Speculation About Which “The Walking Dead” Character Bit the Dust at the End of Season Six

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Like many fans of “The Walking Dead,” I was left perturbed by a season six finale that left the identity of the major character killed off in the final scene uncertain. I nonetheless cannot resist speculation about who bit the dust at the end of “Last Day on Earth.”

For the purposes of this discussion, I will break down the eleven characters who were made to kneel down before Negan into three groups. One consists of those for whom it can be said it is almost a certainty that they will number among the living when the series resumes next season. I will call it “Group 1.” “Group 3” numbers characters who would appear to have the greatest chance of being the one who lost the ultimate game of “Eeny Meeny Miny Moe.” In the second group are those who fall somewhere in between.

Group 1

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As I mentioned in another post on the program, Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, has always been the heart of the show. Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) is “The Walking Dead’s” most popular character. Although I have never found the character of Carl Grimes, portrayed by Chandler Riggs, to be of  particular interest, I have always assumed that those behind the series consider the father/son dynamic between Rick and Carl to be too valuable in terms of future storytelling possibilities to give up. I think it is safe to assume the season six finale did not mean the last day on earth for Rick, Daryl or Carl.

Group 2

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With Maggie Greene, played Lauren Cohan, becoming pregnant and assuming leadership of the core group of survivors, the show seems to have big plans for her, Glenn Rhee, (Steven Yeun) and their baby. I could not see either Glenn or Maggie having been chosen by Negan.

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It was only this season that Sgt. Abraham Ford, portrayed by Michael Cudlitz, went from being nothing more than an anti-military stereotype to a believable figure. I would be shocked if he were gone after all the recent development the audience saw in Ford’s character. His romance with Sasha Williams, played by Sonequa Martin,  has just gotten off the ground. She is probably safe since “The Walking Dead” has to be aware the viewers will want to see where it goes.

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Michonne (Danai Gurira) is a popular character and has an undeniable cool factor about her. Her relationship with Rick, which sprang up completely out of the blue and so was a bit cheesy, is also new to the series and so as of yet unexplored. I doubt Michonne is going anywhere.

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Dr. Eugene Porter, portrayed by Josh McDermitt, is a character who just came into his own this season. He has become one of the more interesting characters on the show. It would be silly to kill him off now.

Group 3

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Aaron, played by Ross Marquand, has been, for all intents and purposes, invisible this season. Fans of the show have not been given even the slightest hint of what could be in store for him in the show’s future. His murder would be the least upsetting to the fans. However, because he is one of the three homosexual characters on the show, he could be safe. More on this later.

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Rosita Espinosa, (Christian Serratos), had not much of a role to play in this season. Now that she has been dumped by Sgt. Ford, she, like Aaron, could be killed off without any interruption to the direction “The Walking Dead” seems to be heading. Serratos has performed well in her role and is a rare beauty. Male viewers would certainly miss the site of her fighting zombies in tight jeans. Nonetheless, Rosita is the best bet to have met Negan’s, “Lucille” up, close and personal.

The Politics of “The Walking Dead”

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There are not many shows that have worked as hard to earn what I called in another post on this blog “politically correct merit badges” than “The Walking Dead.” It is for this reason one cannot discount the possible influence of Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) on the decision the show made about which of the eleven major characters to kill off.

Some who read this will think I am going for satire when I state that some see racism, sexism and homophobia in the particular characters that are killed off on television shows. I am not. The fact of the matter is that the actual statements and actions of Social Justice Warriors have gotten so bizarre that satirizing them is no longer possible. No satirist could think of anything more absurd than the SJW reality we face in 2016.

No peer review research study has ever been published to backup the claim that women, minorities and homosexuals are killed off at a disproportional rate on television. No matter. The Left has always been motivated more by their hearts and emotions than their brains and facts. It does no good to point out that the television industry is dominated by Leftist who worship at the alter of political correctness. The same goes for the fact that dumb, ignorant, clownish TV characters as well as television villains are almost solely white males.

If those behind “The Walking Dead” wished to appease the SJWs, the character whacked by Negan will have to have been a white male. If this is the case, it will be either Abraham or Eugene. One critic astutely noticed that during the season finale, the person who is killed straightens up just before the deadly blows begin to rain down. Since we see Abraham straighten up when Negan stands in front of him earlier in the episode, the critic concluded that the show depicted Abraham’s last day on earth. However, this entire season, or at least a large part of it, has been about  Eugene finally standing up and walking tall. He might have been him who “stood” tall one last time.  I will be disappointed if either one of these characters is the one who had his number called.

