'Walking Dead' Success Inspires a Very Real Fear

It has been almost a full year since Season 1 of Walking Dead ended and the much anticipated Season 2 started October 16, so there was much build-up. The series debuted to 7.3 million viewers, which was up 38 percent from last season's premiere and set a new record for a single drama telecast in basic cable history. And we all know what this means: zombies are the new vampire. Heaven help us.

It was bad enough that vampires in cinema have gone from Nosferatu with his pointy nails, terrifying teeth, and pallid skin to Edward Cullen in under a century. Now what will become of zombies? Will they become romantic leads in teen romances in the next century?

After watching Walking Dead last night, all I can say is I hope not. There is not a damn thing sexy about a zombie.

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The fact is, Walking Dead is working with the old school zombie formula. Keep them slow, drooling, and looking like true walking corpses (the one in the trailer was the scariest zombie I've ever seen), and you end up with a formula like George Romero's. It works. Try to make them fast or sexy or change it in any way and you end up alienating the audience.

As a fan of the zombie genre, my biggest fear is that as they grow in popularity, someone will get the grand idea to make them slicker or prettier or sexier.

Memo to Hollywood: Do not mess with a good thing. Zombies only serve one purpose. They are never meant to play the romantic lead. They are never meant to have sparkly skin and live for 1,000 years and fall in love with teenage girls.

Zombies are terrifying. They eat brains, which we all know is like WAY less romantic than sucking blood.

Just wait for the idiot director who wants a walker to play in a romantic comedy starring Katherine Heigl. We might as well just accept that zombies have gone mainstream. It's fine. Who doesn't love the undead? But let's try to be respectful of the genre. Zombies = scary (or possibly sad). Anything else is just wrong.

Do you think zombies have gone mainstream?

 

Image via AMC

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