Everyone’s buzzing about the recent developments of this US television series, wherein despite the scarcity of real, breathing humans, they turn against each other in a fight for survival and power to lead. It’s shocking and yet understandable how civility & morality has been blurred as these characters are pushed to the brink of insanity in the incomprehensible world they exist in. Dead walk day and night, the meaning of life lost to existential survival, and just this week, the unbitten dead still turn into zombies. What the hell, right?
Season 1 has been mostly about the ‘chase’ and recovering missing loved ones. The adrenaline of escaping near death, dealing with loss of companions along the way and keeping those who survived, well, alive was the main cast’s goal. The hype before was more of the exciting scenes of their escape from one place to the other, not knowing what awaits them in their search for temporary refuge. The current season, however, is more controversial because it deals about the existential drama and discussions on the intricacies of the common good versus individual survival, the necessity of killing the threats whether human or zombie, their loss of wonder in the world and the numbness to the blessing that is life. The tv series is also crafted in such a way that viewers will get confused on who to side with: there’s Rick, the hero who will always think of what is good and what is right, and there’s Shane, the impulsive best friend whose brash and rational ways still manage to save the group. Rick’s messianic tendencies make him want to save everyone he comes across in their journeys, while Shane would opt to sacrifice the excess/unnecessary ‘baggage’ to their survival. I guess the answers to the question “What do you value?” will determine pretty much how the viewers perceive their truths. I haven’t read the graphic novels yet to have an idea of what is yet to come in the end of the second season, but am pretty sure there will be little respite from the heaviness of losses from the main cast.
The Japanese came up with their manga version of the zombie apocalypse in 2006 and named it High School of the Dead. They also translated the manga into anime, and I watched it for fun. It’s action-packed and not as dramatic as the American series but VERY risque (maybe enjoyable to the male population? Haha)! It lasted for only a season, and the finale was open-ended it made me scratch my head (the high school gang arrived at a mall…then The End).
The zombie trend in pop culture is making me wonder about this generation’s interest in it. Is it about the thrill of the chase? Is it boredom with life? Is it a search for meaning? Or just reinvention of literature to adapt to current interests of media and the masses? Maybe all of the mentioned, or maybe there are still a lot of reasons I haven’t thought about of yet.
I allow myself to get exposed to the hype, but I don’t have to wallow in it for long since trends or fads eventually die down (thank God the vampire stuff is almost over). I wonder what will be next. Hmm.