Tag Archives: Andrew Lincoln

A review of “The Walking Dead” Season 7.

[THIS REVIEW CONTAINS GENERAL, MINOR SPOILERS FOR SEASON 7 OF “THE WALKING DEAD.”]  I loved Sunday’s season finale of “The Walking Dead” — it was well executed, well performed (especially by Andrew Lincoln), and well written.  It was even beautifully scored.  (The closing narration and montage, combined with the music, were surprisingly moving.)  It had some great twists, unexpectedly good CGI, and some nice callbacks to the original comics.  (One surprise we see actually occurs with respect to another major character in the books.)  Towards the end of the episode, I was riveted.

The finale, however, can’t really redeem Season 7 as a whole.  I would honestly rate the season a 7 out of 10.  This was definitely one of the lesser seasons; I believe it would be the one I liked the least, if not for the inexplicably poor Season 2.

Maybe I was a little grumpy about “The Walking Dead” even before the season started.  Like a lot of viewers, I felt that the “cliffhanger” where Season 6 left off was absolutely manipulative on the part of the writers.  It pissed me off, and I went into Season 7 with reservations.

Then I was reminded about some of the smaller complaints I had about the show in the past.  I strongly differ with my friends about this show’s character development — I think it’s inconsistent at best.  And “The Walking Dead” seems to have so many characters that it can’t seem to decide who is a major character and who is not.

There’s a bit too much cheesy melodrama, like the schoolyard dynamics among the good kids, Maggie and Jesus, and the meanie, Gregory.  (This subplot was drawn from the comics, too — but it played out there in a far more adult fashion.)

Then I had a new quibble or two — one was a lack of proper minimal exposition.  We know extremely little about Jadis and the survivors in the garbage dump, despite the major role they play in the story.  They seem … sort of like a cult, and sort of like a performance art group, but that’s all I could tell you about them.  (The Internet tells me that some fans refer to them as either “the Heapsters” or “the Garbage Pail Kids.”  I find both appellations pretty funny.)

My biggest complaints about Season 7, however, were that it was too much of a downer, and that it was too slow.

We start the season with a front seat to Negan’s gory, merciless punishment of Rick’s de facto family.  And then the victimization of our favorite characters simply … continues for the length of the season, until the last episode’s climax.  You see that cool image at the bottom of this blog post?  The advertisement depicting bad-ass Rick and his allies getting ready to “RISE UP?”  (It actually looks a lot like the posters for the “Walking Tall” films.)  Well … we don’t see much of that until the final episode. I told one friend that “The Walking Dead” was disappointing me because it had grown tiresome “seeing Negan beat everyone all the time.”

And some episodes felt like filler.  Yes, there were some nice “milieu” -type stories — it was actually a lot of fun expanding the show’s world, to see other settlements, like The Kingdom, The Sanctuary and Oceanside.  But I think the plot needed to move forward more quickly.  (For a far better discussion of these issues, check out Ryan Roschke’s excellent review over at Popsugar.)

Hey … I’m still a fan.  I’m just not as satisfied a fan as I used to be.  I certainly looked forward to “The Walking Dead” every week, and never missed an episode.

And this season did have its high points.  Dwight emerged as quite an interesting, compelling character, thanks in no small measure to Austine Amelio’s portrayal of him.  The character interaction among him, Daryl, Negan and Rick is great stuff — I find myself wishing that the lion’s share of the season was devoted to those four.  I am finally starting to understand that Norman Reedus is indeed a really good actor — his performances were strong throughout the entire season, but must notably upon his return to Alexandria and his embrace with Rick.

And there were moments of nice action and horror as well — the sand-buried walkers pursuing Tara and Health spring to mind, not to mention the neat trick Rick and his group use to dispatch an entire herd of zombies on the interstate.

Let’s hope that Season 8 will pick up a bit, now that “war” is underway.



Can anyone spare a Dolarhyde? Because I’m a little short.

First look at “Hannibal” Season 3!!!


I am depending on you people to watch this show, so that it remains on the air.  You guys already failed to come through for me on “The Following,” and now Ryan Hardy will no longer be able to save us from serial killers — which, in “The Following’s” universe, are about as common in the population as Justin Bieber fans (and even more terrifying).

I am sorry to gush so much like a fanboy for “Hannibal,” but if everyone else is going so bananas for “Star Wars,” I figure my ardor here is forgivable.  If it redeems me any, I was also a huge fan of the books.  So … y’know … literature and stuff.

Here are a few quick thoughts:

1)  The Season 3 preview looks great, but it IS rather heavy on spoilers regarding who survived the Baltimore massacre.  (Am I mistaken in thinking the second season finale meant to keep that a mystery?  ALL the advance press does this — including character posters.)

2)  I’m happy to see that Hannibal Lecter is NOT actually married to Bedelia (I won’t attempt to spell the remainder of her name), because that would contradict his character incredibly.

3)  It looks as though NBC shot on location in Europe.  Isn’t that really expensive for a TV show to do?

4)  I’m confused about whether the story takes place in Paris or Florence (as in Thomas Harris’ original novel).

5)  Seeing Will Graham speak in a British accent causes me cognitive dissonance.   I get the same thing whenever I see Andrew Lincoln or Hugh Laurie in interviews.  Because Rick Grimes should not sound like James Bond.

6)  It looks as though they are heavily (and wisely) referencing the novels again.  The line, “I’ve killed hardly anybody during our residence,” paraphrases Harris’ “Hannibal.”

7)  No Clarice Starling … and maybe not ever.  NBC does not own the rights to that character.

8)  Whether or not Bedelia condones or participates in Hannibal’s crimes is left ambiguous.  This is something that seems forced and implausible to me.  (Viewers should know if she’s dirty or not.)  This is despite the fact that Gillian Anderson  is a great actress with great delivery of ambiguous dialogue.  Yes, I do understand that both characters are supposed to be brilliant, and can trade cryptic comments and understand each other perfectly.  But would this happen all the time?  Wouldn’t Bedlia, just once, look over and say, “You know, I’m not on board with all this killing and stuff?”

9)  Shot for shot, the preview here is heavily reminiscent of Brett Ratner’s film, “Red Dragon” (2002).

10)  The “Red Dragon” storyline is indeed happening; we just won’t see it right away.  Actor Richard Armitage looks great.  They will return to Baltimore if Francis Dolarhyde is a baddie — this would also explain why we see actors portraying Baltimore residents in past seasons.

11)  No Inspector Pazzi, despite Florence being referenced.

12)  Mason Verger returns.  He looks different.  Because WHEN ANIMALS ATTACK.

13)  Some of my Mommy friends have young children who occasionally will lose a baby tooth.  I suggest that this is a great family-friendly program with which to introduce to them the story of “The Tooth Fairy.”