The Walking Dead thoughts


* Okay, so now I’ve got a handle on what we’ve got here: The Walking Dead is the kind of show where if a character drops something important, we’re going to watch it fall in CGI slo-mo, while the characters stare in bug-eyed horror, hands grasping like the international signal for “NOOOOOOOOOO!”

* In other words, holy shit is this thing cheesy. No one’s going to be mistaking this for a show developed by a staff writer for The Sopranos anytime soon! Maybe I should have figured this out a lot sooner given “writer-director Frank Darabont,” but my experience with Darabont’s oeuvre is actually very limited. I’ve never seen The Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile, just scenes here and there, scenes that brought out the tearjerkers-for-men sub-Spielbergian schmaltz that always lurks in Stephen King material that doesn’t involve monsters tearing the faces off children. And even when you do have that available to you, as Darabont did in The Mist, he still filled the thing with central-casting types, most notably the movie-ruining, not-at-all-menacing scenery chewing of Marcia Gay Harden as Mrs. Carmody. So no big surprise that the racist who picks a fight while surrounded by zombies and declares himself the boss while spouting lines about race-mixing of the sort you might hear if Dragnet ’68 did a KKK episode before getting clocked by the character her forgot about also does that thing where he crudely hits on a woman even though he’s a prisoner and wouldn’t have a chance regardless and then calls her a rugmuncher when she turns him down. It’s that kind of show! Which is to say it’s not very good.

* Still, an hour-long zombie drama. Even though shuffling zombies now look to me like people dressed up like shuffling zombies (and the constant “You could win a stagger-on role as a zombie!” promos don’t help!), how bad could it get?

8 Responses to The Walking Dead thoughts

  1. Tim O'Neil says:

    You’ve never seen Shawshank? Jeez, cheese and all, it’s still a pretty fantastic movie, and I just can’t imagine anyone hating it anymore than I can imagine someone hating a small kitten. You should give it a shot – if you come in expecting a fair degree of schmaltz, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how well-made and honest the whole thing actually is. A lot better than King’s novella, and I say that as a fan of King’s non-horror work.

  2. It’s just not what I’m in the market for right now.

  3. Agreed this is a pretty sharp decline from the first episode. Maybe the extra time that led to the slow, deliberate scene-setting was more necesary than I thought now that I’ve seen the more compact, regular length episode. Mostly, though, it’s the distasteful Lori (OK, so she’s maybe dealing with grief through sex, but couldn’t we get another side to her as well, I mean aside from her skill at picking non-poisonous mushrooms?). The casting of Michael Rooker in the first place was a red flag that this guy (Dale? I forget the name) was going to be just as broad and bad as you described. I also think Rick would have been more heroic as the decoy in the Charger, and it made no sense that Rooker would be spouting off about being leader and completely ignore the guy in the sheriff uniform as a potential threat. I liked the gut-covering (though the sound fx were overdone). Cheesy show, watchable but more annoying than it should be this early in. It’s making Rubicon look a lot smarter.

  4. Oh man, the sound effects in this episode were riDONKulous, you’re totally right! The drip-drip-drip in the (rat-infested!!!) sewer tunnel reminded me of the dungeon sketches from You Can’t Do That on Television.

  5. “I’ve never seen The Shawshank Redemption.”

    Statements like that are cause for a dog pile, dude. If you promise to watch it, then I promise to watch Caddyshack.

  6. TJ Dietsch says:

    Did Glen calling the zombies geeks bug you as much as it did me? Man, that character is mis-cast like nobody’s business.

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