Bates Motel: Doomed in the End?

by: LGreen

Things are really looking up for everyone on Bates Motel. Norma and Dylan have found love, Emma has a sparkly new set of lungs, even Norman is finding some peace. Everyone is, if not exactly happy, getting pretty close. It’s wonderful! And terrible! Surely this cannot last, can it?

We’re all doomed in the end, right?” is the casual piece of flirty cynicism  Norma threw out to Romero towards the end of last season. And if we go according to Psycho, then yes, you are all doomed in the end. You, especially, Norma. A mere half season later Norma and Romero are blissful newlyweds, saying “I love you,” making out like teenagers, and being all swoon-inducing awesome. So either this is the most excruciating build up to the other shoe dropping, or maybe, just maybe, a few of these troubled characters might just make it out happy and alive. But is that possible? Let’s take a closer look.

Emma (probably mostly happy)

Bates Motel_Emma

Emma is the most likely to make it out of White Pine Bay alive and healthy. She’s already halfway there, including distancing herself from Norman. She’s happy with Dylan and, even if that doesn’t last, we know wise-beyond-her-years Emma can roll with a break up. She’s on her way to college and a brand new life. There is that unfortunate situation with her mother being murdered by Norman/Mother. Maybe no one will tell her? Possible. But a murdered Audrey Ellis is like Chekhov’s gun, expect to see her again before the season is out.

Dylan (chances are slim)

bates motel_Dylan

Dylan has terrible luck, a terrible origin story, and zero safety net. He’s super happy with Emma, but everyone in his family has a way of sucking you right back into their orbit of crazy. Seattle may not be far enough, Dylan. Don’t stop until you hit Canada! On the flip side, Dylan is due some luck and maybe the writers will find it in their collective heart to cut everyone’s favorite brother a break.

Dr. Edwards (sorry in advance, doctor)

Bates Motel_Dr Edwards

I am so worried for Dr. Edwards! He’s totally doomed, right? He even called it himself in this week’s episode (“The Vault”). He says “Mother” appears to protect Norman from danger, in which he includes himself. Don’t give him any ideas, Dr. Edwards! Also take a look at how he’s lit, Norman is often in full light and the doctor is half in shadows. Something ominous is coming his way. His one possible chance? It would be hard for Norman to kill him in the hospital and get away with it.

Alex Romero (I’m so nervous, you guys!)

Bates Motel_Alex

Look at the dapper suit and bright smile! Who’d want to hurt this handsome gentleman? 1: Probably a lot of people. 2: Norman. He’s not going to be happy his late night movie cuddlefests with Norma are a thing of the past. Just look at Norma’s reluctance to even mention her new husband; Alex, you in danger, girl!

Romero’s safety mostly concerns me because of how it will affect Norma. She’s finally found someone who makes her happy, who’s good to her, who literally knows all her secrets and doesn’t care.  He bought her a coffee maker and filled in the pit. This is love!  Would Bates Motel get rid of Romero just to add one more tragedy to Norma’s already impossibly hard life? Yes! Yes, I think they would. It’s gotten so bad, that I hold my breath everytime he shows up.

Norman (definitely doomed because, well, Psycho)

Bates Motel_Norman

The writers have repeatedly said that they’re not writing Psycho. Bates Motel is inspired by, but not a prequel to, the movie. That’s obviously true, given the current time period. But time is a slippery thing in this world. Norma and Norman, from their home to their clothes, to music and movie choices, often exist in a world that seems both far away and of the past. Indicative of the bubble they share? Sure. But also, a big nod to the source material. This isn’t Psycho, but Norman’s world is. I don’t see how he’s going to escape that fate.

Chick (Doomed. Good)

Bates_Chick

How did this annoying minor character become so pivotal this season? And I’m not sure if his blackmail scheme with Norma is over. She called him on is bluff and all he did was give her a very creepy kiss on the cheek and leave. Is that it from you Chick? Back to the woods you go? Maybe he’s done with Norma, but he’ll likely be hearing from Romero sooner than later. People who threaten Norma Bates don’t tend to live long in White Pine Bay.

