I came to a realization after watching the latest entry of Zombie Fun in The Walking Dead (2010-present), Home, that I felt as though the creative team had me treading water. I enjoy seeing the skulls of the living dead axed, knifed, crushed, rolled, squished, split, sliced, shot, severed and exploded as much as the next guy, but I feel like George Jetson exclaiming "Jane, stop this crazy thing!"
It becomes a little routine each week to see these poor souls suffering, surviving and essentially maintaining a pulse in their dismal, miserable existence without a seeming sense of direction at all.
After a while you begin to want some answers or at least be given the hint of some kind of new revelation. Give us something real to talk about for The Talking Dead. The Talking Dead is a great idea, but the subject of Lost (2004-2010) would have given viewers and guests more to chew on than the endless run of hamburger-faced zombies meeting their demise a second time and very minor character discoveries.
Season Two saw Rick's band of happy hunters held up on a farm. It ended with the two zombies on chains and a new hooded character with a wide shot of the prison, the focus of Season Three. Though that seemed like a pretty big deal at the time it really hasn't amounted to a hill of beans. Truthfully, there is very little new information.
Season Three is going through similar motions. This season is split between the prison and the Others [wink] at the Governor's compound. There are the occasional shoot 'em ups, some fish tanks with floating heads and the post-apocalyptic version of the gladiator games of Rome, but nothing substantive seems to develop. Where are we going with this thing?
The One To Be Pitied suggested I read the graphic novel, but I don't want the answers that way. I want the TV series to reveal the information to me. Sure, I'll take it slow, but I'll take something. Mind you, this is the greatest detriment to watching network television where a series can run at an absolute snail's pace. Perhaps The Walking Dead will be a prime example of why watching a series in succession in a rather densely executed session may work wonders. DVD and Blu-Ray certainly work for most programs beautifully.
Truthfully, the extremely short six episode Season One offered the most variation regarding locale, substance in plot direction and thrilling action sequences. Like Lost, it's that first season that remains perfect. Like Lost, we even received a few brief flashbacks in that first season. Honestly, I'd settle for a little backstory right now.
Since that season ended we've been on a fairly directionless killing spree and as mind-numbingly fun as that is I do feel The Walking Dead needs to start walking us toward some answers. Heck, I'll even take some more questions. But what caused this zombie apocalypse? Why are some people alive and others unaffected? Who is responsible? Does anyone know anything at all? Is there hope in this hopeless world?
My son, The Boy Wonder and I began having this very discussion at the end of the last entry. I sparked the discussion, but suddenly he felt the same way and began asking himself a series of questions. Where exactly are we walking the dead here? The needle really hasn't moved that much and suddenly zombie fun is becoming zombie dumb.
I'm not that committed to the series. It doesn't grab me like Lost did, but it's a heck of a lot of fun most of the time. It just doesn't hold a whole lot of substance and even the character development barometer is minimal in that department. It is becoming slightly tiresome.
I certainly understand the series as a window into human behavior and how people respond in the most dire of events and amidst seemingly hopeless circumstances, but getting back to moving the story forward would be a nice change of pace.
Sure, these people are under siege, tired, beleaguered, and clearly suffering mental lapses, but at this pace the series could go on forever. If I wanted a limited engagement of plot I'd purchase a Resident Evil-styled first person shooter. That's what video games are for.
A friend of mine wishes the series had humor ("Zombies are funny and killing them should be hysterical"). I'm okay with the fact that The Walking Dead is positively joyless and played for deadly serious, but I'd like to feel more than a little numb each week. I'd like my mind to be stimulated by something other than a hunting knife or steel blade. I'd like something along those lines soon.