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Thursday, March 29, 2012

TV REVIEWS: WALKING DEAD SEASON 2 & COMIC BOOK MEN

Sunday nights have been the best nights of the week on TV as two of my favorite shows aired back-to-back on AMC, The Walking Dead (also Talking Dead) and Comic Book Men! Last week, we finally got to see the long awaited finale to The Walking Dead Season 2 on AMC! This season has been amazing; full of intense moments, confrontations, a drastic loss of cast members and truths revealed! After the group escaped the city and the CDC destruction (end of season one), they make it to the country and are stranded along a deserted highway full of abandoned cars. As they encountered a literal herd of "walkers",  little Sophia became separated from the group and was lost in the woods. Suddenly Carl, Rick's son, is shot by a hunter (Otis) who takes them to a farm owned by Herschel and his family. Fortunately Herschel is a doctor (veterinarian?) and is able to save his life with the help of Shane and Otis getting supplies from a nearby infested hospital. However Shane, shoots Otis in the leg and leaves him for dead. While the group desperately searches for Sophia they take refuge on his land, although Herschel is somewhat reluctant to let them stay. Meanwhile, Tensions between Rick and Shane increase and Daryl searches tirelessly for Sophia. After searching for her long and hard for days (and at least 4 episodes!), the group discovers that Herschel has been hiding walkers (including some of his ex-family members) in his barn and the group proceeds to exterminate them ultimately revealing to their surprise that Sophia is one of them! (SPOILERS!)
Later Rick, Ben and Herschel encounter a group of hostile survivors and as they escape, they stop to rescue one of the would-be attackers, a young man named Randall. Herschel takes pity on him and takes him back to the farm to heal his wounded leg. While Shane and Rick debate Randall's threat to the group they plan to either set him free or execute him. Shane soon takes matters into his own hands, kills Randall and then plans to betray Rick but he then kills Shane, who then turns into a walker, Carl shoots Shane just as a hoard of zombies begin to overtake the farm. As the group fight for their life, they realize the farm is lost and most of them escape as the farm burns. Andrea is separated from the group and encounters a mysterious, sword-wielding stranger as Rick and the rest of the group are about to discover a prison where they can take refuge!
This season has been accompanied by a live talk show, Talking Dead, hosted by Chris Hardwick a great show with the cast and crew of The Walking Dead along with special guests such as Scott Ian, Dave Navarro and Kevin Smith!  If you haven't been keeping up with the comic books too, then you are missing out on the whole Walking Dead experience! While the show does not follow the comic exactly, many of the characters and plot situations are similar. Although season two has just ended I can't wait for Season 3, we get to see Michonne, the prison, and The Governor! This Fall!


I also just finished watching the first season of AMC's Comic Book Men and I gotta say...Thank you AMC and thank you Kevin Smith!!! I had heard about the premiere of this show at the beginning of the year and could not wait to see it. I love seeing the quirky events of a comic book store and the wheelin'-and-dealin' Pawn Stars-like format of the show. I have always wanted to visit Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash, but have never had the opportunity. This show appeals to me on in so many ways: #1. I was already a fan of Kevin Smith, both his movies (especially Clerks and Mallrats) and comics (i.e. Daredevil, Green Arrow). #2. I was an employee of at least three different comic book stores for several years of my life which was both the best and worst experience in my life. (One of which was as part of the failed comic book company Tekno Comicx/Big Entertainment.) And #3. Of course, I am a HUGE comic book fan!
While the concept of the show is not that original it does include Kevin Smith's podcast sessions and we get see the daily goings-on of the shop. It's always fun to see so many of the unique items customers bring in to sell but it does seem perplexing that they rarely actually sell anything? My favorite episodes include "Life After Clerks" where Jason Mewes (Jay) visits the shop and also the Zombie episode. Although Kevin Smith is not present at the store, he does preside over the podcast conversations (and the occasional street-hockey game).
Walt is obviously the boss, while Mike and Ming are his two employees. As for Bryan (although I don't think Bryan can really be called an employee) he is obviously the antagonist of the group, and he is also part owner. Both Walt and Bryan appeared in several of Kevin Smith's movies over the years (Mallrats and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) as fan-favorites Fanboy (Walt) and Steve Dave (Bryan). Although I have enjoyed the show, I was somewhat disappointed that the first season only lasted for six episodes. I do hope AMC plans on renewing the show for a second season.
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