Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Walking Dead on AMC

Greetings Fright Fans!
I've not done a movie or television review as yet.  This is not for any other reason than I haven't really had anything to say in those areas.  I do have something to say now.  I have been watching "The Walking Dead" since it premiered on Halloween night this year.  I've seen 5 episodes and I believe next week's episode is to be the season finale.
So having watched 5/6 of the series, let me now say this:

AMC, fuck you.

There, I've said it.

This is it.  This is the whole bloody show.  Just whinging on and on and on and crying about 'that's not how we do things".  Please, zombies, just eat these people to spare me their bullshit.

This show is boring.  BORING.
It's just boring.  The characters are boring and they whine.  They whine a lot.  Every episode features some misplaced sentiment about 'not becoming' like the zombies by making stupid, emotionally tortured decisions.  Episode two featured our hero, Rick the cop, and a survivor covering themselves in corpse viscera so they would 'smell' like the dead and be able to walk freely among them.  That's a good idea.  Well, it is an interesting idea if not good.
I would have been fine with that bit of vomit-inducing ingenuity, as that is what a zombie flick is all about.
What was pointless and annoying was having Rick take the corpse's wallet and find out who the poor sucker was, then tell the rest of the survivors how he was going to 'tell people' about him.
That right?  Gonna turn water into wine too later?
What a prick.  At least that shit made sense in Fight Club.  Here it was just pretentious bullshit.

I wish that was the only example of such syrupy sentimentality and misplaced humanism.  I wish it was the most egregious example.  It was neither of those things.

If you've watched the series "V" (the new one, not the original) then you might know the character of Kyle Hobbes.  Kyle is this ultra-pretty boy Aussie who is ex SAS, super mercenary badass.  The so-called resistance roped him into their cause to assist them and, you know, train the army.  Yet every time Kyle gives a direction, provides training or is used as an SME, super-FBI agent Blondie tells him that "that's not how we do things" and they all do the opposite of what Kyle says and shit goes wrong.
So just so we understand: expert says go left, resistance doesn't want to become morally bankrupt so they go right, hits wall, bloodies noses, loses member, lather, rinse, repeat.
That's Walking Dead all over.
Each episode is a training manual for how NOT to survive a zombie apocalypse.  That is, when you are not being forced to watch painful interpersonal relationship bullshit that would not even be allowed on a soap opera.
It's just so boring.  Every episode features maybe, grand total, including credits and scenes from last week, 36 seconds of zombies.  If you are very lucky you get to see 2 in 1 episode.
The characters are uninteresting.  I can't care about them at all.  The only one with a functioning brain cell is the brother of the MIA racist neo-Nazi asshat from episode 2 and although he is supposed to be the heartless foil to all the touchy-feely characters, dammit all he's the only one to like.  He's the only one that makes sense ever.

The Walking Dead has the pace of the walking dead and all the brains and verve as well.

It's no "Deadworld", I'll tell ya that.

Oh, "Deadworld"?  It was a comic from the 80's that was revived in the 2000's by Image.  It tells the classic story of a schoolbus full of survivor kids in a world that is in the grips of a zombie apocalypse.  Yeah.  That old story.
Look at that shit.  Gore on the cover, mature label, title is clear and succinct. Just so we are clear, this is not a teaser cover.  This happens in every single issue of this comic.
Only thing is, it was REALLY GOOD.  It used a mixture of humor and horror to tell the story.  It had interesting characters you came to care about and some of them were eaten or otherwise disposed of.  It was in black and white so the gore was aplenty.  Unlike Walking Dead, which fails to have either humor or horror (I'd settle for dramatic tension, but it seems to have forgotten that as well), Deadworld was gritty and tense.
Plus it had King Zombie:
Again, THIS REALLY HAPPENS IN THE BOOK.  No fake out covers or false adverts with a Deadworld product.
There he is.  Killer.  A Harley riding, Marlboro smoking, intelligent zombie agent for the evil forces that were making the world a land of the undead.  King Zombie was the badass villain that drew the readers in.  And he answered the letters page as well.
This guy is so punk it hurts
If Walking Dead were like Deadworld, I'd love it.  Hell, if it were like Romero's work, I'd love it.  As it stands I just don't like it.  It wastes my time.  It is not scary, it is not gory, it is not heroic, tense, dramatic, sexy or escapist fantasy.  It is like real life.  It is like work.  I watch the show and I feel like I've been to work.  I have to work to get anything out of it and I end up thinking about the 500 ways I'd write it better, but it's so banal that I don't even bother.
This is all you are going to get from me.
I thought it might just be slow to start, sort of a slow burning match that leads to a powder keg, but really it is an unimpressive Roman candle that fizzles a bit and occasionally spits out a glowing ball.  Shit, I'll take the sparklers at that rate.

Here's Deadworld one more time, just to cleanse the palette.

Until next time, keep your guns loaded.


  1. Ah, the guilty pleasure of reading a good bad review. "Keep'em flying" said Taylor to the young ape. "What?" He ape responded. "The flags of discontent." I wish I could push a button and fill your head with all four seasons of Battlestar Galactica, just so I could read the resulting rhetoric. Ah well. Happy Jule time.

  2. I've gathered from the many times you've shared BSG synopses with me enough that I could probably rant on it, but would it be coherent enough to be understood?