Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Walking Dead: Season Two, Episode Five and Six: Chupacabre and Secrets

I was reviewing one episode at a time this year, grimly slogging through each one, each week. But I fell a bit behind--nearly two weeks behind--so this week you're getting a special treat. Two episodes! Two reviews! One blog post! We're making the mold here, people, and then we're breakin' it! Ka-pow! Look out! You can read the rest of my reviews for this season here, if you want.

"Chupacabre" and "Secrets"

I missed last week's review. You know why?

Because I just don't give a shit. And I don't think I'm alone either. I read a few other sites and they have been doing reviews each week, every week, just like me. But a couple of episodes ago, they started to slow down. A couple of reviewers seemed to have even stopped completely and the few who are still at it are very obviously phoning it in, because they don't seem to have much to say.

And the reason why is obvious: The show is boring.

It's true.

Just like it's true that ever since Frank Darabont's dismissal as showrunner, The Walking Dead has gotten better with each successive episode. But that's faint praise, I'm afraid, considering that 90% of the episodes before his firing were practically unwatchable and definitely go-nowhere and just plain bad, but still... yes, it has been getting better. Unfortuately in this case, the sad reality is: "better" means "boring".


Think about that.

This is a TV show with the basic premise that the world has ended, is now over-run with zombies, and it follows a disparate band of survivors who must stay ever-vigilant or risk joining the legions of undead. The characters live like hunted animals and every day it's kill or be killed. There's terror and death and blood and guts and bullets around every corner. One wrong step and friends, family, loved ones, even they themselves could get infected and turn into a flesh-devouring zombie. The characters could be devoured by the hordes of living dead. They could be killed by any number of desperate and oppurtunistic survivors they run into, or they could just die in general, a tragic result of living life in a world that has suddenly found itself without any kind of support system at all. The tension is high.

And yet, the show is boring. How the fuck does that happen?

Dear Lord, please make something happen... please?

Ok, so Episode 5 is entitled Chupacabre. Why? Well, apparently the group's pet redneck Daryl claims to have seen one once... in Georgia... not Mexico... but whatever. What does this have to do with the episode?

pee-pee break

Pretty much nothing.

Oh, sure, you could say that highlighting this bit of personal history shows that Daryl is prone to hallucinations. You could say that. You could also say that highlighting this piece of personal history shows that Daryl is stupid. Both of which could, at the very least, be considered referential, as this episode focuses on Daryl. It's all about him and how he stupidly ventures out into the woods alone with a single crossbow bolt, trips, falls, and then impales himself on that very same single crossbow bolt and, due to blood loss, hallucinates that his brother Merle is taunting him in a very stereotypical rednecky way as he stumbles home delirious through a forest that is occasionally implied to be full of zombies.

"Tarnation, boy! Sassafrassin' pickup truck! Country music, yee-haw!"

Then! Oh, God! Then, just as he is about home, stupid Andrea--who's biggest character trait now seems to be that she never listens to anybody, flips out, fucks up, and then apologizes--spots him stumbling and thinks he's a walker. Everyone is like: "Don't shoot!" and they go running out there to take the zombie out quietly, you know, so they don't attract more...

See those trees waaaaay back there? That's where Andrea the Idiot is...

And Andrea, being a huge fucking dumbass, ignores everyone, waits for them to get all the way out there and discover that it's not actually a zombie, but a very injured Daryl, AND THEN... she decides to shoot. She shoots between four living people, just misses them, and actually hits Daryl. It's only a flesh wound, of course, because anything that might be out-of-left-field bad and maybe lead to some interesting consquences and story developments... that's bad..., so she doesn't kill him and nothing really comes of the moment. It's just stupid and pointless and so is she, or at least, she's written that way. Which is the real problem with the moment, in my eyes.

This is my least favorite thing ever: Girl-doesn't-know-how-to-shoot humor. Watch for it. Find some horrid, piece-of-trash, terribly written, stupid movie/TV show created by idiots for idiots and at some point, there's usually some sorority chick with a machine gun turning in a circle and screaming and shooting wild and wacky and out-of-control, bullets everywhere, maybe shooting the hero in the butt, maybe taking out the bad guys by accident. Ha! Funny murder... Cameron Diaz has done it.

Katherine Heigel has done it. Jaime Lee Curtis has done it. It's awful. It's stupid. It gets on my last nerve. It drives me insane. It's the worst.

Look at her! She doesn't even know how to hold it! WACKY!

A variation of this unbelievably stupid, sure sign of a terrible show, and the hallmark-of-a-hack-writer moment is this thing with Andrea. It half disguises itself as a "woman of power" moment, but if you look at from any kind of reality, it's actually a "girls are dumb" moment.

