Re-Watching Dead: Guts



Two Down…

We wrapped up another episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead.  This time, there’s more of everything.  More characters, more gore, more diversity, more shooting stuff in the head, more suspension of disbelief and more frustruating departures from the comics.

Read what we thought of the show’s second episode, “Guts” for a chance to win a free* puppy.

As Rick escapes from his sticky situation with the help of Glen, he fires off a ridiculous amount of gunshots drawing every extra that turned out to spend a hot Atlanta day in sticky makeup.  This greatly upsets Glen’s ethnically diverse group of tagalong co-scavengers.  They spend the rest of the episode sulking while Rick and Glen work their asses off to help them escape.  Particularly upset is a bald and racist Rowdy Burns, who doesn’t much care for anyone but himself.

Meanwhile, back at camp, Shane is making correct decisions based on the situation while coming off looking like a weasely chickenshit.

Things We Agree On:

Mel and I both enjoyed the episode overall.  Despite a few problems here and there, it is very strong.  It does a great job at suspense building.  The story isn’t entirely predictable, especially so if you hadn’t read the comics before watching.  The casting, acting and directing are fantastic.  The pacing of the episode is also great.  There aren’t many lulls in the action that aren’t neccessary or character building.

My guess is that someone in a boardroom looked at the first trade of the comic and said, “Hey… these are almost all white people.”  They likely did this because:
  • It’s true.
  • TV Boardroom types need to worry about this shit.

So, their answer was to, of course, recreate some characters from the comics as people who are other races and draw attention to the fact that their cast was now such an incredibly diverse rainbow of colours by adding a raging racist redneck as a plot device.

You sonofabitch.
You just made me say the “N” word.

The talent makes it work though.  Rick manages to take a punch like a bitch, and then summon his police training powers to difuse the situation with a cool speech and his trusty handcuffs, which surely won’t leave anyone in a Mad Max/Rorschach situation later on.

Another interesting part of the episode is seeing how Shane is ruling the roost over at Camp Dale’s Campertown.  Shane really is making (mostly) the right decisions, in my opinion.  Problem is, in a survival situation like the one these characters are in, the right decisions make you look like a weasel-douche.  They do a great job showing Shane’s relationship with Lori and Carl, though. He’s really developped a new family, which (thanks to last week’s too long car scene) was something you could tell he was really looking for.  It’s clear that the powers that be didn’t want anyone thinking Shane pulls an Anakin Skywalker later on.  They want the pacing and reasons behind his transformations to be perfectly clear.

Thing We Didn’t Agree On:

During the guts scene, Mel thought Rick’s pause was corny. It does seem a bit too reminiscent of Fight Club.  Still, I thought it performed its task well.  It’s there to show us that Rick hasn’t lost his humanity.  He’s really struggling to deal with this new world.  He doesn’t want to let go of the old. And then he hacks a dead dude to fucking pieces.

His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.

Random Rants:

Rant 1:  I remember reading after this episode aired, that several fans of the show were upset with Glen’s portrayal.  He steps up and makes a plan.  Some argued that this was against his character in the comic.  That he never steps up, and isn’t a planner.  I disagree completely.  Glen is the fucking Scarecrow.  The Wizard of Oz one… not the Batman one.  He comes up with some of the best ideas at any given time, but is constantly down on himself for not being smart, or a leader.  And in this episode, on that point at least, they fucking nail it.

Rant 2:  Mel thought that the zombies in this episode showed us that we’re dealing with a hodgepodge of different style zombies.  They’re slow.  They’re kinda fast.  They’re usin’ rocks.  They’re stumbling up ladders.  They’re climbing fucking fences.  She asked me what I thought of it.  I’m pretty sure she expected me to explode in anger.  But honestly, I’m more into consistency these days.  If this show puts forth a set of Zombie Rules, and it sticks to those Zombie Rules, that’s more what I’m interested in seeing.  At least until they pick up a gun and start firing.  I know Romero loves that shit… but fuck him.

Final Thoughts:

With enough suspension of disbelief, this episode is another great one.  If you can’t suspend enough disbelief to enjoy this…  then, probably, you’ve no business watching this show in the first place.  Despite showing some signs of heading down the wrong path we’ve still got ourselves a fantastic fucking show.

I’m not dead, I’m getting better.

*Free puppy subject to shipping and handling charges, and taxes and surcharges where applicable. Free puppy offer not available to Zombies. Free puppy may cause or contribute to the following illnesses: temporary blindness, permanent blindness, incontinence, outcontenence, supercontenence, mild cough, death, stomach discomfort, hoofenchoof, rabies, or chaffing of the thyroid.

Watchmen Weekend.

Like many other fat guys with glasses, I went and saw Watchmen this weekend.  I also read Watchmen this weekend.  And after watching the movie, I read reviews of Watchmen this weekend.  After taking in as much Watchmen I could, my overall opinion is… I agree.

You see, random fat guys with glasses were arguing with other fat guys with glasses about many things this weekend.  “What to expect from Watchmen the movie.”  “What Watchmen the graphic novel (That’s nerdspeak for comicbook, to the layperson) really meant.” “Did the plan really succeed, or did Rorschach succeed?”  “Was Papa Smurf really neccessary?” “My wasn’t that a lot of gore for a comicbook movie?” “3 hours?  Seriously?”  These questions and more have teh internets tubs clogged.  And I agree with everyone.
Some people are saying they were disappointed.  Others loved the movie.  Others still have placed it on a pedestal.  Others want to scream out and cry foul.  I agree with all of them. The violence was unparralleled, gory, exhausting, entertaining, tiresome, unremarkable, uncharacteristic and exhilerating.  Dr. Manhattan’s full frontalness, the Nite Owl’s thrusting and Silk Spectre’s high beams were all completely gratitous, unneccessary, required, impressive, meaningful, stiff, ironic, satirical, grotesque, blasphemous and appalling.  I have never enjoyed such a boring masterpiece with so much action packed excitement it could put down a sick horse in my life. I couldn’t possibly be more disappointedly pleased that they were able to stray so close to the original source material.  
Three Apples Tall.
The fact that this movie has shocked, confused, amazed, bored, alienated, disgusted, disgruntled and entertained millions while nearly becoming a huge commercial success means it is exactly like the graphic novel.   And because the graphic novel is a textbook technical classic that is quite open to misinterpretation, that means that no one, and everyone, has the right, and wrong, opinion of it, and I agree with them.