The Walking Dead

What can we say? Just when zombies seemed to be relegated to fairly obscure comics and B-movies, along comes AMC and Frank Darabont to re-energize the genre and revolutionize horror fiction on television. And now, eleven years later, the original series is willingly coming to an end, leaving behind some promised feature films and two successful spin-offs in Fear the Walking Dead and The World Beyond. And in fact, TWD has now outlived a long list of zombie shows, from Z Nation to iZombie, even as it exits the stage.

Based closely on the original Robert Kirkman comics, at least in the early days, and with Kirkman still involved very late in the eleven-year run, the initial structure was developed by the great horror director Frank Darabont, though he left early on in the series’ actual production. Since then, we’ve seen many of the comics’ TWD characters come and go in different ways and at different times in the comic, and we’ve seen original creations like Norman Reedus‘s Daryl Dixon become stars in their own right.

Folks can – and will – complain endlessly about TWD going on too long, about some great seasons and some big disappointments, and it’s all true… but all in all, you can’t deny the series’ huge effects on the subgenre, episode television, and popular culture in general, and we’ll be sorry to see it go (if it ever actually leaves). Meanwhile, buying a box or two of your favorite seasons is a nice way to flesh out (so to speak) your zombie collection.