Norma (wildcard, fingers crossed)

Bates Motel_Norma

Oh, Norma. I worry about you most of all. The original Norma Bates didn’t end up so well, so we’re either watching her march towards that inevitable fate, or maybe Bates Motel will reward her for all her suffering. Maybe? Probably not.

This season in particular seems especially menacing towards Norma. With break ins, bitter ex-girlfriends, and Chicks all over the place (and even Norman posing a few threats himself), pulling out a happy ending would be an unexpected hat trick. Norma even predicted shed one day break her neck falling on those stairs, so now I have stairs to worry about too!

All this is why her newfound happiness with Romero is fantastic and awful and nerve-wracking. You just want them to really pack that bag and get out of town. Quick, before Norman/Chick/Caleb/Rebecca/The FBI/Fate catches up to you.

(Bates Motel airs Monday at 9EST on A&E)

*all images via A&E

The Walking Dead: What Have We Learned from Season 6?

by: LGreen

Photo Credit: AMC

Photo Credit: AMC

The Walking Dead is nothing if not informational. Thanks to Rick and the gang, we now all know how to mostly survive a zombie apocalypse (What? You weren’t taking notes?). Tonight we say hello to Negan and goodbye to Season 6. Thanks for the memories, Walking Dead, and for a season full of useful pro-tips and life lessons. What exactly has season 6 taught us? Read below and consider yourself enlightened.

This is why we can’t have nice things. We’re looking at you, Alexandrians, with your solar energy and Pottery Barn decor. The nicer your home in the zombie apocalypse, the weaker you are. Law of nature.

The only thing slower than walkers are turtles. Don’t be a turtle. Case in point:

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

If you fail a gazillion times, eventually you’ll do something right. Ahem, Gabriel. Nice to see that you stepped up. Finally. A millionth time’s a charm in the zombie apocalypse.

You probably shouldn’t scare children.

Photo Credit: AMC

Photo Credit: AMC

Oh, Carol, remember when you scared the crap out of poor dumb Sam with your passive aggressive cookies and tales of being eaten alive by zombies and we cheered you on?! We shouldn’t have done that and you really shouldn’t have done it. Turns out kids remember those kinds of stories and blind fear has a tendency to derail even the best laid plans.

Just because you’re awesome, doesn’t mean you’re not also wrong. Have Walking Dead fans become so enamored with Carol’s badassery that we no longer see that she’s sort of not right a lot of the time. Like when she told that poor Alexandrian woman to smoke outside (which resulted in her getting axed to death), or when she thought leaving on her own was a good idea (it really wasn’t), or her misguided notion that she’s good with children. (See above; she’s not) (See also 2 seasons ago).

 Spikewagons are genius.

Photo Credit: AMC

Photo Credit: AMC

This is the kind of apocalyptic innovation I like to see!

You can lead a walker herd to a quarry, but you can’t make them drink.

Photo Credit: AMC

Photo Credit: AMC

Oh, that’s not how that saying goes? Or… You can lead a walker herd to a quarry, but somebody will get killed and fall on their car horn and create a massive distraction and ruin everything. Tomato Tomahto.

This is survivable:

Photo Credit: AMC

Photo Credit: AMC

You just have to want it enough.

Don’t be that guy. Morgan just can’t hang. Morgan, I love you, but the morality lectures all the time and the cumbersome Gandalf staff (that’s what I call it) just aren’t going with the flow. You’re slowing the group down, dude.

Getting shot in the eye is not a big deal.

Photo Credit: AMC

Photo Credit: AMC

Unless it’s with an arrow and you’re just a guest actor:

 Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Apples are the new cigarettes.

Photo Credit: AMC

Photo Credit: AMC

So healthy!

