Posts Tagged Walkers
I have not written any reviews of any of the third season episodes of The Walking Dead because most of it has been pretty bad. Badly written with terrible, fifth-grader level dialogues and comatosely boring content lacking real meaningful dramatic tension and forward momentum.
Everytime I was going to write a review I realized that my review was going to be nothing but one huge rant criticizing all the things that were just wrong and pissing me off with the show and which ultimately diminished its quality and the phenomenally amazing tone set forward by Frank Darabont during the first season. And as much as I sometimes love to hate this show, mainly because of the abysmally bad and incoherent writing and ridiculous plot outcomes, I just did not want to spend my time basically saying the same thing one episode after another.
Alas the latest episode titled “Clear” has departed from that abysmally bad note and was definitely worth a review But before I get to that let me summarize the things I have taken an issue with during this entire season:
1) Despite the success of the show just numbers wise, AMC seems to be either on a tight budget or just cheap. The entire second season took place on the Farm of Our Discontent and this entire third season has taken place in one facility (prison) and a set (Woodbury village). People are getting bored with the lack of forward momentum and diversity. There is only so many exciting episodes you can shoot in the same one or two locations.
I mean, how many more times do we wanna show Walkers breaking into the prison? How many more times do we want to show these people sitting in prison cells bickering over something? How many more ghost images and knotholes can Rick make out with? How many more times can we watch Carol and Daryl give each other longing, awkward looks without it going anywhere? How many more times can we watch long, drawn-out shots of the Governor bullshitting his way into Andrea’s panties? I mean really. You would think this land and the prison on it were the last patch of land left.
2) This show has gone from phenomenally good to ok to bad to abysmally bad. Jumbled together story lines, non existent character development, soapy, stagey phony struggles, half-assed dialogues apparently written by contest winners, too many characters – none of whom are properly explorers and developed – much like a soap opera – bickering and arguing and blaming, lack of continuity, gaping plot holes and just overall implausible plot developments and outcomes.
A few examples:
–> Andrea’s deep loyalty to the townsfolk whom she just met two or three weeks ago and her dispassionate, half-assed speech a few episodes ago about how they must hold on was painful to watch. Especially since these are townsfolk who, may I add, are nothing but bloodthirsty sheep cheering at gladiator torture games and who have nothing worth saving.
–> Andrea’s loyalty to the Governor and acting like she and him had been in a close, personal relationship for years, when all they have been doing since she moved in two weeks ago is fuck. That scene at the beginning of the mid season premiere where she tells the Governor to not “pull away” from her now and “close off” was phenomenally cringeworthy and completely unrealistic. Bitch just met the guy two weeks ago. Seems to be fucked in the head, literally, for being so dick-whipped that she apparently - despite all evidence to the contrary – just does not seem to get how bad he is.
This is a character who was so observant that she knew that Shane and Lori had a thing going on, someone who confronted Dale who wanted her to be thankful for having saved life by telling him that she saved his and that what he really did was take away her choice to end her life as she wished. And suddenly she is too stupid to recognize what a terrible sociopath the Governor is? Even after Michonne tells her? Even after the death match he set up between Daryl and Merle and the myriad of other pieces of evidence? She was supposed to have been an attorney in her life pre zombie apocalypse. How come she be so immensely dense and unobservant?
Speaking of: her allegiance to people she doesn’t know is totally unreal, especially when in the loyalty department she is lacking as she, just a few weeks ago, abandoned Michonne, her friend of 10 months for the governor’s stick. Her loyalty to people she met five minutes ago doesn’t make sense. Not to the point where she is willing to betray Rick.
3) As to the Governor, it is unclear what his agenda is. What is inspiring him. What is informing him. He is just an uninspired, boring, dispassionate villain on autopilot. He is just doing all things you expect villains to do, but he is one dimensional. There is no passion behind his villainary, so to speak. He is just an archetype. Not a real person. He might as well be the Joker in Gotham city hating Batman. That is how (un) real he is.
People, at least I, don’t like characters that are unreal. Not in a show like this which is explicitly not supposed to be fantasy. Now if this show was supposed to be Batman, it would be cool. But it is not, so why create real characters with real issues and then throw in this archetypal, comic book villain? That seems fake.
