AMC’s The Walking Dead may be the only quality show that has debuted this fall. The first season is a six-episode miniseries that wraps up tomorrow, and ratings have been so good that a 13-episode second season has already been renewed. The show features intense scares, brutal gore and violence, a compelling storyline, and a handful of decent actors.
It also features some of the dumbest acting and dialogue I’ve ever seen.
I find The Walking Dead to be downright infuriating. The pilot is a good example: It’s 90 minutes of tense horror and action, and is one of the finest pilots for any program ever made. It also begins with a dumbass conversation between the two main protagonists about how women don’t like to turn out the lights. It makes no sense, and is the first instance of many where the show does annoyingly dumb things. All of the characters are retarded cartoons, and the dialogue is constantly retarded and cartoony. Also, retard cartoon retard cartoon retard cartoon.
Strangely, these awful, dumb scenes build up to moments that are genuinely moving in spite of the retarded cartoonery the show engaged in to get to those points. Last episode, the survivors left their camp to find the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. Epic music swelled, and in spite of the lousy character scenes that had taken place beforehand, I was truly engaged. Then the music stopped and their RV broke down. Then they had a bunch of exposition-sharing conversation (“I feel this way right now because of this”) and I rolled my eyes. Then they left a dying man on the side of the road, the music swelled, and I was intrigued again. The whole show follows that pattern: Idiotic and cliched, with moments of absorbing pathos and moving tragedy. The Walking Dead is dumb-sorbing.
I’ve read comments that try to dismiss the show’s stupidity, saying “It’s not The Wire, it’s a zombie show! Just go with it, blahbity-blee!” My thoughts on those comments:
- I don’t expect The Wire. I expect competence.
- Fuck that “turn your brain off” bullshit. I hate that fucking attitude. I LIKE THINKING. If you don’t, that’s your problem, you dumbass. Ahem. Sorry.
- When you’re on the same channel as Breaking Bad and Mad Men, I have certain expectations. Hell, even Rubicon, which bored me out of my mind, was attempting something unique and special. The Walking Dead has that potential, but it’s not there yet.
I’ll give The Walking Dead this: It’s better than most zombie movies. To that I say: Big damn deal. The show is good, and with showrunner Frank Darabont firing his entire writing staff before the next season, things are bound to get better. However, right now, I’m politely tolerating this show until things improve.
(Confession: I feel the same way about Boardwalk Empire, too.)