Published Friday, November 02, 2012
“I need to meet with you later today,” a manager at work said in a serious tone.
“OK, just let me know,” I said, wondering what in the world I had done.
“I have some ‘Walking Dead’ questions for you,” he said.
I laughed, relieved it wasn’t about using a cover sheet for the TPS report. As I walked away, I wondered how I had been anointed “The Walking Dead” expert. Of course, being from Coweta, I certainly believe I qualify.
If you have not started watching AMC’s top rated, locally-filmed cable show, “The Walking Dead,” it’s not too late.
In fact, my oldest daughter told her fiancé recently, “I guess I need to start watching ‘The Walking Dead’ since my mom and grandmother talk about it all the time.”
“Yes, I watched five minutes of it and think we do, too.”
It is that good.
I have been caught in the human element of it from day one, the whole concept that fighting off zombies is really the easy part when it comes to getting along with our fellow man.
My mother, on the other hand, has been caught up in the location of the filming. She can tell you what scene’s being filmed where on any given day.
“Did you get caught in traffic coming home?” she asked my daughter recently.
“Yes, there was construction traffic on U.S. 29,” my daughter replied.
“That wasn’t construction traffic,” my mom said. “It was ‘Walking Dead’ filming at the Oaks Motel.”
We now joke that she’s president of the “Stalking Dead” fan club. I have to admit, it is fun. When the show filmed at my alma mater, Newnan High School, I took the kids to see. The lower parking lot (not there when I graduated) was set to look like a Red Cross station gone awry. We walked through the set, amazed at the detail, when a security guard approached us and told us firmly that we had to go.
We said, “No problem,” and were about to turn away, when he took a look at my dejected son and asked, “But first, do you want to see something cool?”
We followed him hesitantly to the back of an ambulance. He swung the door opened, and we gasped in surprise. Inside on a gurney was a zombie with a bullet hole through his head.
“Go ahead. Touch him,” the security guard said.
My son shook his head vehemently.
“I don’t want to get infected!”
I, feeling the need to impress my children and also an impulse beyond my control, gave the zombie a poke and then jumped back expecting his eyes to open. Thankfully, they did not, and I was more than a bit relieved when the officer safely shut the ambulance doors. Apparently, they had been left open earlier, which had caused quite a bit of rubbernecking from passing cars, as one can imagine.
Alas, that’s been my only encounter with a zombie since filming began, though my mom and I are on the lookout for them daily. It seems they’ve not only invaded Senoia or “Woodbury,” as it’s referred to in the show, but the living rooms of 10.9 million viewers all over the world, making the season three premiere the most watched basic cable drama telecast in history.
If you haven’t caught the fever yet, give it a try Sunday night at 9. If the gore turns you off, just look for locals in the background.