The Walking Dead is one of the most successful television shows of the 21st century and has set many records and won many awards.
Now that the show is ending in 2022, some viewers may be wondering if the show is still worth watching.
The truth is that the show may be worth watching even more now than ever.
It effortlessly combines the genres of science fiction, drama, and action while creating characters that are loved by all, as viewers long for them to finally achieve a world not threatened by the undead.
Keep reading for more reasons The Walking Dead is still worth watching and will continue to be worth your time long after the series finale has aired.
Is The Walking Dead Worth Watching? (10 Reasons It Is)
1. Post-Apocalyptic World
One of the biggest draws to The Walking Dead is the post-apocalyptic world it portrays.
The show first aired in 2010.
At the time, much of the world was abuzz about the potential end of the world occurring in 2012, the supposed end of the Mayan calendar.
AMC reined in the controversy to create a show that took place in a world that exists after the apocalypse.
Throughout the many seasons of the show, the survivors face countless zombies, engage in war with other humans, and must overcome nuclear explosions.
Even though society will never be like it once was, new societal order is emerging.
It has a Lord of the Flies-esque feeling that makes viewers wonder what the world would be like if there were only a few humans left on the planet.
2. Mix Of Sci-Fi, Horror, And Action
The Walking Dead is perhaps most famous for its zombie world that terrorizes the remaining human survivors.
It combines sci-fi and horror to generate a world of the undead.
Viewers learn that the undead rose due to the Wildlife virus—a unique disease that wiped out a majority of humans and caused them to rise after death.
At the end of season one, French scientists stated they believed they were close to developing a cure, but still, no one knew how the virus originated.
Nearly twelve years since the show first aired, this narrative sounds eerily familiar to what occurred with the coronavirus (without the zombie apocalypse part, of course).
What was once a fictional show about a pandemic that wreaked havoc on the entire human race became much closer to nonfiction.
Viewers of sci-fi, horror, action, and even soap operas and dramas will find something to love in this show.
Sci-fi fans will enjoy the post-apocalyptic world created by AMC Studios.
Horror fans will love the gore and zombies wreaking havoc on the human survivors.
Action fans will love the showdowns between the “walkers” and the humans and the wars that occur between several human survivor groups.
Finally, for the drama and soap opera fans, this show has no shortage of drama.
From former friends who become bitter enemies to sprouting love affairs and families trying to come back to one another, there is a lot of emotional investment that goes into this show.
You will get your fill of catharsis.
3. Based On A Comic Book
For anyone who loves mixed media, The Walking Dead is perfect for you.
The show was originally based on a comic book written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Tony Moore.
The series began in 2003 and ran for 193 issues until it ended unexpectedly in 2019.
Like the show, the comic book centers on Rick Grimes who was a law enforcement officer shot in the line of duty and wakes up after being in a coma during a zombie apocalypse.
He joins some other survivors while trying to get back to his family and becomes a local leader.
The comic book series won the 2007 and 2010 Eisner Awards for best continuing series at the San Diego Comic-Con International.
The AMC show is loosely based on the comic book series but doesn’t follow it exactly.
If you’re looking for another way to pursue the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead, you’ll find no shortage of media that covers the subject.
4. Great Writing
One of the things that draw people to the show is the incredible writing that goes into every season.
Though the viewership in each season seems to vary, the one thing that remains consistent is the writing.
The comic book writing and artistry are good independent of the show.
Similarly, the script of the show is amazing independent of the comic book.
Some viewers have even commented that the show seems to get better the more it goes off-script from the books.
There have been several cases when the show went off-script, and those instances became some of the most iconic moments of the show.
Some of these moments include the decision to reveal that Sophia was dead and became a zombie in Herschel’s barn during season two.
Then there was the escalating drama between Lizzie and Carol that resulted in one of their deaths.
Tyrese’s fate was quite different and much more poetic than the fate he met in the comic books.
