AMC's newest series,The Walking Dead, is awesome. At least, the pilot is.Before I am jumped all over for expressing that opinion, I'd like to break down why I think it is such, and what the series has to offer.
Zombie fans have had plenty of movies made over the years. Some of the more serious ones, like 28 Days Later, have been intensely scary. Lately, zombies have also been a fodder for comedy, with Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland, which have actually increased the zombie fan base. Personally, I have never been a fan of the genre, but the comedy attempts introduced me to enjoyable zombies, and I can take the more horror-driven if there is a good plot. The Walking Dead goes for the serious route, creating creatures that are gross and hungry for flesh. They are very dangerous, and out to eat you.
While zombies are traditionally slow, more current films have imbibed them with supernatural speed, making them that much more deadly, and much harder to escape. The Walking Dead goes for a middle ground. They can move sort of fast when they need to, and when excited into a feeding frenzy. Usually, they move slow, or lie around until something disturbs them. The real threat from Walking Dead zombies are being trapped by a pack, and not having an escape route. This happened to Deputy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln, Love Actually) at the end of the pilot, and he found refuge in a tank.
Like speed, zombies' intelligence have been approached in different ways. Some are so dumb they can't even turn a door knob. Walking Dead zombies do not fall into that category. However, they don't seem smart enough to throw things through windows or use a sledgehammer to break down doors, either. They are not scared off by bullets, but I've never seen a zombie that was. Fire remains to be seen.