The Walking Dead - TV Show

Discussion in 'Books, Music, TV & Movies' started by WiiCube_2013, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. WiiCube_2013
    OP

    WiiCube_2013 GBAtemp Guru

    Member
    5,943
    1,337
    Oct 19, 2013
    Gaza Strip
    Did any of you see this week's episode?

    It's by far one of the worst of this season and to top it off, that fucking stupid van scene was absolutely ridiculous because no way in hell would it fall flat on its four wheels.

     
    Yumi likes this.


  2. Yumi

    Yumi With Love<3

    Member
    517
    209
    Apr 19, 2010
    Mexico
    Ixtapalapa
    I hear its a good show, never watched it but I guess I will watch a few soon.

    P.S. I can see your point in that scene. :lol:
     
  3. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23,180
    8,922
    Nov 21, 2005
    It got worse?

    Though probably a repeat of what I have said in the past it runs "the pilot had loads of promise, the series failed to deliver and then just got awful so I gave up".

    All I can hope now is that it does not taint the notion of zombie TV shows.
     
  4. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Member
    10,254
    17,403
    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    New Jersey
    Nope. I watched the pilot, liked it, started the first season, hated it, and quit after the fourth episode. I've never looked back since.

    I highly recommend it.
     
    BORTZ likes this.
  5. Tiffani

    Tiffani GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    109
    22
    Sep 20, 2014
    United States
    So, what's your guys' problems with the series? I'm curious because this type of vitriol is usually reserved for Star Wars nerds who complain endlessly with their rose-colored glasses about 1, 2, and 3 being the worst movies ever made, or something equally ridiculous.
    If I had to guess, I'd say that you guys probably don't like that the shows isn't all zombies, all the times. I can get on board with that somewhat, but that's not sustainable as a TV series.

    Edit- Again, to be clear, I'm genuinely interested in why you guys don't like the series. I like it, and think it's great, but I like hearing other opinions.
     
  6. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23,180
    8,922
    Nov 21, 2005
    Poorly written, characters that are morons*, poorly paced (though I can try to deal with that) and all built on top of a pilot that I genuinely did both like and think showed lots of promise -- wasted potential in my entertainment is something that really gets to me.

    *I do not expect every character to be a master ninja, engineer, medic and survivalist all in one, however if you are going to accuse characters of having something resembling combat skills then try not to have them make basically every mistake at all points in time, ditto those with some amount of skills in the other areas that were showcased.
     
    Phoenix Goddess and Gahars like this.
  7. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Member
    10,254
    17,403
    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    New Jersey
    Tsk, tsk, assumptions, assumptions.

    The pilot was really well directed (which, seeing as Frank Darabont was behind the helm, goes without saying) and strongly written. Rick worked well as a character; he was compelling and sympathetic from the get-go. Watching him wander through the remains of his town trying to piece together what happened, seeing him have to kill his first zombie, it was all good stuff. It faithfully adapted the opening of the comic while working well on its own merits. I was interested in Rick's story and wanted to know what happened next.

    Then came the next episodes... and everything was different. Frank Darabont was no longer directing, for one, but I suppose that was to be expected. However, the writing just felt very rote and cheap. There weren't characters, just shallow bickerers and orbs of arbitrary conflict. Everyone practically introduces themselves with their defining characteristic ("Hello, I'm the racist!" "Hi, everyone, I'm the sexist!" etc.). Then when it comes time to act, the characters just did whatever the plot needed them to do to die or start a fight and get someone else to die. There was nothing interesting or compelling about them. I got to the first red shirt exodus in episode 4, where a smattering of one note cardboard cutouts we had no investment in whatsoever are just removed and the show acts as if it's supposed to mean something. What's the point?

    I've read a bit of the comics, and from what I've seen of the bits and pieces I've watched afterwards, the show has the same problems. The stories and characters get beyond dumb ("Behold the Walking Dead, a gritty, serious take on the zombie genre... with a woman carrying two zombies like backpacks and wielding a fucking katana.") and repetitive ("Look out, Rick, it's a pack of cannibals/rapists/cannibal rapists! Alas, truly it is us who are the walking dead!"). Worse, it's not even leading to anything; there's no buildup to any sort of resolution or endgame. It just meanders about aimlessly. Characters are brain dead when the plot needs them to be, and zombies alternate between being shambling tinfoil and ninja masters whenever someone has to die. It's cute that the world of the Walking Dead functions as if zombie fiction had never existed, but what's the point if you're going to follow all the standard cliches anyway?

