Monday, October 17, 2011

Walking Dead

Great season opener. I think it was all us fans could be hoping for - delivers the gross outs, but is still mostly about the human characters and their interactions and drama.

Minor factual / tactical peeves:

Why does the church still have ELECTRICAL power (for the bell)?

How does a woodchuck skull , intact, fit down a human esophagus?

(Recurring problem) - How do you get spattered all over your face with zombie blood and not be infected?

Why would Andrea still be noisily trying to put the gun together, when she knows how imperative it is she stay quiet, and she knows she has no clue how it goes together?

Where is Tyrese?!

ADDED (after several people reminded me) - That's an RC type cross in a church that was labelled "Baptist."

But as I say - these are minor quibbles - the proof is in how we love and care (or hate and wish ill upon) the human characters. I'm wondering if they're gearing up for Shane not being killed, they're making him seem so sympathetic (and Lori such a bitch toward him).

And I think so far at least, Season 2 is in line with my analysis in this awesome essay collection you should run out and get to read as you're watching the series. The whole first episode is occupied with protecting children (at huge risk to the rest of the group), re-establishing marital bonds, and getting rid of Shane as a threat (as non-violently as possible, so far). The only possible exception is that Dale looks like a bit of a pill, whereas in the comics he's heading toward hooking up with Andrea.

The whole church thing was interesting, if a little heavy handed. No one remarked on why zombies were there, worshipping Jesus, and I think that would've been the more interesting part, rather than having a couple of the human characters go in and say (rather predictably) "Why God?!"


Blogger John W. Morehead said...

The church scene was interesting for me too. I could have sworn the group passed a sign on the way to the church that identified it as a Southern Baptist church, yet inside there was a large crucifix at the front, a very Roman Catholic type of item.

Why were the zombies in the church? My guess flashed back to Romero's Dawn of the Dead where the explanation was that they did what they did in life. Perhaps these zombies were former church goers now going through the motions of the past.

But I don't think the church was depicted as having power. It did provide a place for some of the cast seeking solace, a place for prayer, and guidance. But the divine presence seemed weak if not absent altogether. Rick Grimes prayed for a sign, only to find his son shot at the conclusion of the episode. And in a scene from another episode I've seen, one of the cast complains that "all this hopin' and prayin'" is getting the group nowhere. In the world of The Living Dead, we seem to have Romero's nihilistic worldview as a backdrop.

10:12 AM  
Blogger John W. Morehead said...

The church was an interesting scene for me as well. As the group approached the building I thought I saw a sign that identified it as a Southern Baptist church, and yet there was a large crucifix inside. Very Roman Catholic, not very Protestant.

Why were there zombies in the church? I'd go back to Romero's Dawn of the Dead for the answer: they are doing in death the routines they had in life.

But in my view the church is not portrayed as having any power in The Walking Dead. If anything, God is weak or absent altogether. While some of the cast fears the zombie apocalypse represents God's judgment, whether personal or corporate, God seems irrelevant and silent to others. Consider Rick Grimes and his petition for a sign from God that he's on the right path, and his desires for help in providing hope. At the conclusion of the episode his petition is rewarded with his son getting shot.

In the Walking Dead it seems that we have Romero's nihilistic worldview played out as a backdrop.

10:20 AM  
Blogger KPaffenroth said...

Ha - I meant the mundane "power" of electricity!

10:24 AM  

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