If you’re new to The Walking Dead, don’t worry. It’s not too late to start. It has a pretty strong cult following, what I call Walking Deadheads.
Back in the day, the term “deadhead” had a very distinct meaning and it had more to do with leftover hippies, illicit substances, and the music of the Grateful Dead. I actually tried that term on for a very brief period and found that it didn’t suit me at all.
You could consider me a “Walking Deadhead” now, though. It’s a term I made up and it almost suits me.
When I started co-hosting an entertainment podcast with my friend, Shannon, we realized we had similar but also varied tastes in movies and shows. So we’re constantly challenging each other to watch something new.
My first challenge from her was to watch her very favorite show, The Walking Dead. This was one of those shows that I knew everybody (but me) watched and I was pretty sure I was never going to start.
First of all, it was already several seasons in so I’d have nobody else watching it with me at the same time. Second of all, I figured it might be a little scary and it might be a little gross – two things I don’t generally like in my entertainment. But Shannon really likes this show so I tried it.
Man, I can’t seem to get enough of this show now. Well, actually, I can. I find if I binge too many episodes at a time, it puts me on edge and gives me bad dreams. So now I space it out and HOORAY! I just finished Season 3!
Season 8 is getting ready to premiere on October 22nd on AMC. While I doubt I can cram in four more seasons between now and then, I’m having so much fun catching up on the phenomenon that everyone else has been talking about for years.
If you’ve thought about watching The Walking Dead but you’re afraid it’s just too late, IT’S NOT! All of the seasons are now on Netflix and if you’re a better binger than me, you’ll get caught up quickly. But… if you do decide to give the show a chance like I did, there are several things to know.
It’s definitely not for all ages.
I think it’s actually rated TV-MA but my 10 year old has a friend who insists he watches it. Um, yeah. It’s NOT a show for kids unless you want your kids to never sleep again.
Be prepared to close your eyes.
If you’re at all squeamish, be prepared to close your eyes. Why? Because you’re going to see heads getting chopped off, stabbed, shot, crushed, and generally mangled. Trust me, you’ll want that to happen. You just probably don’t want to see it in as much detail as happens on this show. But those scenes are not all that often so it’s easy to just look away for a minute when that happens.
Keep watching though because…
It’s all about the people.
There will be characters you love and characters you hate. Characters you root for and characters that need a big old bite from a walker. But it’s not just the characters. It’s their interactions and their subtleties. When it’s more or less the end of the world, you’ll see human relationships at their most tested and most fragile but you’ll also see some pretty remarkable things.
Don’t get too attached to anyone.
I should have known better. When people I thought were going to be major characters in the beginning bite the big one. I was shocked. So I shouldn’t continue to be shocked when major characters continue to die. That’s just reality when you’re dealing with the zombie apocalypse.
Get ready to ask yourself philosophical questions.
Another big appeal of the show is constantly asking myself what I would do in that scenario. It’s a life or death situation most of the time and the characters have to make difficult choices about who lives and who dies. It makes me wonder – Could I be resourceful? Could I shoot to kill? Do people need each other to survive? Where does hope come from?
All these questions are a good reason to…
Find someone to talk to.
Obviously, I have Shannon to talk to. But my sister is also a longtime viewer of the show. And when my friend Melissa found out I’m a new fan, she told me I could talk to her anytime. People who watch this show are passionate about it and it fun to have someone to say, “OMG, I can’t believe he died!” or “why would they go there and not THERE?” I think it’s fun for the old school viewers to relive some of the episodes with me.
I’ll give you a word of caution, though. Make sure you tell them exactly where you are in the series otherwise it’s super easy for them to slip up and spoil it for you.
Watch out for spoilers!
The show is getting ready to start its 8th season. How I’ve made it this far without too many major spoilers is beyond me. I did recently look at The Walking Dead Twitter feed which was posting memes in celebration of their 100th episode. And of course, I saw a few spoilers. If I just remember that everyone will probably eventually die, it really won’t be much of a spoiler.
Ready to give it a try? You’ll have to get past the first episode. In fact, you’ll have to get past the first season before you decide if it’s a show for you. But if it is, you know where to find me. I’ll be that person you can talk to (with no spoilers!).