The fall TV season will be a long time coming. We will just have to wait to see if any of us who made guesses about the identity of the murdered character were right. At least we have new installments of “Fear the Walking Dead” to watch.

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Enter Negan: Thoughts on “The Walking Dead” Season 6, Episode 16: “Last Day on Earth”

In my review of last week’s episode of “The Walking Dead” I predicted, based upon all the media hype, that the 16th installment of season 6 of “The Walking Dead” (“Last Day on Earth”), “will be one for the history books.” I was wrong, but it was still enjoyable television.

The Saviors’ Organization Makes them Especially Scary

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The first sound we hear when the installment begins is the whistle of the Saviors. It was eerie when we first heard it earlier in the season. Each time the sound met our ears during the season finale it was even more so. One of the two functions the whistle serves is communication. We first became aware of the advanced level of communication used by the Saviors when we heard their radio traffic in the thirteenth episode of this season, “The Same Boat.” As “The Last Day on Earth” moved toward its culmination we learn, in stages, that the Saviors level of communication is very advanced. It reflects a sophisticated organized crime outfit run with military precision. Could Negan be ex-military? It would not surprise me if we learn this next season because, as I have mentioned in comments on a different episode this season, Leftists like those who populate the television industry typically hate the military and hold a negative opinion of all those connected with it.

Morgan’s Horse

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Watching someone ride a horse in a zombie apocalypse made for some very interesting visuals. Lennie James’ acting alongside the horse was so natural that I suspect that he became a horseman before becoming an actor.

Hanging Walker

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The walker making a racket at the library brought to mind one of the more interesting philosophical aspects of a zombie apocalypse. The man obviously hung himself because he did not want to live in his new circumstance. Suicide as escape from the awful existence of a zombie infested world is a topic that has been rarely touched upon in “The Walking Dead” and other zombie television shows and movies. However, in a world where all civilization has fallen apart, one imagines that some would struggle just to find a reason to want to live. With not many exceptions, the goals and dreams the characters on “The Walking Dead” set for themselves ceased to be obtainable after zombies turned the world upside down. Working toward our goals and dreams is what we live for. Many of the characters on the series would likely need more reason to live than simply not wanting to die. I would love to see more of how the show’s main characters work through this internal dynamic. Hopefully the procreation theme we have seen this last season is just the beginning of a depiction of how the characters craft a life worth living.

The Knights of the Zombie Apocalypse

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About two thirds of the way through the episode we discover that the equine Morgan has been riding belongs to one of two men who appear on the scene after Morgan saves Carol Peletier, portrayed by Melissa McBride, from being murdered. Because one of them is mounted and carrying a pike, a similar weapon to a lance or spear, and both are wearing athletic pads which looked like armor, the men reminded me of medieval historical reenactors.

I have often thought that a group of military reenactors would make interesting characters in a zombie apocalypse television show or movie. They would be trained in tactics and the use of weapons, own firearms, be able to fight as a unit and have a higher chance of survival than the average person. Are these two mysterious men part of a group that has adopted the code of chivalry and fight like the knights of old?

No Need for a Ninety Minute Installment

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The Morgan and Carol  plot and the travels of the core group of survivors in the SUV were too drawn out. Both should have been cut down. I can think of no reason for “The Last Day on Earth” to have been ninety minutes other than that it allowed the show to squeeze in more commercials than would  have been possible in a usual sixty minute episode.

Whistling Through the Graveyard

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Twice in the first hour of “Last Day on Earth” Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and the rest drive, or walk, into what appeared to be obvious ambushes though neither one was any such thing. As the installment winds down our heroes literally walk right into a trap. That seasoned survivors would conduct themselves in such a way defied belief. Why were not small, nimble scout vehicles traveling at a good distance in front and in the rear of the SUV? When the bunch set out of foot how come a point man was not sent out ahead, a person was left to trail behind and flankers sent out to either side? Such an arrangement would have prevented their easy capture by the Saviors.

Walker of the Week

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Most every installment this season featured what I call the “Walker of the Week.” This week’s particularly wonderful walker was the zombie strolling along with a large tree branch stuck clear through him.

