Wednesday, November 10, 2010

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead "Guts"

    The premiere for "Walking Dead" was spot-on. The pacing of the episode was pitch perfect and I was totally ready for some more zombie action. The previous episode ended on a bit of a cliffhanger with our main character, Rick stuck in a tank surrounded by zombies. Prior to that we got the revelation showing other survivors including Rick's wife, Lori (who's messing around with Rick's former partner/friend Shane) and son, Carl. Seeing this bit made me terribly excited to meet the rest of the cast. So off I went, full steam ahead into episode two.

    This week's episode pretty much cuts back and forth between the survivors stationed in a camp on the outskirts of the city and Rick. It's not long before Rick finds a way out of the tank thanks to the help of Glenn, a baseball cap wearing Asian whom fans of the comic will immediately recognize. We soon meet another bands of survivors (who are also part of the camp) who were lead into the city by Glenn to gather supplies. Among the survivors is Andrea, who has a sister back at the camp waiting for her and immediately blames Rick for the predicament they're in. We also meet one of the show's original characters, a racist, hate-filled redneck named Merle Dixon played by Michael Rooker. I thought I would find this character particularly grating after reading another writer's review on the episode but he was barely in the episode and definitely not enough to make me hate his very existence. But, at the same time, I could have done without his character addition. Rick has a nice little speech that he gives to Merle, to try reason with him but it's to little effect. So they lock Merle up on the roof and pretty much leave him there. Throughout the episode, a black guy named T-Dog battles with his conscious over whether or not he should free Dixon. I really liked the choices his character made regarding Dixon.
What's this guys problem?
     As we cut to the camp we don't get much in the way of content. We have a nice little scene between characters Shane and Rick's wife, Lori as they pretty much get it on in the woods. There's a sad moment where Lori takes off the necklace she's wearing since it reminds her of her husband. Outside of that, we meet Dale and Andrea's sister, Amy who is clearly anxious for her sister to come back. Back in the city, the other survivors are pretty much holed up in a department store surrounded by zombies who are desperately trying to get in. The group comes up with a plan to cover Rick and Glenn in zombie guts so that they can get past the zombies and come back for the rest of them. The scene where they hack up a zombie corpse is equals part disgusting and hilarious. Soon we find Glenn and Rick roaming the streets making their way through the zombie hordes. The scene is very reminiscent of "Shaun of the Dead" but for all intents and purposes, not nearly as comedic. They eventually find vehicles and are able to help the rest of the people escape the city.
Gore was still top-notch!
   Overall though there wasn't a lot going on in this episode. I actually found myself bored throughout most of its running time. There just wasn't enough solid character moments to keep things interesting. I didn't mind the detour in narrative from the comics, but a part of me wishes they stick a little more closely to it in the future. I was extremely excited about meeting the other characters but they just weren't presented in a compelling way. The show started off strong and for me, this episode was a few steps down. But hopes are still high. You can't win em' all.


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