The State of TV

My favorite character and yet cause of the worst scene in the show so far...

My favorite character and yet cause of the worst scene in the show so far...

I got home from a wedding in time to see the season premiere of The Walking Dead on AMC.

I was actually something of an interested fan before the show, having read some of the great graphic novels that were available. And when I heard about the show coming out, I had nothing but phrase for AMC for trying something as wild as a zombie survival drama.

One of the things that is driving me crazy is how close the story was to the comic at first before the show’s creators decided to do their own thing. You see in the comic, Shane Walsh is killed in the first novel. So far, it hasn’t happened. Yet.

In both the comic and the show, Shane engaged in an affair with the wife of his friend and partner, Rick Grimes. That came to an end when Rick reappears, alive and well.  In the comic, a jealous Shane tries to kill Rick, only to be killed by Rick’s son. Well, the sadistic creators of the show decided to once again suggest that it was about to happen, only for something more unexpected and actually worse to occur in the season premiere. I won’t say what, but let’s just say I’m used to shocking plot hooks like that happening in season finales, not premieres.

I have to say I’ve come to respect these artistic differences after seeing the Watchmen movie. It wasn’t a bad movie, but it was a lesson in being too faithful to the original source material. After finishing it I thought, “If I want the same story, why not just read the novel?”

It wasn’t bad by any means. It just didn’t add much to the experience. There were a few good, new ideas in it. But that was all.

Anyway, back to The Walking Dead. One of the things that got me about this premiere was that they actually touched upon the weakest scene in the season finale. You season, season 1 ended with the group finding the CDC, Center for Disease Control, (it’s an actual U.S. agency for those of you not from these parts). There, a scientist explained all this sad stuff about how the world was failing and even gave a little insight into the nature of the walkers. Then he explained that the CDC center was going to explode.

That’s right. In case of emergency, the CDC will explode.* Important safety tip for anyone reading.

Now in this scene, Andrea decides she wants to stay and wait for the explosion to claim her life. She wants to die? Fine. She’s not alone. The scientist and the woman who formerly worked for the city’s building permits office wanted to as well. But Dale, the elderly chap whose wisdom, personality and light sense of humor I’ve come to admire, refused to see Andrea give up like this. Of course, Dale reserved his compassion for living only for Andrea. Never mind the scientist or the other woman. Andrea sort of called him on this in the season premiere.

Besides The Walking Dead, I finished the fifth disc of season 2 of Lost. Apparently, this is a massive undertaking given the length of Lost: six seasons, roughly 8 discs a season and around 4 episodes a disc. Let’s say that’s actually 30 episodes a season (last disc usually only has one or two episodes). That’s 180 episodes of an average length of around 45 minutes a pop. But I’m determined to finish it.

I wonder if watching that much television gets you bragging rights…

*-I’m kidding. Do not take my statement seriously.

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Weekend Rantings

Last night, the Korilla BBQ team on The Great Food Truck Race was disqualified for cheating.

Not cool, guys.

Not cool, guys.

In TGFTR, teams compete with their food trucks to sell the most goods and make the most profit possible. The lowest seller goes home that round until there’s only one left. But along the way the show’s host, Tyler Florence, hits all the teams with a wild speed bump. In the previous round, all the trucks were forced to sell their food for $1 or less.

And in this round, they were forced to go vegetarian. The Seabirds, a full blown vegan truck, would have eaten this challenge up if they survived last round. But it was detrimental to two of the remaining four trucks, especially Korilla BBQ.

It’s a shame. I was cheering for the Korillas for some time. They had less ego than some of the trucks (that’s not to say they had no ego). But they also proved to be both clever and resourceful, always tapping into the local Asian markets for the hook ups, finding out where to go and pulling something clever with the rules and challenges to give them an edge without going over the edge.

But this time, they tried to be too clever. Over $2,000 extra was found in their cash box without receipts to match it. Tyler saw through this and called them out. The Korillas were my favored team, but cheating is cheating. I can’t defend that.

The ironic thing was that Hodge Podge had fewer sales than Korillas did. If the Korillas had not attempted to cheat, they would have remained in the race. A food critic gave The Lime Truck immunity and Roxy’s Grilled Cheese finished first for sales. Personally, I’m cheering for Roxy’s now. I never disliked them and their likeable attitudes have grown on me. However, as much as I dislike The Lime Truck’s arrogance, the fact is that they seem to have the best looking (and probably tasting) food on the show and they usually pull bank. They react to the challenges and speed bumps well. I can’t even guess how all this will go down.

Normally, I don’t watch much television. The shows I do watch include primarily AMC’s stuff, including Mad Men, The Killing and The Walking Dead. I’d like to get back into Breaking Bad and am waiting for the next season of Dexter and Fringe. The joy of all this is that despite these handful of shows, the various times they all come out limit me to no more than one, sometime two hours of television a week. But I love TGFTR for its business savvy on top of the cooking. Looking forward to next week.