    I was hoping that The Walking Dead would be closer to something like World War Z (the book, not the Pepsi commercial), an examination of how people try to adapt to a world that's completely fallen apart. Instead, it's a tepid show that wants to be a character drama but has no interesting characters or drama. It has some "cool" zombie kills-of-the-week, I guess, but for someone who's already watched, played, and read plenty of zombie fiction, there's nothing new about it.

    Cut Through the Bullshit TL;DR: The writing's bad. Poor pacing, poor characters, etc. If you want to watch a bunch of guys with straggly beards try to adapt to a decaying, dangerous world, just watch Breaking Amish.
     
  8. Tiffani

    Tiffani GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    109
    22
    Sep 20, 2014
    United States
    Well, you guys are way off about the characters being poorly-written and acted. Quite frankly, that's kind of ridiculous to say. It wouldn't be the most popular show on cable if that were true. We can agree to disagree on that, though.
    What shows do you guys like?
     
  9. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Member
    10,254
    17,403
    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    New Jersey
    Popularity /= Quality. If that was the case, the Transformers movies wouldn't make hundreds of millions of dollars each time.

    Personally, I'd guess the show is popular because people like zombies and it's been the only mainstream zombie show on television for years now. It's something people can watch for the"zombie kill of the week" or the latest melodrama and talk about around the water cooler the next morning.


    I haven't been really gripped by a tv show for a little while. The last to do that was Breaking Bad, I think. I've been trying to get more into chinese cartoons lately; JoJo is a lot of fun.
     
  10. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23,180
    8,922
    Nov 21, 2005
    What Gahars said.

    I also said nothing about poorly acted. Poor writing*, poor direction, poor editing and various things that those previous three are ultimately responsible for turning out poor, absolutely. The acting, at least up to the point where I gave up, was perfectly acceptable, given the... "rotating cast of characters" nature of the show such things may have changed since then though, it did manage what I saw of it though.

    *poor writing may have ultimately made for a poor performance in one or two cases but I would like to believe I can see past that.

    Shows I like. TV is probably second only to books or, in some cases at least, computer games when it comes to worldbuilding and telling me an in depth story. Give me that and we are good, fortunately many TV show makers seem to be on board with this. Equally here they seem to be on board with long form storytelling, they just screwed it up after they showed they could pull it off.
     
  11. Tiffani

    Tiffani GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    109
    22
    Sep 20, 2014
    United States
    FAST6191, I never said you bashed the show for bad acting.
    And Gahars, you're off with your comment about Transformers. Those movies are popular because they're the ultimate in popcorn movies. In that sense, they're of high-quality. It's much the same as if you said that the make-up is so good on TWD that it's the reason why it's so popular. The difference being, though, Transformers movies only come out every few years and are 2.5 hours while TWD is a weekly show of 16 episodes a year. The fact that the show is more popular now than it was when it first came out is because people like the stories, they like the characters, etc.
     
  12. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23,180
    8,922
    Nov 21, 2005
    ?
    "Well, you guys are way off about the characters being poorly-written and acted."

    Anyway
    "The fact that the show is more popular now than it was when it first came out is because people like the stories, they like the characters, etc."

    People are quite free to like drivel -- some people wish for stuff to not have to think about and that is fine. Even by zombie film standards though I find it pretty weak. I try to aspire to something slightly greater though.
     
    Gahars likes this.
  13. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Member
    10,254
    17,403
    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    New Jersey
    "Ultimate popcorn movies." It's a buzzword cornicopia!

    I don't know, I'm not a film snob by any means, I can enjoy a good dumb action flick or dumb movies in general; shit, one of my favorite genres is "slasher movies." However, to praise the Transformers movies as "ultimate popcorn flicks," you'd have to lower the bar enough to dig through to China. They're stuffed with awful humor ("Oh, look, Sam's Mom is high on the marijuana. Isn't that craaaaaazy?"), awful characters, pointless characters, obnoxious camerawork and effects ("I hope you like shaky footage of two indistinguishable hunks of metal colliding into each other, folks, because that's about the last 45 minutes of the movie), and, worse, run for way, way, way too long. Between Revenge of the Fallen and Manos: The Hands of Fate, I think I'd take Manos; at least it ends faster.