The Governor and his character, if one call that incoherent, dispassionate jumble that is his person a character, sounds made up and is evil and bad because it says so in the script and fits in nicely with the story, not because he has an agenda, a goal, a passion.
4) Grimes gang’s artificial holding on to the damn prison as if it was the last patch left on Earth that they had to defend until the bitter end not only makes little sense it pissed me off. I mean shit, just about anything is better than this toilet they live in that has been compromised a dozen times anyway with the psycho Governor on the other side having it in for them for no good reason. Just get the fuck out. You have cars and after this episode an arsenal, so just get out. At least with Walkers, bottomless pits of hunger as they may be, you know exactly what you get.
5) Merle. Oh boy. Bringing back that backwoods degenerate who does not possess any redeeming qualities, whatsoever, is still beyond me. And then that fake, stagy made up attempt at trying to redeem him out of the blue without any evidence to a shred of humanity within him in the entire previous seasons. It is called building up a character.
If you wanna show that the character you are portraying is misunderstood and does have redeeming qualities hidden deep within, then freaking show it. Shows us glimpses of his humanity hidden deep within, like they did with Daryl, so that when he does change, it is believable Otherwise it just seems like pulled out of your ass to fit the story line.
I mean how did Merle go from being a violent, angry racist thug to a remorseful good guy feeling sorry for all he did in just as few hours? Not even weeks or days, but literally within hours? I am all for people changing and making amends but not within hours. That is not how it works.
Okay, so Hershel is established as a religious sort who very reasonably might have Bible quotes memorized. I buy that. But then Merle cuts him off and completes the Bible verse? I didn’t even know Merle could read, let alone memorize complicated sentence structures.
Then he follows it up by saying that Woodbury has a good library which he misses. Hahahahahaha….yeah right. I mean no. Merle did not spend the last 10 months hanging out in the Woodbury library memorizing the fucking Bible or reading shit.
That is not plausible any way you look at it. It is also very inconsistent with his character as Assistant Grand High Oppressor of Shitburry. I desperately hope that the intent is that Merle is lying to Hershel in order to gain his trust, because anything less is a laughably transparent attempt to retcon a lazy-minded bigot monster into some kind of conflicted warrior-poet. I am so sick of the writers trying to tell us Merle is interesting or trying to artificially create character development where there is nothing to create anything from.
Merle is not sorry, as he claimed, about what he did before or after the ZA. I mean it’s been only been, what, two days since he has fallen out of the Governor’s grace? He did not change and for the writers trying to tell us that he has by making that scene is terrible writing at best and insulting to our intelligence at worst.
Maybe Merle is just bullshitting his way through Hershel and Michonne knowing he has no way out and has to stick with these people or else be on his own. But Michael Rooker played the part convincingly. There was no guile in his tone or expression, so unless he is a terrible actor, which he is not, it is doubtful that he was just playing. In other words, when he said he misses the library, he meant it. And the writers meant it too.
I could go in with the inconsistencies and lack of forward momentum and the myriad of other issues with TWD since Darabont’s departure and the pooh-pooh platter of characters that are barely fleshed out always bickering, arguing, deceiving, backstabbing and conning one another soap opera style, but suffice it so say that the third season has left much to be desired and I consider the episode Clear to be an outline rather than the rule.
The great thing about the Walking Dead has always been the extent to which the story of its protagonists has been rooted in reality. The challenges facing these people – from basic survival to the emotional and philosophical ones – aren’t stereotypical caricature type of struggles you see in most zombie movies. The problems of our protagonists feel real as these people suffer the way one would expect real people to suffer if the world had come to an end. The end of the world feels real and is palpable rather than being some fantasy scenario we can detach ourselves from.
The great thing about TWD, therefore, has been how real it felt and how authentically it portrayed the end of the world.
Zombies stopped being zombies but instead became Walkers and the apocalypse and the tragic end of human kind stopped being fantasy scenarios and instead became real – with survivors facing real problems and real dilemmas. Talking to Jenner at the CDC you could say “yeah, I can imagine this taking place.” Not that zombies make scientific sense, but the end of the world and peoples’ reactions to it as depicted in TWD do.
