intertribal: (one-two-punch)
[personal profile] intertribal
I finally got with the internet and tuned in to The Walking Dead last night.  It is certainly a tension-filled show.  But for the most part I was left feeling sort of turned off - I think maybe I've just overdosed on too many immediately-after-the-apocalypse scenarios.  I used to be really, really into the genre, back when I first saw 28 Days Later.  But I've become more and more frustrated with what I see as the genre's common pitfalls (like Hooray for Patriarchy, and Lucky Token People, and Good Vs. Evil).  I recently watched the first season of the (canceled) BBC show Survivors - which, when I first heard of it last year, really intrigued me - and just had to stop because I couldn't take it anymore: the succession of deliberately-crafted morality plays (it's like everyone wants to write their own Left Behind according to their own personal, political, and religious compass), the very hammy acting, the predictable ups and downs of the survivors' emotions. 

Survivors is definitely worse than The Walking Dead.  So I wonder if my un-enthusiasm for this critically-acclaimed show means that this type of post-apocalypse scenario just isn't my thing anymore.  I still got a real kick out of Pontypool, but Pontypool was very, very different.  No guns in Pontypool.  No foraging.  No emergency transportation.  No strangers thrown together, even, just co-workers.  Contagion - which is what I really like about zombie movies - remains.

Or maybe I just need to take a break from massive apocalypses.  I'll probably keep watching The Walking Dead, but with lowered expectations.

Date: 2010-11-08 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm having fun with the show. I'm waiting for the confrontation between deputy Rick and his old partner. The kid from last night's episode was a really neat character. I loved the grin on his face when he was flat out hauling down the interstate in that car.

The only thing I'm tired of with these scenarios is the amount of nihilistic gore. Last nights episode was great because Rick goes through that guy's wallet before going to work on him with the axe. It made the zombies human again, rather than just splatter-fare.

You mentioned Survivors, and though I watched the entire season, it sorta got old (fast) when they kept running into the same people and letting them get away with the same stuff. Over. And over. And. Over.

For post-apoc, I enjoyed much of season 1 of Jericho, but by season 2, it turned into a total mess. The nutbaggers should have just let them cancel it while it was still somewhat decent.

Date: 2010-11-08 04:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, Glen was the only character I cared about, and I spent the whole episode basically hoping he wouldn't die. Unfortunately I'm guessing the only characters that are guaranteed to survive are Rick and his son. I'm also curious as to how the battle of the alpha males is resolved (I'm guessing Rick "wins"), but I'm not really having fun with it yet.

Survivors was really the worst of this type of show that I've ever seen - such half-assed characterization and plotting. I saw the first couple episodes of Jericho on SyFy, but it didn't intrigue me enough to seek out more.

Date: 2010-11-08 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Pontypool was great -- it's the only recent horror-ish movie I've seen that doesn't treat its viewers as dim children. The post-apocalyptic shows can just go and die. I know we're grading on the curve here, but there's simply no subtlety. Either the writers aren't very bright, or they don' think the viewers are very bright or (most likely) some combination of both.

Date: 2010-11-08 05:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh snap indeed! But I'm starting to come around to that position too. You're right that there's no subtlety. I think part of the problem with post-apocalyptic stuff is that it provides a really easy slide toward preachiness (for almost any quadrant of the political spectrum), especially if the emphasis is on survival. Because then it's basically just Social Darwinism Hey-O.

Date: 2010-11-08 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yep! Thanks for the Pontpool rec way back when, it was a keeper!

Date: 2010-11-08 05:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know what you mean about worrying about getting sick of a whole type of story. I find myself feeling that way about more and more fantasy, and then I'm like, but heeeey, this is my genre. I can't not-like it. I guess in my case, there are still plenty of works I like, just others that--at least in prospect (i.e., when other people are describing them)--don't excite me.

Date: 2010-11-08 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hahaha, exactly! That's my relationship with horror to a T, pretty much. Sometimes I feel like I go too easy on horror movies (esp. if they hit on something I really like), but there's a whole slew of horror that I just get "rarrarrar" about, and that I feel like I should stick up for because hey, it's horror, it's in the mainstream, etc. But eh, I think it's okay to like "stories" instead of "genres."

Date: 2010-11-08 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was decidedly unimpressed with the comic series and thus haven't tried the show--the comic's creator made much of how The Walking Dead was going to be totally different from others of its ilk--and then was just a pedestrian, by-the-numbers zombie apocalypse series without much to recommend it. I heard it improved way down the line around graphic novel five or six, but that's too much plodding for me to get through in the hope that things will get out of their rut. I think there's still life in zombies (ho ho!) but this ain't it.

Date: 2010-11-08 05:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have not read the comic, but I haven't read many comics. Right now I'm afraid The Walking Dead is going to turn into The Strain*, but with zombies. And I do have a soft spot for zombies, is the thing.

* The Strain formula for apocalypses - Hero Man + His Boy-Hero Son + bitchy ex-wife (who dies/becomes a monster) + bitchy ex-wife's new not-a-man boyfriend (who dies) + New Girlfriend!

Date: 2010-11-09 12:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm digging the show so far. Glenn was a breath of fresh air last night.

Mark my words, yo. Rick will return and follow through on his "We're all human" philosophy and rescue the turd-in-the-punchbowl Merle Dixon.

And, I mean, I get the dramatic irony of Rick's wife lovin' her some deputy-dawg friend and such, but that dude is a jerk. If he'd leave ol' girl's sister to hang and fend for herself back on Hotlanta, he'd do any of 'em that way.

And you get superplus awesome points for your entry's allusion to the Far Side cartoon if I'm catching your drift.

P.S.--Much love for Pontypool.

Date: 2010-11-09 12:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's not bad for what it is.

Wait, what's the dramatic irony there? And yeah, clearly Shane is a douche, and Rick is the hero. We're painting in very broad strokes here, except for the side characters that aren't as fleshed out yet. Hooray side characters!

And yes, the title is a reference to the Far Side! Good on you for noticing! *is obsessed with the Far Side*

Date: 2010-11-09 12:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just meant that Ricky Boy will enter a crap-pot of a mess domestically if they follow through on the sub-plot of wife-thinks-he's-dead-loves-on-Shane bit. OR maybe they're already grasping what's up as characters and the writers haven't shown us enough backstory yet. Maybe Shane really *is* such a douche he was hooking up with Lori from before ZOMGEOTWAWKI.

But, yeah, more side characters because I loves me some ensemble casting in pieces like TWD.

Far Side--ah, the comic strip staff of life.

Oh, by the by, . . .

Date: 2010-11-09 12:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love side characters when I can't stand the main characters... I can't quite make myself root for the zombies yet, though it may get to that point. But that means I'm in a state of perpetual anguish because the side characters are the ones that are actually in danger!

Yeah, I heard about the second season. It's very popular, so, good move on AMC's part. They have certainly stepped up to becoming a more available HBO/SHO.


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