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'The Walking Dead': Grisly greatness

Walkingdead2 Trapped inside an abandoned military tank where he's taken refuge from throngs of walking -- and ravenous -- corpses, a wayward cop is startled as the vehicle's radio crackles to life.

"You're surrounded by walkers," the voice on the radio tells him. "That's the bad news."

"There's good news?" the cop asks hopefully.

Pause. "No."

That pretty much maps the landscape of The Walking Dead: peaks of mortifying terror, valleys of morose hopelessness, all of it connected by a grid of severed limbs and dangling intestines. This dark gem of a show about a zombie apocalypse gleams with a hellfire incandesence.

Walking Dead's title is actually a bit of macabre wordplay that doesn't just refer to the zombies, corpses reanimated by some unexplained catastrope and now rampaging out of control throughout America. It's also an allusion to the isolated bands of survivors, shuffling through a terrorized existence that's been reduced to something well short of human. Threatened by not only the hungry dead but the lawless living, still stricken by the racial hatreds and domestic jealousies of an extinct civilization, the survivors have condensed their moral code to the simple advice offered by a cop: "Stay focused and make sure you got a round in the chamber." Read my full review in Sunday's Miami Herald

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