If you come across a Whistling Men’s Choir in the foggy woods, get out of there immediately! Really, is this not the greatest lesson of all?

and finally…

We should have learned to appreciate Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s charming pizza-eating, robe-wearing, lovable Jason on The Good Wife more while we had the chance. Because now he’s Negan 😦

Photo Credit: CBS

Photo Credit: CBS

Why’d you leave us, friend?

 

See you in the fall for season 7, zombie fans!

Best Moments of the Bates Motel Season 4 Premier

By: LGREEN

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Image via A&E

Spoliers, all the spoilers, below:

Bates Motel is back and open for business, TV horror/family drama/motel fans! Season 4 premiered last night, picking right up where last season left off. (But in case you didn’t know… Emma is off to Portland for a lung transplant, Romero killed Bob Paris to protect Norma’s secret, and Bradley Martin is very much dead for reals this time, having been killed by “Mother.”)

So what were the biggest, best, most shocking moments of “A Danger to Himself and Others”?
In no particular order:

1: No time jump.
Time hasn’t moved all that quickly on Bates Motel, but each season has jumped a bit, setting up a new chapter in Norman’s evolution. Last night picked up immediately after Bradley’s murder from last season. Norman is found in a field, manic and disoriented, and admitted to the local psychiatric hospital. He’s released in two days, just in time for–whoops–his next murder! Somebody’s gone full psycho rather quickly…

2: Bad mom showdown.
So Emma has a pretty crappy mom. That particularly stinks because Emma is seriously the best. I expected Norma to let Audrey have it after she, herself, got a lecture from the doctor (nobody does projection quite as well as Norma). But her rant was filled with such honest affection for Emma, you remember that despite all Norma’s quirks and hysterics, she can, or wants to be, a great mom. No one’s ever going to accuse her of abandonment.

3: Norma gets a reality check.
And speaking of lectures… Poor Norma. She does the best she can. And because we like her so much, because her intentions are so good, we forget her best isn’t that great. Her efforts to keep Norman from murdering people, like not letting him get a driver’s license, are weak at best. But a lecture by the unfriendliest doctor in the world, in the creepiest hospital in the world, was sad. Norma needs a reality check, but she also needs a hug.

4: That robe!
Freddie Highmore’s “Mother” is a work of art, part Vera Farmiga impression and part twisted fantasy. It’s dark and hilarious and completely Emmy-worthy. Watch him open the door to Emma’s mother exactly like Norma answering the door in the pilot. It’s uncanny. But the best part of Norman’s Mother episodes? The costuming! That frilly, fancy robe (complete with a sash!) adds just the right touch of comedy to all the madness.)

5: Norma and Dylan have a moment.
Just when you think Norma is going to have a problem with Dylan’s relationship with Emma, she doesn’t. It’s nice that Dylan finally gets Norma’s approval, but a bummer cuz she knows Norman is no good for Emma.

6: Health Insurance is important.
It really is. And Norma is determined to get it for Norman, even if it means throwing out an early-morning, amazingly unromantic, marriage proposal to our favorite White Pine Bay sheriff. Forget that their last encounter ended with Norma saying “don’t touch me,” and Romero’s done his best to completely ignore her since, oh what the Hell! Might as well throw everything at the wall, Norma, and see what sticks! And it’s important to remember that he didn’t technically say no. … It’s only a matter of time for these kids.

7: Stashed money.
Hey, what’s up with that huge stash of stolen money Romero hid in his house?? Seems like that’ll come in handy later…

8: Bad mother showdown, part 2.
Norma let Emma’s mom off pretty easy, with just a lecture and a slammed door. “Mother” is a much harsher judge. And if there’s anything “Mother” dislikes, it’s abandonment. Two murders within a week? It’s interesting that this one didn’t show it from Norman’s “Mother” perspective. It seems they’re fully integrated and fully terrifying.

Odds and ends and questions

What does this all mean for the rest of this season and the next final season? There seems to be no fixing Norman at this point. All that’s left to wonder is what happens next and will anyone make it out alive and/or happy.

