Stick with Walking Dead or Bail?

Welcome to Mad Men Week! Can’t help it. I’m excited. We’ll be having a heaping helping of Mad Men news this week, for sure.

Here’s your daily reminder — don’t forget to enter to win two tickets to see Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg at the Sherman Theater on March 29. Got two tickets to give away, make sure you enter by the Thursday deadline.

someone's feeling unappreciated lately

Today we’re sticking with The Walking Dead though after it’s very good season 2 finale. Now that we’ve got two seasons in the books, there are a couple different ways to look at the show:

1. It’s still a great show, one that’s actually improved this season from the deliberately paced first six episodes we saw in 2010. The whole farm thing wasn’t nearly as bad as people bitched it was, and now that we’ve seen it was more of a means to an end to rid the group of some weak links, it completely makes sense. Can’t wait til October.

2. The farm was a necessary evil, and now that we’re through it and we’ve thinned the herd a little bit of some ancillary and unnecessary characters, we can get on with it already. I’m in for the third season, cautiously.

3. Rick, where did you get those water skis? Oh, just put them on, jump over the farm and have done with it. I’m out.

I fall in the #1 column. I didn’t mind the farm thing nearly as much as other people, and we now know that it was done almost exclusively to bring the Rick-Shane thing to a final, bloody head. At least that’s what I think. And that first half-hour of last night’s finale was about as intense a half-hour of TV I’ve seen in quite a while. Like, 24-in-its-prime intense. So it’s not like the show has completely lost its zombie roots. But it’s definitely settled in to its wheelhouse — it’s a somewhat soapy character piece about people living in the zombie apocalypse. It is not a zombie apocalypse TV show. The zombies are there to move the story along, not drive the plot. I’m totally fine with that.

My problem with Walking Dead isn’t a farm, or everyone having a little zombie in them or annoying little kids who obviously don’t have the mental capacity to deal with a zombie apocolypse and are going to get everyone in the group zombie-d. This problem didn’t dawn on me until about midway through this season, and it wasn’t until PR copy editor and PopRox reader Andrea Higgins brought it up to me. The problem is the women in the show are so freakin’ weak, annoying and underdeveloped. I wouldn’t blame any woman who said they can’t stand this show for that reason. Not exactly a lot of role models there for an aspiring female zombie killer.

"oh my god! you killed shane after i told you to?!?!?! you monster!"

Never was that more on display than in the season 2 finale. Rick’s wife basically double-dared him to kill Shane — and now she’s pissed about it. Andrea now is officially Rambo, a remarkable and seemingly impossible transformation from the woman who cried like Bette Midler’s understudy. She’s gonna have to do battle now with Linda Hamilton in the Terminator movies for most unrealistic turn into a female warrior. And Carol … who exactly does she think she is? The whole reason they got into the mess at the farm was her fault for not waking up and smelling the coffee that her daughter was either dead or a zombie. Now she wants to criticize Rick for staying too long there? That’s why Rick actually is a good leader of the group. When she started in on him, anyone else would have just pulled out a gun and shot her, and everyone would have just shrugged their shoulders and moved on. I was actually looking forward to that happening.

Some stray thoughts:

liking him more and more

Loved it when Daryl said, “Rick’s done right by me.” Apparently the second part of that line fell on the cutting room floor. “You know, except for the leaving-my-hillbilly-brother-for-dead thing. Other than that, we’re cool.”

I’m still not OK after sitting through that first half-hour. But I’ve also come to the conclusion that I think I’d be a pretty kick-ass zombie actor. I have nothing to back this up. I just think I’d be pretty good at it.

SEASON 3 SPOILER COMING, AVERT YOUR EYES IF YOU DON’T WANNA SEE IT: For the first time in the show’s two years, I actually went to the Walking Dead Wiki. Normally I don’t want the back story on what’s going on, I’ll let the show tell me in its own way. But after Sunday I just couldn’t take it. I needed to know who that guy with the sword and the pet zombies was. It wasn’t a guy. It was a girl. And I wanted to know what the heck that thing was at the end, and it’s a prison with a survivor camp. And it looks like this is where our trusty group will be setting up shop for season 3, so if you didn’t like the fact that they stayed on the farm for all of season 2, maybe you should just check out now and not subject yourself to season 3. Just sayin’.

Anyway, SEASON GRADE: B. FINALE GRADE: B+. Feel free to comment away on whether you’re staying with the show or bailing, or hit the PopRox Facebook page to weigh in.

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