They had Peggy Carter do it in the Captain America movie and then put it in the trailer, over and over again, like it was the sassiest fucking thing in the history of the world! She shot at him! With a gun! What if the sheild hadn't worked? How is that funny and not completely psychotically irresponsible? George Romero even included a moment like this is Land of the Dead, where Asia Argento fires a Mini-gun at the hero and wackily takes out a zombie. A mini-gun! They can fire up to 6000 rounds a minute! 6000! Those guns turn people to mist and paste! "But as everyone knows, only a dumb girl would be soooo irresponsible." Screw you! And it's always played for humor. It's insane. It drives me insane. Ugh! I don't get it. And worst of all, no one even chastises Andrea. Everyone is like: Wah-wah-wahhhhhhh! Oh, that Andrea! Oopsey-doopsey-do!

I hate it so much, I wish they had included a scene where they yanked Andrea down off the RV and kicked the unholy crap out of her. That's how much I detest that stupid moment, I wanted them to beat the fuck out of a woman on TV. How awful is that? God, what a terrible show!

Ok, so, yeah... that was pretty much it. Sophia is STILL MISSING! Herschel is still hinting that the group should move on in the most passive aggressive ways he can. Everybody else made dinner and nothing really happened, except Hershel saw Maggie and Glen exchange a "do you want to go have sex? Mark yes or no." note. Which led to the BIG REVEAL:

Glenn decides the dark and foreshadowy barn is a good place for he and Maggie to do it, so he goes out there and discovers Herschel's secret... gasp!

Oingo-boingo was right!

What?!? He's keeping zombies in there? But why? Isn't that ridiculously stupid?

Yes. Yes it is.

Also... who the fuck is this guy?

Welcome to the show, Senor Redshirt!

Ok, so the Sixth Episode, entitled Secrets, is the big one, the second to last episode of the season, the one where all the cards are laid out on the table and all the secrets (see what they did there? So clever...) are finally revealed. It's also a big snoozefest.

Ok, so the episode opens on Glen and he's all "golly gee willickers, I can't keep a secret!" So, first he stumbles around practically wearing a sandwich board advertising the fact that he knows some secrets and then he eventually starts spilling the beans about Lori's pregnancy and the walkers in the barn to Dale, the second worst character on the show--Lori being too firmly entrenched at this point to give up that crown too easily. Dale immediately starts meddling and old-manning about, but nothing comes of it.

The two worst

Maggie gets mad at Glen for telling Dale about the barn, but nothing really comes of it. In fact they do it, I think. I might not have been totally paying attention. I do know they go into town for some stuff for Lori. This is the episode's big drama, folks: Will Lori keep the baby or not? DRAMA! You see, she sent Glenn into town to get some Morning After Pills, despite the fact that they would be completely ineffective at this point in her pregnancy, but hey... the writers can barely string together 42 minutes of coherant story, expecting them to look something up on Google is expecting too much. Anyway, Maggie is still mad at Glenn, because he thinks keeping zombies is really stupid idea just waiting to blow up, while Maggie is an ignorant moron, like her father, who thinks they're just sick or something else too stupid to bother listening to. So she goes stomping off in a huff after bitching at Glenn the milquetoast for a bit and gets attacked by a zombie.

"It hurts when I do this..." Wakka! Wakka! Wakka!

Unfortunately, Glenn saves her, but then Maggie is mad at Lori and chastises her for using "abortion pills" even though that's not what they are. DRAMA! But... nothing comes of it. Then, Rick finds the pills, as Lori is puking them up, and she ends up telling him everything, about the baby and Shane... everything. DRAMA! But don't worry, folks, nothing comes of that either.

There's a "wide stance" joke in here somewhere...

Hey, guess what? Here's a shocker. Sophie is still missing. So, in order to avoid repeating last week's storyline (too late), Shane teaches some of the others about guns, which pretty much seems to amount to him going: "See that? Shoot it. Come on! Shoot it! What's wrong with you? Shoot it!" And guess what? Stupid idiot Andrea shows that she sure can shoot, Yee-haw! She's got a cowboy hat on! So Shane takes Andrea with to go look for Sophia, but all they find are zombies. Newly dead-eye trickshooter Andrea kills a bunch and gets all gooshy in her pants afterwards, so she and Shane do it on the way home. Sexy drama! But Dale finds out and he gets mad at Shane and the two of them threaten each other, oh lordy, do they threaten each other. DRAMA AGAIN!

Luckily, nothing comes of it.

And that's it, the stage is set. The final episode is on in just a few scant days. Will it be as boring as the rest of this season? Will it be as dumb as last year's finale? Will it somehow combine the worst of both and strive for some heretofore unknown level of boring stupidity?

Good Lord, tune in next week to find out, kiddies!

Love ya,

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