Enter Negan

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It was only in the last twenty-three minutes of the episode, when Rick and his group get taken prisoner and Negan thereafter makes his grand entrance, that “Last Day on Earth” got really good. Prior to that time not all that much happen of interest.

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It came as no surprise that a white man was cast as Negan. As I mentioned in comments on an earlier installment this season, 100% of the top tier villains on the show have been white and only two have been women. People in television believe in diversity when it comes to casting minorities as admirable persons. No reasonable person should have a problem with this. However, diversity goes out the window when villainous characters are cast.

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This being said, I must say that tapping Jeffrey Dean Morgan to play Negan was brilliant casting. Morgan is one of the finest actors working today. He was terrific in the movie “The Watchmen,” the television drama” Magic City” and the miniseries “Texas Rising.” If he can be judged by his debut last night, he should prove to be the most popular bad guy in the history of “The Walking Dead.”

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The lines written for Negan were chilling. His look was that of a rock star and he possesses charisma to a degree that one could understand how he could gather such a large following of underlings. Negan’s barbed wire wrapped bat “Lucille” was a most frightening weapon for a most frightening man.

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With Negan it is “just business” and “not personal.” That he comes across as calm, cool and collected makes him more scary. If he were completely out of his mind he would seem like a less formidable villain because he could be counted on the make some sort of crazy mistake that would be his undoing.

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On “The Walking Dead” it has always been true that the living are more dangerous than the dead. This season things have been taken to a new level. Six years after the zombie apocalypse the weak are all dead. The only ones left are those who have the strongest survival skills and will to live. For such people zombies have become little more than a minor nuisance. Negan’s coming means zombies are now almost an afterthought. In a sense it was the last day on earth for all of the core group of characters because the earth as they knew it before Negan  is no more.

A Cheap Ending

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When writing on this season, I have mentioned some cheap gimmicks the show has employed. Leaving us unsure as to which major character is killed by Negan at the very end of the episode was another one. It bears repeating that one of the most successful series in cable history does not have to stoop so low. Doing so was a slap in the face of the legion of loyal viewers who have made “The Walking Dead” a cash cow for many of those associated with it.

Fortunately, the last portion of the show was so good that it evened the episode out and made for what was an enjoyable season finale overall. Next season the show will have to take a new direction. The possibilities seem endless. Are you just as excited as I am for season seven?

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Additional Images from the Episode

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Not Much to See Here: Thoughts on “The Walking Dead” Season 6, Episode 15: “East”

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Episode 15 of season 6 of “The Walking Dead” (“East”) was most disappointing and probably the worst installment of the season. It could have been titled: “Not Much to See Here.” The show nonetheless offered much to write upon.

The Symbolism of Maggie’s Hair Cut

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In the first few minutes of “East” we see a shower scene with Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) that highlights her exceptional feminine beauty.

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In the last several minutes of the episode we are shown Maggie’s gorgeous long brown hair being chopped off and her ending up with a man’s haircut.  Of her new hairdo she remarks: “I have to keep going and I don’t want anything getting in my way.” On the surface, what she refers to is the possibility of her long hair getting in the way. However, what “The Walking Dead” is really telling us is that for Maggie to become successful as the leader of the group she must give up her femininity. The underlying theme behind this position is one that has been featured in other installments this season. It is the strongly held Leftist notion that women should become more masculine. A corollary is that men should be more feminine. This idea is once again given expression in the character of Tobin, portrayed by Jason Douglas. When his love interest, Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) leaves Alexandria, he remains behind the safety of the community’s walls rather than go out after her. Before leaving this subject, I must mention that having a cast member who is a teenage girl (Katelyn Nacon as Enid) cut off Maggie’s hair made the haircut some sort of a weird goddess ritual.

Maggie as Leader of the Core Group of Survivors

This season we have been introduced to the notion that Maggie has been stepping up, has demonstrated her capacity for leadership and has been recognized by the entire group, including Rick, as being the person who should lead them. I have never missed an episode of “The Walking Dead” and yet I never recall Maggie showing any unusual leadership qualities. Rick has always been the obviously leader. Could it be that the concept of Maggie as leader has been clumsily shoehorned into the series this season because Hillary Clinton has long been the favorite for the Democrat nomination for president?

Carol, the Saviors and Firearms

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Carol again going to pieces when she encounters the Saviors represented more disheartening and non-believable out of character behavior for her. The worst was yet to come as far as a lack of believability that took the audience partly out of the show.

