Binge Guide

Weekly Binge: The Walking Dead

by | September 26, 2014 | Comments

The fourth season of The Walking Dead is hitting Netflix this weekend, so now you’ve got a great opportunity to get caught up on AMC’s hit horror series in time for the premiere of season five next month. Here’s what you need to know to get started!


The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead

What’s the basic premise? A disparate group of people attempts to survive the zombie apocalypse.

What’s it like? Take a cup of zombies a la Dawn of the Dead, add a dollop of menacing atmosphere from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, sprinkle in a bit of existential hopelessness from The Road, and add a dash of goofy splatter from The Toxic Avenger, to taste. Viola! You’ve got a heaping helping of basic cable ratings gold!

Where can I see it? Starting Oct. 12, new episodes air on Sundays on AMC at 9 p.m. EST. Past seasons are available on iTunes, Vudu, and Amazon. And on Sunday, Sept. 28, Netflix will add season four to its collection, which already contains seasons one through three. All four seasons are also available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

How long will it take? It’s four seasons long (at six episodes, the first season is actually more like a mini-series, but the proceeding seasons are 19, 16, and 16 episodes, respectively), and each installment is around an hour. If you’ve got a strong stomach and you start early enough, you could probably knock out most of it over a holiday weekend.

What do the critics think? Each season is Certified Fresh (at 86 percent on the Tomatometer, the second season is the worst-reviewed of the three). Linda Stasi of the New York Post called it “the flat-out scariest, best, most unusual show to ever hit the small screen,” while Willa Paskin of wrote, “There are moments of creepy elegance and elegiac morbidity in The Walking Dead that no show on TV can match.”

Why should I watch this? I’m not gonna lie: The Walking Dead has its share of dead patches and dull characters. But the basic setup is so compelling — how would you respond if the whole world went to hell? — that you’re likely to press on regardless. Plus, when it comes to creative zombie slaughter, this show can’t be beat — you get the feeling that every stabbing, every shooting, every beheading has been lovingly conceived and executed by some of the finest craftspeople in the business (for me, there’s something surprisingly satisfying about the “crunch-splat” sound when a zombie gets a hatchet to the skull. It never gets old. In fact, I’m grinning just thinking about it). The makeup people on this show deserve their own wing in the Max Factor museum.

What’s my next step? The show is based on a series of graphic novels published by Image that began its run in 2003; in other words, it’s pretty extensive at this point. Telltale Games’ Walking Dead episodic graphic adventure games are available for a variety of gaming platforms, and have been well received by the gaming press. And if that doesn’t sate your appetite for undead entertainment, try the more subdued French series The Returned, which is Certified Fresh at 100 percent on the Tomatometer.

What do you like about The Walking Dead? How would you explain it to a newbie? Any big predictions for season five? Get in on the conversation here.

Tag Cloud

OWN Lionsgate Comedy TNT Tumblr First Look Mindy Kaling social media singing competition Nickelodeon BBC Premiere Dates APB Drama TruTV E3 Musicals Ghostbusters Country Dark Horse Comics Calendar Masterpiece science fiction Reality Competition supernatural Action Toys what to watch Trailer Comedy Central period drama TLC USA Super Bowl historical drama Biopics discovery TBS Comic Book History El Rey Best and Worst Hulu Disney Channel Tomatazos Emmys Awards Video Games vampires Interview Amazon serial killer Horror Superheroes Mary Tyler Moore GLAAD Musical CNN politics political drama Red Carpet cinemax MTV technology IFC Star Wars Cosplay ITV SDCC Crackle USA Network Starz Schedule sports based on movie biography Music Martial Arts spy thriller DirecTV VICE CMT 24 frames Fall TV Grammys Sneak Peek cops FXX Holidays 007 Showtime Food Network DC Universe PaleyFest GIFs Freeform BBC America Teen Pirates Lifetime 45 Paramount GoT TV Character Guide talk show boxoffice Photos cooking cats Cartoon Network 21st Century Fox docudrama See It Skip It BET Box Office FOX Marathons 2016 2015 medical drama Warner Bros. Summer Certified Fresh Rocky HBO FX Nat Geo ESPN Christmas Mystery A&E dceu Election dramedy TCA 2017 Kids & Family golden globes Writers Guild of America dc Spike RT History Esquire TV Land transformers Ellie Kemper Fantasy CBS All Access Pop Reality NBC Year in Review adventure 2017 NYCC Disney ABC Family ABC travel Infographic Oscars Adult Swim Valentine's Day Thanksgiving crime Rock diversity war TIFF E! crime thriller Logo Podcast WGN comiccon Set visit binge Sundance TCA Winners composers Spring TV harry potter Animation American Society of Cinematographers Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ratings aliens MSNBC zombie thriller Countdown Western President Syfy Extras CBS Winter TV romance AMC Nominations Opinion Fox News The CW Bravo Polls and Games Creative Arts Emmys sitcom psycho justice league Star Trek LGBTQ crime drama Trivia police drama Watching Series DC Comics Netflix VH1 Rom-Com SundanceTV The Arrangement PBS TCM Universal YA X-Men Marvel Sci-Fi