Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead was a bit of a shift from your typical episode of the AMC series. While “Still” and “Alone” were character-driven episodes, last night’s episode lacked story progression and momentum. One of the biggest criticisms of The Walking Dead is that the TV show lacks character, but when episodes are more character-driven, they’re usually the more boring and dull episodes of the season. It’s a bad case of “You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.” It seems that the writers and producers of the cable zombie series can’t strike a balance between the two approaches.
Last week’s episode of The Walking Dead, “Still,” was perhaps the most contained episode of the series. Aside from a few random walkers, there are only two people in the entire thing, and most of the time is taken up with Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Beth (Emily Kinney) opening up and sharing with each other. Tonight’s installment, “Alone,” offers a wider look at the still-splintered group of survivors, following the pair from last week, who are quickly forming a tight bond, but also checking in with Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), and Bob Stookey (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.).
The action bounces back and forth between the two camps, almost moment by moment. This approach is problematic because just when you start to settle into that particular piece, the narrative uproots you and shoots you back to the others. After a few times you start to get tired of this strategy, but it goes on throughout the whole 60 minutes. It doesn’t help matters that the Daryl/Beth story is infinitely more engaging than the Maggie/Sasha/Bob side, especially in the wake of “Still.”
I don’t know if I should have gotten on the ball with this already, but I’d like to market a line of Walking Dead-themed bathroom products. Instead of shampoo and mouthwash, though, it’s just rotted human heads, and you’re actually just putting blood and viscera in your hair and mouth. It can’t miss! But people usually get into games more than they do washing up with filth, so let’s all celebrate the announcements for an upcoming mobile game based on the AMC series, and a Kickstarter campaign that aims to give the comic’s prison storyline the board game treatment. Soon, the only place you’ll be able to look without seeing TWD merchandising is your window…unless you have a walker treehouse or something.
First up is the sure thing. AMC and Next Games are teaming up for the series’ first mobile experience, and while it doesn’t have a name just yet, I’m guessing they’ll go with The Walking Dead: The Mobile Game. The game’s release will coincide with the start of the show’s fifth season, which will probably start in October. There are no hard and fast specifics about the game, though details will reportedly be released in the coming months. But Next Games CEO Teemu Huuhtanen at least gave the project a tone.
Last week’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead, “Claimed,” was all about looking towards the future. We were introduced to a trio of new characters—Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene—who will continue shape the show for the foreseeable future and beyond. At the same time, we learned that they were on a mission to get to Washington DC, and could possibly hold the key to ending the walker apocalypse once and for all. “Still,” tonight’s installment of the hit zombie drama, however, looks into the past, specifically into the earlier life of fan-favorite Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus).
When it comes to the world of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, I’d much rather be reading the comic or playing Telltale’s episodic tie-in game than watching the AMC series. But the show comes every week, while the comic is naturally a monthly, and the game is…well, it just comes out whenever Telltale says so, unfortunately. Though the anticipation does turn to passive-aggressive aggravation in the months between episode releases, the final products are always worth the nail-biting wait time. And from the looks of the second episode’s first full trailer, I should probably already be trying to use medication to numb the part of my brain associated with guilt and decision-making. This could be one hell of an encounter.
Anytime the Academy Awards rolls around, there’s usually an outcry from fans that not enough genre films are recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Luckily, this year the movie that has the most nominations is Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, but even if the Academy doesn’t give science fiction the respect it deserves, there are several long-standing and prestigious awards focused specifically on honoring genre material. Last night we posted the Nebula Award nominations, and now the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films has announced its nominees for the 40th annual Saturn Awards.
Unsurprisingly, Gravity is a front-runner for the Saturns as well, earning eight nominations including Best Science Fiction Film, Best Actress for Sandra Bullock, Best Supporting Actor for George Clooney, and Best Director for Alfonso Cuarón. Gravity is tied with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug for the most nominations. Some of the other nominees for Best Science Fiction Film are Ender’s Game, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Pacific Rim, Riddick, and Star Trek Into Darkness.