Blog Archives

What I’m Dreading Most About Season 3 of The Walking Dead

The Magic Woods Ninja.

Sunday, October 14th. That’s when it’s back. The show I love to hate, full of the most dysfunctional group of addle-brained survivors of all time, comes back after an entire season spent on a farm agonizing over morning-after pills, religion, suicide, a woman’s proper role in life, love triangles, and where the fuck Carl has disappeared to and who’s gonna die because of it. Every now and again they put a zombie in it. It was not a good season. Most people agreed that it was slow and awful and dull, until the last episode seemed to make everyone forget about the horrible pacing and stupid arguments and ridiculous thought processes. Zombies! Guns! Impossible headshots and shotguns that never need to be reloaded! And then the big part, the last scene, where everyone seemed to have a collective fangasm and couldn’t stop gushing about what next season would bring. ZOMG the prison! And Michionne! Michionne! MICHIONNE!!!!!!!

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Web Series Review: Realm of LARP

“Nerd Culture” is taking over. Face it, Brosef, with your “Sun’s Out, Guns Out” tank top and oversized shades and flip-flops. The Tyranny of the Bully Era has ended, and popular culture has embraced everything that used to get some poor skinny kid wedgied and stuffed into a locker. Comic books? Only the highest grossing movies at the box office. Computers? Yeah, I think they’ve gone a little mainstream. Video games? You get the point, Mr. Straw Man, so suck it. Even things like tabletop role-playing games are no longer an automatic ticket to Nerd Hell, thanks to offshoots like World of Warcraft making the concept approachable, and having someone like Vin Diesel come out and say they’re cool also helps, because you go ahead and call Vin Diesel lame, then let me know when you finish fishing your forearm out of your own throat.

Now, not everything that geek culture embraces is mainstream yet. Cosplay? Slowly but surely getting more accepted, thanks to the exploding popularity of Comic-Con and the other hugantic cons (that’s “conventions” for those unfamiliar with the term) out there. Anime fanatics? Well, some things still deserves wedgies. (I kid, I kid. However, Dragonball Z and a lot of popular anime is some of the worst dreck I’ve ever seen in my life. Yes, Princess Mononoke and Akira and Ghost in the Shell are incredibly beautiful and moving pieces of art, but most of the big-eyed panty-flashing’ tentacle-rapin’ underage-girls-who-are-“eighteen” kung-fu superpowerfulragefestin’ anime shit is purely awful in every way. But that’s neither here nor there.) There’s another geek staple that still isn’t embraced, and it’s near and dear to my heart, as I’ve said before.

LARPing.

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Adam Sessler, and the End of an Era

Now that's a face you can trust.

This might come as a bit of a surprise to you, but I am a nerd. A big one. I don’t confine myself to just one or two branches of the Geek Tree either. I am a multidimensional dork. Tabletop gaming? Yep. Live action role playing? Uh-huh. I’ve even added boffer fighting to my repertoire. Comic book fan? Oh yes. I even find myself in the nerdiest of all possible corporate professions. That’s right. I’m an accountant. I am an all-around geek.

But of all of my nerdy pursuits, my favorite is video games. I was a PC and console gamer back when Combat! and Adventure were awe-inspiring. I was jaded before Super Mario Bros. came out (I owned E.T. for the Atari 2600, after all). Video games have been a life-long love of mine, and that hasn’t changed. Luckily, my wife shares this passion with me, and our side-by-side TVs and separate XBox 360s mean that we can both stay up until 5 am playing Skyrim or ME3 and not feel guilty about it. In fact, we’ve been known to apologize for going to bed and leaving the other to game by themselves. It’s our main hobby.

We don’t watch a lot of TV, because that gets in the way of all the multiplayer Mass Effect playing we can do, but there are a few we always catch. Top Shot. Archer. The most obscure one, however, would be one found on the G4 network. You probably have never watched it, because it mostly shows Cops and its teenaged counterpart Campus P.D. No one should ever watch those shows. My wife and I used to watch two of their shows religiously – Attack of the Show, which was about pop culture with a heavy emphasis on technology and other nerdy things and went to shit when Olivia Munn left, and our favorite of them all, X-Play.

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You Need to Watch Archer. C’mon Buddy.

I use my blog mostly for the forces of Hate and Complaining. Rarely do I take the time to talk about things I enjoy. Why? Because ranting and using cuss-words is fun. Plus, my crazy readers (that would be you) seem to prefer it that way, which is just fine by me. I rant about inconsequential things. It’s what I do. It completes me.

But sometimes, I have a desire to step out of my cantankerous sarcastic shell and talk about something that I truly enjoy, something that deserves to be treasured and adored. Hence my Mass Effect 3 review that reads like a 12-year-old-girl’s crushfest on a cast member of Glee. Clearly, being positive is something I need to work on. So here goes. Smiles on, everyone, it’s time to talk about something awesome, that is not to be missed, and if you don’t start watching it, I will track you down, cut your eyelids off with a pair of safety scissors, and make you watch every second of every show of the greatest thing on TV.

Archer is that thing.

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Rise of the Ricktator: Walking Dead S2 Finale Review

Because using the sights is a total pussy move.

It’s been a long slog through Season 2, one that began with such high hopes and ended with, well, this season. When a show about a zombie apocalypse spends more time on domestic drama, gender roles, and the ethics of becoming pregnant during Doomsday, it makes for slightly less compelling television. Anyway, I’m glad the season is over. If Season 3 began tomorrow, I’d be completely unable to watch it. Maybe having some time and perspective will open my eyes to the creative team that is layering such subtext and melodrama into a rich tapestry of… yeah, uh, we’ll have to see.

