Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 10/31/21 — 11/6/21


I spent the first week after Halloween in a state of exhaustion.  That’s the way it usually is after a successful horrorthon.  I got a lot of work done at the office.  I had the TV on for background noise for quite a bit of the time.  Here’s what I watched:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

With the colonels being held hostage by the Communist Resistance, Michelle came up with a great plan to solve the problem!  Rene could simply rob a bank!  After all, Michelle said, they had access to the greatest safe cracker in all of France.  LeClerc looked confused until he realized she was talking about him.  Rene attempted to refuse but soon found himself in a bank, holding a torch while LeClerc attempted to break into the safe.  It all led, of course, to an explosion.  Monsieur Alphonse was upset that some of his money was set on fire to provide light in the vault.  Who can blame him?  Meanwhile, Officer Crabtree kept asking Michelle and Rene if there done “ribbing the bonk.”  I laughed.

The Bachelorette (Tuesday Night, ABC)

Michelle sent Jamie home, which was good.  But then she canceled the Cocktail Party, which …. eh.  The whole “I’m going to cancel the cocktail party and go straight to the Rose Ceremony” thing has become the biggest Bachelorette cliché move.  It’s right up there with questioning whether someone is on the show for the right reasons.

Baywatch Hawaii (Prime)

Running for two seasons, from 1999 to 2001 (wow, two centuries!), Baywatch Hawaii was an attempt to reenergize the fading popularity of Baywatch by moving all of the lifeguard action to a new state.  Mitch (David “The Hoff” Hasselhoff) left California for Hawaii, where he started a new branch of Baywatch.  JD (Michael Bergin), Jessie (Brooke Burns), and Newman (MICHAEL NEWMAN!) came with him and were joined by a group of new lifeguard trainees.  Of the new cast members, a very young Jason Mamoa played an impetuous lifeguard named …. Jason.

Having binged the original Baywatch earlier this year, I figured that I might as well watch the two seasons of Baywatch Hawaii, just so I could get the complete story.  Luckily, both seasons are on Prime.

On Thursday, I watched the first four episode and they weren’t particularly good.  The Hoff looked extremely bored and really wasn’t in much of the show.  Instead, most of the action revolved around Sean (Jason Brooks), the hardass instructor brought in to train the new lifegaurds and turn them into a team.  Every episode, Sean threatened to send someone back to the mainland and, each time, the lifeguards proved themselves at the last minute.  The first episode opened with the Hoff having an existential crisis in Hawaii, one that was solved when he saved a little girl from drowning.  The second episode featured Sean yelling at the new recruits while the Hoff saved the exact same little girl from suffering a case of secondary drowning at her birthday party.  This was followed by an episode where a new lifeguard named Dawn joined the team and immediately started scheming to seal JD away from from Jessie.  Finally, in episode #4, Jason was nearly sent home for being too “self-reliant,” which didn’t make much sense to me but whatever.  In all four episodes, the Hawiiaian scenery was lovely and everyone had an aesthetically pleasing body and really, that’s the main concern with a show like this.

On Friday, I watched episodes 4 through 8.  Sean yelled at the lifeguards.  Jason struggled to learn how to work as a member of a team.  Dawn kept trying to steal everyone’s boyfriend. So far, this has been a pretty repetitive show.  The same could be said of the original Baywatch but that show often seemed to be cheerfully aware of how silly it was whereas Baywatch Hawaii took itself a bit too seriously.  The 8th episode did feature the return of Hobie.  The Hoff was upset when he discovered that 1) Hobie was marrying a girl that the Hoff had never met and 2) Hobie was apparently embarrassed to introduce the Hoff to the wealthy parents of his wife-to-be.  Embarrassed by the Hoff!?  Say it ain’t so, Hobie!  It all worked out in the end, though. The Hoff saved a wedding photographer who fell in the ocean and Hobie and his girlfriend decided to put off getting married and instead just decided to live together in sin.  My aunt would be very disappointed in them.

Classic Concentration (Weekday Afternoons, Buzzr)

This was an old game show, in which contestants tried to match the pictures that were hiding under the squares.  I watched two episodes on Wednesday and it was actually kind of a fun show.

