July 22, 2024

THE WALKING DEAD: DARYL DIXON (2023) – Surprisingly this is actually pretty good!

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Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Fans of the very long running zombies apocalypse TV series The Walking Dead had long given up hope of the series ever getting back to be as good as it was when it started way back in 2010. The series had progressively deteriorated to the extent of it alienating much of its loyal homebase of fans by the time it finally decided to end the series last year. Nevertheless, AMC studios just does not give up that easily and immediately launched not one but a few spin off TV series featuring some of the main characters from the original Walking Dead. We have Walking Dead: World Beyond, and Walking Dead: Dead City (which stars Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Maggie and Negan in New York city). and now we have Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon which has Norman Reedus reprising his role as one of Walking Dead’s most popular protagonists, Daryl Dixon. One cannot be blamed if the immediate reaction to this series is rolling the eyes upwards and giving a long-tired sigh of exasperation. But here is the good news .. this series is actually not bad .. in fact I would say it is pretty good!

The entire series is set in France. Our hero Daryl somehow finds himself stranded in the country and very soon starts fighting for his life again with French zombies! Along the way he encounters a bunch of killer nuns who harbour what they believe is some sort of “miracle child” which our Daryl soon find himself having to be a reluctant body-guard to as they make their way to Paris. All this sounds ridiculous of course, but with a tight and imaginative script, very good performances all round, and breathtakingly beautiful locales in France, everything falls in place and we find ourselves easily caught up with the plot and flow. Sure, we can see a bit of shameless poaching of its plot from The Last of Us by having Daryl play guardian and body guard to a so-called miracle child. But happily there are enough variation to the situation to make this feel less of a direct copycat.

There are lots of plus points here to make the series stand on its own. The acting by the predominantly French speaking cast is much better than the one-dimensional characters that we get from The Walking Dead. The series also benefits from the good pacing and plot twists which helps make us engrossed and guessing over what will happen next. Finally, the French setting is just brilliant and beautiful to look at. I dare say I was feeling a bit disappointed that there were only 6 episodes! But despair not as there is almost definitely going to be a follow-up season given the teasers at the end and the customary open ended conclusion.

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