Nov 21, 2010

LiveBlogging: The Walking Dead: Episode 4

10:58 - What an awesome ending. Even when the show lags in the middle, the endings always seem to pull through.

What is strange is that the scenes with zombies are oddly the most humanizing, not the conversations about fishing and whatever. There is no pretense in them.

10:56 - With the way that the opening scene played out, I should have know this was going to happen. At this point, I cannot even remember what happened in the comic books. I can't tell what is faithful and what is not. I find that to be a good thing.

10:55 - This is the sort of thing to which I wish there had been some kind of build-up. But I suppose that it mirrors the way that things inexplicably happen in the comic book.

10:54 - Zombies are spectacularly adept at finding the jugular vein.

10:52 - Don't you hate it when people stumble into your camp site, ruin a perfectly serene night?

10:50 - I wonder what is so compelling to Frank Darabont about inaction. About stasis? Think about it. Shawshank. The Green Mile. The Mist. The Walking Dead. They all deal with the banality of inaction. Characters sort of sitting around and biding their time. It's interesting that all of those things have something fairly obvious in common.

10:48 - Those bruises are hyper-realistic.

10:48 - I'm not complaining about the mood or the tone (or really even the pacing of the show). Is there such a thing as balance of pace?

10:44 - The filmmakers do not effectively balance the zombie tension with the human tension. That's really my most damning criticism. Every scene is a talkie scene or a zombie scene, and the range in between is fairly shallow.

In a comic book, this idea is profound. On television, not so much. It makes the work seem unbalanced and leaden.

10:37 - Whoo-whee, it's about to go DOWN! Just kidding.

10:34 - (I apologize in advance for the obvious question) Are there no abandoned gun shops in Atlanta?

10:33 - Laurie Holden, it seems, has all but disappeared from this episode. Also, I still don't really care about Lori Grimes. Just throwing that out there. I want to care for her, but I just don't. I just don't.

10:31 - The zombie element is being minimized in order to maximize the human drama, and I can't decide if they are doing it because they think it improves the story, or if they are intentionally making it seem high-brow.

10:28 - I like young, Hispanic Denzel Washington.

10:24 - What's so terrifying about 'TWD' is that it holds very closely to the zombie trope of uncertainty. Just about any character (who is not a lead) can die at any point in a zombie story. The tension we feel for Rick Grimes is real, because his story could end any moment. The fact that it doesn't is almost irrelevant.

10:23 - Tying someone to a tree in a zombie story is the one way to ensure that person's situation ends tragically.

10:18 - I wonder which is a more terrifying proposition: fighting off the zombie hordes in TWD or facing down a screaming crowd of Beatles fans, circa 1966.

10:17 - I haven't seen the shaved head / bangs look since 2006!

10:13 - This is the first scene we get of real, honest zombie cabin fever. Jim's losing his mind. Jim hasn't really been featured in the show, which should give us a slight hint of what's going to happen to Jim.

10:10 - It takes some major cojones to cauterize a wound with a flat iron. Woof.

10:04 - I don't know why the Boondock Saint is so pissed. The severed hand indicates the guy - The Rook! - left with a fighting chance.

That hand is awfully sick (and real) looking.

10:02 - I get so caught up in trying to dig metaphors out of the characters' conversations that I sometimes lose track of what they're actually talking about. Like fishing.

10:00 - Episode 4 - "Vatos"


  1. I've never seen a Georgia lake that blue in my life.

  2. Tonight's is the first episode written by Robert Kirkman. Interesting.

  3. You know what TWD needs? A minimalist, John Carpenter score.

  4. What do you think so far?

  5. I would agree. Deep-bass synth tones.

  6. It also needs more zombies.

  7. Agreed. The show continues to build the zombie tension before letting it evaporate from a lack of presence.

  8. Tha payoff from the standoff played out exactly as Kirkman would have scripted it in the comic.

  9. They need to do a better job of fading the zombies out while still keeping up a sense of tension. So far, it's either a "zombie" scene or a "people talking" scene.

  10. The attack on Amy wasted what could have been a genuinely frightening shock. It's far too well-lit. A little Cundey-an cinematography would've been nice.

  11. They seem to be avoiding genre tropes that would genuinely make the series better.

  12. The show is occasionally faithful to the comic, but when it is, it is extremely fidelitous. Otherwise, it is generating new plotlines from whole cloth or repurposing comic events from some of the latest issues.

  13. I've got to say that liveblogging the show takes me out of 'enjoyment' mode, and I have been hyper critical, but overall I can say I honestly dig it. I'm glad that it's not a frame-by-frame remake of the comics. That would be entirely too boring for my taste, EVEN IF the plots of the comics weren't completely lost on me at this point!

  14. I really like this show. It's as much about 'zombies' as "Friday Night Lights" is about 'football."

  15. "They seem to be avoiding genre tropes that would genuinely make the series better."

    As one who is not as big a fan of the genre, I think they're building the layers and story-telling well.

    "The attack on Amy wasted what could have been a genuinely frightening shock."

    How much of this is supposed to be about "frightening shock"? I know its the Walking Dead, but they've got one of the truest places to experiment with human emotion. I say let 'em.

  16. "As one who is not as big a fan of the genre, I think they're building the layers and story-telling well."

    I can see why you'd say that. My biggest problems with the show are balance and pacing. I don't want to whip the comic book out, but the comic paced itself so that there were longer lulls with bigger occurrences at the end of an issue. They seem to be translating that to the screen, and it doesn't work as well, in my opinion. It's not about making it a strictly genre work, because that's not necessarily what the show needs. It's about being able to mine the genre for what makes it work. The uneven pacing works to the detriment of the show, as well as to the feelings I personally have for the characters.