The night I hated The Walking Dead
They can’t all be gems. And episode 5 was a perfect example of what I never wanted to see ‘The Walking Dead’ become. Who’s with me?
Hokay … who neglected to tell me the circus rolled into town? Complete with performing monkeys and dopey theme music?
What we witnessed on The Walking Dead Sunday night was a blip and a blur on the landscape of the show. There have been some pretty wild things on the program, but that hour took the prize for over-the-top shenanigans.
Example: I understand Rick’s lapse of mind in taking a vacation from reality and heading on a mission of mayhem after discovering Lori’s fate. Grief has the tendency to swallow people in different ways and in different forms. But … did you get the feeling as you watched him morph into a killing machine The Powers That Be went off the deep end with him? His performance was grindhouse, filled with gratuitous bloodshed simply for the those who dig that kind of thing. Me? I’m not one of those people.
Example: Merle. Come on … talk about your performing monkeys. *yeesh* Everyone’s favorite redneck might as well have been attached by strings while a behind-the-scenes puppeteer yanked and maneuvered him along the way. Michael Rooker‘s Merle was comically cringe-worthy … and not in a good way. Up to this point, the seething debasement we’ve grown to know and love in Merle was pretty much tossed out the window and replaced with a head-shaking, poor imitation of the character.
Example: The Governor. Again, come on. A cheering Governor? A Governor hooting and hollering right alongside his fellow Woodburians, chiding the antics taking place on the “stage” in front of them as Merle and Martinez put on a WWF show? I don’t buy it, not for a second. And here I thought Rooker was out of character. I was dead wrong about that. David Morrissey‘s performance trumped Rooker’s hands down. The Governor was all over the map — dealing with his charges … chiding Michonne about killing his toys … in his attempt to console Andrea and in getting her to talk sense into Michonne. At first, he had me inwardly cringing at his attempted tender loving care of his walker daughter, but it was the only time I found him believable. (Because … “caring for a walker child” is believable, I know. Yes … I hear what I’m saying, but fans of the show know what I’m talking about.) Everything else The Governor did was throwaway.
Final example: The arena. Talk about your cheesecake antics. The arena show didn’t elicit any sort of response from me other than a comical smirk ala a Z-grade zombie flick. Not only did the contest itself fail to yield any fruit, the pre-show party made it all the more ridiculous. It wasn’t even entertaining on a “these-people-and-what-they’ve-become-are-pathetic” sort of way. I couldn’t sympathize for the community in their degradation (not even when “dad” put his kid atop his shoulders to see the goings on better) nor could I make fun of “the show.” I couldn’t relate to any of it. All I could do was shake my head and sigh at the way it translated out my television screen. The manner in which it all played on the printed page of the comic was infinitely more powerful than what was filmed. Maybe the arena sequence never had a chance and simply couldn’t be filmed effectively.
The Walking Dead is so much more than blatant, splatter-filled visuals and corny, ham-fisted fights surrounded by chained undead. Season 3 launched with fanfare and drama and wonderfulness and kept uping the ante episode after episode right up until this one.
The title of this chapter was “Say The Word.” My word for it was “ugh.”
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