Smashing into Season Eight:

Image Courtesy: AMC

Celebrating 100 Episodes of AMC’s “The Walking Dead”

Sarah Fairchild/Correspondent

After an explosive first episode, season eight of “The Walking Dead” promises complete chaos in the days to come for Rick and his group as they battle the charismatically insane leader of the Saviors: Negan. Airing its milestone 100th episode last Sunday, Oct. 22, the writers purposefully framed certain scenes as a sort of call-back to their pilot episode where we were first introduced to the world of the walkers.

This television adaptation of the famed comic book series began seven years ago this Halloween; on the 31st of October, 2010. Since its release, the apocalyptic horror show quickly rose to the apex of Sunday night television, having been nominated for 126 awards, 69 of which they have won, including the People’s Choice, Golden Globe, and a horde of Golden Reel awards.

But what is it about this particular zombie-apocalypse adaptation that has infected the world, promoting it to the top slots in entertainment? The storyline is basic: You follow a specific group of survivors as they attempt to navigate through a world of undead walkers (not zombies). They run into your typical apocalyptic problems such as scavenging for supplies, determining the trustworthiness of strangers, and getting trapped in an army tank surrounded by the undead. But what exactly makes “The Walking Dead” so successful?

One main reason “The Walking Dead” is thriving in the cinematic spotlight is because of Robert Kirkman, executive producer for the show, was the one who actually created the comic series. His ability to transpose his vision from comic to cinema is a key element that few television series have. Eulyn Womble and Greg Nicotero are also essential personnel in bringing life to the sets; Womble’s costumes and Nicotero’s exemplary zombie makeup artistry up the ante in ways that are a rare find in cable television. To top off the secrets to success, the whole storyline, although appearing to be generic, is thoroughly planned and ingeniously adapted, with details in every episode that ground the events in reality, allowing the viewers to connect with this fictitious world. The places feel real, as do the intense situations the characters repeatedly find themselves in, and that is what audiences love.

In past seasons, we have seen the main characters go through this repeating trend of finding a so-called “safe” place before it gets overrun by walkers or attacked by other communities. We have endured the deaths of many beloved main characters and central villains in the struggle for survival. Season eight will break that trend.

Appropriately titled “All Out War,” this season of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” will feature a united force of Alexandrians, Hilltoppers and Kingdommers as they bring the fight to Negan and the Saviors. This season, Rick and his group are not backing down, are not willing to sacrifice what they have built up in the past two seasons. The Saviors are larger, better equipped, and ruthless, but Rick and the unified communities fight for the promise of a better future. Battle lines are drawn as they launch into an explosive, action-packed offensive.

As with any battle, there will be losses. But with Rick, Maggie, and King Ezekiel leading their forces, Negan’s reign may finally be coming to an end.