If you’re like me, you’ve seen every zombie movie, watched all of The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and Z Nation, read “World War Z” (I couldn’t get through “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” – too much “Pride and Prejudice”), and even listened to that podcast “We’re Alive”. My girlfriend is different though — she hadn’t seen The Walking Dead at all, so I took the opportunity to watch it with her from the beginning. And here’s the thing — it is just delightful. Everyone is so young! So innocent. So alive! This article WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS so if you haven’t watched The Walking Dead yet, why are you reading an article about RE-watching it? Go watch it for the first time and then come back. Here are seven reasons you should re-watch The Walking Dead from the beginning.
1) Baby Rick
Rick’s sweetness in the first season is jarring once you’ve gotten used to later Rick. His face still has life in it, he’s all skinny, he still sees hope and goodness in the world. He apologizes to a walker before he kills her and says he’s sorry for what happened to her. Before he puts a walker’s guts all over himself, he finds the guy’s driver’s license and gives Dwayne a short memorial. It’s some real beautiful wimpy-ass sh*t that later Rick will be too jaded to do.
2) The sheriff’s outfit
You know you missed it. I missed it. I love Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Grimes, the Last Lawman in Georgia. Rick wears the shirt from his uniform well into the second season (about as long as he keeps his moral compass).
3) The CDC
The whole sequence at the CDC is just brilliant. Noah Emmerich as Dr. Jenner is just great, and I love that his dead wife was the one who might have actually been able to find a cure. Dr. Jenner also brings up a key question for the rest of the series – what is the point in trying to live through this? Even though Jacqui was a great character and it sucked to lose her, the fact that she chose to stay fits her calm, collected personality. I think this is one of the best sequences in the entire series, since it delivers character development, more info about the zombie plague, and great action all at the same time.
4) Dale is not as annoying as the first time around
The first time I watched The Walking Dead, I was really waiting for Dale to get munched. But the second time around, I realized that Dale was actually pretty funny and good-hearted. Why did I hate him so much last time? I don’t remember. I’m coming up on his demise and feeling bad about how much I disliked him.
5) The innocence
The last vestiges of innocence are so sweet at the beginning of the series, and they’re completely gone later in the show. People still talk about their past lives as if they mean anything anymore. People still see Rick as a police officer. They knock before entering someone’s house. They share funny stories about their pre-zombie days. That sh*t is all dead by season six and I feel wistful going back to it.
6) It’s nice to see your old dead friends
It’s nice to see the characters that were killed off again! I even missed Shane. It’s too bad he couldn’t control his rage issues, because he was a pretty bad-ass dude on occasion and as the show goes on, everyone becomes more like him. The scene where he opens Hershel’s barn is still one of the best in the series. It’s also nice to see Hershel, Beth, Jacqui, and Lori again. I know a lot of people don’t like Lori, but I do. I didn’t miss Andrea though. Dear God did I not miss Andrea.
7) It’s so nice to just deal with simple zombie apocalypse storylines
I was never a big fan of the Governor’s storyline and I saw the trailer for season 7 and there’s a dude with a tiger and just… I don’t know about that. Granted, I do not read the comics so I have no idea if tiger dude ends up being the best part of the story. I love how the first couple seasons of The Walking Dead are simple stories about survival and adaptation, whereas later seasons get really caught up in this crazy bad guy and that nutty villainous group and so on. It’s nice to go back to a time where the show was actually about zombies.
Have you watched The Walking Dead over from the beginning? Do you agree with my observations? What did you think on the second watch? Tweet at me @erikaheidewald!