Cold Case (Weekday Afternoons, Start TV)

On Monday’s episode, the Cold Case Squad investigated why Lilly never seemed to wash her hair.  No, actually, they investigated a 1962 murder that had been disguised to look like a murder.  Seriously, though, what was up with Lilly’s hair?

Court Cam (Wednesday Evening, A&E)

I watched two episodes on Wednesday evening.  One featured a defendant who told the judge to go “<bleep> yourself” and I have to say that the A&E censorship beeps are so loud that they can actually give you a headache after a while.

Crossing Jordan (Weekday Afternoons, Start TV)

I watched two episodes on Monday but, for the most part, I just had the show on for background noise.  In the first episode, Jordan and her team of quirky coroners were outraged over prison conditions.  In the second episode, Jordan and the gang were outraged over a religious cult.  There was a lot of quirky outrage.

Day of the Dead (Friday Night, SyFy)

Eh.  It’s not really a bad show but, after watching three episodes this week to get caught up, I kind of feel that Day of the Dead is just not going to be for me.  It’s hard to say why I don’t particularly care for it.  The anti-fracking stuff is a bit too on-the-nose but, then again, George Romero wasn’t exactly subtle when it came to making his political points in the latter Dead films either.  I think my main problem is that we’re four episodes in and it’s still doesn’t seem as if the show has established any sort of narrative momentum.  So, I think I’m done with Day of the Dead for now.

Dennis The Menace (Weekday Mornings, Antenna TV)

I kind of watched two episodes of this show on Tuesday morning.  I say “kind of” because I only had the TV on in the office for background noise and Dennis was such a sociopathic little brat that I really couldn’t bring myself to pay that much attention to him.  Poor Mr. Wilson!

Fear the Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

Read my thoughts here!

Ghost Whisperer (Weekday morning, Start TV)

I watched an episode at Monday while I was at work.  After a college student was scared into a coma, Melinda had to determine if it was the work of Bloody Mary or if it was just a ghost who needed help crossing over.  This episode was from the Jay Mohr years so it had all of this weird sexual tension between Rick and Melinda, despite Melinda being married to Jim.

Hazel (Weekday Mornings, Antenna TV)

On Tuesday, I used two episodes of this maid-centered, old sitcom for background noise.  In one, Hazel raised money to repair a broken vase.  In the next one, she helped out a gardener who was in danger of getting fired.  Hazel really needed to get a life outside of work.

I Dream of Jeannie (Weekday Afternoons, Antenna TV)

On Tuesday, I had two episodes on for background noise.  One featured Jeannie’s dog causing chaos.  The other featured Jeannie ruining the marriage of Major Nelson’s commanding officer.  How many lives did Jeannie ruin during her reign of terror?

The Love Boat (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

I wrote about the special Halloween episode of The Love Boat here!

Match Game ’76 (Weekday Mornings, Buzzr)

I watched two episodes of this old game show on Wednesday.  Two contestants tried to match answers with a group of angry-looking alcholics.  The entire set looked like it reeked of gin, cigarettes, and skunk weed.

Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour (Weekday Mornings, Buzzr)

This was a weird game show from the 80s.  Basically, it’s 30 minutes of the Match Game, followed by 30 minutes of Hollywood Squares with the same contestants and minor celebs taking part in both.  I kind of watched an episode of Wednesday morning but, to be honest, the show was mostly just background noise while I organized the office.

Medium (Weekday Mornings, Start TV)

I caught an episode on Monday, while I was at work.  Alison solved the case of a young woman who was pushed off a cliff.  Alison and her incredibly understanding husband also wondered whether they should warn a friend that Alison had foreseen him having a fatal heart attack.  The low-key and serious approach of Medium provided a clear contrast to the more sensationalistic approach of Ghost Whisperer.  But Ghost Whisperer was a much more fun show to watch.

The Office (Sunday Night, Comedy Central)

Jim and Pam badgered Danny Cordray over why Danny didn’t ask Pam on a second date.  This episode is a good example of how unlikable Jim and Pam became after they got married.

One Step Beyond (YouTube)

Check out the episode that I watched here.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Granville sadly wondered if he would ever marry.  Arkwright told him he was too young to worry about such things, despite the fact that Granville appears to be nearly 50.  No wonder Granville is losing his grip on reality.