Here we go. When last we saw Carl and his stupid hat, the kid had wandered off and watched his dad shiv Shane after talking him down from shooting him. Then the zombies came pouring out of the woods. Remember how last week I said not to worry about where this magical horde came from and why they were milling around 300 yards away from a house full of their favorite meal? Well, the show didn’t listen. Instead, they decided to show us where they came from. Atlanta. See, they were eating something when a helicopter flew by. Apparently the meal in front of them was lousy, because they immediately left it behind to follow the helicopter that soon disappeared from sight. I guess other zombies saw them moving and were like, OK, I’ll see what’s up. Somehow, they managed to avoid getting distracted by anything while swelling in numbers, until they arrived in the woods where they waited around and heard Carl shoot his gun and that made them come out of the trees. They were better off not showing us where they came from, because it’s not like their explanation makes any sense.

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Dealing With Shane: Walking Dead S2 Episode 12 Review

Just Shane and his shovel.

When we last saw our band of… whatever, they were all staring raptly at their last possible glimpse of DaleFace, trying to memorize every last unruly eyebrow hair and getting a good look at the Judgemaster General’s fillings before Daryl made his head explode by firing a high-powered revolver into his skull two feet away. Too bad they faded to black then, because I’d have loved to have seen the reaction of all of those people close enough to get hit by shards of flying bone and brains. “Dude, seriously, what the fuck! I was sitting on the guy! You couldn’t have waited like two seconds. God it got in my mouth!” That would’ve been cool.

This episode begins with Rick eulogizing the dead guy, something he’s starting to get a lot of practice at because he’s been doing a great job of keeping the group safe. Since he took over as Big Bossman, at least 7 members of the group have died (and probably some extras that didn’t get enough airtime to count). That’s close to a 50% loss ratio. He’s, uh, struggling in the role that he claims to have never asked for but sure as hell has gladly taken and run with, telling everyone what to do and making the decisions himself, at least until he changes his mind (Shoot the boy! Help the boy! Abandon the boy! Kill the boy! Keep the boy! Thank god someone else dealt with the boy!)

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Why I Hate On The Walking Dead So Much

I’ve been asked that question before by friends of mine. They know I love zombies and zombie movies. They know I write books about them. They watch the show and can’t understand why I have such a problem with it. I try to explain, and bits and pieces come out, and after I’ve been asked that question I lie awake at night pondering the answers to that very question. Why on Earth do I, a zombie lover, hate on the Walking Dead so much?

I think, for me, it all has to do with missed potential. This show could be great. It should be great. The zombies are awesome, the effects are great, they have, uh, actors, they have an incredibly popular comic as their source material; there is no reason why a story set in a zombie apocalypse that has good effects should make me so angry. But these writers have figured out a way.  I’m going to try to make this somewhat organized, to keep my thoughts in order. Maybe I’ll learn something from all this, What Not To Do In a Zombie Story. In no particular order, here are some of the things that I think make the show so much worse than it should be.

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Bye, DaleFace: Walking Dead S2 Episode 11 Review

Can't beat my, can't beat my, no you can't beat-a my DaleFace.

I’ve begun the laborious process of catching up on past Walking Dead episodes. It’s harder than I thought it would be, and this episode is a perfect encapsulation of why that is the case. I think this show is coming down with a serious case of Heroes syndrome: a strong start followed by a realization that the writers have no idea what they want to do.

But anyway, when last we followed this group of absentee parents who nevertheless think it’s best to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, Shane and Rick were going to try to leave the kid Rick rescued, patched up, and decided he couldn’t live with, after which the two got into a brawl that nearly got them all killed, all of which could have been avoided if Rick had just let Shane kill the kid. Rick, however, insists on it being his choice and that he has to sleep on it.

So, of course, the show begins with Rick deciding the kid needs to die. Sigh.

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The Shane and Rick Episode: Walking Dead S2 Ep10 Review

Last week, the episode ended with Lori whispering sweet and earnest words of love and commitment and how very necessary it was that her husband shoot Shane in the face. This left me wondering if there would be a showdown this week, Shane vs. Rick, the winner getting his just reward of sweet, blissful death and release from a horrible world and loser forced to take on the responsibility for taking care of the screeching harpy they are for some reason fighting over.

I’ve been calling Lori a harpy for a while now, and other reviews I’ve read of this show also seem to frequently use the term in relation to her. So I decided to Google Walking+Dead+Lori+Harpy. It got over 50,000 results. Honestly, I would have expected more.

Anyway, this episode ended up being all about Rick and Shane “settling” their differences, along with a side helping of Suicide Watch and the usual smattering of “what the fuck were they thinking” plans that are the true hallmark of this show.

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Now With 30% Less Hate! Walking Dead S2 Ep9 Review

"Kill them, Rick. Kill them all. For me. And Shane's, I mean your, your baby."

When last we saw the world’s most dysfunctional zombie apocalypse survivors, Rick had just blown away two guys from Philly for having the audacity to ask where the group was staying, Lori was suffering from brain damage before she actually suffered head trauma from a car accident, and some blond girl that hardly had any airtime at all before now was catatonic. Is this the week where our prayers our answered and Lori gets eaten, Carl tries to find her and gets eaten, Dale looks for the two of them and gets eaten, and the audience lives happily ever after?

Well, no, not so much. But I do have a confession to make. This episode didn’t make me angry. Not once. I know, right? Crazy. Well, OK, I did get angry once, but that was when they showed the car wreck from last episode, which is still just awful in every way. But other than that, I didn’t hate it. Did it have issues? A couple, but they were minor. Instead, we had a mostly plausible story, maybe for the first time since the first season. So put away your Haterade, pick up a gun, and follow along with our intrepid band of somewhat-less-stupid-than-normal survivors.

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