Monday, March 5, 2012

"The Walking Dead" "Judge, Jury and Executioner", Pink Floyd "The Wall"


I'd thought "The Walking Dead" had finally turned the corner and was going to be a consistently good show. After a couple of pretty good episodes we get last night's boring episode. Last night's episode was a complete disaster from almost every point of view. Two things that really hurt this show throughout this season were on prominent display last night. This episode featured too much dialogue and not enough action. Another weakness is this show has too many main characters, but for some reason they will focus on peripheral characters for an episode or two.

"The Walking Dead" should center 90% of their story arcs on the main characters. Why spend time on peripheral characters like Randall and Hershel's crazy daughter? I don't care about the fate of either of these characters! But whatever you do, please don't spend a whole episode on them. Last night's episode was all about Randall and whether he should be killed or not. Unfortunately we had to put up with a lot of unneeded and even worse boring dialogue. When the episode ended, the issue of Randall still hadn't been resolved. The episode ended where it begins! Randall is still very much alive and still a problem. Does that mean we are going to have to deal with this storyline again? This show, which already has grown too comfortable on Hershel's farm, hardly budged.

Randall also is one of the whiniest characters on this show. He makes Dale look like a man. I hope Randall dies when the zombies take over Hershel's farm at the end of the season.

Any episode of this show that features Dale, Lori or Carl has a high chance of suckageness. And last night's terrible episode confirmed that. Those three characters played a prominent part in last night's boredom. It seems the producers forget when this show has too much talking, and not enough action, it becomes a slog. There's nothing wrong with a lot of dialogue, but it has to be good.

Dale is supposed to be positioned as the moral compass of the show, but to me he's just an idiot. He's a wimp, a lot of bluster and has no discernible leadership skills. The dialogue he's given is terrible and Jeffrey DeMunn's over acting doesn't help anything. Dale represents the pre-zombie world, he's not a fit in this new terrifying world of zombies. Every time the character of Lori appears on screen I want to scream. Just how lame is that character? If she's truly pregnant when is she going to start showing? I love how she's always wearing tight clothes. I predict she lost the baby in the accident on the way to town. That was just one of the many dumb scenes in this show. The producers will use her losing the baby in some way as a cliff hanger. I'm not sure that anyone will care though.

Also this show relies too much on the dumb character storyline. Too many times it's one of the Grimes family that's involved. Any story involving Lori and Carl teasing the zombie for instance. Carl goes out in the woods and finds one of the convenient zombies. At first Carl is scared. However when he realizes that the zombie is stuck he becomes a lot more brave. Maybe foolhardy is a better word. He throws rocks at the zombie. However Carl isn't very accurate and throws like a girl. And of course the zombie escapes the mud. Carl runs like a girl and leaves the gun behind. It's no surprise that the zombie came back later in the story. I predict in a future episode one of the characters will be out in the woods and find the gun. They will then realize that Carl was messing around in the woods.

I'm not going to stop my hating of the Grimes family here though. How the hell is Rick still the leader? The impotent leadership of Rick is symbolic of this whole show. Just when you think he's going to do something/ something is going to happen Rick/the show steps back from the brink. Yesterday Rick couldn't pull the trigger on either Randall or Dale. Again Randall survived the episode and Daryl had to do the dirty work to dispatch Dale. What kind of a leader is that? An ineffective and boring leader, that's who. Why do these people still follow wishy washy Rick? I don't think I would want Shane as my leader, but his leadership style fits more into the new world.

But at the end of the day "The Walking Dead" finally got rid of one of it's lamest characters, Dale. Who cares how he died though, just get that lame character off this show. Not only do we no longer have to hear his stupid speeches, we no longer have to see his mano a mano battles with Shane. If T-Dog isn't the most useless character in this series, then Dale was.

Over the final couple of episodes of this season I'll be cheering for the zombies to wipe out a few more of the lesser characters. I also hope zombies over run the farm and drive Rick's crew onward to a place much more interesting. Other than Maggie I hope to never see any members of Hershel's family ever again. Even in any other show! In the graphic novel Glenn stays with Maggie and Hershel's family on the farm.

I have the third and fourth graphic novels on the way from I look forward to reading those. The graphic novels are so much better than the TV show. Dale is a much more likable character in the graphic novels.

Also I love the fact that Season 2 of "The Killing" returns on April Fool's Day. I'm sure the irony is lost on the the idiot and humor challenged producers of the show. It's already been announced they aren't going to announce who killed Rosie Larsen until the end of this season. That means 13 more boring episodes until we find out who the killer is. My hope for "The Killing" is that it gets cancelled quickly, unless it somehow it has improved a lot. My expectation of this show improving is almost nil. It steadily got worse as the first season wore on. The season concluded with one of the dumbest cliff hangers ever.

I have to admit it has taken me several years to realize the greatness of "The Wall". I received the album as a birthday present when I was about 12. When I opened it up and saw some of the art work, including a giant bum on two legs, I didn't quite know what to think. I think I listened to a few of the songs and I'm not sure what happened to the album eventually.

As I was thinking about this CD a few days ago I realize that it makes a lot more sense to me after the disillusionment of a divorce. I understand a lot more the alienation of Roger Waters was going through as he was writing this.

Has anyone else been enjoying Pink Floyd's remastered "The Wall: Deluxe Experience Edition"? It's very good. Not only are there the original 26 tracks from the original CD. There are also 8 "Wall" live tracks performed live in 1980-1981. Then finally the most intriguing songs on the CD are "The Wall Work In Progress" songs. These are a couple of the songs that ended up on "The Wall" in a work in progress form.

Also some songs that didn't make the final cut. Such songs as "Teacher, Teacher":

and "Sexual Revolution". I kind of like this song, but it's clear why many of these work in progress songs didn't end up on "The Wall":

From very rough drafts like those above, it worked into classic songs like this. Whoever was the person that thought to have children sing the chorus of this song was genius. That gives this song a very creepy vibe that works well for this whole CD. This is one of the greatest videos ever:

Other highlights from "The Wall". This is a live version of "Run Like Hell", you can feel the alienation as this song is performed:

"Young Lust":

From the movie "The Wall", this is Bob Geldof singing "In The Flesh". (All I remember about this movie is that it was virtually unwatchable, maybe I'll have to try and watch it again.)

"Hey You" (Live):

"The Happiest Days Of Our Life":

Finally two of the most amazing songs from this CD: "Mother":

"Comfortably Numb":


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