1: Will Romero actually marry Norma? (I vote yes.) And how will Norman react? (I vote obviously not well.)
2: How and when will Emma find out about her mom?
3: Will Bradley’s body ever be found and will that lead back to Norman?
4: Will this all end like Psycho or does Norma stand a chance at happiness?
5: Is that giant pit still in the front yard?

See you next week! Check in’s at 9!

Gift Ideas For Your Favorite TV Characters

by: LGreen

image

It’s that time again. Christmas is almost here and it’s time to start thinking about what to give those special people in your life. What about those other special people in your life–your favorite TV characters. Sure, they’re not real, but you’ve spent a whole year with them. Okay, that’s weird. Hypothetically, should they be real people, here’s are some suggestions for your best TV friends:

Don Draper (Mad Men)

how is that shirt comfortable?

how is that shirt comfortable?

Yoga pants. Congrats on finding enlightenment, Don! Or pseudo-enlightenment. Or inspiration. Whatever you found, it’s working for you. Now the whole world would like to share a Coke and you’re a gazillionaire, thanks to some mellow beachside meditation. Keep up the good work! But you’ll need some more comfortable clothes. Don Draper in Lululemon? Sure, why not.

Kimmy Schmidt (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)

kimmy phone

Hello? 2015 is calling.

An iPad. Sure, Kimmy already has an iPhone, which is amazing cuz it’s sort of like a computer, and she never had to suffer through a flip phone, or be tricked into thinking a Razr was cool. But she’s still seriously technologically behind the curve. With an iPad, she can catch up on years worth of pop culture, read some non-Babysitters Club books, and study for the GED. Or, then again,  she could use some more light-up sneakers. Either/or.

Jane Doe (Blindspot)

blindspot

How about a nice cozy turtleneck?

A shirt with sleeves. We get it. You have a bunch of tattoos. But where did they come from????? #mystery

Kilgrave (Jessica Jones)

kilgrave

A copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. No, not a new purple scarf. No fun presents for you, Kilgrave. Nobody wants to be with you, around you, or hear of you. Not even your parents. Read this book and take notes.

Annalise (How to Get Away with Murder)

students

Nobody knows what they’re doing.

New students. Alternatingly too murdery and then not murdery at all. They’re terrible students and horrible employees. Why does she keep this crew around, again? Also, unless you’re Annalise, I don’t know anybody’s name on this show. We all deserve better.

Everyone in Alexandria (The Walking Dead)

alexandria

“The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide”. They do know they’re in the middle of the zombie apocalypse, right? Everyone should read this book and brush up on the basics if they want to make it to next Christmas. Rick can only do so much for this crew.

Eli (The Good Wife)

eli

Sad Eli

A vacation to anywhere. Ruth is ruining his professional life, he’s heartbroken, and now his last friend in the world hates him. Eli really needs a break from it all. Time to buy a floppy hat and get yourself to Turks and Caicos, friend.

Noah (The Affair)

noah

Get those feelings out, Noah.

A journal. Maybe instead of writing about everyone else’s life, Noah can take a break to figure out his own feelings. If’s we’ve learned anything from Oprah, it’s that we need to all write down our feelings!

Piper (Orange Is The New Black)

piper

Victoria’s Secret Gift Card. This used prison panty thing is disgusting. Piper, it’s time to buy yourself some dignity.

Red and Lizzie (The Blacklist)

Red and Lizzie

Matching fedoras. That baseball hat is cute and all, but potentially related fugitives who run from that law together, should wear matching fedoras together! Samesies!

Dev (Master of None)

dev

Olive Garden’s Neverending Pasta Pass. What do you get the pasta aficionado in your life? Well, Dev already has a pasta maker and is off to Italy to perfect his pasta-making prowess. But sometimes you just want to eat starchy, low level comfort food and a bland and neutral setting. A neverending amount of it. Eat those feelings, Dev! We’ve got you covered.

And what do I want for Christmas? The Game of Thrones “shame bell” of course!

Happy Holidays, TV fans!

