Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A New Low for "The Walking Dead"...

It took way too long, but we have another casualty for our hapless crew of survivors to over-analyze. Dale was our resident shaman, moral compass, and elder statesman. He was a respected figure all throughout Season 1 but this season the writers decided to turn him into a stupid, useless old man. He only came to the fore when some righteous browbeating had be done. His look of perpetually constipated outrage as the other characters began losing it became grating, and I cannot help to think the director did this on purpose to make us so sick of him that he wouldn't be missed.

Wrong. The plot twists are becoming more hackneyed and contrived as the show stumbles forward on the fumes from it's incredible inaugural season. I will break down the issues right here-

1) Merle's disappearance has taken too long to get resolved. He escaped after being left on the rooftop, and the clues left behind were excellent, if not unsettling-he had to cut his own hand off to get out of the handcuffs, he grilled the wound to stop the bleeding, and may have stolen the truck the crew used to drive back to get him. After that he has only reappeared in his brother's daytime nightmares.

2) The tension between Rick Shane and is played out, and their pathetic fight cemented it's woeful contrivance. Overemphasizing their cruddy dynamic is way too much of a cop-out, even now that they're buddies again. No way does Shane's supposed "love" for Lori make any sense. She is the one character many fans of the show want to see eaten alive. Every time she appears the shrill factor goes through the roof. Enough with this bitch. And what the fuck is it about the Grimes nuclear family that everyone suffers loss except for them?

3) Speaking of marginalization, AMC decided to scrap some of the original creative voices to go with hack writers who are in charge of individual episodes. This has become obvious with the lack of continuity and character development. Some really interesting characters have been left twisting in the wind. And can Hollywood, for all it's supposed liberal bias, get off it's relentless obsession with giving black characters absolutely no love?

4) The scene where Dale gets killed had to be one of the worst scenes ever scripted. It will represent the tipping point where it all went downhill, never to recover.

a) Someone explain to me how, in an open field, a zombie can chomp down on a cow and no one hears it's death throes from the quiet confines of Neverland Ranch.

b) You mean to tell me Hershel has to go out and chase these animals every morning after their daily escape attempts, but they can't run away from a slow-as-molasses zombie or make enough noise to alert everyone that the low-tech security fence has been breached?

c) How the fuck out of nowhere does this zombie sneak up on Dale, as if it were hiding behind a tree? What fucking tree? They were in an open field!!!

d) Anyone else with a hideously deformed walker on top of him would struggle to get out of it's clutch and not just glare at it in an attempt to bore it to death. No. Dale lets this monster drool all over him as he gets disemboweled. Fucking lame-ass, and an insult to the viewers who have been more than patient and loyal up to this point.

5) The plot and character development was more dynamic when the crew was on the run. Throughout the fast-paced mayhem of Season 1, all the characters got a chance to shine. Now that they're stuck on Hershel's farm, everything has stagnated. Dale, T-Dogg and Andrea are mere appendages that appear onscreen as an afterthought. Before, they were actively involved in their own survival. Now they've had to take a back seat to the lovelorn triangle that has everyone thinking the guys killed at the bar were more interesting than these cracker-ass yokels.

6) The new kid on the block is more trouble than he's worth. He's been a crashing bore ever since he got impaled on that fence. No one relates to him and no one cares what happens to him. Besides, there are so many problems facing the crew they didn't need to throw this obnoxious prick into the mix to cause more unnecessary drama.

7) From next week's previews, the characters are attempting to stock up on supplies for the winter and they will be stuck on the farm. Two mistakes-

a) They've done nothing to barricade the windows and doors, relying on lookouts who work in shifts. Just as Dale how that worked out.

b) Hershel is planning on using the basement as a fallout shelter of last resort instead of the attic. In a zombie apocalypse, you can always get down from above. Escaping from below? Again, failure to consider the parameters of what's possible from the Zombie Apocalypse Guidebook will be their undoing.

8) We need to know already what exactly it was that the crazed doctor form the CDC whispered in Rick's ear before blowing himself up.

9) This last one may be too much, seeing how dismissive the show is towards its' black characters, but what was the fate of the black guy and his son from the very beginning of Season 1? 

AMC, you officially suck. Way to turn a good series with great potential into hackneyed, regurgitated swill.

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