Blogger struggles to find something interesting about “The Walking Dead”

posted at 9:21 pm on March 4, 2013 by Allahpundit

Readers have been e-mailing for a month wondering where the traditional Monday evening TWD disappointment thread is. Here you go. Verdict: I’m disappointed. Thinking back on the last few episodes, the show’s been so dull that I can’t re-create the narrative in my mind. My memories of it are impressionistic. I remember the squirrelly little southern guy getting shot in the head. Merle and Darryl teamed up and struck out on their own for some reason, and now for some other reason they’re back at the prison. Michonne kept glowering at people one-dimensionally but then she had a corny moment with Carl last night and now she’s one-and-a-half-dimensional. Rick had hallucinations about Lori, which is odd because he never seemed to like her much. (For good reason.) Hershel and Glenn got five minutes every hour to emote and then they disappeared. Rick’s group and the Governor’s group ended up locked in a zombified version of the Hatfields and the McCoys because, evidently, the new formula requires three or four episodes of nothing much happening followed by a giant gunfight.

Has there ever been a series that succeeded as wildly on the sheer strength of its premise as “The Walking Dead”? There’s a show on American television about life during the zombie apocalypse. However bad it gets, however many episodes are devoted to 45-minute colloquies between Rick and Hershel about who should be The Leader, I’m going to watch. To complain about the writing seems nitpicky and churlish. But here’s what I’d do if I was in charge: I’d jettison the entire cast and even the entire narrative arc. You don’t need a narrative for this show. All you need is the irresistible, foolproof premise of a world gone zombie. Each weekly episode could be an independent one-act play exploring whatever it is the writers want to explore about zombieworld. In fact, last night’s episode was a strong one precisely because it was relatively light on the recurring characters. You didn’t need Rick and Michonne there to feel sympathy for Morgan going half-mad after losing his wife and son and trying to find purpose in the futility of “clearing” zombies. The bit with the hitchhiker at the beginning and end was more eloquent than any line of dialogue ever written for the show, and also almost wholly incidental to the main cast. But instead of more stuff like that, we’re headed straight back next week to the Battle of the Alpha Males between Rick and the Governor. Disappointing. But not unexpected.


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I’ve given up – - I tried twice to get all the way through the first episode of the new season, and was actually relieved when the show finally ended. Watched half of the second episode, and didn’t bother with the third.

The problem isn’t just the lack of writing: it’s a severe downturn in the production quality itself. Notice, for example, the poor sound mixing. Everything is rerecorded dialog, and the sound effects (even breathing and swallowing) are compressed to high volume levels. It’s like watching a beginner’s Film Production class. Seems like AMC has cut the production budget and spent all the money on marketing. Sad, because this show used to be so clever and well-made.

DarthBrooks on March 5, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Hey, I like the show. Especially a few things about last night.

First, someone is finally trapping and eliminating zombies! What a concept! If they will chase a rat, you can trap them.

Second, someone finally started worrying about ammo! I mean, they never miss so I can see why it took so long to start worrying about it.

Third, why worry about ammo? Get them chasing rats while Merle, Andrea, and Michonne kill them with melee weapons. They make it look it pretty automatic.

sgmstv on March 5, 2013 at 8:31 AM

First, someone is finally trapping and eliminating zombies! What a concept! If they will chase a rat, you can trap them.

Yes, that’s the “D’uh huh” moment. Apparently humans can’t out think zombies. And the best part was how simple it was. Put up a string and the zombie gets tangled up. Put up some stakes and the zombies will impale themselves.

LoganSix on March 5, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Oh, one other thing.

Rick never liked Lori, nobody ever liked Lori, Judy is most likely Shane’s, and we are all happy she is out of the story. Leave her out! Stop having he come back as a ghost! She is the most unpopular character ever on the show…we cheered when she was written. Leave her out!

Second, what do they call him, Wyatt Twerp? Anyway, Wyatt Twerp, we presume, loved his mother. Wyatt Twerp had to shoot his zombie mom in the head and it is friggin’ Rick having the meltdown?

Screw Herschel and Darryl, put the kid in charge. He has more of the stuff than his dad.

sgmstv on March 5, 2013 at 8:45 AM

The show is excellent this season, which has been the best so far.

For those who criticize Rick and Michonne for leaving the hitchhiker, you have to remember that this has turned into a hard, hard world, with a lot of really desperate people. Add in Carl being in the car, and there was no chance that guy was coming along for a ride. And I agree — there are millions of abandoned cars on the street, and he is walking. Stupid.

Really, really interested to see where the plotline with Tyrese is going. Things have taken a very different turn from the comic book series (which is grittier than the tv show).

For you zombie lovers who might like another comic book series, check out Deadworld. At times it makes The Walking Dead look like Disney.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on March 5, 2013 at 8:50 AM

I am enjoying this season although I am not a huge fan of the Woodbury portions, especially Andrea and that dweeby guy Milton, who looks like he would have chronic halitosis and sweaty palms.