 

The Leftovers Season 2 Finale: Welcome Home

by: LGreen

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In two short seasons, The Leftovers managed to go from TV’s bleakest show to its most hopeful. In tonight’s mesmerizing season finale, The Leftovers hammered home the idea that while horrible things have happened, are happening, and will happen again, we don’t need to understand them; it’ll be okay. Because like Meg said, “family’s everything,” and Kevin is finally fully with his. “I live here now,” he says to Meg. Yes, he does. And it was a long road home.

Leading up to tonight’s episode, I planned on writing about Meg and how she’s one of TV’s  best villains — unassuming and vaguely forgettable — a threat hiding in plain sight. All season long she seemed like the throw-away character, around because she was contractually obligated to be there. Last week’s surprising episode revealed that she’s been climbing the ranks of the GR, determined to bring her rage-filled white-clad brand of terror to Jardin because everyone’s doing just too good a job of moving on.

It should have been clear that a Kevin and Co. vs The Guilty Remnant Showdown, part 2 (mirroring season 1’s finale) was their ultimate endgame. In a season filled with debates on faith, mysterious pies, resurrected birds, afterlife dreamscapes, the real conflict was destined to be very real and very human. It’s October 14 and The Guilty Remnant is here with a plan to stomp out hope everywhere. I never for a second doubted they could and would do it, except in the end, The Leftovers had another twist we didn’t see coming: it ended up not mattering at all. Life goes on and The Guilty Remnant is less important than it thinks it is.

Bridge Fakeout. The moment everyone was waiting for finally happened and it didn’t take long to get there. Evie and her friends reveal themselves to the town, guarding the trailer full of explosives on the bridge. All week there had been three big predictions about what Meg’s big plan was: she’d blow up the bridge to keep people out of Jardin, she’d have the girls show themselves to not be departures, only to kill themselves publicly (as if to say, see you are special after all, but still not immune to horrible things), or she’d create a diversion so the squatters on the other side could storm the town. It made the least sense that she’d destroy the bridge because that wouldn’t terrorize people enough, but with the treat of the girls detonating the explosives, in full view of everyone (with a giant countdown clock!) and with Erika on the bridge too, it seemed like that was truly possible. But it turns out that it really was all a diversion. Erika reveals that the trailer was empty and no threat at all. Everyone seizes the opportunity to force their way across the bridge. The real shock: the camp was already infiltrated with GR members, who were all in on it too.

Kevin dies again. While all this is going on, Kevin’s having another no good very bad day. He goes home to meet with John and confesses that he knew Evie never departed — but that he didn’t remember until he recently died and came back (…long story). John, understandably doesn’t buy it and thinks Kevin’s covering up because his hand print matched the one found on the girls’ car (as we all knew it would). It doesn’t make sense to John why Evie and her friends would just leave. No it doesn’t and nobody really has the answer to that except for Evie. John insists that she was a good girl and loved him. Kevin wisely (and unwisely) suggests that maybe she just didn’t love him. Because that’s the truth and nobody knows it better than Kevin. Sometimes people don’t love you, even when you want them to. Even when they should. And even when they do, they still can hurt you in unimaginable ways. The Leftovers has done a great job of deciding not to answer some of the big mysteries it presents. We may never know what the departure was, how or why it happened–why Jardin was spared, what the earthquakes were, or why Evie cannot or will not love her family. Because the question isn’t Why? It’s What Now?

John is less inclined to debate the metaphysical, however, and after Kevin’s admission, John shoots him and leaves him for dead. Before we could get too worried about him though… everything was also falling apart over at the bridge. Nora is there with the baby and Mary — who woke up! Heyyyyy, Mary!  Matt of course is thrilled — and what a nice surprise to have a character actually rewarded for his faith! I don’t get too used to characters having happy endings, so when things go to Hell, it’s understandable that we should be worried. Matt says they have to cross the bridge and get back into town, so they join the masses. He gets Mary and Nora takes Lilly, but she quickly loses her to a camp crazy lady who’s been harassing her all day, insisting Lilly isn’t her baby. The woman snatches Lilly and runs off. The woman’s insane, but she’s not technically wrong. It’s Nora’s big fear that she doesn’t deserve this new family she’s cobbled together and this is the moment she’s been dreading. I don’t doubt that The Leftovers could subject Nora to another departure of sorts. In this world, it’s the people, not mystical events, you need to fear the most. Nora does eventually find the baby and is helped to safety by Tommy (who finally decided to step up and stop being a follower).