One of the most terrifying villains of the show was Terminus and the cannibals, who didn’t exist in the books at all.
The wolves and their invasion of Alexandria also never occurred in the books.
Morgan’s return to the survivors and his backstory were never explained in the story but became integral to viewers’ compassion for the characters.
There’s the iconic romance between Michonne and Rick based on their journey together in the survivor group.
The iconic mounting conflict between Ron and Carol results in an unexpected violent act that didn’t occur in the book.
The show also made a courageous decision to keep Carol alive rather than kill her off.
She quickly became one of the bravest characters in the show.
Daryl also never existed in the books but was written into the show by screenwriters.
He is a fan favorite among viewers and shows how gifted the scriptwriters were when they were allowed to add their own creativity to the show.
The plot, as originally developed in the comic books, is brilliant.
When the television show writers were able to go off script from the books, though, the moments of pure cinematic genius occurred.
You should read the comic books, but you should also watch the show.
5. It Starts A Bit Slow
Viewers of the series pilot might be surprised to see that the episode progresses quite slowly.
It leaves a lot of open-ended questions while not giving many answers.
However, the latter half of the pilot starts to move faster and invites viewers back for the next episodes.
As it turns out, viewers did come back for more and more.
Seasons one to four became the most legendary of the entire show’s run.
They were full of plot twists, great writing, and incredible effects.
Things had started to go a bit downhill by seasons seven and eight, but the show made a comeback in season nine for its final year on the air.
Many viewers believe that the ninth season was the best of them all.
It just goes to show that you must go through the not-so-good seasons to get to the good ones, but it’s all worth it in the end.
6. Well-Developed Characters
One of the most well-crafted aspects of the show is how the characters are developed.
Many viewers have attachments to Rick, Carol, Daryl, Michonne, Morgan, and Dwight.
The audience has been able to watch them go through tragedy and wants them to succeed.
Some viewers look at the characters like they are real people—close friends or family.
They encourage you to be sympathetic to their situations and emotionally involved.
Andrew Lincoln plays the protagonist Rick Grimes who discovers himself to be one of the last signs of life left on the planet amidst a world full of zombies, or “walkers.”
He is a relatable character who just wants to find his way back to his family.
As a former sheriff’s deputy, Rick has a lot of knowledge on how to defend himself and lead others.
He becomes the leader of a group of survivors and the man in charge of the Alexandria Safe Zone.
Joe Bernthal plays Shane Walsh, Rick’s former police partner and best friend, who later forms a rivalry with Rick.
This causes viewers to wonder how their relationship soured and encourages them to pick a side while yearning for their friendship to recover.
Sarah Wayne Callies plays Lori Grimes, Rick’s wife, who had an affair with Shane when she thought Rick was dead.
Some other characters include Danai Guirira who plays Michonne.
Michonne becomes Rick’s partner and the mother figure to his son, Carl.
Jefferey DeMunn plays Dale Horvath, who is often the voice of reason within the group.
Several strong female characters also learn to hold their own.
7. You Don’t Have To Like Zombies
Though The Walking Dead is perhaps best known for its undead cast of characters, you don’t have to like zombies to enjoy the show, much like you don’t need to be a fan of fantasy and wizardry to enjoy Harry Potter.
There is so much to The Walking Dead that makes it a great show, especially in terms of the plot and drama.
There are a lot of interpersonal conflicts that occur throughout the series that completely enrapture viewers in the post-apocalyptic universe.
You can even have an avid disdain for zombies and still find The Walking Dead to be your favorite show.
Instead of being about watching zombies terrorizing human survivors, the show becomes about the fight for power, new alliances, and rivalries, and what makes us truly human.
8. Special Effects
Any given scene of The Walking Dead is full of special effects.
From makeup and wardrobe to stunts and CGI, this is the perfect show for anyone interested in true movie magic.
To achieve the zombies’ realistic look, the special effects team opted for makeup and practical effects instead of CGI whenever possible.
