Tag Archive for The Wire

The Walking Dead Recap: “30 Days Without an Accident” (Season 4, Episode 1)

Truth be told, I was frustrated enough with season 3 of AMC’s behemoth success The Walking Dead that I kind of forgot-on-purpose that it resurrected on Sunday. After all, Scandal, Revenge, and American Horror Story also started again recently…and frankly, I’ve found those to be more entertaining on the whole. Let’s not talk about my other television habits.

The season 4 opener is directed by horror makeup legend Greg Nicotero, and it starts the season off on the right foot. It re-establishes the old, points out the new, and throws into motion an important chain of events that (if we’re lucky and the writers do theirs jobs) may keep up the momentum. Rick’s community, which now includes the survivors of Woodbury, has a small farm outside the prison. They lead a relatively staid and unexciting life; everyone has chores and duties, whether they be clearing out the sow’s trough or poking the walkers with sharp things through the chain-link. The farm is, for lack of a better term, the new normal.


Carol and Daryl are my favorite. (Photo courtesy Gene Page/AMC)

As I wrote in my recap of the season three finale, “Rick, stumbling through his own personal hell, hasn’t bothered to notice that his kid isn’t a kid anymore.” The season 3 finale arranged Carl and Rick to be completely at odds over the importance of mercy and the significance of “having a childhood.” Season 4 is puttering right along on that arc. Carl has undergone the beginnings of puberty since last season: his voice has lowered, his hair lengthened, his face hardened into a teenager’s pout. He named the prison sow Violet, and Rick chastises him that he shouldn’t name the animals – they aren’t long for this world. Rick says, “Do your chores, read comics, maybe read a book, go to story time!” Rick says softly. “Dad, that’s for kids,” Carl protests. “Yeah,” Rick agrees. He’s all but begging Carl to be a kid. Read more

Blog: Discussion: The Best TV of the Last Fifteen Years (5/4/10)

TV: Is it making us dumber, and how is it changing? (Aside from the fact that the one pictured is totally obsolete.)

Confession: I don’t enjoy American sitcoms. I hate the laugh tracks, the halogen lighting, the goofy scene changes, and the heartwarming music that always plays when Betty learns an IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON. I do not like “Friends,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Seinfeld,” or “Frasier.” The hilarious hijinx and capers characters get up to just aren’t my thing, and the family-oriented format of most TV doesn’t allow writers to tackle subject matter that’s interesting to me. It took until college to realize I hate the series format, in which one episode doesn’t lead to the next. I prefer the serial format wherein you can’t miss an episode without completely losing track of the show’s trajectory. Luckily TV has changed drastically in the last few years, seemingly to fit people like me!

There are exceptions to the sitcom rule, of course. I don’t mind watching “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” and if “Scrubs” is on I won’t change the channel. “Roseanne” is one of the best written sitcoms out there, and I’ll fight you on it. Despite Roseanne Barr’s obnoxiously nasal voice, those were reasonable characters who lived a middle-class life and responded to situations the way, you know, real people would (I also related to Darlene the same way I related to MTV’s Daria). “Community” is hilarious (also, notably doesn’t feature a laugh track). Good writing + Danny Pudi + Joel McHale = a winner.

McHale and Pudi in “Community.”

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