The Walking Dead: Walking Away

walking deadThe Walking Dead is a popular show among videogame junkies and gamers after growing a huge audience quickly for AMC. It logged 8.1 million viewers in season two to take the title of “most-watched basic cable drama telecast in history.” A few quick notes about the way the show is evolving:

I haven’t watched the season finale, but the show’s writers are quickly losing my confidence.

I agree with Entertainment Weekly‘s Ken Tucker: the whole farm plotline has been a holding pattern, during which the characters got more neurotic, illogical, fractious, and annoying. It’s like watching reality TV.

Shane was a human last season; he was reduced to an animal this season and his constant bloodthirst and envy was almost self-satire. And Dale was one of the more likeable characters, but now he’s out of the picture. Andrea strikes me as a immoral mess with ridiculous action hero aspirations. Glenn started out smart and capable (remember the tank?) but has devolved into a wide-eyed sideshow, while Daryl, after having an overlong tangential backwoods adventure, is simply an abrasive freakshow. Carl is turning into Chucky the devil doll. Other characters like T-Dog and Carol are flat and underused. You could have a T-Dog drinking game where you drink every time there’s a scene that he doesn’t appear in. It’s truly sad to see a series with such potential disintegrating before our eyes.

These characters are wont to do anything at anytime, but there’s no consistency so viewers are simply forced to conclude that they’re all insane. And indeed that’s where I’m headed.

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9 Comments

  1. Excellent review! Plus I totally read it with your voice in my head. Add to it the fact that none of these people have any business surviving a zombie apocalypse because of their irrational behavior, and it’s why I gave up at the beginning of Season 2.

  2. Thanks…!

    Just finished watching the finale, which features more senselessness. More sideline characters are offed with sloppy fight choreography, and they do a bad job showing how Andrea is left behind at the farm. T-Dog does get a few lines, but more people are angry for no good reason. Carl takes another step in his Chucky transformation, throwing a hissy while walkers roam nearby. How can this show survive with no likeable characters and no depth?

    For those of you still following the show: The catchphrase for the finale is “This is not a democracy,” a line that Rick throws out as everyone is repulsed by his admission that he killed Shane. Not only am I unconvinced of this choreographed group reaction, but I don’t see why these characters can’t talk and disagree like adults. Cue the sulking. The most puzzling reaction was probably Lori’s; she shoots daggers at and runs from Rick after Rick’s big confession, when she’s the one who recently urged Rick to kill Shane.

    All in all, another torturous day at the office for The Walking Dead. (Speaking of torture, the plot arc concerning Russell’s fate– the prisoner kid– seemed like a pointless exploration of interrogation and torture of a minor.) I hope they right the ship, restore some of the mystery and momentum, and fix the cast. Season 1 was so delicious. But I’m not going to throw more hours down this hole anytime soon.

  3. Honestly, I felt the finale was a bazillion times better than the rest of the season. A step in the right direction, if you will. Although the good comes with the bad.

    1. Why, in all of holy hell, did that kid open the freaking camper door? HONESTLY!
    2. ENOUGH. With pitch black zombie scenes.
    3. I miss Dale, THERE, I said it.
    4. Who the F*#K is watching Carl? No one, apparently.
    5. WOULD SOMEONE FOR F*CKS SAKE MAKE RICK STOP STANDING AT THAT AWKWARD F*CKING COCKEYED ANGLE?! (Sorry, D.)

    But, that said, there was actually some action. There were people in legitimate danger. PEOPLE DIED. I’m glad to see “New Shane” go, although I wish we had a chance of getting “old Shane” back. Rick gives off the “New Shane” feel in the end of the episode. How sad. I agree that everyone seemed so taken aback and disgusted by him that their reactions seemed unrealistic. But I was, overall, pleased with the episode.

    My two biggest questions?
    1. HELICOPTER! and
    2. Was that Boondocks’ brother from the first season wearing that hood and enslaving them armless zombies and saving Blondie’s ass??? SWEET JAYSUS!

  4. Hee hee…! I agree, Megan – it was an improvement. Hopefully more peril and conflict will force the writers to give us action instead of their lame character-building. Let me know how season 3 goes. Maybe you can drag me back.

    I’m glad you even remember old Shane, who was a pretty good dude.

    I researched up on the show for this post and found that Blondie’s savior is some new sword-swinging badass chick from the comic book. But I kinda like your idea better.

    As for Rick’s angle: I don’t disagree; I’m just still a little puzzled on it. I’ve never heard anyone complain about the angle at which an actor stands!

  5. And if it hadn’t been for Rick, you never woulda. Okay, so what the hell happened to handless dude??

    Old Shane was fantastic, remember that first episode? When they’re in the squad car eating burgers and fries? I watched that episode a few times-I sat on the floor while Sham rolled my hair for a school project and yelled, “OHGAWDNO! NOT THE HORSE!!! NOT THE HORSE!!!!!”

    I still can’t sit through that scene…

  6. Handless dude definitely needs to reappear! And having him come back as Boondocks’ fever dream does NOT count. Especially since that just made Boondocks pissy and even less likeable.

    As for the horse scene… I missed that ep! I guess I need to go back. It’ll be a nice reminder of when this show didn’t suck.

  7. Ha! Sweet lemonade. Yikes.

    And yes I did go back and watch Ep 1. Refreshing to see when the show did not suck. No wonder I used to like it!

    I like how the zombie soldier comes to life in the tank, and then Rick cripples himself putting it down. Great tactical screenwriting.

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