How The Walking Dead Parallels Real Life

As a writer it is hard to keep up with tv shows and have time to write, do book promos, and manage my career along with everything else non book related. This is where Netflix comes in, since I don’t have cable, I catch up with shows I would not normally be able to see. That’s how I was introduced to Bates Motel and American Horror Story, not to mention my obsession with Sons of Anarchy. My latest binge worthy show is The Walking Dead.

Now, a show about zombies or the zombie apocalypse really didn’t interest me no matter how many people raved about it. A few Saturdays ago I decided to give it a try and I haven’t stopped watching it. It’s like I’ve been infected by the zombie virus and the side effect is finding out what happens next.

I usually can tell if a show is worth my time by the pilot plus three episodes in.

The scene that really struck me was when the hero of the story was critically wounded in a shootout with the bad guys. To the outside world, he is unresponsive and seemingly in a coma. On the inside, he is in and out of awareness.

He hears and sees in his mind’s eye, when his best friend/buddy cop brought him flowers and talked about how the department pitched in to get him a nice vase.

Our hero slowly comes back to reality and cracks some wise-ass comment to his friend, who he thinks is in the room. He hollers out to him thinking he is in the toilet but there is no answer.

He manages to turn his head and sees the flowers have withered and died. He tries to get out of bed and falls, calls the nurse but there is no answer. He makes it to the door and sees that the whole place have gone to hell in a handbag.

Bodies, blood and gore everywhere. He is the only living thing, the zombie apocalypse has hit. Seriously, imagine going to sleep and waking up to that. It was beautifully executed on screen and pulled me into the world of our hero, which made me want to know more.

All I can say is, thank heavens for Netflix, I don’t have to wait the next week for another episode. As the show progresses the drama intensifies, infecting me with it’s zombie venom, causing me to stay up much later than I should to see what happens next.

TWD zombies

The more I watch The Walking Dead, the more the show has taken on metaphorical meaning to me. Our hero has found his family and a group of others who have managed to survive the zombie apocalypse. The thing is, everyday they struggle to stay alive and fight off the zombies who have severely outnumbered them.

Here is where it parallels real life. In our life, everyday we deal with things trying to overpower us. Whether it be financial, emotional, alcoholism, spiritual, you name it. Sometimes it feels like these things outnumber us like the zombies, and everyday we try to survive; staying a few steps ahead of the herd of life issues that threaten to catch up to us.

The characters hold out hope that there is a cure or a way to restore the world. They make it to the CDC hoping for answers but only one man has survived and locked himself in the headquarters. The survivor is a scientist, whom they look to for answers, only to find that there is no cure, only death, either by the hands of the zombies or voluntarily.

In the first season, the scientist and another character made the choice to end it in an explosion. The others walked away and decided to keep fighting and have faith that it will all work out.

In life, we have the same choice. When the going gets tough, we have the choice to fight and hope that it will all work out, or we could take the easy way out. I’m not talking suicide, I’m talking about staying stagnant, not making any strides to move forward. I’ve been there.

In The Walking Dead, every time the characters move forward and things look hopeful, hope gets yanked away from them but they keep on. They are never in one place for a long time because the zombies are on their tails.

Life moves us forward whether we want to or not. So… is it coincidence that the theme of The Walking Dead parallels real life? I think not.

I’m very curious to see how the story ends and who survives. I’m at season 5 on Netflix and will be going through withdrawals by the time this post goes live.

Give the series a try, if you like good drama with somewhat questionable characters, then you’ll like it.