The Walking Dead is just one big social experiment. Yes, we all watch it for the blood, guts and literally heart-wrenching deaths (actually, why do we watch it?) but once you see past the red mess, the show is all about the characters’ reactions to the most horrifying situations imaginable.
With so much emphasis on the characters, and their (good and bad) relationships with one another, a lot of weight falls onto the actors’ shoulders. If they don’t produce top performances, the show will simply slide into a pit full of films brimming with underdeveloped zombie-fodder.