The Walking Dead has such amazing staying power for a show entering its eighth season. What is it that makes it so endearing and enduring?
The September 29th issue of Entertainment Weekly includes a wonderful feature on The Walking Dead and its 100th episode, which also coincides with the show’s season 8 premiere. In the middle of the article is a quote from actor Norman Reedus that really brings everything together about this amazing show, the incredible fandom and The Walking Dead’s uprecedented longevity.
When it comes to how far The Walking Dead has come over the past almost-8 seasons, it’s amazing to think that a drama about the zombie apocalypse would have such a huge following. Television, especially the non-premium cable networks, isn’t always kind to things with supernatural twists. The Walking Dead proved that though the main antagonists of the story are the undead, the story itself has always been about the people. In fact, much of season 7 deals with the real terror that must be faced in the apocalypse: Other people. (This has been a recurring theme throughout the show)
Norman Reedus, the man who brings Daryl Dixon to life, summed up the show’s success succinctly:
"“I never thought we would get this far. I don’t think any of us did. This show has been such a big part of our lives. It always felt like we were living it. The tears are real. The bruises are real. The friendships are real. The lines between reality and being on this show are super blurry sometimes, and it’s a big achievement for us. We’re really proud of the work that we’ve done, and it’s been a giant, hard-fought blessing.” (Entertainment Weekly, Sept. 29, 2017)"
It’s not at all surprising to think that Reedus, or any other members of the cast, ever thought that they would still be doing this eight seasons later. Sure, there is no end to the source material, so running out of stories was never a problem. It’s more the fact that 100 episodes of anything is a huge feat these days, for any show, and the fact that a show about zombies has garnered such a strong following is a testament to the cast, crew and the writers who bring such compelling stories to life every week.
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It’s wonderful hearing how close the cast is because it really comes through in their work. As long as there are shows being made, the TWD Family will be ready to keep supporting a show that continues to surprise everyone with its quality, tight storytelling and amazing cast. With seven seasons under their belts and a thrilling season 8 coming up, the sky is the limit for The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead returns Sunday, October 22 on AMC.