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Tuesday, 25 of April of 2017

Tag » The Walking Dead

Fear the Walking Dead – “So Close, Yet So Far”

“I hate you.”

“I know.”

 

Kids wearing surgical masks with frightening grins drawn on them

This is probably the scariest thing this show has done yet.


So now that we seem to have a better idea of who’s who in the world of Fear the Walking Dead, let’s do a rundown of the characters.

Tobias, our blemished, knife-obsessed, (most-likely) redditor, is the only person in the world that seems to recognize anything that’s happening. In this world that seemingly has never produced a zombie movie, he has information that no one else seems to consider and has put together all the puzzle pieces faster than anyone in Los Angeles. He’s also the one that wants to build a bunker and be his own king of canned food. Smart kid.

Liza, Travis’s ex-wife and willing thorn in his side, is the only person within two or three degrees of this crew that has any amount of medical experience. While the show is better off without deus ex machine-gunists, we have to allow some latitude that if no one knows how to fix a wound, this family would surely perish.

And then there’s the rest of the family. Who are all dead weight.

Read more »


Fear the Walking Dead – “Pilot”

“I don’t know what a viscera is.”

 

It's different because of the spelling.

It’s different because of the spelling.

So if you were wondering why The Walking Dead has a spin-off and why it’s set in Los Angeles, I’m pretty sure you have me to blame. That place where Rick finds a tank in the original series (the Fairly-Poplar District)? Less than a block from where I lived in Atlanta. That park in Los Angeles everyone on Fear the Walking Dead seems to drive by on the way to school or anywhere (Lincoln Park)? I run through there every weekend.

The zombie apocalypse seems to want to follow me around. But this time I’m glad to see it. Fear the Walking Dead seems to be about what I always wanted The Walking Dead to be about. And that’s everything everyone else seems to hate to watch.

Read more »


The Walking Dead – “Seed”

“After all we been through, we can handle it. I know it.”

Lori confessing her fears to Hershel.

“I’m sorry to tell you this but — you’re having a weather balloon.”

This is a post-Zelda world and we’re just living in it.

I’m never sure if it’s because my adolescence was filled with level-grinding in video games or if our shows are written by the men and women who shared my hobbies, but, our heroes have seemingly assembled into a party complete with their own individual stats, abilities, and weapon upgrades. They fight enemies of increasing difficulties and, now, find themselves traveling into a labyrinth.

This first episode feels different than any of the entire last season, which I look back on a rebuilding year. It was that awkward period where the first season was pretty lame, kind of cheesy, and involved the worst looking explosion this side of a Ringer green screen. The second season was about fixing those mistakes, finding nuance and pathos, while trying to find the right balance of character development and walker killin’. While they worked out some things (Shane’s escalating instability was one of the highlights) and laid to waste others (Lori is the worst and her death would only make Rick seem more sympathetic), they constructed a show closer to the one that the pilot promised: a horror movie with more time to dedicate to building the storyworld and the population within it.

But now we find ourselves in a video game.

Read more »


The Walking Dead – “Save the Last One”

“Tell me why it would be better the other way. Please.”

Walkers reaching for Otis and Shane.

Walkers, waving like they just don't care.


I was hoping for a Halloween gag-reel under the closing credits where the high school walkers danced to “Thriller.” No such luck.

The rest of the episode keeps to this series’s hot streak, though. We’ve traded in a lot of the action for a lot of the talky-talky, which can be a little annoying at times (@ErinHill2 described it really well on Twitter: “As in [high school] Spanish, the minute anything productive happens, everyone has to split up for stilted conversations in small groups.”) but necessary to make up for the lack of character building last season. While I might enjoy it, I can see how some people not accustomed to the slow, agonizing burn of an AMC series might not appreciate so many trembling chats separated by short scenes of a fat dude running away from extras. I assure you, people, you’ll appreciate it when something huge happens. That cheesy dying speech will be more tearjerker than internet meme now that we know these people better.

Not that I know what’s going to happen on this show. I possess no clairvoyance but I have predictions and assumptions. Let’s unpack and wildly speculate! Read more »


The Walking Dead – “Bloodletting”

“It’s nature correcting itself.”

