Is the Rick Grimes series The Ones Who Live worth it?

After The Walking Dead ended after 11 seasons, a new era began for the zombie franchise with the spin-offs Dead City and Daryl Dixon. But none of them were as eagerly awaited by fans as the series The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, which starts on February 26, 2024 on Magenta TV.

For over 5 years, fans have been asking: What happened to Rick Grimes? Now there are finally answers. I was already able to see the first episodes of The Walking Dead sequel in advance and in this first impression I’ll tell you whether the return of “Richonne” was the highlight I was hoping for. And of course without any spoilers.

The Walking Dead shows a whole new world: That’s what The Ones Who Live is all about

Let’s ignore all the adventures that Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) has had on The Walking Dead over eight seasons (and five episodes). Basically The Ones Who Live a reboot for the character. It is the story of a man who was torn from his previous life and is now forced to start over in a world that is completely alien to him.

We’re talking about the Civic Republic, a “secret” city (Philadelphia) with hundreds of thousands of residents and part of an alliance of three large communities that is protected by the powerful CRM (Civic Republic Military). However, there is only one goal for Rick: he wants to go home. However, escaping from this place seems impossible – no matter how drastic his attempts are. At the start of the series he has been a prisoner for 5 years and a broken person.

Watch the trailer for The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live here

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live – S01 Trailer (German subtitles) HD

But The Ones Who Live is more than just a Rick series. She also tells about Michonne (Danai Gurira), who learned six years after his disappearance that her husband, who she thought was dead, might still be alive and then went on a search.

On her journey through the USA she meets new allies – such as the hobby tinkerer Nat (Matthew Jeffers), who is guaranteed to become a fan favorite. She is also repeatedly confronted with the question of whether the time has come to give up hope. And in several ways.

Not for newbies: Who is The Walking Dead spin-off worth for?

Even more than the previous spin-offs Dead City and Daryl Dixon, which were also suitable for newcomers to the zombie world, The Ones Who Live is primarily aimed at fans who have already experienced many ups and downs with ex-sheriff Rick Grimes have.


Rick Grimes has reached rock bottom

If you’ve never seen a single episode of The Walking Dead, you’ll love it Flood of information, references and flashbacks be completely overwhelmed. The emotional burden on Rick’s shoulders, his motivations and decisions are more understandable if you know who these people from his previous life are. Last but not least, it is their fate that is at stake should he mess up with the CRM.

So it’s best to have seen the original up until Rick’s exit at the beginning of season 9. The CRM spin-off World Beyond is (fortunately) not essential for understanding.

An overwhelming zombie blockbuster: That’s how good The Ones Who Live is

I don’t want to reveal at this point when and how Rick and Michonne will meet again or specific details about their respective experiences. But what I can definitely say: As a fan of The Walking Dead from the very beginning, The Ones Who Live completely overwhelmed me.

My fears that the measly 6 episodes of the series would be far too few quickly dissipated. The first two episodes in particular are told with such enormous density and urgency that they could easily have filled half a season of the original series each.


A “small” horde of zombies

Especially compared to The Walking Dead, everything works here bigger, more elaborate and more epic. Zombie hordes are massive masses that will part like a sea when distracted, and Rick’s CRM adventure in Philadelphia makes the (very similar) Season 11 Commonwealth story look like a low-budget production.

The Ones Who Live is The Walking Dead at blockbuster level and shockingly proves in the first 5 minutes that this spin-off takes no prisoners. But not only visually, but also narratively, Rick and Michonne’s adventures are different from anything we’ve seen before in the zombie franchise. One awaits you Mix of military thriller and emotional apocalyptic drama with hints of The Last of Us – and of course a pinch of The Walking Dead.

At its core, however, it is an epic love story spanning years about two people changed by their respective circumstances and the question: Is their former love still strong enough after so many years? That may sound cheesy, but it is the catalyst for the most exciting The Walking Dead chapter in years, which overwhelms long-time fans with an avalanche of emotions and leaves them completely overwhelmed after each episode.