    Why is it popular? Well, there are explosions and there's technically action, plus they've got the "Michael Bay" brand attached. Really, not everyone cares about the quality of the movie they're watching; Batman and Robin still made more than a hundred million dollars. They're not dumb or evil or anything like that, we all have our own interests, but it does mean that they're not the best barometer for quality.

    Just because you're making something dumb doesn't mean you can't do it well. Shoot 'Em Up is just about a guy who shoots 'em up, but everyone involved put actual effort into their work, producing a movie that functions well while remaining fun throughout. There's no bullshit; you get exactly what it promises. If you've never seen it, I'd highly recommend it.


    Popularity, like I mentioned before, is a terrible indication of quality. Just because people watch it doesn't mean they watch for it every aspect of the show (Writing, characters, etc.), and just because a lot of people like something doesn't make it better than other things. The Walking Dead gets higher ratings than Breaking Bad; does that mean Breaking Bad is an inferior program? Shit, Mad Men gets beat out by both. Does that mean Mad Men has worse characters and writing than The Walking Dead?

    Shakespeare wasn't the most popular playwright of his era; should we throw Hamlet and Macbeth in the river and start praising those other guys? (Also, interesting parallel: One of Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime was Titus Andronicus even though most scholars would agree it's one of his weaker works if not his weakest. Why was it so popular? Because audiences responded to the extreme violence and melodrama. Hmm...)
     
  14. soulx

    soulx GBAtemp Legend

    Member
    10,130
    4,707
    Apr 4, 2009
    Canada
    Normally I'd say that you can't watch the first couple of episodes of a show and write it off but The Walking Dead is an exception. It just isn't any good. I'm still watching it (mostly as background noise at this point) just because I've already invested four seasons into the show at this point and it's still just as bad as you'd think. Even with those rare moments where it seems like the show has found its footings, it won't be long before the next shitty episode.

    If you want to watch and support quality television that's currently airing, try something like The Americans. Or Person of Interest. Or even The Flash for fucks sake. Anything is better than this turd of a show.
     
    Gahars likes this.
  15. Tiffani

    Tiffani GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    109
    22
    Sep 20, 2014
    United States
    FAST691, again, I never said YOU bashed the show for bad acting.
    "Well, you guys are way off about the characters being poorly-written and acted."
    That is in no way saying that you specifically bashed the show for poor acting. If Guy A says the sky is red and Guy B says the clouds are purple, I would say "You guys are way off about the sky being red and clouds being purple." I have no idea why you can't see the difference there.

    Anyway, moving on to something actually worth addressing and not some guy reaching for an excuse to be offended.
    Gahars, I never said that popularity equals quality. I would appreciate it if you guys would quit putting words in my mouth. You may call "ultimate popcorn movie" buzzwords, but guess what? They're an absolutely accurate description here. And btw, bringing Shoot 'Em Up into this proves my point. The story is even more stupid and insipid than any of the Transformers movies. The acting is better, but the characters and situations are just as lame and nonsensical, if not more so. It's a fun movie, though, so who gives a shit? I'm a big Giamatti fan so I got into the movie.

    Honestly, you two sounds like hipsters who just have to hate anything popular in the mainstream. FAST691, saying things like "People are quite free to like drivel -- some people wish for stuff to not have to think about and that is fine. Even by zombie film standards though I find it pretty weak. I try to aspire to something slightly greater though." smacks of so much pretension that it's possible you'll break your back trying to carry it.
    Gahars, you don't come off as arrogant but you do have a Dennis Miller thing going on where you try to bring up the most obscure thing you can in an effort to appear smarter than whomever you're debating.
    soulx, I give you credit for bringing Person of Interest into this discussion. I personally don't think the show is all that good myself (not bad by any means, but just okay) but bringing up a network show in a discussion like this takes guts because you risk getting sneered at for liking something mainstream. I like The Blacklist, Elementary, and Chicago Fire though so I certainly like mainstream shows. You do lose points for still watching a show you profess to dislike so much. It can't be that bad if there's still a reason you watch.
     