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Carol’s rigging up an automatic weapon inside her jacket was not just childish in its absurdity it was a downright impossibility. The same can be said for her firefight with the Saviors.

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One has to assume that the creative people behind “The Walking Dead” are typical of the entertainment industry and have never even held a working firearm let alone fired one. Such people do not understand that unless one is shooting at a very close range or has the luck of a lottery winner, hitting a human sized target is not going to be accomplished unless a weapon is aimed properly.

I explain shooting thusly: Imagine a taunt rope that extends from the center of your eye to the target. First bring the weapon up to eye level and level it along the line of the rope. This is done by closing one eye, looking down the barrel of the weapon and sighting the firearm using front and rear sights. All that is left is to exhale, hold your breath and keep the weapon as still as possible while pulling the trigger. Things get more complicated at long ranges but for the purposes of this discussion it is not necessary to go further.

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That Carol could fire an automatic weapon from waist level and considerable distance and kill two Saviors outright and wound another two seriously was laughable. It was only the most recent example of a great many instances of characters from “The Walking Dead” firing off weapons without properly aiming them and still managing to hit what is being shot at.

The idea that knowing how to handle firearms expertly is a key to survival has been a constant theme in “The Walking Dead.” It is therefore an embarrassment that the people in charge of the show apparently feel such hostility toward “those NRA types” that they have never hired one to teach the cast how to consistently wield weapons in a realistic manner. A firearms instructor could also rid the show of the numerous annoying scenes in which individuals who are dipicted as having had expert firearms training are seen holding and carrying loaded weapons in ways that are contrary to good gun safety.

“The Walking Dead” and Religion

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It is surprising that the show adopted a plot line in which Carol’s Catholicism has moved her to go to great lengths in an attempt to avoid having to do any further killing. It is unusual for television to say anything positive about Christianity and even more rare to depict the Catholic faith in a manner that is not condemnatory. After the conflict with the Saviors, Carol’s rosary is found on the ground by a surviving Savior. Has she abandoned her faith? Between the Saviors, Jesus, Morgan Jones (Lennie James)  and Carol, I still fail to see what “The Walking Dead” has been trying to tell us about religion this season. Perhaps the series’ writers are conflicted about religion and it is for this reason that they have offered us a number of different and conflicting themes about the subject.

Morgan as the Conscience of “The Walking Dead”

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Morgan tells Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, (and the audience): “All life is precious.” I must call out the show for being hypocrites. I do so because people in television usually have very little regard for the lives of unborn children inside their mother’s wombs and consider abortion to be no more serious than cutting one’s toe nails.

Daryl Dixon

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For six years now Daryl, played by Norman Reedus, has been depicted as the ultimate woodsmen and tracker and a person who is more at home outdoors than in. It strained credibility that he could be not just snuck up on by Dwight (Austin Amelio)  but shot from behind from close range.

Ending the episode with the audience uncertain about whether Dwight has murdered Daryl was a cheap stunt that was unbecoming of a successful and wonderfully entertaining series such as “The Walking Dead.” I do not believe fans of Daryl have anything to worry about. Daryl has always been the most popular character on the program and so it seems highly unlikely that he would be killed off. There is precedent for actors on hit shows becoming bored and wanting off to pursue other professional opportunities. If this were to be the case with Reedus, I would guess that what we would see is an arrangement similar to that struck between David Duchovny and “The X-Files” as the first run of that series wound down. Duchovny wanted to leave the show but was convinced to agree to appear in one out of every three or four episodes during the last one or two seasons of the program. Duchovny’s limited appearances in the show was a major reason why the quality of “The X-Files” trailed off so much after he ceased to be a regular cast member. Because “The Walking Dead” has had an ensemble cast, I do not think it would suffer all that much if Daryl becomes just a semi-regular character going forward.

Although we do not witness Daryl getting shot by Dwight, we do see Dwight fire in Daryl’s direction and then hear a thud suggesting a body hitting the ground.  Dwight’s remark after the shot is clearly a clue to the viewer: “He’ll be alright.,” he states. Expect to see Daryl in next week’ season finale alive but seriously wounded. He will be back next season in some capacity or other.

Blood Splatter

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Just after Daryl is shot we see stage blood splattered on the camera lens. This pointless gimmick was annoying when we first witnessed it. Now it is intolerable.

