Watching 'The Walking Dead' on Netflix

It seems like forever since Rick Grimes, a deputy sheriff working in a small town in Georgia, woke up from a coma in a hospital that had been overrun by the walking dead. One can only imagine what went through his mind about his missing friends and family? Were they all dead? As it turned out, mostly not, at least at first. One thing that is certain about the Zombie Apocalypse as depicted in "The Walking Dead" is death, though no longer taxes.

One other thing that is a feature about a world overrun by the undead is that the shambling, ravenous bodies of what were once living, breathing human beings has turned out to be the least of the survivors’ worries.

To be sure, the walking dead are a threat. One bite will transform anyone into one of them. Get caught by a horde of walking dead, and you will suffer a horrible, twitching death as they eat the flesh right off your living body as you scream and struggle.

However, given numbers, expertise, and scavenged resources, groups of the living could survive and even prosper during the zombie apocalypse, all things being equal. However, as Jean-Paul Sartre sad in another context, when civilization comes to an end, hell becomes other people free from its constraints.

As Rick, Carl, Michonne, and all the rest find out quickly, the main threat to life and limb are living people who set up their little fiefdoms ruled by terror. These new leaders, who were likely perfectly nice people when governments and police existed to restrain keep their impulses in check, prove to be miniature versions of Hitler or Stalin, lusting to control or kill everyone around them. The Governor, the one-eyed quiet madmen, and Neegan, the flamboyant lunatic with the barbed baseball bat, cause far more problems to our heroes than the undead ever did. Indeed, when the various sides begin to weaponize the walking dead, the idea of weapons of mass destruction is reborn.

Another feature of “The Walking Dead” is that no one is safe. Gone is the era of episodic television when the main characters could be considered immune from being killed off. Sometimes, a major character could die, as happened to Major Blake during the middle of “M*A*S*H” when an actor left the show, But in “The Walking Dead,” no one is safe. To use a “Star Trek” term, everyone can become a potential redshirt at any time.

“The Walking Dead” can be live streamed now on Netflix.