Shane wipes the blood off Rick's face.

It's guy love!


Ah, now that’s the agonizing pace I’ve grown to love from an AMC drama.

A running theme to my entries on this show (that is no doubt starting to sound repetitive) includes how The Walking Dead should aim to strike a balance between meditating on the inherent drama of life in a post-apocalyptic world and the action of still trying to escape from the thing that caused it. Episodic storytelling gives the storyteller an opportunity to unpack a horror situation and build deeper, more meaningful connections which can lead to deeper, more meaningful traumatizing experiences for us as an audience. Whether they’re actually trying to strike this balance is unknown to me. I just want it real bad.

“Bloodletting” is a step in that direction, in that we have a couple of action beats but only one of them is a pure action sequence to drive suspense. The other is an action beat used to promote drama, insinuate character development, and possibly introduce a perspective on walker attacks for us to ponder.

Or maybe it’s a mish-mash story poorly told and I’m just layering my hopes and dreams on top of it. Allow me to present my case. Read more »


The Walking Dead – “What Lies Ahead”

“Hey, JC. You taking requests?”

Daryl and Rick cut open a Walker to see what its last meal was.

Little girls hide in the darndest places.


Last season’s finale was the worst. The big ending (spoiler alert — although you’re reading a review for the beginning of season two so season one spoilers are your fault) was dumb for a lot of reasons. Personally, it was ridiculous because I’m from Atlanta so I know the CDC doesn’t look like that (it’s a boring government building near the Emory campus) and I don’t have any emotional attachment to the Cobb Energy Centre getting exploded by bad CG. Narratively, it was terrible because the ending told us nothing that we didn’t already know and really only served to thin out the cast (which, admittedly, needed to be done) and making an already bleak forecast for our heroes even bleaker. How much does hopelessness make you want to come back and watch a show?

There was a lot of industrial drama, showrunner changes, and network chicanery during the off-season and I was curious about how it would affect the show, because, frankly, it couldn’t really get much worse than how it devolved over the course of six episodes. There was a lot of promise from the beginning of using the series to explore more than just raw survival of the human spirt. Pun totally intended, there was an opportunity to flesh the situation out more, to develop characters beyond archetypes and create a different kind of dilemma that the horror movie doesn’t have time to work out. Instead, we got a six-hours-long B-movie epic.

I like being right. More than I like barbecue. More than I like watching Green Bay win. Almost as much as I love gelato. I love being right. So I wanted to tune in to The Walking Dead season two and see it slop onto the screen in a hot mess. I wanted to see the hot garbage from last season continue into this one and justify my desire not to watch it. What I found, however, is a show trying to regain its balance. And a show that may have been studying Lost in the off-season for survivor dynamics. And I really like Lost. Dang it. I really wanted this show to not be interesting. Read more »


Why Falling Skies is better than The Walking Dead

Obviously, plenty of spoilers for both shows follow.

Post-apocalyptic survival has always been a great source of entertainment and storytelling and no two shows have garnered more buzz in the last year than AMC’s The Walking Dead and TNT’s Falling Skies. While the two programs give us very different looks at a very similar overall idea (scrounging for survival), the differences between the shows indicate one is clearly superior to the other.

AAAAAND FIGHT!

For starters, the shows treat action in very different ways. The Walking Dead is actually pretty boring when it comes to this point. For its six episode first season there is not a lot going on in terms of excitement. Is there peril? Sure, but there is not nearly enough ass-kicking, head-exploding action one would expect from the genre. Some will make the argument that AMC has made a “classy” zombie show. They weren’t looking to be all gore and scares, you know, things inherent of the genre. Yeah they kill a zombie every now and then and yeah there was that terrible (CG wise, not plot wise. Well…plot wise too) explosion in the finale, but I needed more! With Falling Skies, we get action left and right. Between the aliens (who we actually get to see. Take that, V!) and the mechs and the ships and the outlaw group there is plenty of stuff to shoot at, hide from and blow up.  The show is incredibly action-packed. When you’re fighting for survival it’s nice to see some actual fighting. And they did it in one-third the amount of episodes. Read more »


Podcast 005: “Serial Killers > Zombies”

“Television would lead me to believe that Miami is the worst place in the entire world.”