This isn’t Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. These are real people, having real lives like you and I suddenly seeing the world as they know it end. These are people who have to start questioning not only their own humanity but humanity in general and all the beliefs they grew up knowing and holding on to so dearly, such as Hershel who suddenly found himself questioning his lifelong beliefs in his Bible and Christ, suddenly not really being sure anymore if any of it was true.
Questions human beings have been asking themselves ever since they have been intelligent enough to ask such questions, are being posited again and in a way forced into the foreground given the dire, end-of-days, apocalyptic reality these people are facing. Before the Apocalypse, these people never had to ask such questions so fundamentally and direly. But now they have to and with them we, as the audience, have to as well.
What has made The Walking Dead such an epic and compelling tale, therefore, is that it feels real and close to home. There is something deep within the tragedy of its protagonists that resonates with us and which we all can identify with as the themes of loss, tragedy, pain, desperation and survival are real for all of us.
Being able to identify with the characters and story is very important. If nothing you see here could possibly involve you, the viewer, and you could not possibly identify with the emotions, struggles and tribulations of the characters, then you also have no stake in this. Then you might as well just read a fairy tale/fantasy book.
There is no destiny, no archetypes in TWD (except the Governor, which is what makes it so problematic). Just real people who want all the things you and I want in a world were everything has gone to shit. Real people with flaws, hopes, dreams, setbacks, and strengths.
I’ve never been a chosen one, or a mystical monk, or collected aquariums with heads in them etc. I have, however, been someone who holds a job, has coworkers, skills, and dreams and people I care about and lost. And I want to see that in the characters I watch and follow. Therefore, TWD always speaks to me more than just any old zombie flick out there.
The Third Season
In the third season, the dead or death, the Apocalypse, the disaster that has brought these people down, is just not as important anymore. It is about the interpersonal issues and rivalries of the protagonists and villains with the Walkers as the incidental backdrop. It’s been all about the Governor and his gang vs Grimes and his gang. Like Boys in the Hood but with zombies.
In season one and even two the zombies, or Walkers as they are called here, were almost like this third character and their presence directly affected every action and move by the characters. In this season, however, the show has shifted from being about survival to being about war and gang rivalry. How the Apocalypse has been touching the people – our characters – in a personal as well as practical matter, is what makes the show and story enticing and interesting, however. Something the writers of the show have been forgetting increasingly in favor of prime time soap opera story telling schemes.
What are the philosophical struggles these people face? What demons are they fighting? What real challenges are they facing day to day? Battles and wars and just having to fight a specific enemy while you are traversing the apocalyptic landscape is ok, but there has got to be substance, and episodes filled with questions about survival, humanity and science, describing the Apocalypse and its fall outs. I don’t care to see people bickering and arguing over the same garbage over and over again.
How is the fate of the world affecting people and society without spending a whole season showing a lame villain who is uninspired, dispassionate and apparently without an agenda?
In this Season 3 we have not found out anything about these people, their inner torment trying to reconcile their new world order with their humanity. There is no questions of survival and the why. Instead, it’s all about the Governor, who is a caricature, and the townsfolk – who are also caricatures
That is why Andrea’s allegiance and loyalty to the people in the village of the damned seems so unreal. She is essentially rooting for one dimensional caricatures which most of us cannot identify with.
Last night’s episode Clear took us back to that. It took us back to Darabont’s original vision. It was beautifully written and the characters fleshed out and developed in a way the show had failed to do all season long – or in fact, for a very long time since the end of season one. Their tragedy was palpable and their humanity raw and exposed. We finally got to the psychological toll this has taken on people because aside from physical survival the most important part of survival is psychological survival. Something often glossed over in such apocalyptic movies where people seem to be taking death for granted.
No Woodbury and its terrible caricature of citizens no prison, no stupid baby, no Lori, no Lori the unfriendly ghost, no Hershel speaking in sermons, no arguing about Rick being the leader or not, no arguing about Merle, no arguing about trusting strangers, not much arguing at all in fact, no Carol rubbing up on the nearest man, no spontaneous Beth songs, no frumpy Michonne moping in the background, and none of Andrea’s hands-on-the-hips head-bobbing. Instead, the focus of “Clear” was sharper than Michonne’s katana because the episode isolated its story. And it was just the kick in the pants the season needed.
