When The Walking Dead returns for its 8th season, it will also be celebrating its 100th episode. The idea that a series pitched with a premiere season of 6 episodes about a zombie takeover could make the impact it has on pop culture is a testament to many things. First, it’s a testament to the minds behind the scenes, to the time and effort put into creating a series that is gripping, scary, and human. It’s a testament to the fans who have built this almost new world around the series and who not only watch it but love what it’s become.
It’s also a testament to the actors who have taken on the roles of these characters. Ones who fight the undead and who also bring humanity to the series. The actors who see each other, and their fans, as a big wonderful family. The cast who have traveled the world to go to conventions and meet people who have credited them for everything for finding the motivation to pursue their own dreams to actually saving their lives. It’s a way for them to give back and to show gratitude.
The series is a favorite of ours, through the good times and the not so good times, it’s a reflection of life. We applaud episodes, hope to never see others again, we laugh, we cry, and we’re inspired. Again, the fact that people find inspiration from a show about a zombie apocalypse…it’s that bigger idea behind it showing it’s power once more.
Greg Nicotero knows those feelings, and then some, better than most people. He recently spoke with Coming Soon about 8 years of The Walking Dead and what that means.
CS: 100 episodes. How does that feel when you articulate that?
Nicotero: I don’t even know… it’s so weird… it’s… you know, it’s like when you put on a record album or you play a piece of music and everybody else responds so positively to that piece of music? Like, you’re at a party and everyone’s like “Yeah, man!” That’s kind of what it feels like. Kind of.
CS: It’s been a life-changing experience for you, no doubt.
Nicotero: Yeah, I mean the show has evolved and mutated in so many fascinating ways that, for a person that for up until the last eight years had been doing primarily movies, to be able to be involved in something long form like this has completely changed the way I design make-up FX, the way I approach production and it has given me an incredible understanding of how critical character and story is. There’s a lot of make-up FX people who are holding the torches for practical FX and God love them, because that’s what we love and that’s what we do. But you have to understand that those practical FX, if played out in a scenario that has some significant story behind it is what you want. There’s much more impact in something you have dedicated and devoted to these people. It’s not just a showcase for FX. It’s about a great story that when something visually arresting happens, you’re much more invested in it. So yeah, for me, it’s been a complete eye opener on how to create these FX and integrate them into what I direct and into the show itself.
The series changed the life of Nicotero for sure, as well as the actors/actresses on set and the fans around the world. It’s a bit sentimental looking back at it now. 8 years, 100 (almost) episodes, and seeing how much potential and life The Walking Dead has still left in it.
When the season premieres, we’ll see our favorite characters in the aftermath of the first battle of what is sure to be an all our war, and in the meantime we’ll be sharing a lot of content with you from the first seven seasons and what we love most about the series that started it all for us.
What is your favorite part of The Walking Dead so far? Let us know.