Tag Archives: the walking dead

Is Death On TV Becoming Boring?

Death is all around us. It’s inevitable, it’s heart-wrenching, it’s devastating and sometimes, despite the pain that it causes on those left behind, it can be beautiful. It makes us think about what we want in life, about the people around us, about what we wish we could’ve said and we could’ve done. So it makes sense that good fiction, which is often based on exploration of humanity, would show us death and how it affects its characters and everyone around them. But have we reached a point where death on television has stopped being gripping and interesting? Where it has become boring instead? I think so.

There are several blog posts written right now about the current death toll on TV. It seems that death is hitting our favorite shows more than ever and it is worth noting that the victims have been, save for a few exceptions, anything but straight, white guys. There are a thousand reasons behind this, but because I want to avoid the “not everything is about race/sexuality/gender” argument, let’s look at it at a different way:

Let’s put sexuality, gender and race aside (you will realize as I give my examples this is rather impossible, given the current panorama on TV, but I will try not to use it as part of the argument). If we take a look at television at the moment, it seems that death has become a very cheap, very repetitive resource to get out of bigger narrative issues that writers do not want to face. When I first created this blog, I wrote about the M.S.F.D. and here is how I described it.

It appeared out of the necessity to keep audiences engaged and thrilled throughout the Christmas hiatus, but the problem is, it has become dangerous. It no longer infects the viewers and leaves them wanting more. Instead, it destroys the subjects and leaves them in a constant state of anger, sadness and impatience.

The thing is, it’s no longer happening during midseason finales anymore: death on TV can come at any moment. Any character could die any episode, and while that should be something that actually makes it interesting and thrilling to watch, what’s happening is that it is exhausting for the viewer, because as much as they want to be entertained, they are also now more critical than they ever were.

Continue reading Is Death On TV Becoming Boring?

My New Year’s TV Resolutions

2015 is here, and everyone is making impossible resolutions: to exercise more, eat less crap, stop drinking, stop spending money on useless things… I like to keep it simple. My resolutions are achievable goals, like changing out of my pajamas on days where I’m not planning on leaving the house, just in case someone decides to come visit. But some of them also TV-related. So what am I going to try to change on my TV habits this year?

Watch more dramas

masters_sex

Most of the shows I watch are either sitcoms or sci-fi and fantasy and there are not many dramas in my favorite shows’ list (‘The Hour’ and ‘Sherlock’ are exceptions.)

I gave a chance to ‘Masters of Sex’ this year and while I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it, so I dropped it.  Same thing happened with ‘How to Get Away With Murder’, ‘Blacklist’, and others. I have always rationalized not enjoying straight-up dramas as much with me thinking of TV as an escape from the horrible realities of the world, but the truth is, sometimes they just bore me. That’s why this year I have decided to find some compelling and interesting dramas to watch that can help get me into the genre. Maybe I will give some of the aforementioned a second chance.  Continue reading My New Year’s TV Resolutions

My Top 10 Ships of 2014

I am a shipper, that is who I am. I think watching TV shows and not getting invested in the characters’ relationships makes no sense. I believe every TV show is an exploration of the human experience, and the human experience includes falling in and out of love. When I am told I am watching wrong because of it, I simply laugh at the implication. I don’t think my judgment or my critical thinking is clouded by shipping, quite the contrary, it’s because I am invested in these characters– not just those I ship, but all of them, because that is just how I watch TV– that I can be critical, otherwise I would just sit in front of the TV, be fed a ton of crap and consume it mindlessly, which is in many cases what many of these so-called “true fans” want people to do.

So I ship. And when I do, I ship hard. These are the 10 ships that forced me to tweet in capslock this year:

10. Ichabod and Abbie, Sleepy Hollow

TVLine/FOX. Note: WHY WAS THIS DELETED? Um.
TVLine/FOX. Author Note: WHY WAS THIS DELETED? Um.

These two are last because this year Sleepy Hollow has toned down a lot the relationship between Abbie and Ichabod by having Katrina back and Henry releasing useless monsters of the week, to the point that it really has hurt the show and their dynamic. It’s been all about Ichabod and very little about Abbie, and sometimes I wonder if the writers just decided to back away from the possibility of these two being romantically involved in the future. But it’s not just that, it really has made it seem like Ichabod only cares about saving Katrina and redeeming Henry and won’t remember how much Abbie is sacrificing for him. It has taken episodes like ‘Weeping Lady’, where Abbie has truly been in danger to see Ichabod’s appreciation of Abbie come out. However, ultimately their lives depend on each other and they’re the one person the other trusts with their life. I just wish the show did a better job at giving us back the two people who forged the strong bond I loved so much last season, because I still ship it, just not as much as I want to. And I really want to, look at their faces.  Continue reading My Top 10 Ships of 2014

The M.S.F.D. Virus

There is a virus that has been spreading around our television shows for the last few years. It appeared out of the necessity to keep audiences engaged and thrilled throughout the Christmas hiatus, but the problem is, it has become dangerous. It no longer infects the viewers and leaves them wanting more. Instead, it destroys the subjects and leaves them in a constant state of anger, sadness and impatience:

It’s the M.S.F.D. (Midseason Finale Death) virus.

Note: there are SPOILERS for several shows in this article, so proceed at your own risk.

Continue reading The M.S.F.D. Virus

An Open Letter To The Writers of ‘The Walking Dead’

“I know you look at me and you just see another dead girl. I’m not Michonne, I’m not Carol, I’m not Maggie. I survived and you don’t get it, ’cause I’m not like you or them. But I made it! And you don’t get to treat me like crap just because you’re afraid!”

Dear The Walking Dead writers,

Back when Beth Greene said those words, it felt as if she was talking to the audience. An audience that would immediately put in doubt her presence in an episode with the series’ most famous character, who would immediately say she didn’t deserve to share screen time with their beloved Daryl Dixon. An audience that would probably be angry by the time she said those words that she wanted to grieve the way her father had grieved when he lost his son and his wife (many people think of several Hershel and Beth parallels, but they seem to forget after the walkers in the barn were shot, Hershel went off to a bar to drink, and I don’t see anyone calling him out about that.)

It turns out, those words were the start of what I believe is the most emotionally manipulating and extremely unsatisfactory Walking Dead storyline up to date.

Here is what you guys decided to do with Beth Greene:

You gave her a big episode with one of the most successful members of the cast and brought her to the front and center. You highlighted her hope, her inner strength, her ability not to take shit from anyone. You made Daryl Dixon open up to her like he hadn’t opened up to anyone before. You cemented the base of what seemed would be a romantic relationship with said character. You had her kidnapped and taken away from him. You built up an entire storyline revolving around her where she proved, once again, that she was not useless and not a burden. That she was smart, she was strong. She was a survivor.

And then you killed her. Not just killed her. You killed her without a proper reunion with the group she believed in the survival of. You killed her by having her make a decision that made no sense whatsoever. That was completely out of character for the character she had turned out to be. That was completely out of character for the rest of the characters in the scene, who didn’t even attempt to stop her from stepping towards Dawn. “I get it now” were empty words because Beth had caught up on Dawn’s bullshit way before the moment she wanted Noah back. Her death was not heroic, because it was mind-blowingly stupid for you to believe the audience would buy the same girl who had elaborated an escape from the hospital would think stabbing a bulletproof vest-wearing woman on the shoulder was a smart decision.

I have no idea how you finished writing this script and thought “he he he we’re SO SMART, aren’t we going to SHOCK everyone?”

Because yes, you did shock me, with your crappy writing. Continue reading An Open Letter To The Writers of ‘The Walking Dead’