  16. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23,180
    8,922
    Nov 21, 2005
    Gahars and the previous posters did not say anything about the acting quality either. I did actually check in case that was aimed at someone else and would not have brought it up otherwise -- there are a few actors I will not bother watching in something, none of the walking dead peeps from the ones I saw, give or take the child actors but child actors are so very rarely any good anyway, have seen me discount their future works.

    If you would prefer a rephrasing of my pretentiousness then "just because it is trashy TV does not mean it can not be good/well made trashy TV". Walking dead features zombies (something that has worked for me on many occasions), post/ruined society (frequently something I like), a reasonably wide variety of people with different skillsets and abilities (most of which are probably not of immediate use and possibly not of very high level) trying to survive in that scenario (I am the kind of person that picks my associates in such a scenario a little bit more wisely but dead weight has been known to band together) and we also have the previously discussed aspect of the good pilot showcasing potential.
    Such a setup is well within my sphere of enjoyment, indeed a very similar setup having been done very well in 28 days later (less well in 28 weeks later but still not bad if taken as a kind of double feature)
     
  17. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Member
    10,254
    17,403
    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    New Jersey
    Then why bring up their popularity in the first place?

    Is dis ninja serious? Or did I forget the parts in Shoot 'Em Up where Clive Owen goes to robot heaven? And the part where the characters make a point of standing under robot testicles? Or when these guys showed up?

    Shoot 'Em Up is well shot, filled with good actors turning in fun performances (like Paul Giamatti, as you referenced), and well-paced; it doesn't stretch itself out to an interminable endtime. There's no wasting the audience's time. The movie is 86 minutes long, and yet more memorable scenes happen within that 86 minutes than the endless hours of any of the Transformers movies. Shit, in the time it takes to watch Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, you could practically watch Shoot 'Em Up twice over.

    Like I said, it's dumb and it knows it. The difference is, it's well-made dumb. Just because you're making a dumb movie doesn't mean you can't do it smartly or that there's no need for effort or restraint.

    Because disliking a popular show and movie franchise means that you hate all popular things and that you hate them because they're popular, right?

    Tsk, tsk.

    Shoot 'Em Up is "obscure" now? Sure, less popular, but I don't think obscure is quite the right word. Anyway, if you take umbrage with that example, there's plenty of other actually good "popcorn movies" out there. There's a smattering of little series like, you know, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, shit, most of Marvel's output (give or take the Thors), etc.. The Avengers doesn't have a whole lot of depth; its big message is "It's good to work as a team," but that's a movie that has exciting characters, decent pacing, amusing humor, interesting action (even if the final battle runs a bit long, it feels a hell of a lot more earned than any finale in Transformers), and a basic understanding of cinematography.


    Clearly you've never got stuck in a routine and/or gawked at a trainwreck. As someone who somehow watched to the end of Dexter, there's something to be said for both.
     
    Phoenix Goddess and BORTZ like this.
  18. Tiffani

    Tiffani GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    109
    22
    Sep 20, 2014
    United States
    FAST6191, I would much prefer you not sound like a 15th century monarch sneering at the plebs "People are quite free to like drivel" coupled with "I try to aspire to something slightly greater, though" is about as pretentious as it gets.

    Gahars, I brought up the popularity because it has increased over the show. That shows that there is something about the series that appeals to people. You guys said " The writing's bad. Poor pacing, poor characters, etc." (Gahars) and "Poorly written, characters that are morons*, poorly paced" and "Poor writing*, poor direction, poor editing and various things that those previous three are ultimately responsible for turning out poor, absolutely." (FAST6191)

    If this is true, then why has the show gained viewers? The only remaining thing would be action, but guess what, there isn't that much action in the series. Nor is there a ton of gore. Sure, there are episodes with good to great action and gore, but those don't happen all the time.
    Popularity doesn't equal quality, but sustained popularity does. They must be doing something right if they've gained viewers. I can cite many examples of shows that were very popular but died off when they dropped in quality. Heroes is the first I think of, but Revolution is another recent one.
    If TWD were as bad as you guys say it is, the ratings would have fallen, not increased.

