Louis CK did a great piece on how lucky we are not to be in the food chain (see YouTube or his own site, where you can buy his stuff for $5).
I didn't like the zombie trope until TWD. I thought it a pitiful excuse to fantasize about killing out-group human beings without conscience, that the zombie trope was well tired (excepting 28 days later), and the headshot thing was all too easy.
But TWD has drama, supported by action sequences.
Anyway, much like Jaws and so on, the show relies upon our real fear of returning to the food chain.
And also a return to serfdom, vis-a-vis the survivors with stronger human groups. That'd turn the clock back at least 700 years.
What do you think? What's the underlying subtext that drives the drama?