I predict that next week’s season finale will be one for the history books and make us forget this very weak episode. Five days is too long to have to wait! Watch it with me and check back in with my blog if you are interested in my thoughts on the episode.

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Eugene Bites: Thoughts on “The Walking Dead” Season 6, Episode 14: “Twice as Far”

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Episode 14 of season 6 of “The Walking Dead” (“Twice as Far”) was absolutely enthralling. Perhaps the best way to tease what is to come is to mention that it included what has to be one of the weirdest and funniest lines ever spoken in the history of television.

Great Walker Makeup

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There was some more great walker makeup this installment that begs to be highlighted. A walker with a lead helmet made for one of best ever seen on the program.

Rosita Espinosa

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Christian Serratos  turned in a strong performance as Rosita Espinosa. She has quietly done her job well since joining the cast.

Dr. Denise Cloyd

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That the community allowed Dr. Denise Cloyd (Merritt Wever), the only person in Alexandria with medical experience, to leave the safety of its walls for any reason was ridiculous. Her stated reason, that she knew the names of drugs needed by the group, was too silly to have been convincing. She could have written down the names of medicines. The moment she set foot out of Alexandria the believability level of the show dipped.

Daryl “Mr. Cool” Dixon

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Watching Daryl “Mr. Cool” Dixon (Norman Reedus) struggle to drive a truck with a manual transmission was a very funny touch. That “The Walking Dead” did not take the joke to its logical conclusion is inexplicable. A quick cutaway showing something other than the interior of the truck followed by a return to the truck and a view of Darryl in the passenger seat and Denise driving would have elicited a second round of laughter.

Denise’s Murder

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Denise’s murder had to be one of the most shocking moments in the entire run of the show. That “The Walking Dead” continues to surprise its viewers is one of the reasons it has kept such a large audience for so long.

Dwight

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Seeing Dwight (Austin Amelio) on our television screens was another one of the episode’s surprises.  He represents a return to the all-white male top tier villains standard the show has set. Paula appears to have been just a one episode departure from the show’s norm.

Dr. Eugene Porter’s  Evolution

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Dr. Eugene Porter’s  (Josh McDermitt) evolution into a new person has been most welcome and entertaining. His doing what Sgt. Abraham Ford, portrayed by Michael Cudlitz, would call out of the box thinking led to one of the weirdest and funniest lines ever spoken in the history of television. Ford tells Eugene: “You know how to bite a d#*k, Eugene. I mean that with the utmost of respect.”

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After Eugene is shot we see him having to be carried away. We wondered if he would survive. A few minutes later we learn that he was only “grazed” by a single bullet. If he was only “grazed” why did he need to be carried off?

Carol

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In contrast to the character ark of Eugene, in this installment we see the further disappointing character development of Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride). Carol decides she does not want to kill for the people of Alexandria ever again and so leaves the community. It is too farfetched to believe that Carol, who as I stated in commentary on an earlier episode this season, evolved into the ultimate pragmatist and realist when it came to surviving a zombie apocalypse, would become a person who would do such a thing.  The last two episodes informed us that it was Carol’s religion which caused her transformation. I have never missed an installment of the show and never recall Carol’s spirituality to have been referenced in any way until this season. To use it as a key plot device six seasons into the show seems cheap. So too does having Carol run off. She has always been one of the best and most important characters in the series. She will be back just as happened the last time she separated from the main core group of survivors.

As Good as Ever

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Six seasons in “The Walking Dead” is as good as ever. It is too bad that prejudice against the horror genre will prevent the show from ever getting all the credit is deserves.

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Product Placement in Television

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Last month I blogged about product placement in television. Since my comments were made in a post about a television show, they would likely only have been read by those interested in the program. For this reason I decided to restate my arguments in this new blog post. Seventeen days ago I wrote:

“The coming of such blatant and reappearing product placement is an obvious evolution in television. Every day the percentage of us with DVRs is increasing and less and less of us are watching commercials because it is so easy to fast-forward through them. Advertisers will not buy commercial time if people do not watch their advertisements. Expect to see arrangements…in which…[companies] both buy traditional commercial spots and have their product featured in…episodes as well, to become the norm. This does not bother me since it may lead to the eventual elimination of traditional commercials altogether. Furthermore, if done skillfully, product placement could even aid the viewer in her or his willingness to suspend disbelief when viewing a television program.”

I say bring on the product placement and banish television commercials forever. It will mean a superior TV viewing experience for all of us.