Return Guest. Kevin wakes up in a very familiar hotel room and is apparently back in the Afterlife Holiday Inn. So he’s not really dead. Or at least not yet. Whether this means Kevin can’t be killed or just isn’t ready to go yet isn’t super clear, but he does have a mission. Once again he’s asked to choose an outfit — an identity — to complete the job. He forgoes the assasin’s black suit, opting for his former police uniform. Looks like he’s trying to be his old/true self. No one will give him a clear message of what he’s supposed to do there until he’s forced into a karaoke version of “Homeward Bound”

Homeward bound
I wish I was
Homeward bound

Home, where my thought’s escaping
Home, where my music’s playing
Home, where my love lies waiting silently for me

Ev’ry day’s an endless stream
Of cigarettes and magazines
And each town looks the same to me, the movies and the factories
And ev’ry stranger’s face I see reminds me that I long to be

Homeward bound…

1: Justin Theroux is a pretty decent singer and 2: I don’t care that these lyrics are so on the nose, it’s the most honest Kevin’s ever been with himself. His odyssey has always been to find his purpose in this post-departure world, and here it’s never been so simple: he wants to go home.

Once he leaves the hotel and wakes up for real, he encounters Meg. The GR have holed up in the Miracle Visitors Center and though they got what they wanted, they’ve never seemed less threatening as they nap on the floor, more like giant preschoolers than dangerous cult members. Even when they break into the song Evie’s Sunday School sang, what is supposed to be mocking and creepy, just comes off as hollow. The GR doesn’t want anyone to move on, but if you do, you’ve called their bluff and they’re out of moves. Meg assured Tommy she was planning something huge, but this just got a big Meh from me. The saddest part of this scene is watching Evie, sitting off to the side, too young and too angry to realize she’s just a pawn in Meg’s crazy pointless cult. Talk about it all being “pointless”. The joke’s on Evie and she doesn’t even know it. It’s sad and terrifying.

Home Again. Kevin finally makes it into town. The campers have looted main street and a full blown circus/party/orgy is underway. It’s grotesque, but also seems pretty harmless if it’s meant to be the GR’s master plan (we’ve seen them do worse). Kevin and John meet again. They makes their peace. John says he doesn’t “understand what is happening,” but that’s okay because nobody does and that’s what they all share. These are all characters who have been defined for 4 years by the departure: who they lost, what they lost, and what it all means. If season 1 was all about grief, in season 2 they finally start to climb their way out. Miracles do happen in Jardin, just not the ones everyone thought mattered. Kevin returns home to find his entire family there, new and old, all healthy and safe. These are characters who are ready to live again. The Leftovers has never felt so hopeful

Odds and Ends:

  • The season finale feels very much like a series finale. There’s been no word from HBO about bringing it back and as much as I loved this season (it’s by far one of TV’s smartest and visually rich shows), I would be okay if it ended like this. The story feels complete. I don’t know what else these characters would still want or fight for. They got what they want and can all now exit stage left, thank you very much.
  • On that note, this is possibly the only time a pitch perfect season finale could convince a network to not bring a show back.
  • I spent all season trying to figure out if there were clues in all the water imagery. From the wells, to the lake, the bathtub story, I kept thinking there was something I was missing. Nope, just cool rebirth/cleansing imagery, which is fun on its own.
  • Like so many of the big reveals this season, the clue that the explosives trailer was actually empty was there all along! Meg threw an empty grenade on the bus, the bridge fake out was just a bigger scarier version.
  • Shout out to Regina King in this episode. She didn’t have much screen time, but was completely heartbreaking in her scene with Evie. We don’t get why she’d do it either!!!!
  • How The Leftovers ended up being so optimistic is perhaps one of TV’s greatest hat tricks. The lack of cynicism in a show that’s about grief and loss and unimaginable pain is truly a credit to the writing.
  • I never expected Evie of all people to end up being more terrifying than Meg. Perhaps we all fall for the trick of believing she couldn’t be anything other than a nice girl because we don’t want to see it or believe it could happen. But looking back, all the signs were there. Silently wiping the tears off her friend? Stone cold.