Saved By The Bell (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

No sooner had I recommended that people watch the Mystery Weekend episode for Halloween than MeTV aired it.

Survivor 41 (CBS, Wednesday Night)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

Unforgettable (Weekday Afternoons, Start TV)

On Monday’s episode, Carrie and Al investigated a murder in upstate New York.  It reminded Carrie of her sister’s murder, mostly because Carrie has total recall and everything reminds her of her sister’s murder.  To be honest, I think if I had watched this show when it originally aired, I probably would have liked it.  The photographic memory aspect is interesting and Poppy Montgomery and Dylan Walsh are likable in the lead roles.

Walking Dead: World Beyond (Sunday Night, AMC)

Saved by the Dead remains an entertaining-enough show.  I’m still not sure what’s going on but I do enjoy all of the annoyed and rebellious attitudes.

4 Shots From 4 George Romero Films


4 Or More Shots From 4 Or More Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

Happy Halloween!  Today, we pay tribute to the patron saint of American horror, George Romero!  We’ve watched Night of the Living Dead!  Now, it’s time for….

4 Shots From 4 George Romero Films

Night of the Living Dead (1968, dir by George Romero, DP: George Romero)

Dawn of the Dead (1978, dir by George Romero, DP: Michael Gornick)

Martin (1978, dir by George Romero, DP: Michael Gornick)

Day of the Dead (1985, dir by George Romero, DP: Michael Gornick)

 

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 10/17/21 — 10/23/21


Here’s a few thoughts on what I watched this week!

(How’s that for a detailed intro?)

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

This week, yet another attempt to smuggle the British airmen out of France failed.  As usual, the plan was too complicated to succeed and the British airmen themselves remained cheerfully oblivious to the danger that they’re putting everyone else into.  (“I say,” one of them said after missing his chance to get smuggled out on a fish truck, “When’s the next fish truck?”)  This episode’s highlight was Crabtree getting to speak perfect English to all of the British airmen who had gathered in Rene’s Cafe before then switching back to his usual mangled French to speak with Rene.  Episodes of Allo Allo are not particularly easy to describe but they almost always make me laugh.

The Bachelorette (Tuesday Night, ABC)

I don’t know.  Going straight from one season of the Bachelorette to Bachelor in Paradise to another season of the Bachelorette is a little bit too much.  It works better when there’s some downtime between the seasons.  I have to admit that I was pretty bored with the premiere of the new season.  I mean, the first episode wasn’t even over and already, I was having to listen to all of that crap about whether or not the men were there for “the right reasons.”  The whole thing with Ryan getting kicked off the show felt very staged and pre-planned and Michelle seems like she’ll be canceling a lot of cocktail parties to get right to kicking people off the show.  I think I’ve just been oversturated with this dumb show for the past few months.

Baywatch (Friday Afternoon, H&I)

H&I has changed up their schedule.  Instead of daily showing of Baywatch, they now air a five-hour block on Fridays.  I watched two episodes.  They were both from the 2nd season and I remembered them both from when I binged the show a few months ago.  The first episode featured Eddie trying to clear his name after being accused of assaulting a teenager.  The 2nd was yet another episode where a mysterious woman stayed with Mitch while someone with a gun hunted for her.  This seemed to happen quite frequently to Mitch but he never commented on either the strangeness or the familiarity of it all.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

I watched three episodes on Sunday while working on my Cry Macho review.  The Brady kids were so self-centered that Alice quit.  Greg conspired to make Marcia the head cheerleader.  Marcia fell in love with a much older dentist and decided she was too mature to go on a date with a classmate.  The Bradys were the worst.

Court Cam (Wednesday Evening, A&E)

I watched two episodes when I got home from work on Wednesday.  One episode featured a loser who was arrested several times for pretending to be a traffic cop.  Maybe he wanted to get on Parking Wars.  Regardless of his motivation, everyone he stopped could tell he wasn’t a cop and no one treated him with the respect that he very loudly demanded.  That was kind of fun to watch.

Day of the Dead (Friday Night, SyFy)

I finally watched last week’s premiere on Thursday and I reviewed it for the site.

Fear the Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I reviewed the season premiere here!

Friday the 13th: The Series (YouTube)

Once Horrorthon is over and I have the time, I’m going to go back and binge this entire series.

