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Thursday, 22 of April of 2021

Tag » The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead – “Vatos”

“I’m not strolling the streets of Atlanta with just my good intentions, okay?”

Do you ever get the feeling that men are just a problem in this show? Nevermind the fact that they’re all racists or adulterers or abusive but they’re also generally useless to the survival of the non-walkers. They serve as lookouts and muscle but only the women help keep the camp functioning with laundry and educating the children and the various other tasks that the men in which the men never seem to participate. I would say this is like some early patriarchal hunter/gatherer society, but, when Daryl’s gone to Atlanta to find Merle and get guns, the women do the hunting, too. Men are just the blight on this struggling society.

On the podcast yesterday, we talked a little bit about how this Lord of the Flies-esque societal regeneration is similar to that of Lost, especially with a hero (Rick) emerging, complete with antagonists both to his power (Merle) and his being (Shane), to help save them from the Others (walkers). Sure, the walkers don’t have a ringleader like Ben or an ancient spiritual leader like Richard but many of them don’t have faces either so we can’t expect too much. The more interesting difference is how the new society is formed with baser instincts: cliques, a bit of mistrust, paranoia, and an surprising lack of unity despite the superficial all-togetherness. There is far more poison in this bunch than on the island, with a few people feeling they have the right to rise to the throne. The inherent fear of their situation, of each other sometimes, and a lack of collaboration to get them out of harm’s way, can only prove to be detrimental to their cause of survival.

It’s like they don’t know that they need learn to live together or die alone.

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Podcast 003: A Worthy Experiment

“Challenges WHAT?”

These week on the podcast, we mull over the implications of the NBC and Fox midseason shakeups as well as some of the shows we wish weren’t on the brink of cancellation (real or imagined), a recap of some recent food television, and, of course, discussions of the shows we’re watching. Hit us with a comment if you have something to tag on (and you should) and enjoy the sweet sounds of our lovely voices.

Notes: • During the food television segments, Matt and Nick tried out the mute function on Skype. It didn’t work. Sorry. • Nick makes references to multiple properties throughout the podcast that are not only telling of his age but also are sometimes so esoteric some readers/listeners might not quite get how hilarious he is. To that point, submitted for your education is a hint of (Family) Double Dare and a dash of Hello Again with a smidge of Emily Quartermaine (from last week’s podcast).

Running Time: 77 minutes

Topics: Place in the Podcast

  • Walking Dead: 0:00:39
  • Terriers: 0:09:23
    • The Good Wife: 0:16:13
    • Rubicon: 0:18:18
  • NBC Midseason Shakeup: 0:21:01
  • Fox Midseason Shakeup: 0:35:24
  • Fringe: 0:40:38
  • Top Chef: Just Desserts: 0:49:04
  • Top Chef: All-Stars: 0:57:17
  • Private Practice: 1:00:40
  • No Ordinary Family: 1:07:23
  • The Cape: 1:11:40
  • In Treatment: 1:12:23

The Walking Dead – “Tell It to the Frogs”

“Why don’t you take that stupid hat and go back to On Golden Pond?

Rick and Lori spend their first night together after being reunited.

“Oh, don’t worry: he won’t wake up. I made time between running from zombies and scraping by to survive to bump uglies with your best friend while your son slept in the next bed and he never made a peep. Carl, not Shane. Shane’s a screamer. Did I mention that I made you a cuckold? I did. But we can laugh about it now. Ha ha ha. Ha?”

The complaint from several people (including myself) is that last week’s episode of The Walking Dead felt too much like the horror movies the pilot promised so much against. Dialogue was atrocious, themes were too obvious, it borrowed so heavily from its genre-mates (even parodies like Shaun of the Dead) that it felt unoriginal, and the slow-build-tension, character-focused, trope-examining, AMC-promise-of-story was violated by what was, essentially, a conventional horror plot.

Perhaps I felt that way because I brought expectations to this episode. After talking it over during the Monsters of Television podcast, they might have needed a hook after that first episode in order to grab as many people as possible. Sure, the story for the first episode set a tone but we’re dealing with television afterall and it’s not called “broadcast” for nothin’. Stupid farmers.

