You're completely right, Nat. This isn't just another zombie show. The focus on the human struggle to survive is what sets it apart from all the other zombie apocalypse shows/movies. The main hook to this series isn't the zombies, it's what the people have to do to survive and what lengths they will go to in order to stay alive, protect their loved ones and their possessions. This series shows exactly what I think the world would be like if a zombie apocalypse did happen. There's a reality element to this show (yes, I know it's fiction) that you just don't find a lot and there's no doubt in my mind that is one of the main reasons the show has gotten so huge.
I read over 100 issues of the comic and you're in for a treat with that. Things go down a lot differently in the comic though. They made it different enough from the TV show that neither one of them really spoil the other. In fact, I would say that there are more differences with the comic and the show then there are similarities.
Talking Dead is a good show. I can't recall a TV series ever having a "post game" show before but they've made it work here. Chris Hardwick is a good host and the guests are celebrity fans who are into the show. He even has cast members as guests to and the creator of The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman has been on it a few times as well.