The episode wasn’t action-slammed and it didn’t feature a river of zombie brains and intestinal tracts. But it was one of the most thought-provoking, enlightening, and well-written episodes of the series. The writing was solid and beautiful at times, with depth and nuances. And a great amount of Walker and Zombie Apocalypse moments reminiscent of the powerful and amazing work of Darabont in the first season.
It was great to see how the ZA has affected the world outside of the prison and outside of Rick’s immediate group. It was heart breaking and tragic to see him return back to his own old town haunted by memories of days gone by only to see it in devastation and ruins. The connection they drew to his and Carl’s respective pasts was beautifully done, ultimately putting a human face on the tragedy and preserving the continuity.
No comic book villains to fight, no gang rivalries, no bickering and arguing, just three people trying to make sense of a world in ruins. When Carl held the picture of his mom and dad and said he wanted it so he and Judy could remember how she looked like, the humanity that has been elusive for so long came back. And with it the extent of their tragedy.
I loved the continuity and the connection to the first season. What happened to Morgan and his kid has always been on the minds and hearts of the audience and Rick and with this episode the tragedy laid out so beautifully in the first season has come full circle.
It was also a pivotal plot moment because Morgan, who apparently lost his sanity after his Walker wife attacked his son, was sort of the mirror for Rick.
In the past few episodes we have seen Rick gradually lose it, talking to ghosts and having visions and here we saw Morgan, having apparently gone down the same tragic path. When Rick saw Morgan, he saw himself or his future. His potential future.
In the brilliant first episode of this show, Days Gone Bye, Morgan was a strong man showing cracks and mourning the recent loss of his wife, but he still had something to fight for in his son Duane. In “Clear,” that man no longer was and in his place we saw a deeply troubled and emotionally troubled man talking to himself and writing gibberish on the walls, tormented by isolation, fear and guilt; we saw a broken man who had lost everything, being merely a shadow of himself today.
Seeing his old buddy in such a state was bad times for Rick, but it was also an eye-opener as Rick saw a potential future for himself in Morgan, realizing that if he continued on the same path, he could one day become Morgan. As Rick said to Morgan, they both started out the ZA together. Rick realized, in a final moment of epiphany when he left Morgan after having tried everything to help him get back on track but in vain, that Morgan was a goner and that if he wasn’t careful, he would soon be too.
When Rick was telling Morgan, “You have to be able to come back from this,” he was also delivering that advice to himself. An advice he got just a few days ago from Hershel.
At the end of the episode, when Rick was staring off into the distance and Michonne told him that she knows he sees “things,” the “thing” Rick was staring at could’ve easily been Lori waving goodbye because Rick rocketed back into reality after seeing Morgan’s tumble and disintegration into insanity.
Just brilliant and beautiful.
This episode also showed just how apocalyptic their situation is. - which is something the show loses sight of while it’s busy writing the next soapy segment.
In this episode we finally saw what it was all about all along, namely the zombie Apocalypse. Everyone they loved is dead and the landscape marred by the apocalypse. This was really in tune with the tone and spirit of the first season. The best episode in the whole season in my opinion.
Toward the end I was thinking that Michonne, Rick and Carl really make a good team and that I wouldn’t mind if they carried the show from now on. I mean, just go off by themselves and never return back to that group of dysfunctional losers.
I also realized that I would, in fact, be able to enjoy the show if all the other characters were dead, from Carol to Daryl to Maggie, Glenn, Hershel and Beth. Even Andrea. Who knows, maybe they can just have Rick, Michonne and Carl go their own way and give the other characters a show of their own which they can call Days of Our Zombie Lives or some shit.
You won’t believe the shit I get to read sometimes:
“I hope everyone who watches the walking dead supports Firearms and disregards that phoney media crap like the Sandy Hook shooting…. Guns DO NOT kill people, PEOPLE kill people.”
This was actually posted on AMC’s The walking Dead comment blog by a reader a day after the mid season premiere.
The guy then followed his post by asking people who “have an open mind to spread the word” as this country “is in serious trouble.”
