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Spoiler Alert Thursday

For reasons not entirely clear to me, but, I assume, due to the American elections and that strange American game, there hasn’t been much on TV this past week. This lead us to watch shows we would not normally watch:

“The Office” was, per the norm for the past couple of seasons, completely stupid, generally incoherent, and unclear as to why it remains on TV. It was “the Halloween episode,” which meant that it had to involve costumes. The single best moment in the episode–although the most poorly executed moment as well–was when Michael changed costumes half-way through the day and decided that he would be Darryl. Given that Michael is clueless to how objectively racist he is (c.f., the Chris Rock incident), it really isn’t clear to me why Michael put on an Afro wig but did not go in blackface. NBC–or Steve Carrell–really chickened out and really, really missed out on displaying Michael’s true, clueless nature. In fact, not having Michael in blackface is entirely inconsistent with his personality. While not germane to the episode as such, Creed’s comment about Oscar having the best Edward James Olmos costume he has ever seen was really funny: (1) how many EJO costumes has Creed seen? (2) why did he think Oscar was dressed as EJO? (EJO remains William Adama to me despite his long resume.) Having not watched this show in over a year, I really didn’t understand who the old man Pam apparently dated was supposed to be–and I really didn’t care. Having seen parts of SNL, “Community” and “The Office” this week, are NBC writers only able to make jokes about Lady Gaga costumes? (I can’t believe how absolutely un-funny SNL is. And the guy from “Mad Men” is a complete doucher. Even Bill Hader’s “Vincent Price’s Halloween Special” was unfunny on account of the doucher’s presence.)

“The Walking Dead” was not especially gripping. I like zombies, I like the apocalypse, and I like the post-apocalyptic. I didn’t, however, particularly like this show. In fact, it was downright boring–and an hour and a half long! The characters are absolutely unsympathetic. Why should I give the smallest shit about the main character, the police with the coma? Why, in the context of zombie movies (and, now, TV shows), does the culture of zombies not exist? How could someone, in 2010, waking up from a coma to a destroyed world not assume that either the robots have risen, the aliens have invaded, or everyone has been turned into a zombie/vampire? Further, upon discovering the truth–robot, zombie, vampire, alien–how could people not act accordingly? I’m not sure why a half hour of the episode was devoted to the guy who is Baptiste in “Human Target” preparing to kill his turned wife. And, then, after spending about five minutes with her head in the sites of his rifle, never actually killing her. If there is anything interesting about the zombies, it is that they seem to possess memory–the wife trying to get into the house they had squatted in and using a doorknob. Other than that, it is certainly not an especially good show. As far as I know, it is in the same time-slot as “Dexter.” “The Walking Dead,” at this time, loses to “Dexter.”

“Dexter” was quite enjoyable, especially the final scene where Masuka presented his theory of the crime. His use of the flashlight in acting out his theory was superb. Masuka is clearly the best “clueless loser” on TV. In the Maria/Angel conflict, Maria is clearly in the wrong.

“Supernatural” was enjoyable insofar as it was a Sam/Dean episode. Veritas as the monster-of-the-week was less interesting. I suppose the important question concerns who has Sam’s soul and how they came to possess it: Rapheal, Balthazar, Crowley or someone else who has not yet been introduced?

“Criminal Minds” is still incoherent, still stupid, and still the most intellectually offensive show on TV.

Last Minute Update: AmTam is joining “House”? First, I didn’t really understand that “House” was still on. Second, given that we stopped watching it years ago–the season with that stupid episode where he loses his memory and there is some bus accident–is it worth picking it back up? Third, will “House” do to AmTam what it did to Kumar?

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November 4, 2010 - Posted by | Spoiler Alert Thursdays

2 Comments

  1. I liked the premiere of The Walking Dead enough to check out from the library all 14 vols of the trade paperback comic. I’m through vol. 4 right now. Your question re: zombie-culture seems to be on many people’s minds, and I think it is a good one. In the comic, one of the characters make some noise about deciding to call the undead “zombies,” but have not (as yet) explained why they chose that name. I.e., whether this is because of the built-in zombie culture, etc. All in all, I’m not too bothered by the suspension of disbelief on this score. If nothing else, seeing a zombie movie and having to bash in a zombie’s head are different enough that a knowledge of zombie-culture probably wouldn’t help that much. (Esp. since there is an interesting twist to the becoming-zombie process in the comic book, which I will not give away.)

    Comment by Brad Johnson | November 5, 2010

  2. I’m commenting on this now because I have to avoid this Thursday’s thread until I catch up on Dexter, but I enjoyed both episodes of The Walking Dead. Episode 2 was not as good, but it’s basically a set-up episode. The series is a nice compliment to AMC’s lineup, which is easily the best on TV today. And there’s another show that’s going to premiere in 2011 which looks good.

    The only disappointing thing is that season 1 of The Walking Dead is just six episodes. They’ve already been picked up for next season, which makes sense, because it seems to be getting a good bit of buzz.

    Comment by Dave Mesing | November 9, 2010


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