An Eye On Culture
Into TV A Little Late
Published: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
It’s safe to say that for these columns, music is my comfort zone. I get pretty excited about new albums or music videos, but very rarely do I get excited about television shows. This week I wanted to try something different.
I’ve gotten emotionally invested in very few storylines over the years. I never did the Lost thing, and I never watch talent search reality TV shows. Mad Men and Seinfeld are pretty much the extent of my television obsessions. This is because I need something, even just one thing, that really gets me.
Recently, however, I’ve submitted myself to three new shows that have got me hooked. I’m jumping on the bandwagon for two of them late, but I’ve made strides in the past two weeks (thank you, Hurricane Sandy Day, where literally all I did was watch television): AMC’s The Walking Dead, Showtime’s Homeland, and ABC’s Nashville.
Maybe it was the rapidly approaching spirit of Halloween, or my grim morbidity, but I decided to indulge in my longstanding desire to watch The Walking Dead on Netflix two weeks ago. I’m now two episodes away from completing Season Two. While at first I thought it would be difficult to get past the stomach-turning gore of zombies feasting on live human flesh and countless shots or stabs to the “walker”s’ heads per episode, those things got easier once the 65-minute pilot is tackled. The intricate storylines about the characters is the show’s strongest aspect. It’s as if the writers took the archetypes of the most polarized people one could possible imagine, ranging from a meek, beaten housewife to a (perhaps) Aryan Supremacist, rough hunting southern man, and threw them in a group together. While all the characters are extremely different, they are all somehow relatable. The technique of flash-forward and flashback scenes placed before the opening credits add another layer of suspense to the already high blood pressure-inducing plot.
People usually have one thing that frightens them the most in terms of scary movies, whether it’s the creaking door opening on its own, or a little girl possessed by the devil. What really gets me are post-apocalyptic stories, so The Walking Dead really strikes a nerve with me. But it’s done in the best way: the show is not meant to scare the viewer, it’s a realistic display of survival in dire times. The strength of the human spirit, a cliched topic that people love, gets reinvigorated when sprinkled with a bit of zombie gore here and there.
My own qualms with the show are the lack of information about the actual beginnings of the zombie apocalypse (seems like something that we should be filled in on) and the innate sexism that runs throughout the show: each woman is, frankly, either a bitch, an idiot, or presented participating in gender stereotypes: weak and dependent on men. I’d hope that if a zombie apocalypse were to occur, women wouldn’t be more concerned with the laundry then protecting a campsite from walkers, but maybe that’s just me.
I’d like to think that I’d be an asset to any group during a zombie apocalypse. While I do tend to get nervous easily, I’m quick on my feet and wouldn’t have a problem hitting a zombie where it hurts. The Walking Dead has reinforced my opinion on this issue.
Showtime’s Homeland is a different story. The gripping plot has admittedly got me sucked in, however, on the sixth episode of the first season, it’s already a show I have a love-hate relationship with—namely because I hate the main character. Carrie Mathison is an invasive, overzealous, and, honestly, crazy CIA agent, who by the way, would never be let into the CIA since she is bipolar. I’m also confused as to why she has to sleep with so many people to do her job. That being said, it boasts an extremely well- written and complex plot that is impossible not to get absorbed by. Each fast-paced new episode presents a new development and twist. The coming attractions after each episode tend to be my favorite part.
On ABC’s Nashville: the acting is painfully cheesy. No scene lasts longer than 45 seconds. The songs are generally terrible. But watch it once and tell me you’re not hooked.