Thoughtful & Abstract: Fear the Walking Dead: 'Monster'

T&A are on the job trying to make sense of this season of FTWD.
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In which Shawn and Kim head out on the a one-hour tour with our cast.

Shawn: Is this just some backhanded way to get me to watch a show that I might bail on?  Is it some morbid curiosity?

1.)  PREVIOUSLY ON FTWD.  Before that little montage at the beginning (and truthfully afterwards too), I remember these few things about the initial season.  Kim Dickens is hot.  There's a boat that not-Morgan led them to.  Drug teen was annoying.   After much teeth gnashing, some lady was killed.  And the Army was going to bomb Los Angeles.  This show had moved the needle so little on my interest meter that very little of it stuck with me.  I couldn't even figure out who all of the boat people were at first.  I don't know what this show is going to need to do to get me emotionally involved but it's not whatever they did last season.  The best moments of the show centered around the downfall of society.  The scenes with the town devolving into chaos were what interested me the most.

2.)  DISCO INFERNO.  I think Public Enemy put it best when they said, "Burn, Hollywood, burn."  So we knew the Army was going to bomb the city and I remember something about the house on the hill.  What happens now?  We get on the boat and leave the most interesting part of the story.  Isolating our characters on a boat while the city burns is fine.  It takes away their option to go home.  But I need a "man on the ground" on the mainland.  I want to witness the real horrors happening as the city burns and the zombies are taking over.  This would be a perfect antidote to happy fun time on the boat.

3.)  ZOMBIES OF THE CARIBBEAN.  As stated - Rule #1 of zombie boat is don't talk about zombie boat.   At some point in there not-Morgan should have said Rule #29 no matter how much you both like Bowie, don't give away our location.  Rule #36 no swimming no matter how refreshing and clear and waveless the ocean looks.  Ahab left out some really important points.  I did appreciate the debate about rescuing the flotilla.  But those arguments are as old as zombie shows.  We don't need to spend much time on them.  In fact, that's the biggest problem with this episode.  It spends time where it doesn't need to and skips over the more interesting points of being stuck on a boat during the apocalypse.  I don't need a full breakdown of the awesome meals that they are going to cook.  We got on the boat for a reason.  Let's talk about going to an island.  Let's actually go somewhere.  Not swimming.  The fake suspense generated from diving into the ocean backfired and made me mad not fearful.  I don't fear the swimming dead.

4.)  TEEN JUNKIES ARE JUST AS ANNOYING AS ALL THE OTHER TEENS.  There's supposed to be some symbolic connection between junkies and zombies.  They are all just single minded or something like that.  Blah, blah, blah.  All I see with our boy and our girl are similar annoying versions of Carl and Enid.  They have hormones.  They make bad decisions.  We get it.  What strikes me in both cases is how stereotypical and generic the dialogue is for the teenage character has been.  It doesn't ring true.  The teens on an average Disney show have more realistic conversations.  Every nine-year-old is aware of Stranger Danger.  Yet, Alicia forgets all the rules of the internet because it's a CB radio?

There's a chance here to build something.  I'm afraid they don't have the tools to do it though.  There's a chance to still watch the way society falls apart.  There's a chance to actually develop a group that I can remember names of.  It starts with returning to land though and remembering that "Walking Dead" is in the title of the show.  Our only cool death was in the first few minutes at the hand of a boat motor.  The rest of the episode was just "Fear The Boring Boat."

KIM: When we last left our strange friends, they were sitting pretty in an ocean-side home, talking about getting to a boat in the distance.  The irritating father dude had shot his ex-wife in the head.  The heroin junkie was looking more and more like Johnny Depp finally got a little bit of sleep, but still goofy as hell.  The brooding teenagers were still brooding.  Salad Bar dude was ready to kill anything and his daughter was bleeding all over the place.  The Old Spice Guy was just being pragmatic and secretive.

Season 2 opens with the dead seemingly everywhere and everything on fire and wow, that escalated quickly.  Then, just like that, the excitement of a new season that held promise and excitement turned into a very irritating Gilligan’s Island episode with…   

Gilligan - Heroin Junkie. 

Sure, he doesn’t have the cool fishing hat, but he does have that t-shirt he wears on his head.  Why is he not concerned about the scathing sunburn he’s going to get on that pasty white upper body of his?  And just like Gilligan, he’s obviously the one who is going to do really dumb things, over and over.  In this episode, see him swim away from safety so that he can find…a book!  Knock it the fuck off.  Is that book going to become his Wilson?

the Skipper too - Old Spice Guy

First, I keep waiting for him to stand on the front of the boat, with one leg up on the rail, shirtless, smiling and yelling, “If your man used Old Spice instead of lady-scented body wash…”.  Secondly, he’s the only one that pays attention to Gilligan.  I fully expect the next episode, we get the moniker, “Little Buddy,” so we can complete this bonding experience.  He really needs a captain’s hat though.  Maybe then he wouldn’t need to remind everyone that this is his boat.

a millionaire -  Dumb Dad

Oh, what can I say about Mr. Howell?  He. Is. Just. Annoying.  Apparently, his face only knows one expression and that’s the “Oh boy.  I just had two burritos, four tacos, and a chalupa, and I’m going to have to take a dump any minute.  I really hope there’s some air freshener aboard.”

and his wife - Blonde Lady

Mrs. Howell needs to get off of her high horse, or perhaps she just needs to get off.  She’s very judgy of everyone and everything.  Also, she pays almost no attention to her children.  Top it off with the fact that her only facial expression is that of, “Oh dear, I just walked in on Mr. Howell taking a dump after all of that Mexican food and there is no air freshener on this boat.” 

the movie star - Salad Bar’s daughter

I feel like at a later date, Ginger is the only character I will be able to like.  She’s pretty and can, apparently, cook.  But she has nothing else to offer outside of pouting lips and nice boobs.    

the Professor - Salad Bar

I think if I had to pick someone I kind of liked right now, it would definitely be this guy.  He doesn’t talk when he’s fishing and he knows how to club an eel.  And if you don’t see the beauty in those two things, are you even human? 

and Mary Ann - That annoying and, apparently horny, teenage girl

Oh, Mary Ann.  You’re acting like you haven’t spoken to anyone in years.  You hear a voice on the radio and probably think you’re in love.  You also are setting off down a very dark path of believing everything a man tells you.  I’m confused why no one has stopped you from talking on that radio.  You know, in my day, if I was on the phone longer than 10 minutes, my mom was all up in my grill.  I hope you die a horribly painful death after watching your new boyfriend (who probably doesn’t have all of his teeth) slice your family into little pieces.  

Weird Kid - you get to be that hand-cranked record player that the Professor puts together and the gang will pay attention and listen to you only when they want to be reminded of simpler times  - or when they want drama.  You’re the entertainment, kid.

Is it really too much to ask that this just becomes a three-hour tour and instead of getting stranded on an island, they just go home like nothing ever happened and get eaten by zombies?  Please?

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