The Walking Dead--Seasons 1, 2, & 3

I may have mentioned that I’m a driving instructor here in NorthEast Ohio.  Maybe not.  Regardless, I am. A driving instructor, that is.  This means that I spend my days in a car, one-on-one, with teen-agers, somewhere around 8 hours a day.  We HAVE to talk about something.

The cool kids in this neck of the woods pretty much all watch The Walking Dead.  So, when it became available on Netflix, I took it for a spin.  I can now talk with knowledge about The Walking Dead.  The initial offering on Netflix was the first three seasons--short seasons to be sure, but still.....This can only result in one thing, and I apologize in advance..........

Television Notes From the Rust Belt.....Youngstown, Ohio.

Without belaboring the point, this mess is a real crap-fest.  It gets dumber by the episode.  In short, a colossal waste of time.  No kidding.

The Walking Dead, in it’s entirety, is based on a comic book.  Like you were surprised.  And, it holds the number one spot in the ratings for that elusive 18-49 year old group, so you KNOW it’s going to last.  For a really long time.  I read that AMC is in the process of creating a second television series based on this series, which, of course, will be incrementally dumber.  It just has to be.

Look, if you liked Lost, Survivor,  and General Hospital, you’re going to LOVE this.  If Lost made you cringe with guilt just for watching every week, then The Walking Dead will make you want to eat your gun. I’m pretty certain that the writers show up every week for a new episode with nothing on paper--they have an idea, and then the actors just wing it.  This could not possibly have been planned....It had to have simply happened.

The basic premise is that most of the population of Georgia (and, presumably, the Earth) are zombies--anytime someone dies, they immediately come back as flesh-eaters and have to be killed again by a blow to the brain, but loud noises attract them (guns are only used when necessary), so there’s plenty of sword, knife, axe, and machete head-shots.  In other words.....Heads Will Roll.  Repeatedly.  And a little note to the writers, here--Shoving a hand-held knife into a human being is difficult--on a scale of 1 to 10, I'd place it at about 7 and a half.  I can't imagine how a wispy woman can shove a hand-held knife through skulls.  On the aforementioned scale of 1 to 10, I'd guess that would be about a 73 or 74.

Like Lost, we get about 10 minutes of furtherance of the story per episode.  The rest is lurching zombies and meaningless talk between characters that you don’t care about one way or the other.

Like Lost, we got a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-national cast.  That seems to be mandatory in these things.

OK, then, we got British subject Andrew Lincoln (his real name is Andrew Clutterbuck, and I applaud his decision to divorce himself from the Clutterbuck handle for professional reasons) as our nut-ball hero, former Police Officer Rick Grimes.

Then, as the Asian guy, we get Kalamazoo Michigan product (Korean born, then via Canada) Steven Yeun. He’s been seen in The Big Bang Theory, Warehouse 13, and The Soup, but found his home as a zombie killer.  Good choice given the alternatives, Steve.

As the moody child we don’t care about, we get a weekly dose of Georgia native Chandler Riggs.

As Hershel, the older voice of reason, we have a genuinely good actor, another Georgia product, Scott Wilson.  Scott’s been in all sorts of really good Television and Films, like, for example, CSI, The X-Files, The Jack Bull, The Twilight Zone, In Cold Blood.......The list just goes on and on.  But here in zombieville, I don’t care if he lives or dies.  Sorry Scotty.

We get to behold the worst acting of Laurie Holden’s career as Andrea, the blond that we don’t care about either.  She’s an El Lay product and was Marita Covarrubias on the X-files, and Agent Olivia Murray in The Shield.  She can act--I've seen it in the past.  That ability just doesn't show up much here.

As the tough black chick, we get Danai Gurira.  She was born in Iowa, raised by her African parents in Zimbabwe, and attended acting school in, well, where else,  New York.  She was once in an episode of Life on Mars (one of my favorites).  In The Walking Dead, she has a head full of nasty hair and a Samuri sword with which she dispatches dozens of zombies per episode.  Like I said.  Heads Will Roll.

As the completely insane Governor we got another British subject (from Liverpool), David Morrissey.

There’s plenty of others, and there will be plenty more in the future--this is destined to be part of our television culture for quite some time, I fear.

In summation, then, the only redeeming part of my Walking Dead experience is that I caught it on Netflix without commercials, so each episode was only 42 minutes instead of an hour.

Skip it if you can.  It’s not worth the time.  Outlaw biker movies from the 60s and 70s were generally better written and had a better soundtrack.  If you must watch, watch it on Netflix.


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