Midlife women meet the zombie apocalypse

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cast of the walking dead
The cast from left: Norman Reedus, Sarah Wayne Callies, Andrew Lincoln and Laurie Holden

I’m addicted to The Walking Dead.

It’s a television show – now in its third season –  about the survivors of a zombie apocalypse. Not the sort of viewing you’d normally associate with midlife women.

However, there is something compelling about this series and it’s not just the special effects. Mind you, watching zombies get hacked to pieces by all manner of blunt and sharp objects is a real credit to the makeup, sound and special effects crew.

As each flesh-eating zombie is dispatched, the thumping and bashing noises accompanying its demise are quite believable.  I’m sure the cast must giggle during particularly graphic scenes when swords, arrows and metal pipes are driven through the eyes of hapless extras.

The script is also very good. What do you do when everyone is infected with a zombie virus and you’re one of the few survivors? Join a group and try to find a safe haven, I suppose.

Like any group though, there are arguments, tension, sexual frustration, jealousy, heroism, cowardice, anger and deception. Almost every human foible is visible and that’s without the addition of crazed zombies wanting to eat you for lunch.

Yet, despite the ludicrous premise of a zombie apocalypse, the series works because of its emphasis on human frailty, desperation and survival. We don’t need a zombie apocalypse to remind us that people can behave badly and selfishly or heroically and selflessly.

Perhaps it is a timely reminder that human survival is dependent upon the health of the environment. The devastating report released last week by the World Bank warns of an environmental apocalypse if temperatures increase.

You can’t say we haven’t been warned.

Sadly, I think we have more chance of defeating The Walking Dead’s zombie army than doing anything about the environment.

Sue Bell

Sue Bell is an entertainment writer and author of Backpacked: A mostly true story, Beat Street and When Dreamworks came to Stanley.

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