    Moving on, your points about Shoot 'Em Up are very valid, but the movie is the very definition of obscure. It was a big commercial flop and lost money. You could ask 1,000 people if they've seen it and maybe 5 would say yes, and that's really pushing it. That doesn't mean it's a bad movie or anything, but it's very obscure.
    There's a big difference between gawking at an accident and continuing to watch a TV show that sucks. Again, I cite Heroes and Revolution. The difference with Dexter is that the finale sucked, but up until then the final season wasn't bad at all. It wasn't all that great, but it was pretty decent. But the finale sucked so much that it tainted the season for most people.
     
  19. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23,180
    8,922
    Nov 21, 2005
    I fear we may be suffering some variation on the "two countries separated by a common language" thing. Though I can certainly be accused of being verbose, perhaps even overly so, I would argue against a charge of my speech patterns/word choice being antiquated or an example some kind of class based derision. Likewise I am not sure pretentious, if I can be called that and if we are using the same definition (it has fallen into the something of a similar problem to the irony and the definition thereof), is a negative.

    The popular choice is not always the "right choice", though given earlier parts of this conversation I may wish to revise the phrasing there.
    There are various concepts at play

    Gahars and I both seem to have taken the time to learn about story structures, writing for entertainment and [insert long list of related fields]. There is something of a truism in life of the best something you ever have is when the someone making it is preparing/doing it for the entertainment of their peers. Related to this would be the "your trade will impart abilities to tell where somewhere else trying their hand has failed", or if you prefer it in webcomic form -- http://xkcd.com/1015/ . I will come back to it in a little while but I can not switch my head off in a lot of cases and such things will be glaringly obvious.
    As making something to that kind of standard is hard then few bother with it, doubly so when a) most people can not tell why something is bad and b) most of those in a) would probably use phrases like "boring arthouse shit". I would say something like Walking Dead is a zombie show for someone that has never seen any zombie fiction before, however that would probably be being too generous.

    Back on the switching my head off thing. Most of the time I do not get enough mental stimulation during the day, or at least I do not bog myself down with boring nonsense and burn myself out*, so my chosen entertainment usually skews towards the complex and involved. Others do not want this, and this is absolutely fine, and instead prefer to have a little story wrapped up with a bad guy getting shot at the 42 minute mark, just in time for a pithy remark, a scene at a bar to finish it all off and a fade to credits. I would maintain that walking dead is still poor by those standards but that might be a different discussion.

    *see also "Why would I want to use a computer at home? I spend all day looking at one.".

    On shoot em up I will have to look into the accounting for it. As a surface reading I guess you may say that but there is the term "Hollywood accounting" for a reason. http://www.theatlantic.com/business...make-a-450-million-movie-unprofitable/245134/ , to say nothing of DVD/video releases not getting bundled in with all that. Equally I am not sure how that fits the definition of obscure.

    "There's a big difference between gawking at an accident and continuing to watch a TV show that sucks."
    Perhaps, however it could be water cooler culture at some level. As a society we seem to have fractured our entertainment, which is no bad thing by me, but some will still partake just to talk about it at the office -- I see it all the for soap operas, talent contests (if you wanted another example of popular =/= quality then those would surely do), stuff like Lost* and choices of radio station.
    Equally the sunk cost fallacy could be a thing. "They were awful but I have to know how it ends" being something I have heard more than once in my life.
    Lack of options could be another -- in the US the show airs on Sunday nights, traditionally and presently not the most exiting point in the TV week and also the "I have work tomorrow" day for many.

    *I had not considered Lost and Walking Dead together like this before... I might have to ponder this further.

    In the end I think I will trot out the phrase I used when we were discussing the failure that was the N64

    "Like what you want to like, however if you are going to try to convince me that I would like it too then bring ammo".

    I have watched it so it is not like I am doing this without having experienced it myself (the last thing I remember seeing as part of a back to back thing was them messing around with a zombie in a well), I did also see later things like the video I link in a second that would appear to have confirmed my decision

    I am willing to admit part of it might have been some bitterness over having the rug pulled out from underneath me -- the pilot did promise one thing and the show delivered another, not the first time such a thing has happened but it seldom gets any easier.
     
    Gahars likes this.
  20. cracker

    cracker Nyah!

    Member
    3,142
    409
    Aug 24, 2005
    United States
    I'm sure many have said it... This season is pretty bad in comparison and it barely keeps me wanting to watch it. If they can't add any new thrilling twists soon they should put it out of its misery while it still has fans left.
     
    Gahars likes this.