I don’t even…this asshole really believes that the guns in The Walking Dead and the ensuing zombie apocalypse make a good point for lobbying against gun control since clearly the outbreak of a zombie apocalypse is likely to happen and illustrates the need for guns galore, woohaaa.
You may laugh about this and dismiss this guy as someone from the lunatic fringe not really reflecting the “values” of gun advocates and lifetime members of the NRA. But incidentally that is kind of the same view professional jackass Wayne LaPierre, executive director of the NRA, holds when he says shit like:
“Before I tell you how the NRA and our members are going to Stand And Fight politically and in the courts, let’s acknowledge that all over this country, tens of millions of Americans are already preparing to Stand And Fight to protect their families and homes. These good Americans are prudently getting ready to protect themselves.”
The rest of his “speech” was racially tinged, unfounded, ignorant garbage about Obama wanting to take away our guns! Latin American drug gangs and criminals! Mexicans! Illegal Immigrants! Kidnappers! Criminals! Terrorists! Muslims! and how terrorists and Muslims will attack with Obama standing by and watching while us citizens with our guns the NRA is working so hard to place in our hands, will be left to fend for ourselves.
“Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face—not just maybe. It’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s survival.”[...] Responsible Americans realize that the world as we know it has changed. We, the American people, clearly see the daunting forces we will undoubtedly face: terrorists, crime, drug gangs, the possibility of Euro-style debt riots, civil unrest or natural disaster.”
That’s right, peace loving patriots. The world is a scary, terrible and dangerous place and we have to be prepared to SHOOT THEM ALL. AAAAALLLL Whaaaa “to withstand the siege that is coming“.
Round them all up: Liberals! Socialists! The Mentally Ill! Gays! Homosexuals! Pacifists! Immigrants! Activist judges! Women judges! Women! “Bloomberg, Soros, and the rest of their ilk.” Renew your NRA membership! Donate more so we can champion your cause, oh so freedom loving citizens, because apocalypses of all kind are upon us – even the zombie.
And let’s not forget all the other fun uses for guns. After all, “every year, shooting is becoming more and more popular, with more people engaging in the shooting sports for fun. [...] Stand And Fight, let’s continue to make the shooting sports one of the fastest-growing recreational activities in America. By doing so, and by telling others about it, we’ll popularize and make gun owning and shooting more mainstream than ever before.” Shooting is so cool, especially chasing a helpless, innocent creature, cornering it and the blowing its brains out. It’s so much funnity fun fun. These are values we must instill in our children.
We gotta embrace guns and create an EVEN BIGGER gun culture. “We don’t want America to become like England” where only 155 people a year die of gun related injuries as opposed to 32,000 here in the US. Pah! “We have so much to be proud of as gun owners, shooters and freedom lovers. ” STAND AND FIGHT PATRIOTS.
Who’s Afraid of Wayne LaPierre?
I don’t know about you, but I am not really afraid of dying at the hands of an Islamic terrorist or a looter. I am, however, super scared of dying at the hands of a small, paranoid, frightened and law abiding NRA member pumped up by alarmist rhetoric and armed with deadly weaponry who shoots first and then asks questions. I am afraid of some disgruntled or unstable person deciding to take his anger, frustration and hate out on me by barging into a mall, bookstore, theater or any other public space I may occupy and empty several rounds of hot bullets into my body because the NRA has worked long and hard to insure that guns remain ubiquitous features of the American landscape and culture and are easier to obtain than a checking account.
It is also interesting to note the kind of fear the NRA is choosing to vest their efforts in.
I too am afraid, see. But it is not the same fear LaPierre and gun merchants are mongering us into.
