Why ‘The Walking Dead’ is a bad series

11:30 am EST, April 16, 2013

I know my opinion isn’t exactly popular. The Walking Dead’s gargantuan ratings already prove it’s an extremely popular show. But please don’t hate on me. Hear me out and let me know what you all think in the comments, I’d love to have an interesting debate with people who think differently.

I remember when I first heard about The Walking Dead. “A serious drama? With zombies?!” Perfection. I’ve always loved zombies. World War Z is, in my opinion, the very best piece of zombie fiction ever made, even above Romero’s films and the hilarious Shaun of the Dead. An adaptation of the book is coming out this summer and we’ll see how it turns out. So I’m a huge zombie fan. I’ve watched every episode of The Walking Dead and no one else wants it to be a fantastic show more than me.

And I recognize it has had some fantastic episodes. The first half of this third season was actually phenomenal. Showrunner Glen Mazzara produced some of the finest hours of televisions of last year. He made bold choices, killed major characters in episodes that weren’t premiers or finales and revitalized the show after a slightly boring season that spent a lot of time in a farm and in the search for Sophia.

The Walking Dead season 3 - The GovernorBut then, in December, it was announced Mazzara would step down as showrunner at the end of this season. The show came back and it wasn’t the same. The boring on-the-nose moral debates came back and Rick went from stating “This isn’t a democracy” to the bland character The Walking Dead writers make him be some times. The Governor started out as an interesting character that would do everything to defend his community. And then he turned into a mustache twirling villain motivated by revenge? He was just too bad to be believable, even in a world of zombies.

The show has great actors, great directing and great moments. Remember the very first scene of the third season? When Carl finds a can of dog food and is about to eat it and Rick knocks it out of his hands? That was the best scene in the whole series. Without a single word, the show made a point about its central theme: Humanity.

And that’s the thing. That scene was so smart. The first thing you learn about screenwriting is “show, don’t tell.” Think of the montage at the beginning of Up or the Incinerator scene in Toy Story 3. Not a word is said and these are arguably the best scenes Pixar has ever made. But The Walking Dead, for the most part, not only runs away from intelligent visual storytelling but focuses on lengthy moral debates presented to us through dialogue instead of action. That’s my major criticism of The Walking Dead.

Other things I dislike are that the show seems to be terrified of its characters being unlikeable. This makes sense, but the show instead chooses to make its characters justify everything they do with dialogue and more dialogue. If you compare it to Game of Thrones, where characters also do terrible things but don’t justify themselves, the HBO series is the better show. If we know the motivation behind the actions of the characters, we’ll generally like them even if they do terrible stuff. Luke kills millions when he destroys the Death Star. Walter White does the most terrible stuff in Breaking Bad and we still, somehow, don’t hate him. But The Walking Dead is so scared of its characters being unlikeable that it makes them boring. They are people in a post-apocalyptic world. They NEED to survive. That’s why Carl is the only interesting character right now. He does what’s necessary to survive and protect his people. I understand that the whole point is to keep their humanity. But show that through action and story, not boring monologues.

And lastly, the show has so many irritating characters. It’s okay if you hate characters. Who doesn’t HATE Dolores Umbridge or Joffrey Lannister? It’s perfectly okay to passionately hate a character for his or her actions. But I think we all hated Andrea, not because of her actions but because of her complete inability to be useful. In the season finale, we got the great concept of using Milton as a time bomb of sorts. But then it was infuriating to see Andrea stop her attempts to escape to talk to Milton.

So those are my points. What do you guys think? I hope next season is great and they stop changing show runners every seven episodes. Stability will make the show better for sure.

Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

Read full article

Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

In related news, the cast and crew kicked off their press tour today in Paris. Disney released the following adorable photo of Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Josh Gad, Luke Evans, director Bill Condon and composer Alan Menken as they start publicizing the movie, which opens in theaters March 17:

Can’t wait to see it!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Read full article

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Free will and humanity. Sacrifice and love. The nature of reality — and even of life itself. Beneath the plot, surprises, and pain, that’s what’s really going on in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spring finale.

That, and the characters who get caught in the middle.

Jed Whedon is Not. Playing. Around.

Executive producer and showrunner Jed Whedon is the man behind the pen and the camera in “Self Control,” and he’s there for a reason. Whedon’s first try at the director’s chair on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is operatic, incisive, and perpetually gut-clenching.

Yes, there are lovely and disturbing vistas, an artistry that comes from a deliberate and careful eye. But more important is the unshakable Whedon impulse that animates Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, that builds through the episode like a cresting tide.

You know that unmistakable sense that someone is laughing behind the scenes? Yeah. That’s why Jed Whedon is here.

What’s next?

Well, that’s a very good question. “Self Control” leaves us with a few razor-like possibilities, all of which lead down spiky corridors of questions. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 is here to leave us thirsty for the season’s final seven episodes, and that’s exactly what it does.

Oh, and to answer your next question…

Cliffhanger?

Uh, yes. Cliffhanger.

Oh boy, cliffhanger.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, “Self Control,” airs Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

What are your top theories for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 4×15?

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

Read full article

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

‘Liberty’s Kids’


Liberty’s Kids aired in the early 2000s on PBS. Liberty’s Kids follows three teenagers from varying backgrounds throughout the American Revolution, mentored by Benjamin Franklin. It is geared for children but is still pretty enjoyable for adults. In each episode, the teenagers encounter a significant person or event from the revolution, giving a concise and entertaining history lesson. The show features many important figures throughout the revolution, showing even more presidents than in Hamilton. As one can imagine, Washington is among these.

‘Lincoln’


Lincoln is a 2012, Oscar nominated movie, directed by Steven Spielberg based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Abraham Lincoln, Team of Rivals. Instead of a biopic of Lincoln’s entire life, Lincoln is specifically about his passing of the 13th amendment. Essentially directed between each of his science fiction blockbusters, Spielberg also made many significant historical movies, Lincoln among them. Lincoln not only shows his power as a president, but also humanizes him through an Oscar winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis.

‘1776’


Hamilton is not the first musical about American history. Thankfully, though, because this way there are other options, one of which is 1776. Even more conveniently, the musical 1776 was adapted into a movie in the early 1970s. Heavily implied by its name, 1776 is about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 1776 definitely has a more classical musical theater vibe than Hamilton. The strange combination of American history and musical theater allows for a humorous yet educational experience. However, as reflective of the history of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Washington is not a character in the musical; yet, it obviously includes many other significant historical figures.

‘The West Wing’ or ‘The American President’


Unlike the other items on this list, these two are about fictional presidents. But it would be nice if they were real. Of the many politically charged movies and television shows by Aaron Sorkin, these two are specifically about presidents. If you have the day off and want to attempt to binge watch seven seasons, then you may want to check out The West Wing. The West Wing follows President Bartlet and his staff and advisors during their time in the White House. If you want a movie to help you transition between Valentine’s Day and President’s Day then The American President is worth watching. It is a romantic comedy about President Shepherd, who falls in love with a lobbyist.

How else will you celebrate President’s Day?