The Walking Dead kills at Paleyfest 2011
These days the undead are everywhere; on our television sets at least. From vampires to werewolves, and now: zombies. PaleyFest 2011, held at the Saban Theater this past Friday, opened with a "killer" show, "The Walking Dead." Like many of the television programs being showcased at this year's PaleyFest, "The Walking Dead" had an immense cult following. This festival truly gives a fresh insider's perspective to casual viewers and super-fans alike of this beloved pop culture television phenomenon.
It is the attribute of relationships within the programs that cause these shows to become so popular with fans and relatable to watchers all over. PaleyFest is the connection between fans and the creative teams that create the characters and shows we all fall in love with.
With nearly a full house, Paley Center President and CEO Pat Mitchell welcomed the excited crowd with a speech of gratitude and recognition for the television arts, dubbing it a "chance to come together…to recognize that television influences how we think."
Mitchell continued by calling the twenty-eighth annual PaleyFest a "celebration of the shows that make us feel and touch us."
The long running cartoon series "South Park" even made a cameo appearance with a short clip from a 1997 Halloween zombie-themed episode. Following the snippet was the main feature of the evening, a full episode of "The Walking Dead."
Although many in the audience had already watched the pilot episode when it originally aired on AMC, it was no hard task for them to sit through it again.
"It's all about the characters, [and] the zombies are the backdrop," said Robert Kirkman—the series' executive producer and creator of the comic books that the show is based upon.
"You second guess every murderous decision you make, because you fall in love with the characters", said veteran director Frank Darabont, who also directed "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Mist."
Darabont continued, "It's the human journey that's the most interesting thing." A major theme in "The Walking Dead" is the human journey we see the characters take after the zombie apocalypse has struck their world into a sea of chaos and savage zombies.
The reason "The Walking Dead" was a feature of PaleyFest, is because of its popularity with the masses. Each savagely entertaining episode attracts an array of fans, who came together to celebrate how much they love "The Walking Dead" at this year's PaleyFest.
PaleyFest shines the spotlight on television's greatest achievements, as television will always be a part of our lives.