So the Emmy awards have come and gone for another year and once again the best drama to be found on television has been snubbed. I'm talking about THE WALKING DEAD which is indeed the best drama found right now. Don't poo poo me and suggest that I don't know what I'm talking about or bypass this show simply because of the title and the horror filled storyline on display. That's the same mistake the Emmy folks continue to make year after year. Instead they should focus on what the real story is here. Not zombies but people.
If you haven't seen the previous four years of the show then stop reading and go back and do so. If you have then know that the release to DVD of Season Four holds so many great items for you to see that as they unfold you'll find yourself both screaming at the TV because of what's happening or tearfully sitting on your couch joyous that you do not have to live in the world portrayed here. The series picks up with the survivors getting along fine in the world they've created for themselves in the prison having defeated the Governor at the end of season three. But things are a bit different.
Series centerpiece Rick Grimes continues to feel the need to protect the people he's taken in but his friend Hershel has convinced him it's time to lay down his sword and take the time to raise his family now. This works for a time but the inner beast set loose upon the world by Grimes remains just beneath the surface ready to come forth should the need arise. Unfortunately for Rick that need comes up more than once in this season.
The first half of the season takes place mostly in the prison as people begin to adapt. And then problems begin when a simple virus nearly wipes them out. As one group goes off to find the medicines necessary to save them all the rest eventually have to contend with the long lost Governor who returns to seek vengeance. While he gets plenty of air time for his own adaptation to the world around him, the pure evil that drives him remains and he sets his sights on Rick and his people. But again, that's just the first half of the season.
I hate to reveal much of the second half because it would spoil one of the biggest events in season four. Suffice to say that things change leaving Rick wounded both mentally and physically. It also places his son Carl in the role of adult having to take care of Rick. The relationship between the two is put to the test in the second half here. More than that the caged animal that has long resides within Rick breaks out once again as it has in the past revealing an opponent that you would not want to be on the bad side of.
As I said at the beginning, most people only see the name of the series or hear that it involves zombies and turn their noses up at it. The truth of the matter though is that while there are some amazing special make up effects to be viewed here, the amount of screen time actually given to the zombies and mayhem that surrounds them is rather small. Instead the story here revolves more around the various characters and how they interact with one another. It's not just how they behave because of the zombies but also how they act with one another given the circumstances around them and between each other. There are jaw dropping moments, moments that will make you shed tears and moments where you will feel frustrated as you realize that there is no other course for them to take but the one they do.
There were moments in this season as with the previous three where I just sat stunned as I watched the story unfold in a direction I never saw coming. There were also moments when I yelled in anger at the screen as characters were wrung through the ringer by the situations around them. And then there was that moment of joy near the very end when Rick sums up what we all felt from the start concerning the group. Split apart due to circumstances I haven't revealed they come together once again. Now all we can do is wait till season five to find out the results of their reunion.
As if the act of storytelling here wasn't enough to make this the best drama on television the combination of directing and acting make this must see TV. There isn't a single performance that doesn't ring true here. I constantly say that the best actors are the ones where I don't even notice that they're acting. Instead I completely buy into their performance as being that person I see on screen. My mind may know different but the way they work here makes the suspension of belief quite easy to do.
Don't let yourself be fooled that this is a simple horror tale that comes on every week. Don't let yourself be led to believe that the show is about nothing but zombies. Realize that it has more to do with the characters and their interaction with one another more than anything. Many of the best moments are ones that involve no creatures or effects at all, just two people talking to one another. When you realize this and watch, you'll find that the show is as I've said the best drama on TV. Now if only those in charge of the Emmys would take notice.
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