In any event, the third episode is kind of a marriage of the two in that we have some interesting character deepening events with some heavy-handed themes, even ones that are vocalized pretty blatantly (more so than even the “us against them” speech Rick gave Mearle on the rooftop). There’s some good stuff here, some cheesy stuff, and one big huge “WHY. WOULD YOU DO THAT?” For those of you that watched the episode, I’m pretty sure you know where I’m going.

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Podcast 002: Basic Cable is Just Like Everyone Else

Well, well, well. It’s an All-Monster Podcast. It’s like Rampage but better because we have four monsters tearing up your town instead of just three. These week, Karen, Matt, Nick and Noel discuss a range of topics across the television landscape including The Walking Dead, the Mad Men finale (yeah, we know it’s old news — but it’s our show), how cable has disappointed us by having the nerve to cancel shows (Rubicon, Caprica), the USA brand (popcorn/beach-reading), how Life Unexpected is gross probably because they need to keep up with the rest of the CW, and Conan’s pedestrian return, among other things. It’s an interesting hour of witness. Listen to the podcast at the bottom of this post or subscribe to the podcast feed.

Running time: 75 minutes

Topics: Place in the Podcast

  • The Walking Dead: 0:00:58
  • Rubicon: 0:10:23
  • Mad Men: 0:16:21
  • Cable as a Haven: 0:21:42
  • The USA Brand: 0:25:53
  • House: 0:29:52
  • TV Actors: 0:35:59
  • Chuck: 0:37:41
  • Nikita (and other spy dramas): 0:44:51
  • The CW/Life Unexpected: 0:51:41
  • Parenthood defense: 1:04:25
  • Conan: 1:06:21

Brief note from Nick: I know that Chuck didn’t air this week because of the Lauer/Bush thing. I meant last week.

The Walking Dead – “Guts”

“You’re surrounded by walkers. That’s the bad news.”
“There’s good news?”

Glenn and Rick try to move stealthily through the walker horde.

Even the walkers get stereotyped.

Well, it was about time for Atlanta’s representative racist hick to come out and play small-time antagonist. I suppose we could do worse that Michael “The Rook” Rooker to portray him but I would’ve preferred him to not be there at all what with all the over-pronounced drawls everywhere else. But there he was, dropping the “N” word just so we could all be educated about how old divisions blurred when they had a new enemy to hate. Instead of pouring your generations-descended loathing onto classes and race, funnel your hatred into killing ghouls instead.

Last week, I described how a horror series could do things a horror movie could not, specifically build deeper emotional connections and construct stronger characters. Unfortunately, this is not an episode that does very much of that at all. In fact, it sounded and functioned more like the end of the first act of a B zombie flick. Where the pilot felt more like an AMC show (subtle as a show of this bent could be while never talking down to the viewer), the follow-up is very specific and very obvious. I’d say it’s forgivable, however, as long as this was just a way to get the new group out of the city and into some deeper plot. Otherwise, we’re looking at some serious disappointment.

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The Walking Dead – “Days Gone By”

“You cozy?”

Rick observes the destruction as he rides down Forsyth Street.

Downtown Atlanta after the zombie apocalypse: parking is still a hassle.

The Walking Dead holds a special interest for me. I’ve never read the comic. I’m not really a horror or zombie movie fan. Media properties operating in a dystopic post-apocalypse are exhausting.

But that tank scene at the end was shot two blocks from my old apartment.

Before I moved to LA two months ago, I lived in the metro Atlanta area for 17 years, inside or on the fence (I-285) for 11. I know a lot of people that have either worked in the production as extras, PAs, or other minor roles as well as people that have worked on the post-production of each episode (apparently they shot A LOT of footage in order to get every angle of walker attacks). I’ve been through their struck sets and watched people made up as ghouls amble toward Five Points station. Atlanta is a city I am very familiar with.

For instance, I know that the the scene where Rick rides the horse “into” town (the one also depicted on the poster) shows him on Freedom Parkway heading into downtown while everyone else seems to be heading toward Little 5 Points, as if commercialized bohemians were going to save them. And that he’s facing I-85, not coming from it.

All that aside, I feel like The Walking Dead does do something special for the horror genre. While it doesn’t necessarily tread new ground in an industrial sense, it does do something that horror movies have trouble achieving in their 90-minute running time. Here, they have the opportunity to build complex characters and stories at AMC speed.

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