MY TV FORTNIGHT
This fortnight saw the return of everyone’s favourite shambling cadavers (I’ll wait while you make your own jokes about The Who…). After failing to set our screens alight last autumn with the first half of season 10, The Walking Dead is back after its midseason break. Admittedly, the zombie thriller is starting to feel as stale as those sandwiches the survivors are always munching, but I was still eager to see if certain plotlines would be resolved.
For example, what is Carol hiding under what must be one of the worst wigs in modern TV history? Is Daryl allergic to shampoo? Will Eugene’s magnificent mullet eventually become sentient, and a force for good in the fight against the flesh-crazed hordes? I even have some non hair-based threads I need closure on too, but I digress. As regular readers may recall, your humble scribe started reading The Walking Dead comic back in October 2003, when issue one was first published. While that wrapped up its run last year with issue 193 (sob), I’m pleased to see the world live on, as it were, on TV.
Is that what keeps me coming back 10 seasons in, you ask? Only partly. In recent times, The Walking Dead has got some things wrong: the TV version of Negan is as menacing as My Little Pony, and the storyline featuring OG cast member Carl felt like it was merely done for shock value. But they’ve got a lot of things right in the wake of the departure of two of the biggest stars, Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) and Laura
Cohen (Maggie Rhee). Casting the immensely gifted Samantha Morton as Alpha, the leader of the skinsuit-sporting the Whisperers, was inspired. When last we saw our plucky band of survivors, they discovered they had a traitor in their ranks, and ended up being lured into a cave crammed full of Walkers by Alpha (you’d think they’d have learned by now, wouldn’t you?).
The mid-season opener was full of tension, discontent and a fuck-load of zombies. Recalling Carol’s claustrophobia – last mentioned in TWD’s debut season – was a nice touch, and there was a delicious feeling of dread throughout, as the gang tried to escape from some creepy caves. Despite all of the careful seed-sowing (and apparent deaths), season 10’s comeback episode will live in infamy for its scene featuring a skin mask-clad Alpha getting biblical with Negan. Bringing a whole new meaning to the term gruesome twosome, the shocking twist goes to show there really is somebody out there for everyone. Can’t wait for the wedding…