“Walking Dead” grumble thread: Have we, at last, hit rock bottom?

posted at 7:21 pm on March 3, 2014 by Allahpundit

I’m tempted to change the headline to “Worst Episode Ever” but I already feel too much like Comic Book Guy in these grumble threads.

Actual e-mail sent to me by a friend last night:

At this point Kirkman and Company have to be f***ing with us, right? They know ppl think the show is too slow, but they also know we won’t stop watching. “So eff you here is an hour of Norman Reedus and what’s her name doing nothing. You will watch this and be thankful.”

Right. If you made it this far, past the snoozer of season two and Rick mumbling endlessly about Stuff and Things, you’re in for good. That was the true terror of last night’s episode — not the zombies but the realization that they could spend the rest of the season showing Daryl and Beth holding fart contests and you’d still be there on Sunday nights, dutifully waiting for the payoff you keep telling yourself is coming. There’s no way out, just more mindless consumption. We have met the zombies and they are us.

Here’s what’s happening. The writers got loads of good buzz (even from me) last fall for the Governor storyline. Instead of hopping every three minutes from one member of the core group to another, they zeroed in on one guy with an interesting backstory and gave him some interesting new (emphasis on new) characters to play off. It worked — so well that they’ve decided to repeat the formula by zeroing in on … the same old stiffs from the core group we’ve been watching for three years. Evidently this weekly slow bleed will not end until every major character or pair of major characters has had an hour to him- or herself. Judging from the sneak preview last night, next week is Maggie’s turn. After that, who knows? Tyrese? The little girls? Zombie Andrea?

All of this is being done in the name of character development so let me repeat the question I asked last week: Which characters do you feel have “developed”? Maybe Carl’s, a little, but that’s more a function of age than hidden depth. A teenaged character necessarily develops as he assumes adult tasks. What about the rest? What important fact did you learn about them that you didn’t know before? Daryl had a brutal childhood; Beth was more sheltered. You knew that already, even if you didn’t “know” it. You knew that Michonne was badly emotionally scarred. You knew that Glenn is devoted to Maggie. Character development typically involves surprises; the character reveals a side of him- or herself that you didn’t suspect was there. Which member of the core group (except Carol, whose own development happened earlier in the season) has done anything lately to surprise you?

The only bit that interested me in last night’s show was the evidence of murder in the country club. There are three types of characters in most zombie dramas: The scrappy, well-meaning survivors, the warlords, and of course the zombies. The “Rich Bitch” sign hung on one of the dead women in the club suggested a fourth kind, which surely would exist but which you don’t often see in these things — namely, opportunists. Someone or some group apparently decided to use the zombie apocalypse to take revenge on the local millionaires, not for any strategic reason but simply to indulge their id against a disfavored group at a moment when they knew they wouldn’t be punished for it. A better show would have explored that, but instead we got Beth sobbing over a peach schnapps. Oh well. See you next week!

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I watch almost no television anymore.

I will try to watch the latest Mythbusters, but even that is becoming stale. Although they still have moments of brilliance and hilarity, so it’s still worth the watch.

Pretty much everything else I can and do give a pass on. Although I couldn’t watch this show even if I wanted to (I don’t), because I have kids.

I actually spend more time watching YouTube videos produced by total amateurs than I do the professional productions. I’ve discovered the joy of watching video game “let’s play” shows, where you simply sit back and watch someone else play through the storyline of a video game. If you like Zombie stuff, I highly recommend watching a “let’s play” of the game “The Last of Us”.

There is also a DLC episode called “Left Behind” where you play as a preteen girl. (it’s at the end of the playlist I linked above) Makes for every interesting and suspenseful game play (and watching) since you can’t just muscle your way through and have to avoid physical confrontations with Zombies and other humans as they are all bigger and stronger than you.

I’m also partial to some of the RC modeling channels like Flitetest and Ultimate RC Network. There is plenty of good content out there, and I use my Roku (With the PLEX app using the Youtube plugin) to watch it all right on my T.V.

Why would I want to watch crappy television?

wearyman on March 4, 2014 at 9:56 AM

This season blows chunks so far .. I’ve enjoyed them killing off the characters but everytime they go and explore character development on a particular character .. they ruin that char. for me!! the only peeps who HAVEN’T yet annoyed me were beth, daryl and glenn (b4 he became a love stuck puppy!)Every other char. needs to go .. RICK sheesh! .. Carl’s next going to be talking about how to cure his acne! .. Maggie’s overwrought acting .. Michonne’s moodiness .. tyrese and sasha — wait until we hear their backstories! .. Herschel Thank GOD that idjit’s dead and Carol .. she lost me season one, redeemed herself somewhat with the mother hen routine and then let’s face it .. these writers are about to redeem her a second time and that never works .. I hope the writers are NOT immune to criticism and react like they did after the season 2 into 3 snoozefests and take some corrective action .. becuz I don’t think anyone wants to wade thru the muck again …

GKChesterton99 on March 4, 2014 at 11:04 AM

I know its a low bar and all, but it was still better than the Oczars.

PatHenry on March 4, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Video game “The Last of Us” officially has a better storyline than The Walking Dead.

8thAirForce on March 4, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Dexter (it doesn’t get any better than John Lithgow as the Trinity Killer in Season 4)

This single line just elevated this show from “I’m interested in this” to “must-see”

The Schaef on March 4, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Liked it, I am enjoying the individual stories after they were split up. Nice change of pace.

gator70 on March 4, 2014 at 1:22 PM

I actually liked the episode. Beth went from being practically invisible to becoming a whole person, and made me like her for the first time. Daryl was mostly just Daryl (except that he can’t hold his liquor, and that surprises me). I didn’t mind that it was slower than most other episodes because, frankly, the constant runnings and stabbings can become exhausting.

RebeccaH on March 4, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Does Daryl even have a dick?

DarkCurrent on March 4, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Allah is right on with this one (again). I DVR this show and I kept fast forwarding this episode to get to the “good part”. Before I knew it I had watched the whole episode in 5 minutes…

Vigilante on March 4, 2014 at 6:08 PM

“The Walking Dead” does not mean the walkers. The show is not about the walkers. Once you actually get that then you can appreciate what the rest of us like about the show.

hadsil on March 7, 2014 at 11:49 PM

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