Those who populate modern society seem to increasingly view the future with skepticism and fatalism as opposed to the sort of "futurist" optimism of past generations. There are many reasons for this and that topic deserves its own blog posting which I hope to get around to here at some point. However, I say all this to preface what I'm about to say.
We "moderns" are increasingly haunted by and drawn to themes relating to the End of All Things. Not so much in a Millenarian context although for a minority of religious fanatics it is rooted in religiosity run amok. However, what I refer to is a more general phenomenon that reaches across the divide between various faiths and ideologies and even cultures. There seems to be a growing underlying feeling that we are all "fucked", ergo that our grand global civilization is about to face a day where we all get up one fine morning thinking it is going to be just another day. At some point during that day the wheels come flying off of civilization and nothing is ever the same again. The agent by which this happens varies widely according to the source and the medium and the agenda be it in a book or graphic novel or TV show or movie or wacky website. Take your pick of Nuclear War, Asteroid Impact, Tectonic Upheaval, Climatory Catastrophe, Microbe Epidemic, Zombie Apocalypse, Rise of the Machines, Alien Invasion, Seven Years of Tribulation, Mayan Prophecies, Pole Shift Tomfoolery, ad infinitum.
The Walking Dead is merely a continuation of this theme but in some important respects it breaks new ground. Most fictional (as well as non-fictional) treatments of this topic try too hard and go over-the-top in some respect or another and thus lack any artistry as they play fast and loose with too many plot points to effectively "suspend disbelief" like all effective fiction (and conspiracy theorism and doomsaying) must necessarily accomplish. Another flaw these sorts of fictions often make, particularly when presented in some electronic medium, is that they rely too much upon CGI and the presence of "big name" acting "talent" in an attempt to compensate for the inherent weaknesses in the writing and casting and acting and directing. Not so with The Walking Dead whose actors were unknown to me before the series and who acting performances are top-notch and their casting was perfect and the writing is not merely great but powerful and the use of CGI and other special effects is just perfect: not too much and not too little.
For those of you not familiar with this show I highly recommend you watch it on AMC when the encores are broadcasted on Sunday evenings while the second season is in hiatus and then pick it up when it resumes the remainder of the second season. Below are the two official trailers for the two seasons thus far.