Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Walking Dead: Review of Episode 2, "Guts"

By Dread Sockett

Did none of these survivors have any home training before this apocalypse? Have none of the writers or anyone involved with getting this to screen ever spend time on the streets? This episode just kicks your ass unmercifully right into this group of highly unlikable, smack-talking "survivors" and expects you to automatically feel for them. Tell you what, the only feeling I had was to slap all of their asses.

My first impression here was wow...none of these people have ever depended on other people for their survival. I just had a real hard time believing this shit, zombie apocalypse or not. No, I've never been in an apocalypse, but I sure know the other and damn, if you might need someone for your survival, you might try not being an asshole from the second you meet them. It was like only overworked cube farm prisoners survived and they've run out of espresso.

Did none of these people notice this guy has a cop uniform on? Had society broken down that quickly that you would go all Paris Hilton then put a gun in a cop’s face without batting an eyelash? Obviously, he could have scored it along the way and really been a serial killer, but you know, there's how many of you and one of him? Yeah, within the first few minutes I think this group of "survivors" set me off bigtime. So the dude supposedly brought the zombies to their group, considering those among them, I don't think there woulda been much of a loss there.

And wait, wasn't it Glenn who told Rick anyway to make his 15 bullets count before he even left the tank? I sure didn't hear Glenn rush to have Rick's back on that. Yea, you can talk shit over a broadcast ("Hey dumbass.."), but when you're faced with being accountable amongst your new peers (even an "I told him too and forgot about the zombies" might have helped)…

Course, it all makes perfect sense if you think about it, these are the same dipshits who collectively allowed Merle Dixon to stay with them. They're all fine sticking a gun in a potential cop's face and threaten to KILL him but they ALL stand around and do absolutely nothing when the power-hungry, racist dude beats the shit out of one of their Black homies. I went from only having a cursory liking of Rick to being 100% on his side within the first coupla minutes of this episode's opening. This wasn't exactly how I'd hoped to “feel” for this character.

I'll try... try to not lose it on this new character thing that not only veers like a drunk driver from the comics (reel it in guys, you're getting way too Hollywood now), but these tired conflicts – Merle & T-Dog??? The only saving grace to this setup is Michael Rooker (Merle) is a badass, but even he can't elevate this forced-rooftop crisis. It's like someone at the top said, “We need to do some of that, you know, zombie social commentary stuff. Let's be groundbreaking and do something with race, yea, that's deep. Better yet, let's have deliberately diverse survivors and have the racist guy spit out a bunch of racial slurs so everyone knows he's hardcore and that they're supposed to hate him.” Social commentary in zombie films is about the subtext, not spoon feeding.

Now…um…Shane and Lori's…moment. What. The. Hell. I'm trying to reserve judgment on this horrendous detour from the comics until after episode three and I see what they plan on doing with this relationship's noticeably modified set-up. As I've said, I'm cool with changes, but in this case was it really all that necessary to take Lori and her “off-screen” regrettable thing with Shane in the comics and have her straight up banging the dude TV-style as the show's first scene??? Shouldn't we have gotten a chance to see her get to that point, or past that point, with some insight regarding her coping with Rick's death? Should we assume this is how she's dealing with it? Instead the woman is dropped onto the floor of a potentially zombiefied forest gettin' her smooth jazz groove on. This was just sloppy soap opera drama. Damn, I said I wasn't gonna go here, huh? Oops.

I'll be nice and close this with joyous fanboy shouts to the FX. I LOVE THE ZOMBIES here. I have been really amazed with Greg Nicotero's work. Now if we could get the show to have the same consistent excellence that the makeup has, we'd have a bitchin' show. Think of it this way: if the makeup were as uneven as this second episode, you’d see rubber masks every other scene and good prosthetics in-between.

As it is, I'm still eager to see what the next episode's director does and how some of these crackass new ideas pan out. Here's to hoping they work better than this little mess. There really needs to be some hotshit resolution to some of these changes to make some of this pay off, but demanding fanboy that I am, I'm willing to sit it through. Guess we have next episode to see....

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