Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'First Time Again'

Triumphant return of The Walking Dead.
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In which Kim and Shawn welcome back The Walking Dead for its sixth season.

Kim: I don’t know what I can say about the season premier of The Walking Dead.  I actually had several points I wanted to make about it, and then I got lost in my own thoughts and lost 90% of what I was going to say (not that it was useful anyway).  My train of thought this morning went a little something like this: 

1)  I’m not sure what I thought of the black and white vs. color to denote what happened vs. what was currently happening.  As you may recall, I’m not a fan of the artsy stuff.  I get it, I just have no use for it.  I would have preferred it to be linear, not jumping back and forth.

2)  Tara was not the only one who was happy that nothing had happened to Eugene’s hair.  I was also ecstatic.  Long live the mullet!

3) Did you notice Daryl’s arms?  I noticed his arms.  They were amazing, as always.  They’ve gotten a LOT nicer since season 1  I’m appreciative.

4)  Rick looks ridiculous.  No wonder Jessie isn’t interested right now.

5)  Epiphany!  This entire episode was a 90-minute metaphor for my love life.  In a nutshell:  

I have a great plan.  I get some people involved to make sure I can pull it off.  I get working on it, but something happens before I’m quite ready.  Oh well, you’re not finding love on a strict schedule here.  Go for it.

(Oh hey, remember that guy you dated in high school who told everyone "My last name means 'seed village'," and you wanted to punch him in the face?  Never mind.  Get back to the present!)

Oh look!  It’s working! It’s working!  Why is he looking at that girl over there?  No, no!!  Look at me!  That’s right!  Me!! I'm interesting!  I'm fun!  That's right.  Just follow along with me for a bit until I have you hooked.

(I remember that one guy I dated who was a history teacher.  He reminded me that even adults get bored listening to teachers.  Stop it, Kim.  Focus!)

I’ve got him now.  I can’t believe my plan worked.  Wait!  Where are you going?  Don’t you want to hang with me?  I have worked so hard for this, trying to keep it on track. 

(Oh boy, the prom date!  Remember him?  He was a good guy, but he really just wanted to date your friend.  Bastard.)

OK, good.  He’s back.  He likes me.  We’re going to work out, at least temporarily, and…oh my god.  Who is that stripper and why is she rubbing his leg? Why are her boobs in his face? Come back...Come back...Come back...[sigh]

Foiled again because I don’t have the great rack.  Isn’t that how it always works out?  

Where was I?  Oh right.  The Walking Dead

Basically, while I am so very happy that this show is back and I’m appreciative for the amount of attention and work that went into this episode, I was completely underwhelmed.  Luckily, there are so many good things about this show, such as Eugene’s hair and Daryl’s arms, that I can overlook one or two episodes that don’t give me much to talk about, because I know that once we hit that mid-season break I’ll be bitching and moaning that the greatest show on TV is on a break. 

Welcome back, Walking Dead cast and crew.  I’ve missed you terribly.  Bring on the next episode!  I’ll even go on a date before it airs so we can compare. 

Shawn: It's funny by Season Six of a show what an old comfortable friend it's become.  I agree that there wasn't too much I felt compelled to talk about with it but I also had a few thoughts - none related to my love life unfortunately.

1.  The black and white just served as a reminder to me that the producers were saying this episode is so unlike anything we usually do that we are even changing colors.  I don't think it served a purpose that a quick title card couldn't accomplish.  I thought if you really wanted to use black and white then make it a whole episode where they are trapped in one of the houses as an homage to Night of the Living Dead.

2.  It's awesome to have Morgan back.  He's obviously going to run sideways with Rick at some point this season.  But I like the relationship of the two even though they've never spent truly extended time together like the rest of the group.  There's a respect between the two that Rick doesn't give to many people and certainly not strangers.   Rick letting Morgan hold the baby felt like a bigger emotional step than just holding a baby.

3.  Glenn has grown more than any other character on the show and in completely believable ways.  I loved his reference to his pizza delivery days.  We don't get enough conversation about "the old days".  I know they are busy staying alive 90% of the time but we've seen them all take a break for some lovemaking.  You know there has to be late night conversations about the what they used to do in their regular lives.

4.  Wait.  There was a symbol of my love life.  Remember when that guy got his face eaten?  And he screamed and cried?  Yeah, that.

5.  Note to The Walking Dead.  This conceit of starting almost at the end and then flashing back has been done by every other show on your network.  You didn't need it.  It works well in Breaking Bad, I agree.  But what story would have been different had this played out in linear order? The only thing that worked about it was breaking up the zombie parade through the length of the show.

Overall, I'm happy with this episode.  Maybe it was the less Carl aspect of it.  And I found out that Fear the Walking Dead might work out better in one-minute increments.  I wasn't unhappy with those two mini-mini-sodes.  I'll look closer at Daryl's arms next episode.  The show could easily have followed Rick's advice "I don't take chances anymore." But they didn't and that's a good sign.

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