Why We All Shuffle Back to 'The Walking Dead'
Start writing a post
Entertainment

Why We All Shuffle Back to 'The Walking Dead'

Doesn't look like we'll be losing Rick Grimes any time soon..

17
Why We All Shuffle Back to 'The Walking Dead'
The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead crawled back into the lives of its viewers with its October 23 premiere, pulling in a crowd of 17 million in America, which is a lot, but not a record. What does holds the record then? Well... Season 5 of the show with its groundbreaking 17.9 million watchers.

The smashing success of the series begs the question: why are we still so fascinated with Walkers? Barnes & Nobles labeled the decades from 2003-2013 " the golden age of zombie fiction". Yet, as we approach the beginning of 2017, almost 4 years after the zombie craze has died down, The Walking Dead has experienced only increasingly positive reviews and greater viewership.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F10%2F31%2F636135294816043552228859597_zombies.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=363&h=959a555b68562b49463a8ab776a8a0ca1797aa82b1cf79072d2ea8e8d04a86f6&size=980x&c=4095970527 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F10%252F31%252F636135294816043552228859597_zombies.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D363%26h%3D959a555b68562b49463a8ab776a8a0ca1797aa82b1cf79072d2ea8e8d04a86f6%26size%3D980x%26c%3D4095970527%22%7D" expand=1]

Fascination with Robert Kirkman's zombies is the embodiment of the zombie metaphor. The premise of the zombie apocalypse that is proposed accounts for the show's success, a complicated social phenomenon, combining the comfort of fiction, fear of the unknown and promotion of the human spirit into an often action packed and gleefully terrifying storyline.

In this case of Kirkman’s television hit, the zombie metaphor is skillfully utilized to address the modern anxieties of America as well as the hope and promise of reinvention, creating a program that is much more multifaceted than the simple brain dead Walker can communicate.

Whether it be a psycho killer, stalker or even murderous doll, the horror stories of the past had one thing in common; an isolated enemy hunted the group. This is not the case with the zombie narrative. The zombie is the embodiment of the fears of modern America. As James Hughes explains in his article concerning the topic “We're not terrified of the individual anymore. We're terrified of mass breakdown…We're terrified of us. And so we have the zombie flick. It is not about the individual hunting the group; the zombie-flick is about the group hunting the individual."

Turn on any news channel today and you are threatened not with a bank robber or home invader, but nuclear war, terrorism, financial crisis and even worse.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F10%2F31%2F6361352953804085331994416360_i%2520didnt%2520ask%2520for%2520this.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=229&h=bf2df105b635bad52f913479ccca52aab323c30c90a1c5fbe0f64dae990ec374&size=980x&c=1072482155 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F10%252F31%252F6361352953804085331994416360_i%252520didnt%252520ask%252520for%252520this.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D229%26h%3Dbf2df105b635bad52f913479ccca52aab323c30c90a1c5fbe0f64dae990ec374%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1072482155%22%7D" expand=1]

Watching the unfolding of the zombie apocalypse allows audiences to remotely experience what could potentially occur, from the safe distance of an extreme premise. Most likely a virus is not going to ravage the nation causing the dead to rise and consume flesh, so although the show captivates modern fears, there is no real reason to be afraid.

So why The Walking Dead? What sets the show apart and keeps it on the forefront of the American television screen?

Fiction offers an avenue to overcome fear and The Walking Dead does just this. The world of the series does not follow the rules of the pre-zombie civilization, allowing the exploration of social stratifications. One prevalent theme that has carried through all seven seasons is the organization of peoples. Whether it be a couple of RV’s parked in a circle or the once thriving fictional town of Alexandria, when groups form, a natural hierarchy is almost immediately established.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F10%2F31%2F636135296382050638-858643679_anigif_enhanced-10150-1436558871-2.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=476&h=39d13b3af9138cd952c7b7874ed4ba7c36163a9a8889968e7cf9aebbcadcca33&size=980x&c=2553002421 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F10%252F31%252F636135296382050638-858643679_anigif_enhanced-10150-1436558871-2.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D476%26h%3D39d13b3af9138cd952c7b7874ed4ba7c36163a9a8889968e7cf9aebbcadcca33%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2553002421%22%7D" expand=1]

Although the world is not longer recognizable with what it once was, somehow the rules are the same. However, because of the changes instilled by the zombie presence, citizens are allowed more leeway to make their own truth.

