Something I have thought about a lot is why The Walking Dead is so successful. Not just the global phenomenon that is the TV show on AMC, but the comic book it is based off as well. What is it about this story that connects with so many people? After almost daily deliberation I actually think I have figured it out. The Walking Dead is so beloved because it is actually incredibly hopeful.
It may seem odd to call The Walking Dead hopeful as it is a post-apocalyptic drama, often depicting pretty horrific scenarios. However, it is because of the fact that we see these characters enduring hardship that the story is so hopeful, they all just carry on. The Walking Dead is a beautiful oxymoron. It is violent and upsetting at times, the world is made up of every shade of grey on the Dulux colour chart but despite this, the personality and resolve of the protagonists carry them through the difficulties. This is certainly true of the comicbook. I would say it is the central message of Robert Kirkman's source material, perhaps less so of the TV show. AMC's TV adaptation has a number of other factors that explain its fame, for example the compelling mysteries that keep viewers tuning in week after week for the answers. Not only that, the sheer amount of word of mouth has spread the show like wildfire.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that the story in all its forms provides amazing escapism by showing the audience that even in the worst situations there is light at the end of the tunnel. The Walking Dead shows you that whatever you are stressed about, it really could be worse, you could be under attack by thousands of zombies.