If I were having a romantic conversation with The Walking Dead, I’d probably coo, “You had me at ‘bathing in zombie guts.’” Remember that early episode of The Walking Dead in which the characters rub zombie guts all over their bodies to mask their human scent and navigate through the ravenous packs of undead? Well, I’m not really saying that’s the moment I fell in love with the show, but it’s the moment that I realized – along with a compelling storyline – that The Walking Dead was willing to cover uncomfortable, even nauseating terrain that most horror – on the Big Screen or the TV – never considers touching. Watching the zombie-guts, season one episode of The Walking Dead is in fact a fond memory. Michael and I sat eagerly in front of the television, ready to binge watch the first five and a half seasons of the show to prepare for the second half of season six, which was set to air in the spring. When the characters lathered themselves in zombie guts like they were taking a shower and basking in aromatic, sudsy soap, Michael started to gag, and gag, and gag. “Honey, shut your eyes!” I exclaimed. “I am,” he yelled, “but I can still hear them!” “Well then, leave the room,” I told him, because I really thought he was going to vomit, and if he vomited on me, well, that might just send me over the edge, and then we’d have a mess on our hands. But he didn’t (leave the room or vomit). And so, we enthusiastically enmeshed ourselves in six more seasons of drama, violence, and unpredictable, unchecked bloodshed. Ahhhh, memories. Continue reading “WTF TWD?: AMC’s Hit Series Takes a Dark(er) Turn”
Guest Writer: Michael J. Miller
As a fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead, I spent the past week re-watching Season Six to get ready for this Sunday’s impending Season Seven premiere. So much of the undercurrent of last season was devoted to slowly building the tension (and anxiety!) surrounding the Saviors and the introduction of their boss, Negan. In the final moments of “Last Day On Earth” we finally meet The Walking Dead‘s ultimate villain. This profanity spewing, motorcycle jacket wearing, bat swinging, vision of dread certainly radiates menace. And, from what I understand, he’s to be the Joker to Rick’s Batman. But, if I’m being honest, he’s not the character who scared me the most last season, nor is he the one I fear the most going forward. Continue reading “Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Six): Who’s the Real Villain Here?”
It’s no surprise that I’m studying literature (though I’ll probably be forever impoverished for the decision) because I just love a good story. There is, in a book – or a good movie or television show – the plot, a chain of events driven by character actions, and then there’s the more subliminal but often pervasive mood created through all elements of work, including scenery and word choice. But, my point in this post is not really to be technical. My point is to proclaim, happily, that through the suggestion of one of Michael’s friends, we stumbled upon a phenomenal, intricate story thanks to the popular Showtime series, Penny Dreadful. Penny Dreadful’s third season aired this spring, but Michael and I, in our infinite fandom, have been busy re-watching the first two seasons to “fully prepare” before we settle down and view the third. This post, then, is my introductory post: I will likely write more on specific questions the show raises in future posts. After all, Penny Dreadful is complex and intelligent, and many facets of the show could be explored. In this post, I aim to discuss why I love the show through an exploration of the main characters. And, bonus, if you haven’t seen Season Three yet, neither have I, so there will be no Season Three spoilers! In fact, there are no major plot spoilers in this piece, so read away, without fear of any undesired revelations.
Well, it’s official. I’ve written an uneven 73 posts on Just Dread-Full since the blog’s inception in late October of 2015. Now, before I continue, I had a different introduction written in this piece, but the ghost of Miss Jessel is apparently bitter about how I depicted her in my piece on The Innocents, because she’s crawled out of the movie and consumed my laptop. Really. Michael and I lost my laptop in the transition from his parents’ house to his house (one of us was carrying the bag). We, and his parents, have searched every conceivable place, and it’s simply disappeared. As such, I’m typing from his laptop, and I have to start this piece over again.
Shhh. Wanna get sued?