Hunter (Weekday Mornings, ZLiving)

 I watched two episodes of this surprisingly violent 80s cop show on Friday.  I was also working at the time so the show mostly served as background noise.  (I find having the TV on helps me to focus, oddly enough.)  From what I did see, it seemed like an awful lot of people ended up getting shot. In fact, Hunter’s main personality trait appears to be that he’ll shoot anyone.  (The second episode featured Hunter blowing away a psycho motorcyclist played by Don Swayze.)  One thing I will say about the show, though, is that I love the propulsive music that plays over the opening credits.

King of the Hill (Weekday Afternoons, FXX)

I watched two episodes of Tuesday.  In the first one, Bobby became a peer counselor and quickly started to abuse his position.  This is actually one of my favorite episodes, even though Bobby definitely owed Stacy an apology.  The highlight of the episode was Stacy singing, “I’m your Stacy in a bottle.”  The second episode featured Hank visiting the Platter Ranch in Montana and discovering that Henry Winkler was refusing to allow the ranchers to herd their cattle across his land.  Yes, that Henry Winkler.

The Office (Saturday afternoon, Comedy Central)

I watched some classic episodes from season 5.  Dwight and Michael conducted corporate espionage against Prince Family Paper.  Pam and Michael hit the lecture circuit.  Stanley had a heart attack.  Michael’s golden ticket promotion blew up in his face.  I always say that this show started to go downhill after the third season but Season 5 was actually pretty good.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

This week’s episode was actually kind of charming, as it featured Granville dancing in the rain while holding a mop.  For a second, it seemed like Granville might be something other than incredibly depressed. It didn’t last long but it was still good to see him vaguely smile.  Of course, once the rain stopped, it was time to go back to plotting Arkwright’s death.

Saved By The Bell (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

I watched two episodes on Sunday morning.  The first one featured Zack launching a hostile takeover of the student store and then secretly photographing all of the girls for a calendar.  That was kind of icky but at least Kelly got a modeling career out of it.  She even went to Paris, something that was never mentioned in subsequent episodes.  This was followed by the infamous Running Zack episode, in which Zack learned he was Native American and Jessie demanded that Lisa forgive her for being from a family of slave traders.  The important thing is that Zack was able to compete at the track meet.  So cringey!

Silk Stalkings (Weekday Afternoons, ZLiving)

Agck!  Where are Chris and Rita!?  It’s been over a month since I last caught any episodes of this 90s cop show.  I watched two episodes on Friday and Rob Estes and Mitzi Kapture were gone!  Apparently, they left the show and were replaced by two other cops who had the exact same backstory as Chris and Rita.  What a coincidence!  Anyway, the show still featured the same mix of murder, sex, and attractive people getting undressed but these new detectives just didn’t have the same chemistry.

That said, both of Friday’s episodes were enjoyably sordid, featuring a lot of sem-clad, attractive rich people doing a lot of very bad things.  It was fun!  I may have to start binging this show.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

This week’s episode was a bit by-the-numbers.  Even Chris Hardwick seemed to be struggling to pretend to be interested in either Fear the Walking Dead or Walking Dead: World Beyond, which was odd since both of those shows were fairly good this week.

Walking Dead: The World Beyond (Sunday Night, AMC)

This week’s episode was actually pretty good.  It still feels like Christopher Pike’s The Walking Dead (or maybe Saved By The Dead) but this week’s episode actually did a good job of capturing the contrast between wanting to be a teenager while, at the same time, having to survive in a world that leaves you with little time to actually grow up.

Horror TV Show Review: Day Of The Dead 1.1 “The Thing In The Hole” (dir by Steven Kostanski)


First off, you may be looking at this review and thinking, “Someone’s a little late.”

Yes, I am.  Thank you for pointing that out.  I’m sure you’ve never had a busy week either.

That said, despite the fact that you shouldn’t have pointed it out, it is true that Day of the Dead premiered last Friday and it was only today that I finally got around to watching it on the DVR.  That wasn’t necessarily intentional on my part.  I just haven’t had a chance to sit down and really watch it or any other shows until tonight.  In fact, ever since I first saw the commercials for the show on SyFy, I’ve been looking forward to watching it.  Even though it looked like yet another Walking Dead rip-off, the fact that it was on SyFy held some promise as SyFy’s shows usually move quickly and feature lots of carnage.  If AMC always seems as if it’s trying too hard to turn its zombie franchise into a prestige factory, SyFy promises the opposite approach.

