The Walking Dead Premiere: A Real-Time Reaction

by thethreepennyguignol

So, we’re back for another season of The Walking Dead – why do you keep watching this show just to shit on it, Lou? I hear you ask, and the answer is because I want to and you guys seem to keep on reading it. So get on board for an other agressively snarky take on TVs worst best show!

  1. Oh, fuck, I had all but wiped clean my memory of Jeffery Dean Morgan’s just awful Negan (Nee-gan or Naygan?) performance.
  2. Damn, they’re doing there “what if this populist zombie show was an indie romcom?” directing again. Great.
  3. A Rick speech! Take a shot, first of the season.
  4. Is this…does this Rick speech sound like a marketing spiel to anyone else? That “….together” at the end sounded like it should have been followed by a corporate jingle.
  5. Is Maggie lying about her pregnancy? Is that canon? She’s not showing anywhere, at all.
  6. I’d just like to take a hot second to remind everyone that, no matter how much I rag on this show, I fucking love Melissa McBride and think she’s a phenomenal actress who brings so much to the role of Carol and always has.
  7. New credits. This music is so tied to how much I detest this show that it almost sends me into full-on, groping-for-the-off buttons panic mode.
  8. Ah, a long shot of a car driving down a desolate road: The Walking Dead’s signature.
  9. Let it b known that I yelled “BOOOOOOOO!” at the screen as soon as Carl appeared on it, and I actually like Chandler Riggs somewhat.
  10. This scene of Carl stalking about is relatively tense and well-directed, but then of course he opens his mouth for the first time and his voice is weirdly deep for the age he’s meant to still be and his dialogue is all “Ohmigod, Dad, shot shooting people whenever I get close to them, you’re embarassing me”.
  11. Alright, this isn’t the worst episode of TWD I’ve ever seen, if only because it’s a relatively dialogue-light one so far, so we don’t have to listen to the writers visibly straining for emotional impact off-screen.
  12. Oh, shit, Seth Gilliam. You know, I watched a lot of The Wire in between seasons, and he’s so damn good in it – ballsy, charismatic, charming. Somehow, TWD has ripped all of that away from him and turned him into nothing more than the inimitably awful, bafflingly characterised Father Flopsweat.
  13. Look, I’ll fight you on this: Richonne was the best part of the last season, and Danai Gurira and Andrew Lincoln have fantastic and well-earned chemistry. That said, I can’t want till both of them escape this show and into better things (see also: Dania Gurira in that dope Black Panther trailer).
  14. I’m reasonably enjoying this so far, at about a third of the way in, but I know that’s just because it’s been light on Negan (Naygan? Neegan?). As soon as that limbo-dancing bellow appears we’re back in trouble.
  15. Oh, no, wait, I tell  I lie: it’s as soon as they give Maggie some real screentime. Look, I like Lauren Cohen and all, but Maggie’s entire character just slammed into a wall as soon as Glen died and has been thanklessly po-faced and dull ever since. Ugh. Ugh. She may be my least favourite character, and this is still a show with Carl Grimes in it, so.
  16. Ezekiel! I love Ezekiel – that wonderful, warm camp he brings to the show is so welcome in what can so often be a relentlessly grim show. He has a tiger! A tiger!
  17. Alanna Masterson! I’ve always dug Tara, even if she never got enough screentime. Maybe this season we’ll see a little more of her!
  18. And Dwight! Damn, The Walking Dead is delivering on it’s handful of decent characters in this premier.
  19. This is, so far, a substantially better premier than last season, and most of that has to do with the fact that Negan has barely been in it. Oh, and that Enid hasn’t really got a line.
  20. Negan’s here, repeat, Negan’s here – but before he gets a chance to fuck it up, we’re into an Old Rick flashforward/fantasy sequence to make sure this plot doesn’t get too much momentum.
  21. Oh, he’s delivering a speech about how his penis is bigger than Rick’s (no, really), and you can just tell JDM is itching to hit that sweet, sweet ninety-degree-angle he was doing most of his acting from last season.
  22. Eugene is here, looking like a cartoon of a worried lion.
  23. There’s been a lot of shouting between Negan and Rick (as made up most of last season), and I’m just thinking about how stunned I am that that is the actor who plays Jesus’ real hair. It looks so substantially like an awful wig. I still don’t quite believe it’s not.
  24. Oh, the guy who might as well have had “I’m going to betray you” tattooed on his forehead last season has betrayed our heroes. Colour me stunned.
  25. LE-NNIE-JAMES! LE-NNIE-JAMES! Too good for this show, too good for this earth.
  26. The Walking Dead has Multiple Major Explosions Per Episode money now. I miss the days it was only relying on One Mid-Level Action Scene Per Season cash.
  27. Alright, the shooting out of all the windows on that big-ass building is pretty cool. I’ll give ’em that. But you know we’ll be paying for this with at least three talky episodes down the line.
  28. A sweet Daryl/Carol moment! I live for this shit. It’s so rare to see a long-term, intimate but platonic relationship like their one on TV, and Melissa Mcbride and Norman Reedus have great, believable chemistry.
  29. Fuck, this episode really is 90% explosions, isn’t it?
  30. The camerawork is all jittery and jumpy for close-ups on Rick firing and it honestly just looks like a mistake.
  31. Andrew Lincoln literally brushing off Father Flopsweat right there made me laugh. We all with we could, Rick.
  32. Are they killing off Father Flopsweat?! Do it! Fucking DO IT! Not only would it be an actual surprise, but you would get rid of one of the worst characters while also freeing up Seth Gilliam for something better. Three birds with one stone!!!
  33. Oh no, a scene of Carl alone while mournful music plays. This can only mean bad things. Is he going to eat some pudding on a roof again?
  34. I can’t be the only one who viciously ships Ezekial and Carol, can I?
  35. Gabriel stopped Rick killing Negan (Naygan? Neegan? Nigin?) for reasons which can best be described as “morals, innit”.
  36. Oh a hoarde of zombies approaching our heroes. How will they get out of this one? Rolling under a fucking bin? Just becoming the zombie-proof Glen?
  37. Gabriel unexpectedly encounters Negan, and he could for sure have shot him in the time it took for Negan to give that ridiculously stupid monologue about shitting his underwear.
  38. Oh fuck, my ovaries start loudly humming whenever Andrew Lincoln is near a child, even in ridiculously overwrought flashforward/fantasy form.
  39. Two Rick speeches in one episode? Ambassador, you truly are spoiling us.
  40. Ah, that was in memory of George Romero. I can forgive a lot for that.

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