That’s Groundskeeper Willie’s response to Bart when Bart says the name “The Shining” in the canonical Tree House of Horror episode parodying the film, instead of replacing the title, “The Shining,” with the slightly more comical title the episode adopted: “The Shinning.” To be honest, every time I hear the title, The Shining, I immediately want to shout, “Shhh. Wanna get sued?” So I may have been fishing for an excuse to use Willie’s quotation in the opening of this piece.
Guest Writer: Michael J. Miller
Season Five contained an odd experience for me. By nature, I am a trusting person. I believe in (and hope for) the best in people. I think a better, beautiful world can be forged. I believe we can overcome our darker habits and live in the light of love. I’m as nonviolent a pacifist as you can be, thoroughly believing that violence only breeds more violence. I even unashamedly believe in the potential to transform our world, free of hate and violence, in the power of love, trust, and mercy. However I seemed to forget all of that when our intrepid group of survivors wandered into Alexandria. Continue reading “Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Five): Aahh – I’m Losing Faith in Humanity!”
Guest Writer: Michael J. Miller
It seems redundant to say that a show about surviving after the zombie apocalypse, a show known for its graphic violence and bloodshed, is a little dark. In fact, it seems like a completely needless observation. It may even seem like – GASP! – filler. However, as Kalie and I binge-watched The Walking Dead back in November (something I wouldn’t recommend unless you like intense, free-floating anxiety), I felt Season Four took the darkness of the show to a whole new level. It forced me to ponder, is this the cost of survival in this world? Could I become what I’d have to survive if I lived in this sort of a setting? Continue reading “Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Four): Things got DARK…”
Guest Writers: David Miller and Michael J. Miller
A few weeks ago, Kalie began her “Walking Through The Walking Dead” series and in her first article, she briefly commented on how the characters in the show have a surprising amount of mousse/hair gel for a post-apocalyptic dystopia. There’s also a lot of shaving of the face for men and legs/armpits for the women too. Basically, there’s an odd amount of modern grooming happening in a world gone to hell. This has generated a great deal of heated debate (particularly between my brother and I). So, below David and I have written short, opposing opinion pieces about grooming in the zombie apocalypse. Please read and please, please, please (yes, I’m begging but sibling debates will generate this) leave your opinion in the comment section about whose side you’re on! We are seeking some Internet aid in settling a debate that has filled too much of our free time already. Continue reading “Point – Counterpoint : Grooming in the Zombie Apocalypse”
I love watching The Walking Dead before bed. I have coined the term “Dead ‘til bed” for nights I set aside for a Walking Dead marathon. Nothing says nighty-night like slaughter, zombie guts and involuntary bloodletting. Indeed, I just finished season three, and I started watching the show a couple weeks ago, so I’m catching up quickly. But if mindless zombie hacking was all the show was about, I would have already stopped my viewing, and the show wouldn’t be in its sixth season. Much of The Walking Dead’s intrigue lies within its characters. The show presents us with complex, dynamic characters who evolve and adapt to a disorienting apocalypse, many of them with admirable gusto. We warm toward them and cheer for them. Season three, in particular, is rife with captivating character development. Continue reading “Walking through The Walking Dead (Season Three): The Characters”
In my sophomore year of college, I took an ethical theory class. We ambled through philosophies that sought to answer the question: what makes right actions right? We decided, by the end of the course, that the best ethical theory was the Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative. In terms of reasonably determining the best course of action an individual should take in an ethical dilemma, it had the least shortcomings. Now, I haven’t been a sophomore in college for over 13 years, but I remember this much about Kant’s imperative: it posits that if everyone took a certain action and the results were okay, then the action would be okay. To examine the correctness of an action, you create a maxim. For example, if my maxim is “It is correct to steal,” my maxim would be flawed. If everyone in the world stole everything, then there would be no rule or law, money would have no value, and our exchange system would collapse. Clearly, such a maxim is infeasible. Continue reading “Kant Get Enough of the Apocalypse? Apply Kant’s Categorical Imperative to the Walking Dead”