The show is named after George Romero’s Day of the Dead, which featured a group of survivors trying to ride out the zombie apocalypse in an underground bunker.  While the first episode did feature zombies and an anti-fracking plotline that felt like it could have come from one of Romero’s later films, it otherwise didn’t have much in common with Romero’s classic shocker.  The zombie apocalypse did start about halfway through the episode and apparently the show is going to focus on a group of people trying to survive the end of the world but, during the first episode, there was no bunker.  There was no Dr. Logan.  No one shouted “Choke on them” while his intestines were being devoured.  There was, however, some underground scenes due to the whole fracing subplot and there is a sinister character named Rhodes so I imagine we’ll be heading for some sort of underground bunker soon.  I guess we’ll find out over the course of the next few episodes.

After opening with an exciting flashforward the featured plenty of undead chaos, the first episode focused on election day in the town of Mawinhaken.  Mayor Paula Bowman (Miranda Frigon) is concerned about getting reelected but the election is brought to halt when the dead suddenly rise up from their graves and start eating all of the voters.  I got the feeling that we were meant to dislike Mayor Bowman because she’s an ambitious politician who has apparently put her career before her family but, as far as I’m concerned, Mayor Bowman was the best character on the show.  No sooner have the dead arisen than she’s running around with a gun and blowing them away while saying stuff like, “Second amendment, motherfucker!”  Hell yeah!  Plus, she has a great name.  Mayor Bowman has a nice ring to it….

(But if I was mayor, would I still have time to watch and review Lifetime films?  That’s the question.)

As for the rest of the characters …. well, there’s a lot of them.  Hopefully, a few of them will get eaten during the next episode because, otherwise, it’s going to be a struggle to keep everyone straight.  I did like Keenan Tracy, who played Cam McDermott, the son of a police detective who mows lawns to bring in extra money.  The scene where he mowed over the dead as they rose from their graves was a highlight of the episode.  Otherwise, the characters felt a bit interchangeable.  The only woman working on the fracking crew is former special forces.  The mortuary assistant is sarcastic.  There’s two bullies who like to give Cam a hard time.  They all made just enough of an impression that I can remember that they’re on the show but I’d by lying if I said any of them jumped out at me the way that Mayor Bowman and Lawnmower Cam did.

Anyway, it was a good enough first episode.  The action moved quickly and the zombies were gruesome without being quite as icky as the decaying corpses that pop up on The Walking Dead.  So far, the Day of the Dead zombies appear to move faster than the Walking Dead zombies and that’s definitely an improvement.  It’s probably debatable whether or not, at this point, there’s anything new that can be done with whole zombie apocalypse thing but I’ll definitely give Day of the Dead a chance to show me what it has in mind.

4 Shots From 4 George Romero Films: Night of the Living Dead, The Amusement Park, The Crazies, Day of the Dead


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

This October, we’ve been using 4 Shots from 4 Films to pay tribute to some of our favorite horror filmmakers!  Today, we honor the father of modern horror, George Romero!

4 Shots From 4 George Romero Films

Night of the Living Dead (1968, dir by George Romero)

The Amusement Park (1973, dir by George Romero)

The Crazies (1973, dir by George Romero)

Day of the Dead (1985, dir by George Romero)

 

4 Shots From 4 Steve Miner Films: Friday the 13th Part II, House, Lake Placid, Day of the Dead


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

This October, we’re using this feature to recognize and honor some of our favorite horror directors!  Today, we honor the one and only Steve Miner!

4 Shots from 4 Films

Friday the 13th Part II (1981, dir by Steve Miner)

House (1985, dir by Steve Miner)

Lake Placid (1999, dir by Steve Miner)

Day of the Dead (2008, dir by Steve Miner)

16 Trailers In Honor of George Romero


One year ago today, George Romero passed away.  In honor of his memory, here’s a very special edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film trailers!

In tribute George Romero, here are the trailers for every film Romero directed.  Enjoy!