I am not afraid of the zombie apocalypse, looters during hurricanes, or Mexican drug lords. I am afraid of the Patriot Act and that the government can spy on its citizens no questions asked; I am afraid of the hollowing out of the Fourth Amendment where people can be arrested and locked up without due process, like they did with Bradley Manning and countless others;
I am afraid of people being locked up in places like Guantanamo Bay and tortured based on suspicion or nationality;
I am afraid of the toxic waste in our waters, air and food and that cancer has become an epidemic;
I am afraid of some asshole in Washington violating my body without my consent by telling me what I can and cannot do with it and then have the audacity to not call it rape;
I am afraid of losing my job and not having a social safety net in place;
I am afraid of being at the mercy of corporations and banks for my livelihood and economic well being;
I am scared that I may wake up in a world in which Roe v Wade is history and women have to resort to backdoor alleys and dirty coat hangers to exercise autonomy over their bodies and get an abortion;
I am scared of oil companies and defense contractors plundering our nation’s assets and wealth while they keep getting subsidized bu our tax dollars and make record profits; I am afraid of banks that are too big to fail so they cannot be prosecuted thus effectively giving carte blanche to banks to engage in all sorts of criminal activity knowing that they will remain untouchable;
I am afraid that our corrupt Congress, which is mostly populated with millionaires, has sold us out to those lining their pockets and that Supreme Court thinks that nothing is wrong with that as it grants corporations citizen status;
I’m scared that unions 10 or 15 years from now will be a thing of the past;
I’m scared of Israel extending its war mongering paws to our shores and conning us into another war on its behalf, potentially leading to a global military crisis with devastating consequences for all of us.
I am scared that this precarious position we are sitting right now – economically, socially, politically, culturally etc – is going to come crashing down on us while the NRA stuffs every orifice with guns, “just in case”.
So I’m scared, alright. But unlike the NRA and the “patriots”, I understand that paranoia, othering, scapegoating, bigtory, guns and violence are not going to help us out of this mess.
The only thing that is going to get us through it, as a society, is cooperation, empathy and the fostering of peace. In fact, you can tell a lot about a society by the way it treats its vulnerable populations, not by how well armed they are. That is the litmus test of success for militant dictatorships under martial law.
People who believe that arming up is the solution and naturally the way a civilized peoples need to behave themselves in society and as a matter of public discourse are clearly more concerned with antagonism and isolation, than cooperation and peace as killing people who scare you is not the same as protecting oneself.
Fear is a powerful ally. And so is scapegoating. The NRA has a very real financial interest in promoting violence and death and they recognized a long time ago, 140 years ago to be precise, that they can do so by instilling fear in the hearts and minds of people; a fear that will boil over and make everyone want to pick up a gun to get the point across.
Poor Dale, he was such a humanitarian; a real Mensch and likable character. I think the group really took him for granted and killing off his character was an epic fail on part of the writers as he was not only a likable character but also represented a balancing force in the dynamic of the group. Now they are left with the trigger happy hanging judges that run the group and it’s going to be hard to water down the intensity of their polar opposite points of view. And if rumors of serious cast changes are true, more deaths are to come as we approach the season finale.
I noticed that in this show most of the characters are beginning to behave in a way designed to service a desired plot outcome (like Carl attracting the Walker to get Dale killed) instead of the plot responding to the characters.
For example, Lori and Rick must be just about the dumbest parents ever. Who lets their kid (that was just recently shot), wander around unsupervised in a world run over by the flesh eating undead? Especially after what happened to Sophia. I mean that stupid kid was wandering the woods, climbing into the barn with Randall yelling “I am a man, I can take care of myself”, was almost eaten by a Walker and not once did his dumb parents wonder where he is. That is not very believable and was obviously put in there to service the desired plot outcome.
And then that kid Randall: they all act like there was no alternative to execution, just so the writers can put the characters in a situation where they have to contemplate his execution. But there were several other options besides murdering the kid and the writers didn’t do a good job at showing us that they really exhausted all options and really had to now consider execution. It wasn’t believable and again put in there to service the desired plot outcome.
The logically incoherent rules and reversals of elements according to whether they need them in an episode is also annoying. The Walker that attacks Carl is not strong enough to pull his feet out of the mud and is barely able to wrap its paws around him, but just a few hours later tears a man’s chest cavity open with his bare hands? I didn’t think that was even possible. A wild animal with claws needs to put more work in that but in this case the Walker just went through Dale like a hot knife through butter. And where did that stealth zombie come from anyway? One moment we see Dale walk in an open field with no one is sight for miles, next minute a clumsy Walker is standing behind him.
Hershel goes from “No guns and violence on my farm” to “meh, kill whoever you want, I dont care”. And for Rick, the decisive reason not to cold-bloodedly murder someone is not what Dale said, but that his kid is watching, whom he just five minutes ago asked to never ask any questions or disagree with anyone, no matter what. Are they kidding me?