I also have had enough with the faux intellectuals and their above-it-all attitude. Don’t like it? Don’t watch it. No one needs to know how refined your taste is.

The show is enjoyable. That being said, I’m really just waiting for Game of Thrones.

Nick_Angel on March 5, 2013 at 9:02 AM

The hitchhiker isn’t smart enough to live if he keeps running down the road screaming for cars to pick him up.

Maybe he is Erin’s father? He’ll be back next week as a new character.

sgmstv on March 5, 2013 at 9:36 AM

I love to read Allah’s whining diatribes over the show because, while I do think he makes good points, he doesn’t understand why the show is as popular as it is. Like it or not, most of the characters on the show mirror our own images of heroism and gritty “get er done” Americanism (And yes, I know many of the actors are British), just consider these characters:

Daryl Dixon: A redneck who basically believes “Screw it, kill em” and survives via the skills he learned on survival as a young abused boy in the South. He will kill and eat a raw squirrel, and not complain about it. He has a “code” of justice that is typically American, he is an individualist, but also protects those he cares about. He is the most liked character on the show for good reason.

Rick: Rick starts out as a Peace officer who believes in “rules”, but when things continue to fall apart, he recognizes the rules have changed, and he changes with them. He takes on the mantle of leader because he feels he is the best man for the job, but deep down he probably wishes he didn’t have it. He is leader because, while other characters are complaining and arguing about trivial matters (which Allah, and myself, don’t like) he sees that without leadership, the group will die.

Carl: While Carl is pretty annoying at first (most kids are), he evolves because of his new environment into a new, stronger breed. While most children would simply cry themselves to sleep and pray for their parents to protect them, Carl wants to make his mark, and will kill anyone, alive or dead, who interferes with his new “Daryl-like” code. He may become the most kick-ass character on the show over time.

Hershel: Hershel is the religious morality keeper of the show. He believes in right and wrong, and is a “wise man”. He recognizes he was wrong about the Zombies being “sick”, but still holds a position of swaying Rick in times he goes astray.

The Governor: Proof positive that “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. He is the Dictator, who does things more to empower himself than for others. He is the Obama character of the show, with a Messiah complex.

In the end, the show is about survival against odds, something most Americans still recognize and believe in. Sure, the story is flawed, because there is a limited supply of zombies, and they should be able to be “cleared” over time, or just rot away. But if they did, the quest for survival would not continue, and this is a show for entertainment after all.

darkmetal on March 5, 2013 at 9:37 AM

My goodness Allah.. you couldn’t be more wrong if you tried. The above post is excellent BTW.. you pretty much nail it. I love this show. I rented seasons 1 and 2 because my husband kept raving about it. Then I caught up with season 3 and I literally cannot wait for Sundays at 8:00!!

jewells45 on March 5, 2013 at 10:43 AM

The last episode was the first one I enjoyed in a long time. I so wish Lenny James would be on more. At least they did not kill him off a la Michael Raymond-James.

roy_batty on March 5, 2013 at 10:58 AM

The zombies in the cafe? There weren’t any rocks in there.

I felt sorry for the rats and other animals used as zombie bait.

TigerPaw on March 4, 2013 at 11:54 PM

There were plenty of other items to break the windows (including their fists). My point was that zombies do have some intelligence in that they can pick up a “tool” and use it.

As far as rocks go, how often are their rocks outside downtown Atlanta department stores? Yet, a zombie picked one up and smashed the glass of the doors.

Blake on March 5, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Yes, that’s the “D’uh huh” moment. Apparently humans can’t out think zombies. And the best part was how simple it was. Put up a string and the zombie gets tangled up. Put up some stakes and the zombies will impale themselves.

LoganSix on March 5, 2013 at 8:38 AM

First bit of common sense regarding TWD’s world the show had.

roy_batty on March 5, 2013 at 11:01 AM

sgmstv on March 5, 2013 at 8:31 AM

They better start worrying about food. No one is producing it anymore.

I’d like to know how Michonne got that picture back. Carl dropped it a few feet from the door where all the zombies were standing.

Blake on March 5, 2013 at 11:06 AM

The problems with zombies is the sheer number of them. Get enough zombies tangled up in string or impaled on sticks, then they will pull them down. Remember, they managed to break through the chained door on the roof top and get to Merle.

Blake on March 5, 2013 at 11:09 AM

I love watching this show, and I can’t tell you why. Maybe because it’s apocalyptic fiction, a guilty pleasure. Zombies were never my thing, and I keep wondering why they don’t just rot away, but it doesn’t matter because watching TV requires a certain suspension of disbelief.