  1. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

2. There’s Always Vanilla (1971)

3. Season of the Witch (1973)

4. The Crazies (1973)

5. Martin (1978)

6. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

7. Knightriders (1981)

8. Creepshow (1982)

9. Day of the Dead (1985)

10. Monkey Shines (1988)

11. Two Evil Eyes (1990)

12. The Dark Half (1993)

13. Bruiser (2000)

14. Land of the Dead (2005)

15. Diary of the Dead (2007)

16. Survival of the Dead (2009)

Rest in peace, George Romero.

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special George Romero Edition


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films is all about letting the visuals do the talking.

This October, I am going to be using our 4 Shots From 4 Films feature to pay tribute to some of my favorite horror directors, in alphabetical order!  That’s right, we’re going from Argento to Zombie in one month!

Today’s director is one of the most important names in the history of American horror cinema, George Romero!

4 Shots From 4 Films

Night of the Living Dead (1968, dir by George Romero)

Dawn of the Dead (1978, dir by George Romero)

Day of the Dead (1985, dir by George Romero)

Land of the Dead (2005, dir by George Romeo)

Review: The Walking Dead S4E04 “Indifference”


TheWalkingDeadS4

“You can’t be afraid to kill.” — Carol Peletier

This week the godfather of the zombie genre was interviewed and the question of The Walking Dead was brought up. Well, it would seem that George A. Romero turned down the offer to direct a couple of episodes of The Walking Dead. His answer was that the show was really just a soap opera with the occasional zombie. His answer hasn’t sit well with fans of the show while those who have been major critics and detractors of it feel content at hearing their argument validated. Yet, it’s those very words that probably just gave the best answer as to why The Walking Dead the show continues to get huge ratings and just gain more and more fans with each new season…with each new episode.

Yes, it is a soap opera with zombies and we all know just how ridiculously popular soap operas can be when it hits a particular button with the general public. I think the writers and producers of the show know this to be true.

“Indifference” marks the fourth episode of the new season and it focuses on that very soap opera-ish aspect of the show that Romero spoke about in his interview. Yet, as the show delves more on the character interactions and conflicts with this episode it does so minus the flaws from past attempts which led to nowhere and no growth for the characters involved. Tonight’s episode explores the theme of not just the indifference which has settled on some of the survivors but also the concept of entropy which the zombie apocalypse itself has ultimately brought to the world from it’s very onset.

We see the time spent between Carol and Rick during this episode a battle of wills between two characters who become integral part of the groups survival dynamics since season 1. Yet, we see only true growth with Carol in this season. She has come a long way from the meek, silent abused housewife from season 1 to a battle-hardened leader-type who’s willing to make the difficult decision in behalf of the group. This used to be Rick’s role in the past three season, but the burden of leadership seemed to have weighed too much on this father of two. His decision during the timeskip to stop being the group’s leader and just become a farmer looks more and more like the very indifference and entropy tonight’s episode has been exploring.

Does Carol’s actions in killing both Karen and David make her out to be villain or does it just goes to show that she’s learned not to be afraid to kill if it means saving the rest of the group. She knows that what she did many wouldn’t understand, but she also knows that Karen and David were already dead and a danger to everyone. Her decision to unilaterally kill the two might have been correct when thought through logically, but Rick doesn’t see it that way. His reaction and decision to exile Carol was Rick’s emotional and attempt to hold onto the concept of humanity for the sake of Carl and Judith. Even as he drives away he understand that his decision might be wrong, but his narrow vision on trying to protect his children from calculated and logical decisions was another form of Rick’s indifference at the world as it is now and not as he wants it to be.

There’s change coming on the show’s group dynamics and we just don’t see it between Carol and Rick, but just as important between Tyreese and the rest of the scavenging group, Bob and Daryl and between Daryl and Michonne. We see Tyreese’s continue his change from the compassionate survivor who confessed to not having the stomach to killing the zombies day in and day out. His inconsolable rage from losing Karen (to a certain extent one of his last grasps in keeping his humanity) has made him a liability as he loses focus in his rage. yet, it’s this very indifference to whether he lives or dies that could become Tyreese’s ultimate wake-up call to become a better survivor in the long-run. The same couldn’t be said for Bob who we find out has already seen two groups of survivors not make it through with him being the only survivor. Just like Rick he has retreated back from trying to make things work through the very bottle he himself confessed probably killed Zach in the season’s premiere episode.

