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Walking Dead Shentel

Ready for The Walking Dead on Oct 12

Posted 7 October 2014 12:00 AM by Cindy Earehart Rinker

I am not sure how to explain the fanaticism of those who watch The Walking Dead.

At first, I observed the craze from afar, shaking my head and thinking “Those crazy kids.”

Then I started to hear about it from contemporaries and people I respect when it comes to more eclectic entertainment and I started to get curious. I was already engrossed in Breaking Bad, after all. Which, when I tried to explain the storyline of a high school chemistry teacher with cancer cooking meth to stash some cash before he kicked the bucket, folks kindly nodded their heads, but I could see they thought I was nuts for watching that series.

I had nothing to lose. I started watching The Dead online, streaming it on Netflix. I have to say that the zombies are a little less terrifying when they are on a tablet-sized screen. I still have issues when it comes to oozing things, so I do avert my eyes when I can tell that a stake is on its way.

Now I am one among millions who are anxiously awaiting the return of The Walking Dead on Sunday, Oct. 12, on AMC.

We left Rick and some of the ragtag group stuck in Terminus - a zombie-free zone that briefly looked like it could be the end of their troubles. Then it just looked like the end of the line as the curtains closed on Season 4.

Season 4 was a rough ride. Favorite characters were lost. Horrifying incidents occurred that actually caused some fans to protest that the show had gone too far. I won’t say that I did not find it disturbing, but in the context of the show, it was just one more horrible thing the non-zombies had to endure.

For post-apocalyptic fare, The Walking Dead dips its skeletal hand into that wispy wondering world that everyone has which causes us to consider – for a split second – what would life be like if the grid went down. If telephones were silenced. What would it be like to go from an existence where we are connected to the world in so many ways to suddenly have your world shrink to the road in front of you and the people next door? It taps into our darkest thoughts.

If you are not a fan of The Walking Dead, I think it is because you have not watched it. I read Stephen King, but I am not a horror movie fan. But there is more to the Dead than horror. It is powerful storytelling that draws you in the way a smelly Venus fly trap captures its prey.

Don’t start in the middle, though. I really think you need to go to the beginning and invest in the characters and you will understand why they are doing the things they are.

You have time to do some binge-watching before Oct. 12 and catch up. It’s worth it.

Cindy Earehart Rinker, a former editor of a weekly newspaper and a fan of dystopian fiction, is a marketing supervisor at Shentel.

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