I want to see how humans would react to living in an apocalyptic world, and TWD shows me that. It’s disturbing that they could become so hardened and cold as to abandon the hitch hiker, but that’s probably what would happen in real life. I completely understand taking the backpack, though, because well, the hitch hiker doesn’t need it anymore, and Rick’s people do.

I thought this latest episode was going to turn out to be another boring talkfest, especially when Rick and Morgan started trading soliloquies on crazyness, but it turned into one of the best episodes so far, IMO.

RebeccaH on March 5, 2013 at 12:19 PM

It’ better than last season which isn’t saying anything at all but it’s a far cry from the promise of the first season.

Look, a zombie apocalypse/survivalist show can’t be written by urban nerds who fantasize about zombies because they don’t know a thing about survival in the real world. A bunch of yuppie atheists we are supposed to swallow as authentic Georgians? Give me a break. There’s a reason why Daryl is the most popular character on the show, he’s not only the most useful but in many ways the most authentic.

Laying traps, fortifying their grounds, hunting for ammo and quieter weapons (what happened to the suppressors by the way?) – holy crap do these people take forever to get a clue. Morgan may have went mad, but he did everything he had to do while all by his lonesome; another reason he was the second most popular guy on the show even though he disappeared after the first few episodes.

Daemonocracy on March 5, 2013 at 12:40 PM

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I keep wondering why they don’t just rot away, but it doesn’t matter because watching TV requires a certain suspension of disbelief.

I think they do. But since dying hasn’t stop, zombies are a renewable resource, so to speak. I hate the ones who are just pretending to be dead.

Blake on March 5, 2013 at 1:03 PM

I also have had enough with the faux intellectuals and their above-it-all attitude. Don’t like it? Don’t watch it. No one needs to know how refined your taste is.

Nick_Angel on March 5, 2013 at 9:02 AM

AMEN! This is a great show and extremely popular outside of the HA family. Watching it gives me a welcome escape from my usual diet of all-politics, all the time. Others find their escape with shows like Downton Abbey. Whatever. So chill out TWD h8ers.

SheVee on March 5, 2013 at 1:18 PM

We need a Justified/TWD mashup. Zombies wander into Harlan County. No one can tell the difference between the walking dead and the meth head hill people.

Blake on March 5, 2013 at 2:07 PM

The Morgan episode was kind of necessary because the show fans wanted to know what had become of him. This provides some closure.

Old Fritz on March 5, 2013 at 12:22 AM

The actor who plays Morgan was supposed to re-appear last season, the AMC guys said, but the actor was too busy at that time,so they had to write his appearance this season.

I think it’s interesting to compare and contrast Rick Grimes to other people on the show, like the Governor or Morgan.

If Rick doesn’t catch himself, he can go as crazy as Morgan, and if he totally goes over the the evil side, he could be another Governor.

The Governor’s medical student henchman is searching for a cure and they will figure out that baby Judith’ blood and DNA is the key.

Old Fritz on March 5, 2013 at 12:26 AM

No, they’ll just find out that Shane is really the baby daddy. ha ha

Lourdes on March 5, 2013 at 12:42 AM

Not that I totally disagree, but Rick cannot save the whole world.

He’s just a finite person (who happens to be falling apart, too).

I don’t think he has the sanity or the resources to help and save every single person he meets in the apocalypse. Asking him to be humanity’s savior is a huge burden.

They’re already zombies, just haven’t “turned” yet is what the story tells us. So why the bites turning people?

Lourdes on March 5, 2013 at 12:47 AM

My understanding is that the bites only speed up the process.

If I recall right, one or more of the show’s creators have said they do not intend on getting into the specific scientific and medical why’s and how’s of the zombie plague; that is not of interest to them, so I doubt we will see episodes that explain in full detail how and why people turn into zombies.

They have indicated that they remain more interested in showing psychological stuff, how people handle living in a zombie apocalypse.

TigerPaw on March 5, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Three of the actors on the show are British:

Andrew Lincoln, who is Rick Grimes; and Lennie James who is Morgan; David Morrissey, who plays the Governor, is British.

The actress who is the farm girl, Maggie Greene, spent part of her childhood in America. She was born in the USA and later moved to the UK.

The rest of the cast is American.

That would include Laurie Holden (Andrea – actress born in USA, also lived in Canada when younger); Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon – actor was born in Florida, lives in New York); Michael Rooker (Merle); Danai Gurira (Michonne – the actress was born in Iowa); Scott Wilson (Hershel – actor was born in Georgia), Jeffrey DeMunn (Dale – actor born in New York), etc.

TigerPaw on March 5, 2013 at 5:27 PM

sgmstv on March 5, 2013 at 8:45 AM

I’m not quite getting all this “Rick hated Lori” stuff people keep saying.

Granted their marriage had problems, but the guy still cared about her.