The show has improved from season to season. Season 4 looks to be more focused than seasons past. It still has some problems with having too many characters who do nothing but act as cannon fodder and/or plot devices (example Ana and Sam just for tonight’s episode). But even with the show looking like it’s just about talking and more talking it still manages to move the story forward when in the past it led things in circles. Yes, it’s this very dialogue-heavy and interpersonal conflicts that gives the show it’s soap opera label, but this season it’s this very drama that has made it very interesting on top of entertaining.

While Romero’s decision to turn down directing episodes of the show was based on this very soap opera-ish part of the show one has to remember that zombie fiction, even Romero’s very own classic films from Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead to Day of the Dead lived off of the very soap opera-like narrative and conflicts that The Waling Dead just happens to use and mine with each new episode. I don’t think the show will ever shed this part of it’s storytelling style. It’s a major appeal to the legion of fans who love and follow the show. It’s both a pro and con for the series. The question that continues to be explored with each new episode is whether Scott M. Gimple as the series’ new showrunner will be able to sustain this pace and not lose it in the end the way Mazzara did in season 3.

Notes

  • Tonight’s episode, “Indifference”, was directed by Tricia Brock and written by Matt Negrete.
  • A great cold opening with Carol doing her best warrior-mom role to make sure Lizzie doesn’t fear what needs to be done to survive. All the while this is happening we see Rick walking through the crime scene of Karen and David’s death and imagining just exactly how Carol did the deed.
  • Tyreese is really raging in tonight’s episode and doesn’t bode well for his long-term well-being if he continues to put the rest of the group in danger.
  • It looks like tonight’s episode will only use a small part of the cast which should keep irrelevant interactions to a bare minimum.
  • Bob confesses to having to bear witness to two previous groups of survivors he’s been a part of lose their fight against the zombies (and maybe other humans). I know that there’s been no sign of the Governor since the final episode of last season, but could Bob be talking of having been part of the Woodbury group.
  • We get two new redshirts in tonight’s episode with the very happy and wanting to help to a fault Ana and Sam. The story they told Rick and Carol about how they’ve survived in the housing community for so long sounds credible enough, but one could see Rick and Carol (especially Rick) not believing most of what’s being told to them.
  • It will be interesting to see how Rick will explain to the group in the prison (and to Daryl) just exactly what happened to Carol and whether he will tell them the truth of why she’s not with them anymore.
  • Talking Dead Guests: WWE wrestler Chris Jericho and Community‘s own Britta, Gillian Jacobs.

Season 4

Let’s Second Guess The Academy: Best Picture 1985


Jonathan Pryce in Brazil

Last week, we reconsidered whether or not The Hurt Locker deserved the title of Best Picture of 2009.

This week, let’s go back to the year of my birth, 1985.  According to the Motion Picture Academy, the five best films of the year were:

1) Steven Spielberg’s controversial adaptation of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple,

2) Witness, a film about a tough cop (Harrison Ford) who hides out with the Amish,

3) Kiss of the Spider Woman, one of the first independent films to ever be nominated for best picture,

4) Prizzi’s Honor, a darker than dark Mafia comedy from John Huston that starred Jack Nicholson,

and finally,

5) Out of the Africa, the film that was eventually named best picture of 1985.

Despite its victory at the Oscars, Out of Africa hasn’t aged well.  If any year seems to be worthy of a little second guessing, it would certainly be 1985.  If you were a member of the Academy in 1985, which nominee would you have voted for?  Personally, I would have voted for Witness.  How about you?

Now, here comes the fun part.  Let’s say that Out of Africa wasn’t released in 1985.  Let’s say that Steven Spielberg never made The Color of Purple and that Jack Nicholson refused to star in Prizzi’s Honor.  Let’s say that none of the five nominated film had been eligible in 1985.  Which films would you have nominated in their place?

You can vote for five of the film listed below and yes, we do accept write-ins!

(Incidentally, I voted for Brazil, The Breakfast Club, To Live and Die In L.A., The Purple Rose of Cairo, and Insignificance.)