I haven’t written about The Walking Dead much this season largely due to lack of interest. The show is marginally better than it was last season, but that isn’t saying much. The first half of the season was mostly padding so the show could set-up a do-over of the Season 3 finale (which was horribly botched the first time). I was cautiously optimistic that with a clean slate, the show could come back from the mid-season finale and do something interesting. Instead, it had been treading water more than ever before (if such a thing is possible).
This week’s episode, titled Still, is clearly intended to be a character study on Daryl (the show’s most popular character) and Beth (the show’s least defined character). I don’t mind a slower pace for a well-done character piece. But every single moment of this character study feels forced. After an hour, the characters feel less well defined than they did going in.
Directed by: Jonathan Levine
Starring: Nicolas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich
Here we are at the end of another mid-season finale of The Walking Dead. I stopped doing my weekly recaps of the show early in this (the show’s fourth) season. But I figured the mid-season finale was a good place to check back in and take stock of where things stand with The Walking Dead‘s TV incarnation.
Lots of spoilers follow. I’m going to talk about the show as well as the comic book it is based on. So, be warned.
Last week, I gave the season premiere of The Walking Dead a bit of a hard time. Partially, I was being silly. But I was also legitimately criticizing the show for its lack of subtlety. This week’s episode still made its points with a sledge-hammer. But as I watching I came to a realization. This show ain’t Mad Men. But it’s not supposed to be. Maybe it’s okay that a show about zombies is about as subtle as a zombie apocalypse.
The first episode of the fourth season of The Walking Dead asks the question “Do you get to come back?” If you have done terrible things to survive, can you ever get back to living a normal life? It’s a question worth exploring on a show about survival. It’s also a question fans are probably asking about The Walking Dead. After last season’s dreadful finale, can the show redeem itself? Can it come back from the Season of Andrea? Is Scott Gimple the guy who will finally make The Walking Dead a TV show that lives up to its wasted potential?
Based on the first episode, the answer to that last question is definitely “no”. 30 Days Without an Accident (a title which makes me think of potty training) is no more coherent than anything from last season. But it was pretty entertaining all the same.
Previously, I wrote about some of the differences between The Walking Dead TV show and the comic book it is based on. I covered everything up through the mid-season finale of the third season. Now that the season is over (and has ended with a whimper) I will look at all of the storylines the show dropped from the comic book series.
Spoilers for the early issues of the comic book follow. It is possible some of these story lines could be repurposed for the fourth season of the show, but even if they do they will probably be unrecognizable given all the changes the show has made to the source material so far.
The season three finale of The Walking Dead was unbelievably anti-climactic. The show stretched three hours worth of plot into 16 hours of TV all building up to a showdown between the group in the prison and the citizens of Woodbury. And then when it finally came to pass, it was a complete non-event. The battle scene from the mid-season premiere (which was obscured by smoke most of the time) was far more impressive.
This episode needed to deliver the goods in order to redeem a season that spent most of its screen time running in pace. It should have given us a hail of bullets, a griping final showdown and a cathartic takedown of the season’s villain. Instead, it gave us an hour of head-scratchers that seemed completely disconnected from the 15 hours that lead up to it. Read the rest of this entry
Acting is so often a very random experience. While there are companies and people who you definitely think you will work with again, some opportunities appear to pop up out of nowhere. Such was the case with my most recent foray into grownup pretending.
Merle’s a tricky character. He made a memorable first impression during one episode in the show’s first season. He was a violent racist with no apparent redeeming values. After that one episode, Merle remained offscreen for the rest of the first season and most of the second. His one appearance was as a figment of his brother’s imagination. So fans were understandably excited when Merle returned to the spotlight in season three.
Since Merle’s return, he’s been difficult to pin down. He’s still an unrepentent racist. He has committed unsavory acts including torturing Glenn and handing Maggie over to the Governor. He also gave killing Michonne a pretty good try. And yet, the Merle of season three seems like a different character. He’s much more sympathetic and often charming. He does bad things, but gosh darn it he’s just misunderstood.