Daryl Dixon in Paris


From an immediate favorite to a production as zombified as a monster that features, The walking dead is undoubtedly one of the biggest television phenomena of the last decade. Robert Kirkman’s adaptation of the comic won over with its approach to the post-apocalyptic story, its characters and its radicality. Under the auspices of Kirkman and Frank Darabont, the sour and sinister human fresco has come to life, sending chills to sensitive souls. However, as the episodes followed one another, the public’s appeal for The walking dead continued to weaken. Many people, like us, gave up before the conclusion reached in 2022 on AMC. If anyone could have believed that the eleventh season would mark the end of the journey, and while the conclusion for Fear the living dead, the American channel decided to make the party long with several spin-offs. After Dead citywhich revolved around Maggie and Negan in New York, it’s Daryl Dixon’s turn to take the stage in his dedicated production.

The protagonist was invented for the needs of the series and quickly established himself as one of the audience’s favorites, undoubtedly the one with the greatest progression through the seasons. This time he settles in France, to fight a battle against a totalitarian organization while finding a way to return home. The tender-hearted beast trades in his leather jacket and crossbow for a sailor’s cannon and beret. Daryl in Paris, Angers and Le Mont Saint-Michel (pronounced in English), the series broadcast on Paramount+ in France aims to show us the country. The fact remains that France is seen through the eyes of Americans. As another of her fellow citizensseries Dixon is she stuck in an ocean of cliches?

穢 AMC

Such “joy of living”

To say that is an exercise in the immortality of the universe The walking dead in France is a real challenge, to put it mildly. Rarely has Uncle Sam’s country managed to take over our green lands and our morals without upsetting a few “Frenchmen”. Except for the Netflix romantic comedy Emily in Paris, many films happily immersed themselves in the capital’s picture-postcard environment, far from the dangers of the RER A during traffic jams. However, the latest addition to science promised to have a distinct advantage over its predecessors; his exploration of France is no walk in the park. Since genre cinema is largely underrepresented in France, the appeal of this series rested largely on the opportunity to see such cataclysmic events told in French.

We have to applaud the approach of AMC who, instead of relying on green backdrops and local frames, crossed the Atlantic and hired a number of French-speaking actors to answer their hero who does not speak much. A rare enough fact to emphasize, a good deal of the dialogue is also recited in Moli癡re’s language. There is no doubt that this was helped by the export of certain products produced in France, such as Lupine, The walking dead don’t take the easy way out. We also enjoy discovering desolate France, ravaged by years of zombie apocalypse. During his journey, from the south to the northwest of France, Dixon develops in new landscapes, meets new heroes and has to face a world that is very different from his own. Weapons are less numerous or medieval, Daryl Dixon grabs a flail to gleefully massacre the living dead.

Daryl The Walking Dead
穢 AMC

The series would certainly benefit from a larger panel of French authors. The French-speaking world will not avoid numerous clich矇s and “gags” about the irreducible Gauls, a nation of contradictions in which inveterate partisans and giant frogs rub shoulders, sometimes both at the same time. Where’s Bryan? He’s in the kitchen.” Yes, yes, they dared. Some sequences are also quite lunar, such as the ones that reveal a rather unusual way of communicating and a very special nickname for one of these creatures. We often laugh, it probably wasn’t the goal, but the truth is that this charm operation would almost work. Unfortunately, the machine seems to be stuck.

In the name of father, son…

Beneath his thick, brutal appearance, the character played by Norman Reedus since 2011 hides a big heart and boundless courage. During the episodes, he transformed into a real hero, ready to make any sacrifices for those he considers his family. A man who grew up under the yoke of an abusive father, who finds his redemption in a world that has become as brutal as the one he was born into. Unlike many of his peers, Daryl was not pampered and quickly became the ideal survivor.

However, far from all his benchmarks, he must relearn how to trust in order to achieve his goal. In order to find his loved ones, the American must cooperate with certain people who cross his path. Thus, the narration repeats the premises of the parent series at high speed, from the first episode the traveler forms a small team with which he will cross half of France to Paris in several sequences. Because if the starting point is on the Mediterranean shores, in the City of Light most of the action takes place before it reaches the refuge for the character of Cl矇mence Po矇sy and the child named Laurent.

Cl矇mence Poesy The Living Dead
穢 AMC

At the same time, the series introduces a new generation of zombies, stronger ones that slightly rearrange the cards within a universe that has so far struggled to rebuild itself. This is not enough to bring back the enthusiasm of the early days. Truth be told, more than ever, ghouls are tools that are primarily used to develop intimate issues, relationships between characters. But here, limiting his story to six short episodes, Daryl Dixon he never takes the time to give his plots a chance to gain substance.

Aside from the pleasant aspect of this initial journey, the series gets bogged down in Christ-like themes, the story of an elected official who could change the face of the world, and the establishment of a totalitarian adversary. Too quickly, he applies a number of schemes that have already been widely used under his banner, without reconnecting with the virtuosity of previous productions. More damagingly, this first season is woefully lacking in heart, content to pour these ideas out through uninspired dialogue and reducing secondary characters to puppets in service of a misguided story. If the last two episodes save the day, real interest for Daryl Dixon he seems to be on the side of what he hasn’t shown yet. The second season has already been secured, its filming is in progress. But the question arises whether it is not high time for The walking dead kill his creatures human or not forever?

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