The dialogue in this show must have been written by juvenile boys. It is completely devoid of any kind of substance, wit and insight. The writers have gone from quoting William Faulkner in season 1 to last week Lori giving Andrea a hard time for not being a good submissive woman who knits and does laundry for the big strong men and Rick telling his kid, whom he never even asked what he actually said to Carol, to just summarily shut up and never ever ask any questions or question anyone. Great values to instill on your kids. This show should seriously be called The Assholes on the Zombie Farm, because that is what most of the characters are.
It is also insulting that T-Dog, who did have somewhat of an interesting role in season 1 (and even beginning season 2) and actually had meaningful conversations with other people, barely ever appears anymore and when he does, he is standing in the corner quietly. I think his “what do we do with the body” single line was the most he has said since episode 3 of this season, which just points to the overall crappy cheapness of this show (dont have to pay actors that dont talk much or are seen, same location…). T-Dog’s role in the show and group has been reduced to that of doing the grunt work. Sure, let the token black guy take orders from king Rick and queen bee Lori. What’s gonna be next? let him be eaten by zombies?
They should bring the focus back on the apocalypse and what caused it and survival and leave the farm and they should use zombies as another character in the show – as Jenner did – instead of as just props that pop up every now and then so that the producers and writers can check it off their list of things to do. Didn’t Rick see a helicopter when he was in Atlanta? Whatever happened ot that? Seriously, it seems like the writers are making this up as they go.
The previews are unfortunately showing that we are going to go back to that Rick/Lori/Shane triangle and I just don’t care about these peoples’ personal issues. No one does. The world has come to end, get over yourselves and your petty affairs you selfish dolts. Why couldn’t they have gotten rid of Lori? Everyone’s problem would be solved if Lori was gone, because let’s face it, as the Alpha, Rick is acting like the judge, jury and executioner to prove to the other Alpha, Shane, that he can take care of the water hole and his mate.
I hear something about the comic’s nemesis The Governor making his way through season 3. So then it will be this group vs. the Governor’s gang. Like Boyz n the Hood but in a zombie setting. Yawwwn. Been there, done that. Not very original.
And hey, if you run into a group that looks like they wanna hurt you, go somewhere else. No reason to waste 16 episodes on it and artificially build the story around it. It is not like there is only one patch of land left for all of humanity and these people had to fight for it. Again, the writers are artificially extending these peoples’ struggles by creating directions and “issues” that don’t make sense. This isn’t South Central LA. You don’t like, move on.
This group’s murder lust (it was like they were taking all their anger out on this kid) is becoming disturbing and I love it. You lose your principals and humanity, you lose your essence as a decent human being with a conscience, which is what Dale desperately tried to explain to the group. In a way, these people are pushing the bounds of their humanity and entering dangerous territory. There is a huge difference between leaving someone on the run to save your skin (as Shane did with Otis) or planning the execution of someone you perceive as dangerous to the group.
So, maybe it is better Dale died. He wasn’t going to make it in this world. He pretty much lost out on the execution debate as no one had his back and thought he was some naive and delusional old man. And he said that he didn’t want to live in this kind of a world anymore. When he left the group for the last after his failed attempt trying to convince the lynch mob,he knew that things were only going to get worse from now on. His demise, while tragic, was maybe his peace.
However, if they do kill off too many characters, I suspect alienation by fans. People are drawn to not only the story but also to characters and historically, shows that have gotten rid of major characters ended up alienating the fan base, eventually facing cancellation. Dale’s death is demoralizing and it seems like AMC is hard set to kill this show, one character a time.
I conclude this by wishing Jeffrey DeMunn, a warm goodbye. I loved his character.
There are only three more episodes left on the second season and it has all pretty much taken place on the Farm of Their Discontent and been about Rick, Shane and Lori. That’s pretty bad. I have said this several times with my reviews and I think it is finally dawning on people that this show really is no longer what it started out to be. Gone are the excitement, urgency and somber mood of the first season. Gone is the terrifying setting, the struggle to survive, to find answers, to dig deeper into questions about the human soul and the consequences of days gone by in the zombie apocalypse. The zombies and the apocalypse as such are just purely incidental at this point; a diorama, a facade, a backdrop. They had a perfect angle at the CDC and with Dr. Jenner and they crapped all over it with taking the show in this direction.
