The Truth Behind The Walking Dead

You want to know the truth about The Walking Dead? Well, it’s not really about zombies. At least, not in my opinion. Maybe I overthink things (I have definitely been accused of this more than once!), but there is so much more to the series than the zombies. I didn’t watch it for the longest time because I really wasn’t “into” zombies, but after a few seasons, I decided to start at the beginning and see what all the fuss was about. Now I’m hooked. But it’s not the zombies that keep me coming back for more. In fact, I really could do without all the blood and guts.

So if The Walking Dead isn’t about zombies, what is it really about? It’s about people. People living in a world struck by an extremely traumatic apocalyptic event that pits people against one another. It’s about learning to survive in a world where it doesn’t matter how much money you made before zombies took over the world or even what it was you did before that happened. No. In this world, everyone is on level ground. Furthermore, there are no rules anymore. And no one around to enforce any kind of rules.

One of the common themes in the series is how to live with the things you have to do in order to survive. The rules are different when you are trying to protect yourself and the ones you love, but how much do you let it change you? How much should you let it change you? There’s no question that you have to change in some way in order to survive but is it worth living if you have to do things that go against your moral standards in order to do so? I also absolutely love the character development in this series. There is so much growth in the main characters from season to season, and it is cool to see how the show handles everyday things like children growing up, people falling in love, women having babies, etc.

It’s probably just the therapist in me, but I really like seeing how the group dynamics change as characters come and go, as well as how the group deals with things. For example, if the world was overtaken by zombies and the world as we knew it was over, the group you belonged to would be trying to get to supplies before other groups. And if you came upon someone who was all on their own, but still human, how do you know you could trust that person and bring him or her into your group? The easy answer would be to take in anyone and everyone, but people are complicated and not everyone always has good intentions. Taking the wrong person in could be the undoing of your entire group and everyone you knew and loved that was still alive. The show certainly gives lots to think about!

I am reluctant to join the mobs of Walking Dead fans, but I just can’t help myself! Please tell me I’m not the only one out there with these ideas!

 Have you ever seen a TV show that really shocked you?

17 comments

  1. I watched the first season and loved it but have fallen really far behind. I need to catch up on it soon. I’ve been watching Revolution lately which has me hooked, I need season 2 on Netflix asap haha.

    • Rachel says:

      There is going to be 6 months until the next season so you have plenty of time! Even if you don’t finish it until later, it’s still worth watching!

  2. Alicia says:

    I have been meaning to write about this for many weeks now. I’m trained as a therapist too and always start analyzing this show when I watch it and am fascinated by the group dynamics

    • Rachel says:

      I know! I’m really impressed by how well they have developed the characters and I feel like the group interactions are so realistic.

  3. those are definitely the themes behind the show love, lots of fans would agree. Zombies are either a bonus for you or the downfall to the show. Regardless it is freaking awesome adn I love it!!! lol i am a total fan girl!

  4. Echo says:

    I agree with you! This show is all about the people. The bonds that they forge, the dynamics in their relationships, the way their personalities change and alter with the events!

    It’s not the walkers that I tune in for! It’s the characters! The people!

  5. Becky Durham says:

    I had the exact same experience. I didn’t watch it for a few seasons, but after so many people telling me that I really should and that it’s about more than zombies, I caught up a couple of months ago and watched the finale last night. You’re right on target with your observations.

    Also, it really, really makes me feel like LOST did (can’t quite put my finger on it, except both shows have great writing), which is my very favorite show of all time.

  6. Barbara Worn says:

    I think you’re completely on target. I don’ think Dead is a zombie show. I don’t like zombie movies and I can’t even look at the blood and guts on The Dead.

    But it’s one of my favorite shows.

    I think the past few episodes have made your point beautifully by depicting the breakup of the prison and the effect it’s had on the individuals who’ve been split off from the group. I especially loved the episode titled “Alone” because it revealed the deep fear the survivors have of being left alone. The past few episodes have been very simple in the way the plot is handled – just a handful of characters in each episode but these have been very moving and a deep insight into the human condition.

    I’m really glad you wrote about this-it’s made me think even more about the relationships on the show and what we can learn about ourselves through them.

    • Rachel says:

      I agree with everything you said, Barbara! I think when it really hit me was the episode with Carol and the two sisters…I don’t want to say too much in case someone reads this and hasn’t seen that episode yet. But geez! It was hard to watch, but what other option did they have?

  7. Holly says:

    I don’t watch anything zombie related because to me it’s in the horror genre, and I don’t watch horror films or shows. I get way too freaked out and I would like to sleep at night!

    That being said, I love the show Revolution because it is a post apopcalyptic and it totally makes me think about what I would do if that type of situation were to happen. But, it creeps me out too.

    • Rachel says:

      We have pretty much given up on Revolution….I wondered the other day if it was still on. The Walking Dead is more of a horror series in the beginning when you’re first learning about the zombies, etc. For the last season or two, it’s really more about how more dangerous other (living) people are than and the actual zombies. Those kind of storylines remind me a little of Revolution, only with much better character development.

      • Becky Durham says:

        We gave up on “Revolution,” too. When neither of us cared any more whether we watched it, we decided we could be done with it.

        • Rachel says:

          Eric never really liked the show in the first place, but I did. He said it wasn’t possible for the lights to go out the way they explained it, so he had a hard time watching a show that was based entirely on something that. I’m not exactly sure how The Walking Dead is different from that, though!

  8. Erlene says:

    I LOVE Walking Dead! It always pains me when I tell people about it and they respond with “I don’t like Zombie movies” because you’re right. It is so much more than a Zombie movie. I love seeing how each character reacts to difficult situations and our family actually discusses what we think we would do in that situation. It makes you wonder how far would you go to protect the ones you love if you absolutely had to do some horrible things.

    • Rachel says:

      I totally used to be one of those people who said they didn’t like zombie movies but this series is truly exceptional. I am always amazed by how true to life the writers portray the characters and their feelings about situations. I appreciate that they don’t just make it into a gruesome zombie movie with lots of blood and guts…

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