I’m running short on time.
The season premiere of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is only a couple of weeks away and, no matter what I try, I can’t convince my wife to watch it with me.
I know that I’m a bit late to the dance, having just jumped onto the “Walking Dead” bandwagon a few weeks ago. But I ate up the first two seasons like the walkers that got Otis (quickly and without proper southern table manners) in just over seven days and have found myself thinking about it frequently during my day to day shuffle, particularly the final scene of the second season. In a lot of ways “The Walking Dead” is one the first shows I’ve watched since “The Wire” that I’ve been this excited about. (Please don’t bring up “Game of Thrones”, nerds, I haven’t seen it yet. I will. After I read the books. Remember those.) I even bought a few of the “Walking Dead” comic books to quench my thirst for the characters; I can’t get enough.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I shouldn’t be surprised. She has long held the opinion that horror movies (and any similar sub genre) are terrible and not worth the time. “Why watch a movie just to have it scare the shit out of you?” I’ll save that argument for another day (Because horror movies that scare the shit out of me are few and far between. ‘Watch the evening news if you want some real life fright’ is the joke right? How about Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.) because time is of the essence.
Having been married for close to fifteen years, I have been subjected to a number of movies that I didn’t want to watch for one reason or another that she did. I mean, give it a name: “Father of the Bride”, “Pretty Woman”, “Dirty Dancing” and anything in between in the realm of estro-cinema. I look at those movies (and my watching them) as sacrifices I have made for the greater good. In them, from time to time, I find pieces and parts that I like. Things I can separate from the schlock and identify as good. Like when Baby bails on doing the lift at she and Johnny’s gig at the Sheldrake and instead breaks into a hybrid Elaine Benes/ wonder seizure hitchhike move to cover it up. I laugh out loud every time I see it. Every. Single. Time. And that, to me, makes watching it worthwhile.
But back to “The Walking Dead”.
The story being told is so riveting, from the growing tension between Rick and Shane (and Shane and Dale…and Shane and everyone else, for that matter) to the overriding idea of humanity or what it is to be human, that I find myself driven, compelled even, to share it with people. Anyone who gives me a crease in the conversation where I think I can begin discussing the show is likely to think they’ve mistakenly opened the door to a born again Christian and said, “I wish I knew more about this Jesus fellow.” (Except, I’m spreading the gospel of the other zombie. The one without so much baggage and a far better soundtrack.) In fact, I’d go so far as to say there is so much depth to the story and so many layers in each character that the series has taken on a sort of literary quality, making it so much more than the zombie apocalypse tale I was initially drawn to.
And still, after explaining all that, my wife still won’t watch it.
Here’s where I call bullshit though, friends. This is where I draw my line. My wife got a Kindle for Christmas and has the entire Twilight series downloaded and on deck.
“People say they’re about more than just vampires and that kind of stuff.”
I laughed. Hard.
Inevitably, her reading the books will lead to her (us) watching the “Twilight” movies at some point. Count this as fact because it will be so.
If she can separate the story behind that (which on the surface looks like it was written by RL Stein’s hallucination prone softheaded thirteen year old daughter) from its vampire/werewolf exterior, she can no doubt do the same for zombies, right?
Maybe that’ll be my angle.
Something tells me her answer to that is still going to start with “No” and end with “Way”.
And I’m going to end up watching it alone.