"Beside the Dying Fire"
I suspended my reviews of The Walking Dead in February mostly due to time-constraints, but I have to admit I wasn't sad to do so. What I enjoy most is writing about shows that I think are great, such as Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, or Deadwood. What a large percentage of my small, deeply disturbed following seems to enjoy most, on the other hand, is when I write about shows that I think are just appallingly shitty, such as American Horror Story and Torchwood: Miracle Day. There are pleasures to be found in waxing rhapsodic, and there are different, but equally valid pleasures to be found in crapping upon that which truly deserves to be crapped copiously upon.
And then there's The Walking Dead, which just seems, week after week, to shamble along joylessly like its titular revenants. Continue reading
Those of you who have been reading my reviews this season know that I have a very tentative relationship with The Walking Dead. It is, perpetually, a show I like but can never quite love, stuck eternally in that frustrating limbo where it always feels like it's just about to get good. Continue reading
"Pretty Much Dead Already"
Warning: Contains major spoilers for this episode, so if you haven't watched it yet, you only have yourself to blame for reading further.
Oh, The Walking Dead, just when I'm ready to give up on you completely, you make me remember why I ever thought you were worth my time in the first place. Continue reading
I suspect this will be the shortest review I've ever written, because I really only have one thing to say about this episode:
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CAN WE PLEASE GET OFF THIS GODDAMNED FARM ALREADY? Continue reading
Warning: Contains spoilers for the episodes that have aired to date, and VERY mild spoilers from the comic books.
I mentioned last week that I'd started reading The Walking Dead graphic novels, and while I don't think the comic series is as infinitely superior to the TV series as some of my compatriots do, it is more interesting and addictive, if only because it moves at a breakneck pace and changes its locale, situations, and cast of characters often enough that it never gets dull. (As opposed to The Walking Dead: The Show, in which I feel we've been on Hershel's farm for so long that Sophia will be a chain-smoking grandma if and when we ever see her again.) Continue reading
Forgive the lateness of this review: I've been playing a bit of catch-up this week. Fortunately, I don't have a great deal to say about "Cherokee Rose." It's a passable episode, but an uneventful one, and a bit of a placeholder. (On this show, a quiet episode like this usually means that we can expect two or three people to get eaten next week.)
The only zombie we see during this episode figures in a preposterous set piece that is constructed like a joke: How many morons does it take to get a walker out of a well? Continue reading
"Save the Last One"
I don't want to sound too much like a college sophomore trying to get laid here, but it's amusing me this week to think of The Walking Dead as a modern, ultra-violent version of Albert Camus' 1948 existentialist novel The Plague. Maybe it's my own desire to find a purpose to the show beyond action sequences and zombie porn, but I find myself embracing the idea that The Walking Dead might have an existentialist philosophical agenda.
Like the characters in Camus' novel, our intrepid band of survivors are living through a pestilence that threatens to destroy them all; each of them is having to find his or her own way of dealing with the threat of imminent death; each is trying to find a way to live in a world without order; and each is trying to find meaning in the apparent absence of God.
This week is all about one obvious, existential question: what's the point? Continue reading
Every time I think I'm starting to get on board with this show, an episode comes along that reminds me just how much I don't care about any of these characters. "Bloodletting" is a serious step backwards for The Walking Dead after last week's more promising season premiere: it's an episode that underlines all of the show's weaknesses without offering anything new that might be encouraging. Continue reading
"What Lies Ahead"
Warning: Contains spoilers for this and previous episodes.
The zombie movie has always been among the bleakest and most spiritually hopeless of genres: I mean, once the dead start getting up and eating the living, what exactly is there left to pray for? At that point you pretty much have confirmation that there's no order to the universe, no hope of Heaven, no vision of eternal life that doesn't involve shambling and grunting and getting brain-lobes caught in your beard. Zombies mean chaos; zombies mean hopelessness; zombies mean Game Over. You may be alive now, but you're outnumbered, you're living in the final days, you're running out of ammo, and you're always one mistake away from being people-pâté.
The best part? It's only gonna get worse. Continue reading