This is not only cheaper, but it’s much more realistic.
In a scene in season eight, one of the undead falls when his foot is caught in a steel fence.
His injuries resulted in his face being twisted around completely backward, which was quite a gruesome sight to behold.
Executive producer and director Greg Nicotero decided to put a full face of makeup on the actor, then dug a hole in the dirt and covered the actor’s face in it, then placed an animatronic head on the actor to make it turn in a complete circle.
The show was so dedicated to its violent nature that it used about 20–30 gallons of fake blood per episode.
Most zombies had at least one missing limb, which means that a decent amount of blood must be present.
Under the category of blood, there were also several types of blood used.
Arterial blood was bright red, while blood from the veins was darker.
Then, there’s dried blood, which appears differently from both of the other types of blood.
The Walking Dead special effects team took this into account to create the most realistic bloody scenes possible.
Many audiences will remember the iconic CGI tiger, Shiva, that looks incredibly realistic.
While bringing a real animal to the set may have been cheaper, it would not have been safe.
The real Shiva the tiger was made using a stuntman who put on a suit to be the on-set stand-in for the animal.
Every time audiences see the tiger attack someone, it is just an actor in a blue bodysuit.
The actors are so devoted to learning how to properly exhibit zombie behavior that they must attend intense training to learn true zombie behavior.
While the zombies in the show appear to be moaning and groaning, they are actually told to be quiet on set and all of the sounds are added in the postproduction stage.
The effects team got so good at preparing the zombies for their roles, that the prosthetics could be applied in just 90 minutes per actor with a team of four makeup artists.
There are three different types of zombies: in the foreground, middle ground, and background.
The ones closer to the camera required more makeup.
The makeup is one of the most fascinating parts of the show, and the talent of the makeup artists is truly astounding in each episode.
Even though The Walking Dead ended after its eleventh and final season in the fall of 2021, it will continue to live on in various spin-off shows.
There are a ton of new shows coming out, and some have already begun airing.
If you want to get the most out of your viewer experience, you should watch the original series first.
It will give you a lot of insight into the spinoffs.
Some of the confirmed spinoff shows include Tales of the Walking Dead, which is an anthology series that focuses on individual characters.
There is also Fear the Walking Dead, which has been on for some time now and has already aired several seasons.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond also already started airing.
It was meant to be a limited 20-episode mini-series but, instead, has gone on to film many seasons.
Another show will focus on Daryl and Carol’s stories and will probably take the place of the main show.
There is even a corresponding movie in which viewers learn about Rick Grimes’s fate that may involve Michonne finding him, even after leaving the series.
Those are the only series AMC has announced, but the network plans to make the show last if possible.
There is no doubt that The Walking Dead is a good investment of your time because the show’s universe is sure to continue for many years.
10. A Great Long-Term Investment
One of the best things about The Walking Dead is that it has had a great nine-season run.
There are so many large-production television shows these days, but not many of them get to end of their own accord.
Many of them are extremely dependent on viewership and might get canceled by the network without much warning to the crew and viewers.
You can comfortably start watching the Walking Dead with the knowledge that you have plenty of time to invest in the show and become bonded to the characters without having them taken from you unexpectedly.
The show runs for nine seasons, and in 2022, it will end in the way the writers intended for it to finish.
After nearly twelve years on the air, The Walking Dead is still worth watching.
It is a cinematic masterpiece that combines a brilliant script based on a comic book, with impressive special effects, and well-developed characters.
Each episode is crafted like a work of art, and it is clear that tremendous effort went into each 40–60-minute segment.
Even though the show is now ending, it won many awards throughout its time on the air.
It also set precedents for how a sci-fi/horror show should be executed.
Even in the age of CGI, the crew never took shortcuts and used real prosthetics and makeup in more cases than not.
The Walking Dead is a great investment of your time because of its endless entertainment factor in addition to the forthcoming spinoffs and movies that will continue to be released for many years into the future.