Goodbye, Rick Grimes: Andrew Lincoln Is Leaving The Walking Dead


According to Collider, the next season of The Walking Dead will be Andrew Lincoln’s last.  After eight seasons as the star of The Walking Dead, Lincoln is apparently ready to move on and that means that The Walking Dead is about to lose Rick Grimes.

Of course, the television show began with Rick Grimes waking up from a coma and finding himself in a world that was far different from the one that he remembered.  In the early seasons especially, Rick stood-in for the audience.  We discovered the realities of the zombie apocalypse at the same time that Rick did.  When we were upset over the death of a character, Rick got upset with us.  When Rick hoped that a new, better world could somehow be created from the ruins of the old, we hoped along with him.  Among an ensemble cast that was filled with talent, Andrew Lincoln was the often underappreciated anchor that held the show’s narrative together.

Of course, many would argue that the show lost its way over the last few seasons.  I certainly would.  As the show grew more inconsistent, so did Rick’s character.  Often times, it seemed like Rick’s personality would change from episode to episode, depending on what the show was trying to accomplish that week.  It’s hard not to feel that, as an actor, Andrew Lincoln deserved better than to have to spend the majority of season seven in a nearly catatonic state, silently suffering as Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan devoured every inch of scenery.

And yet, Andrew Lincoln was always good.  Sometimes, the scripts were weak.  Sometimes, Rick was required to do things that didn’t make much sense.  But, through it all, Lincoln remained the anchor.  For all intents and purposes, he was The Walking Dead.

In much the same way that Lost simply had no choice but to end with Jack Shepherd sacrificing his life on the island, I’ve always felt that The Walking Dead had little choice but to end with Rick dying.  The show has always been his story and it’s always seemed that, when Rick’s life ended, so would the show.  Of course, the perfect ending would have been for Rick to die and Carl to pick up the mantle of leadership.  Unfortunately, Carl’s dead so that’s not going to happen.

(I realize that the Collider article stated that Lincoln was leaving the show and not that Rick was going to be killed off.  But, honestly, it’s hard to imagine this show not milking Rick’s death for all the drama that it can.  And, at this point, it would feel like a cop out not to kill him.  That’s just not the way things work in the world of The Walking Dead.)

Who will take over as the new leader on The Walking Dead?  Maggie was an obvious choice but Lauren Cohan just had a pilot picked up by ABC.  (Of course, there’s no guarantee that the ABC series will be a success.  For one thing, it’s entitled Whiskey Cavalier, which is one of the stupidest titles I’ve ever come across.)  Norman Reedus just managed to get himself a nice pay raise, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Daryl become even more prominent.  Or Negan might suddenly turn into a good guy and become the new leader.  Who knows?  About the only thing we can say for sure is that, with Carl dead and Rick leaving, the show is inevitably going to move further away from the comic that inspired it.

Though they’re two very different shows, it’s hard for me not to compare Andrew Lincoln leaving The Walking Dead to Steve Carell leaving The Office.  Let’s just hope that Rick’s replacement won’t be Andy Bernard.

Finally, in honor of the legacy Rick Grimes…

Those schoolgirl days of telling tales and biting nails are gone
But in my mind I know they will still live on and on
But how do you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume?
It isn’t easy, but I’ll try
If you wanted the sky I would write across the sky in letters
That would soar a thousand feet high ‘To Sir, With Love’
The time has come for closing books and long last looks must end
And as I leave I know that I am leaving my best friend
A friend who taught me right from wrong and weak from strong
That’s a lot to learn, but what can I give you in return?
If you wanted the moon I would try to make a start
But I would rather you let me give my heart ‘To Sir, With Love’

TV Review: The Walking Dead 8.9 “Honor” (dir by Greg Nicotero)


So, has everyone seen the latest episode of The Walking Dead?  If not, why are you reading this review?  I ask because, on another site that I write for, I’ve got two people bitching at me for revealing too many spoilers about the shows that I review and, as a result, I felt the need to post an apology to those people.  As far as apologies go, it was fairly passive-aggressive and I’d hate to have to be that insincere on this site.  So, in other words, if you haven’t watched the latest episode of The Walking Dead, don’t read this review.  Thanks!

(Okay, I think I’ve rambled on long enough that anyone who didn’t want spoilers should have left by now.)

On Sunday night, the eighth season of AMC’s The Walking Dead resumed and oh my God, I have got such mixed feelings about what I just watched.  Before I go any further, allow me to share something that I tweeted back in April of 2017:

In other words, I can’t say that I’m shocked that Carl’s dead.  In fact, to a certain extent, I kind of respect the show for following through as opposed to coming up with some last-minute contrivance to allow Carl to live.  At the same time, I do think that the death of Carl has robbed the show of some potentially intriguing future storylines.  In the comic, Carl is still alive and he’s even bonded a bit with Negan.  During Season 7, the show seemed to be laying the foundation for that storyline but apparently, Negan’s going to have to bond with some other kid now.  Maybe Henry.  Maybe Judith.

