Friday, May 3, 2013

Quick Hit: The Walking Dead and the Birth of the State

Steven Lloyd Wilson over at Pajiba has written a fascinating article on The Walking Dead TV series, which I wrote off as a disappointment a ways back. I watched all of season one and then scattered episodes of season two, and generally felt the adaptation had actually managed to be less inspired than its source material. Needless to say I'm not a big fan of The Walking Dead in any of its forms, with the sole exception of the incredible adventure game by Telltale (but that's a story for a different post).

However, Wilson's article stands as a compelling argument in favour of giving the show another shot. Most of his points aren't really about the show so much as the basic story template set out by Robert Kirkman in the original comics, but regardless Wilson's observations make The Walking Dead seem more interesting and less derivative than it initially appeared. For example, I really like his argument that the characters living in a post-apocalyptic scenario engage in a process of forgetting and re-coding the remains of their dead society. It's the best take on the role of the prison in that story that I've ever heard, and way more interesting than my decidedly-cynical interpretation of it as a tactless literalization of the central metaphor from Dawn of the Dead.

Anyway, you should check out Wilson's article, it's a compelling and interesting reading of a show that I didn't think could give rise to one.

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