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VIDEO: AMC's THE WALKING DEAD re-imagined as 1970s sitcom kitsch

by Timmy Lunsford
April 14, 2012 7:17 PM
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Editor's Note: This supposed "alternate intro" for AMC's The Walking Dead is a great example of how a mash-up can become a kind of stealth criticism. The biggest rap against the cable network's smash hit zombie series is that it's too much of a talky whitebread soap opera. In a Salon takedown, I said that the series practiced a "Hamburger helper approach to drama, padding out meager amounts of dramatic meat with bags of bland dramatic stuffing." The "stuffing" is all the scenes of characters running out episode clocks in sub-Oprah confessions and tedious arguments about their goals and motivations. 

Editor Timmy Lunsford sends up the show's shortcomings in an imaginary retro-1970s credits sequence, complete with sugary-inspirational theme music (actually the theme from Growing Pains); gratuitous irises and dissolves and lens flare effects; shots of characters silently displaying different sides of their (actually nonexistent) personalities, and period-correct fonts whooshing across the screen.  The credits for "Homeless Zombie" (getting shot through the eye with an arrow) and "Well Zombie" (being ripped in half) are the crowning touches; I like to imagine both ghouls actually reappearing each week and always dying the same deaths, rather like Rex Hamilton in another great TV credits parody sequence, the one that opened Police Squad! (In Color) -- Matt Zoller Seitz

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  • geha714 | April 15, 2012 10:18 AMReply

    This is so kitsch: No female leads whatsoever.

  • Matt Zoller Seitz | April 15, 2012 2:33 AMReply

    Jeremy: I added a parenthetical about the theme music (thank you!) but all these graphic/style tics were in place as of the 70s, including the gaudy yellow letters and the mini-montagtes of characters showing us their "sides."

  • Matt Zoller Seitz | April 15, 2012 2:27 AMReply

    Hamilton, d'oh!

  • Jeremy | April 15, 2012 12:58 AMReply

    70s kitsch? The theme song from Growing Pains, the sparkling title, the characters smiling when their names pop up on screen. These are all indicators of this being 80s kitsch.

  • Your Mom | April 14, 2012 10:36 PMReply

    * Rex Hamilton, not Rex Harrison. ?

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