I guess the main thing that bothers me about Carl’s death is that I really do feel that it was mostly due to the fact that the show’s pace has slowed down to such an extent that Chandler Riggs was getting too old to play the role. The Walking Dead has been on the air for 8 seasons but how many years have actually passed in the show?  It’s hard to say but really, it doesn’t seem like Carl should be any older than 14 or maybe 15.  Meanwhile, Chandler Riggs is closing in on 19.  It’s hard not to feel that the show’s producers decided to kill Carl off rather than maybe just wrap up a few storylines and have season 9 open with a “Four years after the defeat of the Saviors” title card.

Myself, I’ve frequently gotten annoyed with Carl as a character, even though I’ve always appreciated Chandler Riggs’s performance.  That said, Carl was one of the few characters left on the show with room to grow.  Rick is never going to change.  If Negan does become the friendly gardener that we saw in Carl’s fantasy, it’s going to have more to do with expedience than anything else.  Carl, though, was still discovering who he was and what he believed.  The majority of the characters have spent the last three or four seasons in a rut.  By virtue of being young, Carl was one of the few characters who actually had a chance of breaking out of that rut.

I mean, to be absolutely honest, I always assumed that the show would end with Carl shooting Rick before he could reanimate.  If you go all the way back to season 1, that’s the ending that the show has appeared to be logically building up to.  Now, I guess Judith will have to do it.

As for the episode itself … again, my feelings were mixed.  This episode was determined to wring every last drop of emotion out of Carl’s passing.  When it worked, it was largely due to the performances of Riggs, Danai Gurira, and the always underrated Andrew Lincoln.  At the same time, there was a part of me that started to resent just how much the show dragged out Carl’s death.  I know that AMC likes to do “super-sized” episodes of The Walking Death but, in this case, I think this episode would have been more effective if it had just been an hour.  Yes, that single gunshot was heart-rendering but, up until I heard it, there was a part of me that feared the show was planning to drag Carl’s death out over the entire rest of the season.

While Carl was dying, Carol, Morgan, and a few other people went off to rescue Ezekiel.  Gavin, who was always one of the most obnoxious of the Saviors, is now dead and yay for that.  Morgan has apparently decided that he’s okay with killing people again.  Morgan also apparently now has Jason Voorhees-style super strength.

It wasn’t a bad episode, though it certainly didn’t carry the power that it would have carried if it had happened during the fourth or fifth season.  On the one hand, I’ve always appreciated the fact that anyone can die on The Walking Dead.  On the other hand, characters die so frequently (and then pop up on the Talking Dead to say goodbye) that it’s now easy to get cynical about the whole thing.

In fact, it may be too early to say whether The Walking Dead handled Carl’s death the right way.  It depends on how this all plays out.  Will the show use Carl’s death as an excuse to go off in an unexpected direction or will we promptly get back to Negan chuckling and Rick giving speeches?  I’m actually looking forward to next week, just because I’m interested in seeing which Rick we’re going to get.  Are we going to get the crazy Rick who appeared after Lori died or are we going to get the catatonic Rick who showed up after Negan executed Abraham and Glenn?  Or maybe it’ll be the return of the Stoic Rick who shot zombie Sophia because he knew he had no other choice.  Which Rick will it be?

We’ll find out next week … hopefully.

 

Lisa’s Favorite 2018 Super Bowl Commercials!


Well, this is quite the quandary.

Usually, at the end of the Super Bowl, I post my ten favorite Super Bowl commercials.  However, this year, most of the commercials were kind of bland.  There were a few that were undoubtedly terrible and tasteless.  I definitely could have done without the commercial that suggested the best way to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. was to buy a pickup truck.  And there were a few commercials that were cute.  Fortunately, we didn’t have any of the condescending “super woke’ commercials that we had to deal with last year.  But, at the same time, there was a general lack of brilliance this year.

In fact, the majority of my favorite Super Bowl commercials were for movies and TV shows.  But I already posted all of those.  Posting them again would be … well, kinda of exhausting.

I was tempted to just not post a favorite commercial list this year but … well, if you know me and my tendency toward compulsive behavior, you know not making a list is never an option with me.

So, here are six commercials that I did like.

1. T-Mobile “Evil Babies Planning On Taking Over The World and Killing Everyone In Their Sleep”

I liked this commercial because it was hella creepy.

2. Doritos Blaze “Don’t Fuck With Peter Dinklage”

3. Mountain Dew Ice “Morgan Freeman: The Cold, Hard Truth”

4. Tide “No Exit”

5. Sprint “Ex Machina Part Two”

6. Solo “Oh my God!  It’s Donald Glover”

Here’s The Super Bowl Commercial for Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan!


This is actually the second Super Bowl commercial to feature John Krasinski.  He’s also the director and (I believe) one of the starts of A Quiet Place.

I’d be lying if I ever said that, while I was watching him on The Office, I ever imagined that John Krasinski would become an action star.  However, it appears that he’s managed to do just that.

Here’s The Super Bowl Spot for Castle Rock!


Castle Rock, the latest big Hulu series, is based on the writings of Stephen King.  This Super Bowl commercial gets things off to the right start by name dropping Shawshank Prison and then going on to create an effectively creepy atmosphere.

(Usually, I tend to be skeptical about Stephen King adaptations but, with the success of both It and Gerald’s Game last year, I’ll be more than happy to take a chance on Castle Rock!)