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Thank you for reading my blog.

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Thoughts on “The Walking Dead” Season 6, Episode 13: “The Same Boat” (Some Spoilers are Revealed Below)

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Episode thirteen of the sixth season of “The Walking Dead” (“The Same Boat”) will go down as one of the most memorable in the show’s history. Unusual storytelling techniques, very scary characters, constant tension and a strong plot all made for a wonderful hour of programing. As good as it was, the installment did have some irritating moments for which “The Walking Dead” deserves criticism.

Creative Touches

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Beginning the “The Same Boat” several minutes before the end of last week’s installment was a creative touch. The same can be said for scenes which followed and depicted the conclusion of last week’s episode  from the perspective of characters not seen in last week’s show.

Saviors

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The “Saviors” were chilling and reinforced the reoccurring theme of “The Walking Dead” that in a world where all civilization breaks down the living are more dangerous than zombies. The ruthlessness and stone-cold heart of the Saviors leader, Paula, ably played by Alicia Witt, made her frightening.

Paula

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It was no surprise that Paula was white for 100% of the series’ top tier villains over six seasons have been so. Such casting is another way for the program to prove its Leftist bona fides. Paula’s gender was a first for a prominent villain of “The Walking Dead.” In a strange way I think female bad women like Paula represent a feminist statement. She thinks of her “boyfriend” as no more than a sex toy. In feminist’s eyes men are superfluous. One Angela Kang wrote “The Same Boat.” Is she an admirer of Lorena Bobbitt?

We learn in the episode that Paula was a secretary before the zombie apocalypse. Was Kang telling the audience that if not for sexism in America secretaries like Paula could live up to their full murderous potential? Will we continue down this bad woman road and see next week a female character lie about a rape allegation or are some aspects of the cult of true womenhood still held sacred by those behind “The Walking Dead?”

Tension

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After the Saviors put jackets over the heads of Carol Peletier, portrayed by Melissa McBride and Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) and begin the journey to a “safe house,” the camera shifts to the perspective of both women. The views of both Carol and Maggie, which are limited to the ground at their feet, proved to be a potent technique to raise the tension felt by the audience throughout the entire hour.

Frustrating Dialog

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It was after the safe house is reached that the viewers were subjected to some frustrating dialog. The pregnant Maggie asks: “When was it ever smart to get knocked up?” The take away is meant to be that even before the zombie apocalypse, women who had children were stupid. Here we have an example of the Leftists in the entertainment industry denigrating motherhood and women who get married, have children and stay home to raise them. Maggie follows up her question with the line: “Women used to just die in child birth and they always thought the world was going to end.” The ignorance expressed by Angela Kang, who presumably came up with this piece of dialog, is appalling. Giving birth is the most natural thing in the world that a woman could do for if women ceased to do it the human specious would become extinct. Child birth is actually not all that dangerous for women at all. In fact, it is only in very recent history that doctors were even present when a child was born. Traditionally, women gave birth at home attended only by a midwife. Pregnancy is not a malady. There has never been a time in history when women in large numbers died while giving birth or believed that the “world was going to end.” I assume there was a clumsy attempt at a statement on abortion somewhere in there.

Carol

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While being held captive Carol falls to pieces.  Her crying, hyperventilating, and betraying that the fact that Maggie was with child was so out of character for her that it took me out of the show for a period. The ultimate realist, pragmatists and all-around coolheaded person that Carol has evolved into over the course of six seasons would never come apart as she does in the installment. Considering other themes of “The Same Boat,” it is fitting that Carol’s motherly, or grandmotherly insticts, account for her weakness.

Double Standards

While Carol is behaving out of character, a woman Savior remarks: “Guys can’t handle pain.” The comment was a prime example of the double standards upheld by the Left. Concepts which entail that the basic biology of men and women make them different are acceptable to the Left as long as they are complimentary toward women and derogatory toward men.

Religion and “The Walking Dead”

Religion played a big role in Carol’s experiences in “The Same Boat.” Religion seems to have been a theme in every recent episode but just what “The Walking Dead” is trying to communicate visa vie religion during the season is not clear to me. I have no choice but to default to the 2012 “The Walking Dead “ installment in which viewers were shown a large number of walkers sitting in church pews. The not so subtle message intended to be conveyed was that all religious people are zombies.