I thought she was kind of annoying, but I was never a part of the “I hate Lori” brigade and certainly didn’t want to see her get killed.

The kid’s name is Carl.

Rick has had to deal with more than Carl, he also had to kill his best friend, had to lead a group of people to safety, found out his best friend slept with his wife, and on and on.

Rick at least remembers life before the ZA, but all this Carl kid knows is death and gloom, and it’s made him kind of cold.

Carl could turn into a little sociopath.

And I agree — there are millions of abandoned cars on the street, and he is walking. Stupid.

What if the keys aren’t in the car, or nearby?

Some of the cars have dead bloody bodies still in them. I don’t know if I’d have the stomach to toss one of those out.

I also have had enough with the faux intellectuals and their above-it-all attitude. Don’t like it? Don’t watch it. No one needs to know how refined your taste is. The show is enjoyable.

Nick_Angel on March 5, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Thank you.

As far as rocks go, how often are their rocks outside downtown Atlanta department stores? Yet, a zombie picked one up and smashed the glass of the doors.

Blake on March 5, 2013 at 11:01 AM

I think you are being overly picky, analyzing the show too much.

I have a brother like that, can’t just watch a show or movie without nit picking it apart. Can’t just enjoy.

Anyway – there are rocks in city environments (cities have parks etc), sometimes chunks of concrete broken off from curbs etc

TigerPaw on March 5, 2013 at 5:30 PM

They better start worrying about food. No one is producing it anymore.

I’d like to know how Michonne got that picture back. Carl dropped it a few feet from the door where all the zombies were standing.

Blake on March 5, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Rick Grimes has already mentioned growing crops on the prison grounds in 2 or 3 episodes already.

Also, in one episode, when they were new at the prison, showed that the prison cafeteria was stockpiled with lots of canned food and other food.

Rick forced the inmates to share the food with his group.

Another episode already referenced how Lori was so skinny from not getting enough food.

Then, in the most recent episode, Morgan mentioned “food was always a concern.” His son got killed because they went looking for food in the basement of some house.

So it’s not as though they are neglecting to mention this stuff only that people who criticize the show aren’t paying close attention.

TigerPaw on March 5, 2013 at 5:33 PM

I’d like to know how Michonne got that picture back. Carl dropped it a few feet from the door where all the zombies were standing.

Blake on March 5, 2013 at 11:06 AM

They showed the photo fall a few feet by the cafe door.

That is why Michonne had Carl stand at the door: while the zombies were focused on him, she snuck in through the back, and snatched it off the floor while the zombies were distracted.

The zombie backs were to her – they were facing the door, trying to get Carl, so they did not see her when she snuck in from behind to grab the photo, which was behind them.

It’s really not that hard to see how characters accomplish this stuff.

It’s only people who are looking for nit picky reasons to rip on the show that mention this kind of thing.

Like the people who tweeted a week before, “OMG, the eye patch on the governor is on wrong eye, what a dumb mistake”

-when it was obvious the shot was of him looking into a mirror, so the patch only appeared reversed.

TigerPaw on March 5, 2013 at 5:37 PM

One of the worst fall-outs of the show is “Caryl shipping.”

There are middle aged to older female fans of the show who want to see Daryl Dixon have a romantic relationship with the Carol character (Carol is the short-haired character whose daughter Sophia turned into a zombie).

These fans light up blogs and twitter and other places with “Caryl” fan fic and constant swooning online over hoping to see Daryl date Carol.

As much as I enjoy this show, the one thing that could possibly kill it for me, is seeing Daryl paired up with someone else, particularly Carol. She is all wrong for him.

The Carol and Daryl characters (aside from being abused) have nothing in common and are so wrong for each other.

TigerPaw on March 5, 2013 at 5:53 PM

They showed the photo fall a few feet by the cafe door.

I said that. However, the zombies would be standing/over on it. Zombies are not totally oblivious as proven by the attack on Andrea in the RV and on Sophie under the car.

It’s only people who are looking for nit picky reasons to rip on the show that mention this kind of thing.

TigerPaw on March 5, 2013 at 5:37 PM

As opposed to those who will make up any old pretzel logic?

Blake on March 5, 2013 at 6:42 PM

I think you are being overly picky, analyzing the show too much.

I have a brother like that, can’t just watch a show or movie without nit picking it apart. Can’t just enjoy.

Anyway – there are rocks in city environments (cities have parks etc), sometimes chunks of concrete broken off from curbs etc

TigerPaw on March 5, 2013 at 5:30 PM

I think you are an idiot. My point, once again, was that the zombies weren’t mindless creatures. They retained some residual memory and were able to adapt some what by their use of tools, i.e., using a rock to break a window.

Blake on March 5, 2013 at 6:46 PM

TigerPaw on March 5, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Do you suck the joy out of everything in your real life, too?

Blake on March 5, 2013 at 6:48 PM

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