And television wouldn’t lie to us, would it? This week we discuss the disappointing The Walking Dead finale (in spite of Noah Emmerich’s presence), the holiday-themed episodes we watched this past week, a little CW, a little TNT, and a lot of Dexter. So hop aboard the Polar Express, mind the pterodactyl and the Christmas Attack Zones, and let’s talk it out. Or at least let us talk it out at you.

Running Time: 75 minutes

Topics: Place in the Podcast

  • The Walking Dead: 0:00:27
  • Gossip Girl: 0:22:08
  • Life Unexpected: 0:30:14
  • Holiday Episodes
    • Community: 0:33:37
    • The Office: 0:44:03
    • Glee: 0:47:55
    • Warehouse 13: 0:52:35
  • The Closer/TNT Line-Up: 0:56:32
  • Dexter: 1:02:10

The Walking Dead – “Wildfire” and “TS-19”

“If I could’ve traded places with him, I would have. I would trade places with him right now.”

Jacqui and Edwin await the end.

“So — what do you want to do for 21 seconds?”

In the podcast earlier, I was curious as to what the cliffhanger for the end of this season could possibly be. Surly, we’d get some answers to some long-standing questions and maybe some tense moments with the cast being locked down in the basement of a suburban performing arts center technologically-advanced government building but where are they going? Karen pointed out that they need a plan. So when I sat down for “TS-19” tonight, that’s what I hoped to see. Instead, I got something else entirely. And even that was hampered by some of the same problems that’ve haunted this still-so-young series.

Chief among those problems: I don’t care about 80-90% of the cast.

Thus begins my series of Lost contrasts. The Walking Dead is completely different from Lost and not just because of the spelling. Though they both feature groups of survivors trying to fight for continuance against all odds and a mysterious force (smoke monsters and Others vs the where-did-they-come-from ghouls), The Walking Dead has a pretty serious problem of never endearing many of the characters to us. Lost had a giant ensemble cast to which they were able to give a lot of service, making it so that audience not only knew of each character but could identify them in a line-up. Before Jim started going bananas on the hills, diggin’ holes, did you remember who he was? Congratulations if you did (from the radiator hose thing). Many people didn’t.

And when you have a bunch of characters no one knows anything about and aren’t very developed beyond the surface, that’s horror code for “it’s time to thin out the herd.”

Read more »


Podcast 004: “Stayin’ Positive”

“I just hope it has nothing to do with a music box.”

Though we here at Monsters of Television might be pegged as pessimistic, sarcastic, snarky snobs, we can be positive every once in a while and we are with the upcoming season finale of The Walking Dead and the as-yet-unannounced return of Terriers. Less so for Serena on Gossip Girl and whatever the heck Chuck is doing (though let’s stop worrying about Emmy4Yvonne and jump on Timothy Dalton’s sure-bet Emmy win for this season). We also discuss auteur theory in respect to showrunners and featured episode writers (because we’re smarty-pantses), why Community might’ve felt weird and why that’s an awesome thing, and how now is the time to be watching Top Chef: All-Stars even if you’ve never watched an episode of Top Chef. Which would be a crime because of all the meals you missed them cooking. Yes. Because of the meals.

We also hint about the Terriers finale, beating around the bush as to not reveal anything to those that are waiting the absurdly long 8 days to watch it on Hulu. If that’s you, you can also drop the $1.99 at Amazon and watch it now.

Editor’s note: Noel wants to credit Kate Tripoli for planting the Firefly/The Walking Dead seed in his head. It was all her connection. He just agreed with it.

Running Time: 70 minutes

Topics: Place in the Podcast

  • Walking Dead
    • Industry/”Writer Shake-Up”: 0:00:31
    • Episode: 0:10:16
    • Possible Comic Book Spoiler Alert: 0:18:52
  • Terriers: 0:21:55
  • Community: 0:31:48
  • Gossip Girl: 0:42:18
  • Chuck: 0:52:24
  • Top Chef: All-Stars: 0:59:09