Wednesday, April 8, 2015

‘Walking Dead’ Finale: How To Survive When It's All Over

So, season five of “The Walking Dead” is about to end. No more Rick Grimes and friends (the ones still alive, anyway) until October. That’s a whole lot of nada between now and then — six full months and change. Can you survive the wait? Are you going to make it?
Stupid question. Of course you’re going to make it! The better question is, how are you going to make it? And the answer is this…
  1. First of all, don’t freak out.

    Take a big, deep breath, and relax. “The Walking Dead” is awesome, yes, but it is just a TV show. Your Sunday night viewing schedule might not be as exciting for a few months, but you will survive. Keep reality on your mind, and you’ll do just fine.
  2. Find another Sunday night show.

    There’s a ton to choose from, and a lot of it is coming up soon. Take “Game of Thrones,” for instance. Season five returns in just two weeks. That gives you plenty of time to binge-watch every episode if you’ve never seen it before. (If you’re anything like me, then you’re willing to ostracize the people in your social circle for a handful of weeks, as long as it’s in the name of great television!) If “Thrones” isn’t your thing, find something else. We’re living in a golden age of TV choices, from Sunday nights to on-demand viewing. The world is your oyster!
  3. Find another zombie show.

    Specifically, “iZombie,” the CW series that debuted earlier this month. Sure, it’s not as grim-and-gritty as the AMC horror series, but it’s a very different and often whimsical take on the zombie genre. Give it a shot and see if it fills the void in your zombie-craving heart.
  4. Just rewatch “The Walking Dead.”

    What better way to keep the show in your heart and mind than revisiting everything that’s already happened? Let’s say season six premieres around the same time of year as previous season premieres; I’m projecting an October 11 premiere date, then. That’s 28 weeks between now and then, plenty of time to create your own unique schedule that allows you to pace out all 67 episodes of “The Walking Dead.” That way, when the show returns, your memory of Rick’s struggle to survive will be fresher than ever — certainly fresher than the zombies themselves.
  5. Wait until summer.

    We keep talking about how “The Walking Dead” won’t return until October, but that’s not entirely accurate. Although AMC hasn’t announced a specific premiere date, the network has confirmed that the new “Walking Dead” companion series will debut at some point late in the summer. Maybe it’ll be here in time for Comic-Con, or maybe it’ll wait until the end of July or early August. Either way, we’re talking about four months at most. Focus on holding out just a small handful of months, and the dead will be at your doorstep before you know it.
  6. Read the comics!

    They’re good! And noticeably different from the show, too. While a show like “Game of Thrones” hews incredibly close to the source material, the “Walking Dead” TV show deliberately takes great leaps away from the “Walking Dead” comics. Characters like Carol and Andrea are wildly different on the show than they are on the paneled page. Others, like Daryl Dixon, are wholly absent from the comics, with their stories being reflected in the actions of other characters you know and love. Plus, with 139 issues released right now, you can get a good sense for where the TV show is headed. Even though there are key differences between the two versions of the story, there are plot points and centerpieces in Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s comics that absolutely drive the show forward. Read the comics, and you’ll have a much better feel for the direction of the show than you do right now.
  7. Read the books!

    If comics aren’t your thing, there are several novels set in the “Walking Dead” universe, starting with “Rise of the Governor” through “The Fall of the Governor.” The books, a collaboration between Robert Kirkman and the wickedly talented Jay Bonansinga, are easy to digest, even if the violent contents are often hard to swallow. But you’ll enjoy every sick, sadistic bite.
  8. Play the games!

    If you want deeper interaction with the world of “The Walking Dead,” there’s no better way than Telltale’s video game series. The company’s award-winning games cast you as a survivor of the zombie apocalypse, and force you to make impossible choices in the face of impossible odds, resulting in a highly customizable gaming experience that’ll leave you ready to replay the game as soon as it ends. If you’re not already playing Telltale’s “Walking Dead,” put it on your to do list. You owe it to yourself to meet Lee Everett and Clementine, two of the best characters in any version of “The Walking Dead,” comics and TV show included.
  9. Failing all else…

    …refer back to point one. Seriously, BREATHE! The show is going to come back, and everything will be fine. Well, maybe not TOTALLY fine for some of our heroes, but isn’t that exactly how we like our zombie apocalypse?

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