I was watching The Walking Dead this morning. Actually, I started watching while I was having breakfast; then I paused, and I came here because I wanted to complain about how much it sucks.
("Come here and say that if you dare, asshole!")
I watched The Walking Dead from the beginning. It had a solid, excellent pilot and I was quite intrigued with the idea of a TV series about zombies. I'm not a huge zombie fan -- I love 28 Days Later and I enjoyed John Ajvide Lindqvist's Handling the Undead, but that's about it. Nevertheless, I'm always open to TV series with horror elements, and this one looked like it had potential. Oh, boy, was I wrong.
It's not terrible; it's not completely irredeemable yet. In fact, I'm not even planning on stopping it. (I have a lot of free time, true.) But if it wants to become a good show, not a great show but a good show, then these things need to be corrected. Soon.
#1. It's slow as shit.
I'll give a perfect example of this: in the first episode of the second series, a little girl disappeared. (Don't ask me her name, I don't remember.) Three episodes later, she's still missing and they're nowhere near finding her.
(Nobody cares. Move on.)
Another example: The son (Carl?) gets shot in the first episode. They then spend two entire episodes preparing him for a surgery. They have to get medical supplies, they have to inform the mother, the doctor has to perform the surgery, the dad has to give blood. That takes two episodes. Two episodes! 90 freaking minutes! That's as long as an entire film -- in 90 minutes, the zombie apocalypse would've ended in the cinema. In 90 minutes, the boy would've been in recovery in another series. In 90 minutes, somebody else would've got shot/bitten/killed.
Honestly, I'm not crazy about action. I didn't watch Buffy for the vampire-slaying scenes, and I didn't watch 24 or Prison Break because there was nothing but action scenes. Nevertheless, when the show description includes the word "zombies", you kinda expect there to be some action between the characters and, you know... zombies. So far, out of four episodes, only the first included a horde of zombies and a chasing scene. There's something wrong with that.
And I wouldn't mind it being slow if something else was going on, but the problem is...
#2. It's not about the characters.
Honestly, I don't even remember the names. There's the main cop guy, there's the wife-fucker other cop guy, there's the wife, the two kids (Carl and what's-her-face), there's the Asian does-it-all-with-a-little-whining guy, the old guy, the suicidal blonde, the you-killed-my-brother tough guy and... am I forgetting anyone? Probably. But who. Cares.
I don't remember the dramas that have occurred so far either. All I remember is that the wife slept with the best friend while her husband was in a coma and that the blonde's sister died and now she has no reason to live any more and she hates the old guy for not letting her die in the explosion. (Because there's no other way to kill yourself, apparently.)
(You're surrounded by guns, moron.)
If the series was slow because it was meticulous about its characterisation, I wouldn't mind. (Unless its characterisation was boring as shit.) But right now it's going at snail-speed and it's not developing the characters in any way, either. So far, the only characters I find even remotely interesting are the other cop guy and the dude with the arrow. The rest, as far as I'm concerned, are completely expendable.
#3. It's Plotholes and Ridiculousness 101.
In the first series, they made a huge deal about how vampires can smell you and the only way to walk among them is to mask your odour with zombie blood. (They wasted half a fucking episode chopping up dead bodies and rubbing the guts against their clothes for that, so I'm certain.) A series later, a horde of zombies comes out of nowhere and what the characters do is they hide under cars.
("Didn't you hear? Zombies don't eat car mechanics.
Something about fumes and petrol, I think.")
In the second series, the cop guy and other cop guy decide to stay a little longer in the woods to look for the missing girl (who has apparently borrowed Harry Potter's invisibility cloak). For some unknown and unimaginable reason, cop guy decides that it's a good idea to keep his son around instead of sending him back to the camp with his mum and all the other people who can protect him. Then, as if that wasn't stupid enough, he decides to let him approach a deer that appears out of nowhere to pet him because... it's cute.
("What's the worst thing that could happen, except
a. finding out that the deer is actually a zombie
b. discovering that deer do not like to be touched by strange children and might react
c. getting shot by a guy who can see the deer but not the two grown men behind it?")
I can excuse a few plot holes here and there (I am a Dead Like Me fan, after all), if they're not blatantly obvious, if they're honest mistakes I could make as well or if they don't take too much away from the story. But seriously, this is testing our intelligence, and patience. You tell a child to wait in the bushes so you can kill two zombies, but you can't kill them in proximity? Why? And that child, even though horrified, decides to run off seconds after you tell her to wait there and you'll come get her? What the fuck.
#4. Will you shut up about god already?!
I would expect pseudo-moral lessons from series like Glee, or Desperate Housewives, or Angel. When you watch a TV series about a zombie apocalypse, the last thing you expect is the promotion of moral views and religious values. But alas, according to the Walking Dead, in case of a zombie outbreak, this should be your survival plan:
BELIEVE IN JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Apparently, fighting with all your might is not enough. Unless you got God by your side, your chances at surviving are as slim as an anorexic model-turned-zombie stuck in a room with no exit or food supply for a year.
Thanks a lot, The Walking Dead. I'll keep that in mind for future reference.
(...I now pronounce thee "God".)