Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Event/Alias/The Walking Dead

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With the family out of town enjoying a visit to Wisconsin Dells, I fell asleep after work watching the DVD of Season 1 of "The Walking Dead". It's a zombie series that follows the plight of one sheriff's deputy intent on guiding his family through the post-apocalyptic hell that's become contemporary Georgia.

There's nothing overly original about the series, no unique advancement in zombie physiology, our reaction to them, or our methods of killing them. (you still shoot 'em in the brain). Actually, it may have one original trait: an intelligent script and a decent respect for characterization. Sure, sure, I saw the cheating wife coming, and the goody-two-shoes lead can infuriate, but all in all it's well written and certainly worth your time.

And I want to know what secret Keller whispered in the deputy's ear in the season finale.

Grade: A

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I've been meaning to watch Alias for quite a few years and finally got around to watching most of season one. I like it, and find it entertaining and decently complex. But - and you know there was a but coming - it's also tedious. Keeping a weekly spy series going, especially one that has an overall story arc, demands that for every X amount of episodes there is a mandatory X amount of death defying, all hell's breaking loose missions. Hard to believe, but 8 or 9 episodes in I felt it was very mundane.

Plus, as a network show intent on showing Sidney isn't 'bad', she continually exhibits what I feel is Slapinions Golden Flaw of Action Characters: she fails to end the threat. John Doe is a bad guy, you say, one who constantly is trying to kill you and has nearly succeeded in the past? You just defeated him in a fight, and despite his spiteful warning that he'll be back to kill you . . . you handcuff him to a radiator and move on. Bulls((t. End the threat. Kill the guy. Not because you are bad, or evil, or callous, but because by letting him live you're not proving you're better - you're endangering your own life and that of the world as a whole.

Grade: C

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I haven't seen but two episodes of The Event so far, so my judgement is incomplete. It's a Lost-ish thriller about a group of aliens who have been kept prisoner by the US for decades and now may/may not be orchestrating a violent takeover. I like it, but again, there's plenty of time for it to go south.

Grade: Incomplete

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