Great zombie movies are as rare as they ever were; great zombie-themed television shows are rarer still. But in 2010, AMC premiered The Walking Dead—a TV series that’s right up there with Hollywood’s best zombie-apocalypse productions.
The show started off slowly, and spent its first hour scrolling through the available clichés. (The setup’s a straight steal from John Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids, which also inspired the 1980s cult classic Night of the Comet.) But AMC’s show came into focus in just a few episodes. The (largely unknown) cast came into its own; the careful pacing synced up with the material; the clichés turned into curveballs. And so, The Walking Dead turned into a nail-biter, the kind that’s best watched in one marathon sitting. (Now available on DVD and streaming on iTunes.)
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