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Monday, October 13, 2014

How to Understand The Walking Dead

How to Understand The Walking Dead
Subtitle: This is the best show on TV. Hand's down.
Because it's about us.

A day late, but thanks to the marvels of DVR technology, I was able to watch the season premiere this morning over breakfast. 

Oh. My. Athena. 

Warning: Spoilers, so just stop reading now if you don't wanna be spoiled. 

To recap, briefly, we left our band of heroes last season in a train car, prisoners to a colony of cannibals, presumably to be eaten. Rick declared as the season closed that "They don't know who they're messing with," and they don't, I mean, how did those poor innocent cannibals know that they were imprisoning the series leads? 


Anyway, we open with Rick, Daryl, Glen and Bob getting reading to be "put down" ala cattle and be strung up for eatin'. We watch this happen to four other men, graphically, when an explosion sounds, right about the time Glen is gonna be slugged in the head with a bat (Lucille anyone?) for a second time, bammo!! explosion and we flash to Carol and Tyrese. Some talking and Carol badassery later we determine that Carol, single handedly, has caused the explosion and allowed her friends times to escape. 

It was bea - YOU - ti - ful. 

So let's get through the popular things first. 

1. Carol + Daryl: I don't "ship", in fact I QUIT shows that become all about "shipping", but this is just SHEER perfection. I could go into the reasons why, but that would be another blog. ;)

2. Baby Judith and Grimes Family Reunion: How to make Rick human again in SECONDS...

3. MORGAN!!!! (If you are lost, please rewatch season 1) 

But there is something hidden, a quick line spoken in an action packed scene, a line that is essentially the ENTIRE reason we watch the show, cry for the characters and cheered as they were all reunited last night: 

"But that's who we still are."

This line, spoken by Glen as Rick started to escape, leaving the others in train cars to their fate, is the reason, really, even if we don't realize, that we all keep watching.

Who ARE they still?

The good guys.

We've seen people in the show turn to murder, rape, cannibalism, looting, torture and if the comics are any indication as to what is coming who knows?? But despite EVERYTHING that has happened to them, everything, they are STILL the ones trying to hold on to some semblance of morality.

And, I think this will be the theme of this season.

Think about the dialog between Tyrese and the one cannibal. Tyrese has been struggling for a while, he's not a killer, he's a GOOD man, and this episode really called on him to question what was right and was what wrong. Think about what the cannibal leader said to Carol as she was pleading for her life; that they WERE the good guys once and lost their way. Think about Rick wanting to exterminate all of the cannibals, the group's insistence that they just leave, and what happened as a result.

The thing about this show that makes me tune in week to week and scream and yell isn't the action or the love. It's the fact that using the backdrop of zombies, which at first might seem silly, the writer's of The Walking Dead are asking us to question right and wrong, week in and week out.

Who decides who lives and dies?

Who has that right?

What IS family?

Who can you trust?

And so on. Laugh at me for taking this out of a zombie show, but the things you are asked to think about as a viewer of The Walking Dead are FAR more complex than ANYTHING on "reality" TV.


And the feeling afterwards, of excitement, emptiness and confusion are all there to make you question your own morality and when all of the odds are stacked against you, what would be your choice?

That being said, BRAVO actors, writers, directors of The Walking Dead and I cannot WAIT until next week!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

How to Be Fair

How to Be Fair
Subtitle: How come only trends in Halloween are ok? 
What about the other kids??

My kids wanna be 10 and Rose for Halloween. 

I might as well have told some people they wanted to dress as Nazis....

And then I see on the news blogger after blogger defending a little boy's right to dress up in a girl's costume for Halloween and EVERYONE is on that bandwagon. 

I am too, little guy should wear whatever the heck he wants, but so should MY kids, even though it's not trendy enough to go viral. 

In case you have NO idea who I'm talking about, 10 means the 10th Doctor from Dr. Who, played by the amazing David Tennant and Rose Tyler, his companion, played by Billie Piper. It's a British show, and yes, my two rural-living American kids watch British TV. 

And that's ok. 

You see, my kids aren't fussed with Frozen. They liked it, sure, but after it was over they shrugged their shoulders and went about their business. I'm not "hating" on Frozen (because since it is playing well with mommies GOD FORBID) but it was just ok. My kids don't sing the songs, didn't go to the ice show like every other kid in their school and haven't even asked me to buy the Blu-Ray. 

My kids don't really care for team sports. They don't play them and they don't watch them. They like Minecraft, but they also like to play outside and don't come in running and sobbing and hating the outdoors over a skinned knee. They watch 1980s movies, take hip-hop dance, yoga, prefer museums to parks. They talk about what they wanna be when they grow up (which for my son has been the same for 7 years now), they talk about where they wanna go to college (that needs to be another blog, god forbid my kids like to learn) and they love to go to local community theatre. 

They're kids, just not the kids that society wants. 

They're different, and different is only a "good" thing when it's the kind of different that's in style. I could list the "in style" differences here, but I won't as to not offend anyone, and there are probably a lot of you nodding right now and thinking yeah I've noticed that too...

And I think that's what's wrong with our society as a whole. It's now "in style" to embrace different IF we are OK with that brand of different OR it has a celebrity/company to back it. Outside of that, you're on your own. 

Why can't people just like what they like and be left alone?

Be who you are? 

And it's not even an issue of having the strength to be yourself, it's the NON-STOP comments and harassment of those people who just can't wrap their heads around it. Yes, see that word, HARASSMENT. 

THAT ought to gets someone attention. 

Just because OUR kind of different isn't yours and isn't popular doesn't make any less valid.

It just makes it different. 

I will close today with practice dialog, for those of you who may encounter someone NOT doing what everyone else does, in particular, a kid dressing as something for Halloween that's NOT all over the news/TV/social media. 

"Child X, so what are you dressing up as for Halloween?"

"The Tenth Doctor." 

"Cool (<---- very important word there, this kid made a CHOICE and THOUGHT about this, acknowledge it!!), who's that?" 

"From Dr. Who. It's a TV show. He travels through Space and Time helping people." 

"Awesome, sounds like a great show (<---- EVEN if YOU don't like space & time show, THEY ARE A KID!!! LIE!!). I can't wait to see it (or pictures)" 

See? Now how hard was that?