“The Walking Dead” is definitely a frightening pleasure you should save for after you’ve gotten the kiddos into bed unless you want to deal with a lot of zombie nightmares after the lights are out. Here’s what the critics are saying about “The Walking Dead” episode 1, Days Gone By:
MTV.com: Well, that was something, wasn’t it? At long last, “The Walking Dead” has made its grand debut. If you were busy celebrating Halloween away from your TV screens, well, we feel sorry for you — you’ve officially missed out on one of the most memorable television events of the year! … First and foremost, Lennie James. Enough can’t be said for this man’s performance as Morgan Jones.
Boston Herald: Prepare to be terrified. AMC, the network behind such adult fare as “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad,” goes three steps further, slips down a dark alley and stops at the cemetery for “The Walking Dead,” a suspenseful thriller about one man’s attempt to reunite with his family in a world teeming with zombies. A-
NY Daily News: “The Walking Dead” is a good watch, but a hard one. A very hard one. A faithful adaptation of the popular comic-book series, “The Walking Dead” drops us into a world overrun by aggressive, flesh-eating zombies who now threaten the few pockets of living humans that survived. That may sound like a familiar setup to fans of zombie epics like “Dawn of the Dead.” Don’t be fooled. “The Walking Dead” is no campy horror flick full of winks, parody and self-aware excess. Compared to this series, “Dawn of the Dead” looks like “Touched by an Angel.” Three out of five stars.
Entertainment Weekly: Much as I enjoyed Walking Dead, I have a small prediction: I think the pilot will score very good ratings for AMC — first, because the show has lots of good hype; second, because it’s Halloween and what could be better programming, and third, because it doesn’t take a helluva a lot of viewers to qualify as a hit on AMC. (A couple million will be a roaring success.) But: I predict that ratings will fall after this week because many AMC viewers who like Mad Men andBreaking Bad will look at this and say, “Um, ick.” I think AMC has to import an almost entirely new audience to its channel for Walking Dead to be a long-running success. I hope my prediction is wrong; I also hope Walking Dead can sustain its quality.
Time: The 90-minute pilot paints a thoroughly convincing postapocalyptic world, both visually and emotionally. Yes, it delivers astonishing scenes of devastation, but its more affecting — and more horrifying — concerns are human. How do you hold on to your morals, your laws, your faith, when no one is around to compel you to? Does the calamity drive the few remaining humans to band together or revert to barbarism? And how does it feel when the “walkers” on your street — whom you must put down or be killed yourself — are your friends and family?
CNN: For those who stayed tuned in (seeing as it was Halloween night, I’d wager to guess that was most people), they saw what I think was the most engrossing premiere episode of any new show this season. A good deal of the show’s effectiveness rests on actor Andrew Lincoln’s shoulders, and thankfully, he’s excellent here as a police officer who awakens from a coma in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. Even better than Lincoln, however, was Lennie James as Morgan.
Did you watch? What did you think?