The Walking Dead gets incredibly close to asking a central question, although then it gets distracted by all the fleeing and chopping. Last season, the show dabbled in Lord of the Flies–style theories on the degradation of society, but with its familiar, archetypal characters (wife-beating redneck, saintly old man, heroic sheriff) it felt like rote bickering and posturing. However, by the end of the first season it did slowly tiptoe toward another idea, and this season continues in that same positive direction, asking, What makes me me? How do I know who I am? And what would have to happen either around me or within me to alter or nullify that knowledge? It’s a topic The Walking Dead is uniquely qualified to delve into.
Can The Walking Dead Turn From ‘That Zombie Show’ Into Something Deeper?
This is exactly the direction I hope The Walking Dead heads in, especially with 13 episodes to devote to character development and, of course, killing zombies.
The first of seven episodes of The Walking Dead premiere tonight at 9:00p.m. on AMC, the series will go on hiatus, and then return on February 12, 2012.