this show so intense is that I spend the majority of the hour literally holding my breath waiting to see what happens next.
It is too bad all of the episodes can’t be 90 minutes long, and honestly I love the fact there are only 6 episodes, maybe this is how they will go with each season (BBC style). ‘Guts’ is a very appropriate title for this episode, I have never thought to rub zombie viscera and entrails all over myself to mask my food like smell from Zombies. The characters in Shawn of the Dead could have used this trick.
In ‘Guts’ we are introduced to a new group of survivors in Atlanta to scavenge for goods and supplies. Among this group is a very “colorful” character named Merle Dixon played by the always excellent Michael Rooker. Dixon is a very angry, very racist, very stupid survivor. When they left him behind I was disappointed in the fact that Rooker may only be in one more episode, but hopefully they will figure out a way to keep him around. Though I can understand why the rest of the group would like to see him die… uh perhaps because he kicked the crap out of T-Dog?
So we are introduced to a bunch of new characters whom I honestly don’t know all their names and was considering “red shirts” when they first come on screen, but I was wrong. They have a pretty diverse group, many of which are apparently not in the comic books.
Of all the new characters I like Glenn (Steven Yeun), the most. He is a feisty survivor who has been in and out of Atlanta several times and is for the first time leading a group. Glenn knows knows all about the zombies and how to avoid them, and one of the coolest scenes of the show is when he is riding around the streets of Atlanta in a bright red Camero with the car alarm blaring to get the undead horde to follow him and away for the building his fellow survivors are trying to escape from.
The zombies have an advanced sense of smell and in order to escape from Atlanta (where is Snake Plissken when you need him?). So now we get to why this episode is titled ‘Guts’. Rick and Glenn are forced to take a captured zombie, hack it to bits and rub the remains all over themselves to mask that tasty alive sent they are giving off. No for a show about zombies walking around and eating people I found it funny that AMC decided to give the “View Discretion Advised” title screen before returning from break right before this happened… um Zombie show of course viewer discretion should be advise. However, it was pretty sweet watching everyone tear into the zombie and I imagine in that situation it would be very therapeutic.
The big question, did the second episode of The Walking Dead live up to the hype, quality and expectations set by the awesome premiere episode? Absolutely! They viewership stayed basically the same, and AMC did the right thing and already ordered a second 13 episode season. I can’t wait for the next installment when Rick is reunited with his wife and son, and to see how he reacts to his best friend giving it to his wife after they left him for dead in a Kentucky hospital. Oh, and Norman Reedus will be included in the cast as Daryl Dixon, so we will get to see how he reacts to the fact they left ole Merle handcuffed to a pipe on the roof of a zombie infested building. Should make for some good TV!
– Brian (follow @briantudor on Twitter)