The characters have all been facing a slow death, just as the show itself. T-Dog, Daryl, Dale, Carol and Glenn don’t even appear on this episode anymore (that is half the principal cast) which I think is symbolic, more than anything else, as these characters have pretty much stopped mattering a long time ago vis a vis the petty, Lifetime Television for Women problems of the other three. The show has become all about Rick, Shane and Lori and that stagy, soapy love triangle between them.
Rick and Shane – in a scene that reeked of Old Spice and balls – pull over on a deserted road 18 miles out (why 18?) where they get to – in a very testosterone loaded way no less – man it up and talk about their feelings and ownership claims over Lori; Lori – an unlikable, selfish and moronic character with no redeeming qualities and someone who has been the cause and source of a lot of misery and grief for a lot of people in this group – especially between Rick and Shane who are willing to kill each other over her. Kill each other.
In fact, watching these two beat the living hell out of each other 18 miles outside of the farm in some random location ravaged by the APOCALYPSE, as in END OF THE WORLD, over a woman, made me seriously question whether they both still deserve to live. That and the fact that Rick is actually seriously considering whether he should murder the boy. At this point it wouldn’t of course be murder, but an execution. At least when Shane killed Otis, it was on a whim and not because he planned it, like Rick.
Back at the good old homestead, where women know their place in the kitchen, Lori and Andrea have a profound conversation; the kind of conversation misogynist men imagine women should have with one another in an ideal world, which for the writers of this show seems to be the post apocalypse. That entire conversation Lori and Andrea had in the kitchen was cringe worthy and insulting.
It was like two 8th graders had written that lame, ineffective dialogue. It had no power and did not make any point or evoke any kind of intelligent thought. In fact, it made Andrea look bad, which is ridiculous, and from the way they have portrayed her all throughout the show – you know, as a screw up and rebel – we were apparently to side with that idiot Lori. I couldn’t believe Lori, as a woman of the 21st century, was giving Andrea a hard time for not sticking around the house washing clothes and cooking and thus basically for possessing insufficient skills to be dude property.
And I couldnt believe that the writers had seriously nothing better to write about than reciting outdated, Victorian notions about how as a woman Andrea should basically know her place and let the big, strong MEN take care of the important stuff while she devotes her time to knitting and making a comfortable home for said protectors. Really? I mean no…REALLY? R.E.A.L.L.Y??
With the way these people behave, let’s face it, they are unworthy of being the last survivors and pretty much represent the worst of human kind and – along with the writers – deserve to be gutted already and put out of their misery.
It also seems like they are artificially extending the whole “Shane is the villain” story arc to make up for a lack of direction and originality that’s been plaguing the show since the beginning of season 2.
Firing Frank Darabont was a huge mistake. A Hollywood Reporter article was talking about huge budget cuts imposed on the show and how the network repeatedly dumped all over Darabont’s creative vision by imposing things like 50% of the shots occurring outdoors and 50% indoors (indoors being cheaper to film) and another note asked whether or not the audience had to always see the zombies – couldn’t they simply hear them sometimes. It’s been said that Darabont was involved in constant battles with the network to maintain the creative vision that drew so many fans to the series in the first place and that those fights eventually led to him being fired altogether.
Cast members, who were not happy by Darabont’s departure, and especially outraged at the network’s calculated move to fire him right after Comic-con, were also reportedly harassed and warned about making any public comments on this. Afraid to be killed off the show and also pink slipped, they all obliged.
All this would explain why the entire season has taken place on one farm instead of them moving and why there have been a minimal number of new characters – all of which would have greatly contributed to the quality of the show.
Darabont had managed to perfectly convey the mood of a world post apocalypse. The world he imagined, in conjunction with the interesting characters he created and developed, further aided in making that vision a reality, ultimately creating an exciting and thought provoking show. Not so much this season which, for the reasons mentioned, leaves much to be desired.
This season just gives the whole show a bad name, which is a shame because Darabont did an amazing job introducing us into the zombie apocalypse and these characters who were all multidimensional and caught in bad situations when their journey began.