 

Should The Walking Dead Start Wrapping It Up?

by: LGreen

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image via AMC

This season on The Walking Dead, Rick and the gang will face newer, deadlier threats! Rick’s leadership will come under question and tough decisions will be made as they question what it means to really survive! This is an apt description of season 6 thus far. Or any season, really. Six seasons in, and the the gang is neither better off, nor much wiser about their situation. The zombies are getting cooler, but is that enough? Should they starting wrapping this whole thing up?

I have one rule for writing about TV shows: I don’t write about anything I don’t like. It’s easy to take cheap shots. Even shows I’ve been hard on (ahem, Under the Dome…  looking at you Revolution), I enjoyed something about them. In the era of Breaking Bad and Mad Men, I think our standards have gotten too high for what makes a good show. Good shows don’t have to be great shows. And it’s okay to be occasionally frustrated with a season here or there– or finales, which notoriously disappoint fans, (hi, Lost!). At the end of the day, if you enjoy a show, it’s good to you. Enjoyment doesn’t necessitate genius. As I say to my theater nerd friends “you don’t have to be Sondheim. It’s okay to be Andrew Lloyd Webber too.” (It actually might be better, but that’s a discussion for another time.)

That being said, The Walking Dead continues to soldier on, 6 seasons into the zombie apocalypse, with no end in sight, limited character development, and little sense of what it’s all about. Apocalypse shows are an easy recipe for action-packed, audience-pleasing drama combined with deeper insight into the human condition. With the confines of society stripped away, all that’s left is action, survival, and a deep in-your-core exploration of what it means to be alive, be in a society, be human, etc. etc. (Check out The Leftovers over on HBO for a prime example of characters that are picking up the pieces of society and trying to figure it all out.)

But maybe that’s not what The Walking Dead is supposed to be about? Maybe it’s really nothing more than a serialized horror show that can plod on and on ad finitum with no end in sight and no need for one. Could we be seeing an adult Carl, 20 years from now, ushering in a second generation of viewers, soap-opera-style, as we tell our children “I watched this show from the beginning.”? In a way, I’d be impressed if The Walking Dead was in the middle of reinventing serialized TV and creating season after season of binge watching material that will stand the text of time. But somehow, I doubt that. As a stickler for stories, complete with beginnings, middles, and ends, I’d like to see this particular story and this particular set of characters reach some kind of conclusion, preferably while Carl is still in his teens.

The story of The Walking Dead has to be Rick’s. It began with him and should end with him. Assuming we’re in the middle of his story–all-around nice guy and family man, wakes up to find himself in the middle of the end of the world, forcing him to step up and lead the survivors to safety, he should be well on his way to who he’s meant to be. The Walking Dead has rarely been better than its series premiere that introduced us to Rick and the apocalypse. We should empathize with Rick and be equally horrified. When he tried out his stint as a farming pacifist, I was all for it, because who wouldn’t want a break from the endless violence and try to settle down into a peaceful society? The fact that that peaceful society was encamped in an abandoned prison, was a particularly strong use of irony. The fact that Rick’s best laid (or planted) plans, ended in such utter ruin, was a huge disappointment. But don’t forget that The Walking Dead premiered “Farmer Rick” a full season after they had the group camped out on an actual farm. This should have been the first clue that The Walking Dead likes to repeat itself.

