‘The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon’ Can’t Shake the ‘Last of Us’ Comparisons


Since the dawn of The Walking Dead, Daryl Dixon has been more than a fan favorite. For some, to love him has long been a way of life, espoused through custom T-shirts, fan petitions, and battle cries like, “If Daryl dies, we riot.” A compellingly reformed antihero and the ultimate zombie-fighting champion, our poncho-loving, bare-biceped king has always been a star—even if he was never the star. Now, 13 years after the flagship show’s debut, he’s gotten his own spinoff. But does The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon actually do Norman Reedus’s character justice?

Well, yes and no. Daryl Dixon does offer its eponymous protagonist the showcase he’s long deserved, and it’s particularly refreshing to see his emotional development throughout his own series. (Also, we’ve replaced his usual crossbow with a mace—fun!) The Walking Dead often preferred to showcase Daryl in action, keeping his interior world mostly hidden behind the “strong-but-silent-type” veneer. The new spin-off examines his trauma, albeit often implicitly, by placing him alongside a young child whom he must escort to safety. Then again… doesn’t this sound a little familiar?

There’s no escaping the fact that this show shares a zombified lion’s share of its DNA with HBO’s undead phenomenon The Last of Us. Once again, we have a gruff, tough guy escorting a precious, Chosen child to safety—although this time, we at least get the refreshing addition of killer nuns, as Daryl and his ward, Laurent, make their way to a sanctuary called “The Nest.” Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, executive producer and TWD stalwart Greg Nicotero said that he and his team were “deep into production” by the time The Last of Us came out. “I remember watching the first episode of The Last of Us and going, ‘Ummm… guys?’” (That said, as an undead aficionado, one must assume he’d at least heard of the video game, right?)

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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