No surprise to you readers by now, The Walking Dead continued to impress me with it’s newest episode, ‘Tell It to the Frogs’. The halfway point of AMC’s fledgling series was far lighter on zombie content than the first two episodes, but all of that didn’t matter to me, as the show finally proved what I’ve been raving about all along: This show isn’t just a lot of zombie violence, and it focuses more on the demons of the people than the monsters themselves. In fact, none of the characters have been eaten or bitten by a zombie yet, we’re halfway through Season One, and it’s still the best zombie thing to hit the screens in years. Not too shabby.
Click the jump to read all the best, worst (Which is more like “meh”), and most brutal parts of my favorite show on cable.
[And if you haven’t figured it out by now, yes, this contains spoilers. Don’t whine to me if you haven’t watched this yet.]
- Serious Comic Book Deviation: Yup, this show is going to be very different from the comic book. By my guesstimation, there are at least 8 characters not from the graphic novel in the TV series, and at least one family from the comic has been removed to make room for characters that I’m guessing will provide more dramatic scenarios. Couple that with the fact that episodes 2 and 3 have almost no similarity to the original novels, and you can tell that a lot of this show is going to be a big surprise even to people who have read them, such as myself. Honestly, I love it. Just make sure that the main concept remains and I’ll be happy. Oh, and The Governor sure as hell better be showing up by season 3/4.
- Human Emotions Take the Spotlight: After two episodes that showed enough blood and guts to satisfy most male viewers, ‘Tell It to the Frogs’ let the violence take a backseat to a bunch of conflicts within the band of survivors. I won’t go into too much detail, but these include: (1) Daryl, the brother of the violent hick, Merle, who was forced to be left behind by the gang, isn’t pleased about his family member being handcuffed and deserted on a roof (2) Rick reunites with his family, ruining Shane’s attempts to become Carl’s new “dad”, as well as his relationship with Laurie since it was he who told her that Rick was dead (3) The females attempt to save a fellow camp member from the clutches of her abusive and sexist husband, which leads to a pretty gruesome fight to end the episode. Sure, there were some nice zombie action sprinkled in, but it was the humans that caused the true dramatic tension of this episode.
- Not Bloody Enough: Still nitpicking, this is a good thing. The only complaint I have (Other than Amy being a horribly annoying character) is that [SPOILER] When Rick and Co. find Merle’s severed hand on the roof where they left him, there’s simply not enough blood to constitute the fact that somebody just pulled a Saw to escape starvation and zombies. Being atomically correct is fun!
- That’s Gonna Leave A Mark: [Spoiler-ish] Good Lord, Shane’s relentless pummeling of the wife-beater, Ed, was far, far more disturbing than at least 80% of the zombie content seen on the show so far. It lasts around 30 seconds, and it currently holds the award for “Hardest Thing to Watch” on The Walking Dead. The dude did deserve it, but still, very unsettling.
Best Zombie Kills:
- Rick, Jim, Glenn, and Shane all pummel a zombie that scares the children and is eating a deer. Since a gunshot would alert more zombies, Dale decides to stop wasting energy and just decapitates it with an ax. After some conversation, the head comes back to life and Daryl is forced to shoot an arrow through the still-living (Sort of) zombie head. It was essentially the only zombie kill of the episode (A few more sprinkled in towards the end), but it was still bad-ass.
Ranking the Actors: Who’s Great and Who’s Decent?:
- Tier 1 (The Best So Far): Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Jon Bernthal as Shane Walsh, Laurie Holden as Andrea, Jeffery DeMunn as Dale, Steven Yuen as Glenn, Michael Rooker as Merle Dixon, IronE Singleton as T-Dog.
- Tier 2 (Solid): Sarah Wayne Callies as Laurie Grimes, Jeryl Prescott as Jacqui, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Melissa Suzanne McBride as Carol, Andrew Rothenberg as Jim, Adam Minarovich as Ed.
- Tier 3 (Most Disfigured): The zombies. Man, they’re really good at looking disfigured.
- Tier 4 (Children): Children can’t act.
- Tier 5 (Amy): Emma Bell as Amy just annoys the hell out of me. When your main role is to act scared or cry, then you can bet your ass that I want your character to die. And if things go the comic’s way…. Oops, did I ruin something for you? Oh, look at that pretty butterfly!
Yep, this show still rocks. If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t worry. AMC will likely play the entire season over twice once the sixth episode has been aired.