Remember when the group found sanctuary at Terminus Alexandria, that turned out to be nothing more than a horrific trap, a mere illusion of sanctuary? Or when Rick laid down the law and told everyone that it was his way or the highway? Or when they took in a kindly stranger only to be ultimately betrayed? These events are all fine by themselves. I get it, the zombie apacalypse is a hard place. You might think you’ve reached your lowest point, only to find yourself ripping out the throat of an enemy with your bare teeth a season later. Perhaps there’s no real bottom to the horror these characters face and that’s the point. But that’s also no fun and becoming a bit of a drag.

So, let’s talk about the current elephant in the room. Glenn’s dead missing something. That’s a thing that happened weeks ago with still no concrete resolution in sight. It looks as if he likely met his end, but with doubt still circulating around the internet (and among a few characters), the show will have to address this soon. After an entire episode dedicated to Morgen’s back story (a device that could have used back and forths, not a solid 90 minutes), and then another to picking up the pieces in Alexandria, we still don’t know Glenn’s final fate. Surely there’s more to it than what we know. Otherwise why have Maggie and Aaron go out searching for him in last week’s B plot? Maggie was very intent, only to turn around in the end and return back to square one. So that was a less than fulfilling storyline. Also, Maggie’s pregnant; wouldn’t it be interesting to explore a pregnancy in this world and what it really means to carry on with life under the bleakest of circumstances? Oh yeah, the show already did that. Sort of. Hi, Judith.

Viewers that have been with these characters from the beginning, are waiting for a return on their investment. As the seasons go on, it’s harder and harder to shock us. The zombies are indeed much cooler (and grosser) and the show often produces some of the best action sequences on TV–and occasionally some highly artistic moments (this season’s black and white opener was especially effective). But it might be time to start asking what’s next for these characters. The Walking Dead has a good cast–they all deserves lasting moments of change and growth, Carol-style. The gang keeps flirting with the idea of settling down and truly rebuilding the world and maybe it’s time to do away with the false starts and really let that happen. Eugene’s DC plan was a fake out, but maybe there really is a cure out there? Maybe this gang can rebuild for real. Maybe it’s time to bring back Farmer Rick and start planting some real roots in this new world. All I know is if this search for Glenn turns into another painfully obvious Sofia-style fakeout leading up to the midseason finale, there are going to be a lot of unhappy viewers out there.

Maybe George Costanza was right… always leave on a high note.

Everything that’s Wrong with “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”

It’s almost that time again…. get your Thanksgiving toast and popcorn ready!

GREEN TV

by: L Green

Honestly, where to start with this horror show?  Everyone loves A Charlie Brown Christmas, and rightfully so. It’s super charming. So why do ol’ Chuck’s Thanksgiving exploits get much less respect? Is it because Thanksgiving is perpetually skipped over as we plow our way into Christmas? (War on Thanksgiving, I say!) No–it’s because A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is weird–filled with unsupervised children left to their own devices on a holiday, foraging for food, and being cruel to each other. Let’s take a closer look at everything that’s wrong with A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving:

1. Too much Lucy

We've danced this dance before, Charlie Brown We’ve danced this dance before, Charlie Brown

Sure, Charlie Brown’s main tormentor (he has a few) only makes an appearance in the beginning, but that’s just enough time to trick him into trying to kick that dumb football again. And one could argue at this point that Charlie Brown should…

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15 TV Inspired Halloween Costumes

There’s still time!

GREEN TV

By: L Green

If you deep down dream of being like cool as Hell Jon Snow or think you could rock a wig as better Keri Russell in The Americans, well now’s your chance! Halloween is lurking around the corner and here are 15 TV-inspired costumes to satisfy your inner TV and Halloween nerds.

1. Phil Miller (Last Man on Earth)

For the truly lazy, here’s the costume of your sloth dreams. Wear whatever, add a gnarly beard, and attach food particles at your discretion. Bonus points if you incorporate Rocky’s robe or the margarita pool.

2. The Snow Queen (Once Upon a Time)

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