A patronizing tone and forced Leftist social engineering have been features of a great many episodes of “the Walking Dead.” Despite this fact the show is still one of the best things on television. Give me more!

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

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Looking Back on the First Season of the New PBS drama, “Mercy Street” and Forward to the Show’s Future

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Enough time has gone by since “Mercy Street’s” season finale that a retrospective look at all six of its episodes is in order. Read on for my thoughts.

Mary Phinney (Mary Elizabeth Winstead)

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In my review of episode Two (“The Haversack”), I wrote: “I am now convinced that “Mercy Street” will make [Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who portrays nurse Mary Phinney]…a star.” I was certainly wrong. That this was true was no fault of the actress. “Mercy Street’s” Web site relates that nurses Phinney and Emma Green (Hannah James) are the show’s two main characters. However, the program in reality seems to be more one that featured an ensemble cast. Winstead simply did not have enough screen time for “Mercy Street” to serve as her star-making vehicle.

Hannah James (Emma Green)

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Hannah James, who plays Emma Green, turned out to be a big surprise. It was obvious early on that she was “Mercy Street’s” reigning beauty. As the season unfolded and her role in the overall story ark of the season increased, it became clear that she has strong acting talent to match her good looks.

Frank Stringfellow (Jack Falahee)

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When Frank Stringfellow’s name was teased in episode one (“The New Nurse”) I was left with great anticipation of what might come. Stringfellow’s real-life exploits as a Civil War scout and spy were fascinating and thrilling. The fictionalized version of the man could have been used to better effect. The degree to which the character balanced the “ER-like” aspects of the show that appealed to female viewers with more male—oriented content should have been greater. Although on the whole I enjoyed the Stringfellow character in some respects he was a missed opportunity for “Mercy Street.”

Mrs. Jane Green (Donna Murphy)

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The performance of Donna Murphy was most understated. This is probably the reason why it was not until after the season ended that I realized how very good she was in the role of Mrs. Jane Green.

Making a U-turn on Historical Reality Road

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That the central plotline of the season finale involved an attempt to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln by blowing up the Mansion House hospital was most disappointing because it failed the historical plausibility test. In a February 17, 2016 blog post, “Mercy Street’s” Executive Producer, Lisa Q. Wolfinger attempted to justify writing the attempt into the show. She reported finding a January 10, 1862 newspaper story of a rumored attempt to blow up the hospital which was not connected to Lincoln and was said to have no basis in fact. Wolfinger wrote: “When we stumbled on this obscure story in the Alexandria Gazette we knew we needed to incorporate some version of it in our fictional world. [Why?] It is quite true what people say, “fact is stranger than fiction!” [So what?]  In truth the “diabolical attempt” turned out to be a series of coincidences and a large dose of rumor, [So why cheapen the show by including it?] but since the residents of Alexandria were clearly swept up in the rumor, we decided to run with it. [What the heck?] The gunpowder plot offered a perfect opportunity to create an edge-of-your-seat season 1 finale, while also weaving in two other historical stories we were interested in.”

I have always assumed that “Mercy Street’s” biggest draw for its fans is that it aims to be the most historically accurate Civil War-era drama in the history of television. The attempt to blow up the hospital was a u-turn on historical reality road. More such u-turns in season two could cause the show to end in a fiery crash.

Overall Impression of the Show

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“Mercy’s Street’s” sets were impressive, its costumes deserve an Emmy and it was filmed beautifully. There was not a single bad acting performance turned in by the cast. Some cast members were exceptional in their roles. Its plots were interesting and exciting enough to be worthy of the large audience it earned. It deserved a good overall grade for historical authenticity.

What “Mercy Street” Should Do in Season Two

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The historical record should be mined for rich material on Stringfellow that can be worked into the season.

The show still needs a bit more male-oriented content if it is to strike the correct balance necessary to be equally popular with both men and woman alike. If it fails to do so, it may not perform as strongly in the ratings in its second season.

The show should resists the urge to present content that fails the historical plausibility test for the time period.

It should bring back Myron Parker, Jr’s character, Miles. I want to know how his new life of freedom is turning out.

Just two days ago PBS announced that “Mercy Street” will be coming back next season. It was a record setting hit ratings wise and so its return was never really in question. We will have to wait many long months for new episodes. In the meantime, I plan to continue blogging about the show. Check back in with my blog in the next week for the first in a series of posts on the real Frank Stringfellow.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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