This paradox accounts for a large degree of personal clashes between the characters, causing the viewer to question both society as a whole and their position in the system. The show deals with human psychology, social theory, history and government without ever having to directly mention any at all. Although written based on a simple premise, “zombies take over the world”, The Walking Dead seamlessly and necessarily incorporates into the plot the aspects of society that are so powerfully integral to the human experience, they do not even have to be spoken.

Doesn't seem like the show is going to be ending anytime soon. Week after week we turn to AMC to eagerly gobble the plot of each episode.

The happenings of Sheriff Rick Grimes and his peers following the zombie apocalypse serves as both an outlet and a basis of exploration for the viewer. The significance of the zombie metaphor accounts for the smashing success of the series and provides an understanding concerning citizen’s unbroken fascination of Kirkman's zombie culture.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F10%2F31%2F636135296972228965-430332868_tiger%2520zombie.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=749&h=d4d13f9e0c316ce5131b4d8861b74e52cbaf390ead1633c81f208dbb884d07f7&size=980x&c=2611202628 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F10%252F31%252F636135296972228965-430332868_tiger%252520zombie.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D749%26h%3Dd4d13f9e0c316ce5131b4d8861b74e52cbaf390ead1633c81f208dbb884d07f7%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2611202628%22%7D" expand=1]



Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Heart on a Wet Sleeve

No one prepares you for the honeymoon phase wearing off

1341
Heart on a Wet Sleeve

Let's start off with the simple fact that God made everyone differently. That statement could not be more evident. We try to embrace our differences and set ourselves apart from the rest of the world. What that doesn't prepare us for is when we yearn for a characteristic of someone else. For example, have you ever met someone who can experience this great heart ache and hardly shed a tear? This person just had their heart ripped out and they find a way to carry themselves through it with great composure. Well, not all of us have that desirable trait. Some of us wear our hearts on our wet sleeves. When a person has their heart on their sleeve, it can be viewed as a good thing, that the individual isn't shallow. However,

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Panic! At The Disco Announces Breakup After 19 Years

Band Makes Breakup Announcement Official: 'Will Be No More'

11461
panic at the disco

It's the end of an era. Originally formed in 2004 by friends in Las Vegas, Panic! At The Disco is no more.

Brendon Urie announced on Instagram that the band will be coming to an end after the upcoming Europe tour. He said that he and his wife are expecting a baby, and the life change weighed heavily in his mind to come to this decision. "Sometimes a journey must end for a new one to begin," he said.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Odyssey's response writer community is growing- read what our new writers have to say!

16968
https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-writing-on-white-book-1043514/
https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-typing-on-type...

Each week, more response writers are joining the Odyssey community. We're excited to spotlight their voices on as they engage in constructive dialogue with our community. Here are the top three response articles of last week:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

To Mom

There are days when you just need your mom

24892
To Mom

There really is no way to prepare yourself for the loss of someone. Imagine that someone being the one who carried you for 9th months in their belly, taught you how to walk, fought with you about little things that only a mother and daughter relationship could understand. You can have a countless number of father figures in your life, but really as my mom always said, " you only get one mom."

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

The Way People In Society are Dating is Why I Don't Date

I need someone to show that they want me for me, not that they're using me to chase the idea of being in a relationship.

24528
The Way People In Society are Dating is Why I Don't Date
rawpixel

You hear your phone go off. He's asking you to hang out. Then, of course, you get the advice of your friends to decipher this text. Is it just hanging out or is it more than hanging out? You've probably done this at least once in your life or at least seen a tweet where someone posted their screenshots with a potential love interest.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments