I've never been one to jump on the bandwagon. Whether it is "the" big movie that everyone talks about and says is amazing (like every superhero movie, or the newest Star Wars), or a product (like an iPhone or FitBit), or a television show (like Desperate Housewives or The Bachelor). If I watch/buy/see from the beginning that's one thing, but once something hits the point of being "water cooler" worthy, I'm going to avoid it at all costs.
I don't know why, I guess I'm just a contrarian. I sometimes feel that all the talk makes a lot of hype that is impossible to live up to. This is why when we used to see movies a lot it was always on opening weekend. It's also why I can give up on a television show that I really loved and that used to be great but has really fallen in quality and believability of the storylines yet somehow still holds viewers out of some kind of crazy loyalty (I'm looking at you, Grey's Anatomy).
So, here's the deal. I have a big confession to make. I was not a Dead fan. That's right, I never watched one season, one episode of The Walking Dead. Not until the final episode of Season 6. I heard about it from my friends, and I just always had to say, "yeah, I'm not into that." Husband started binge watching it to catch up somewhere around the end of season 4. I watched one unfortunately gruesome episode along the way and swore it off again. I wrote it off as being just another violent kill or be killed show. Just another zombie show and, well, zombies are the new vampires, aren't they? I'm dead tired of the vampires. Also, I'm a big chicken when it comes to monsters and villains and zombie-like things. So I still refused to watch. Until this happened.
I have a massive thing for Jeffrey Dean Morgan which goes all the way back to his days on Grey's (pre-shark jump). My
I mean, damn. That man is fine. FINE.
So when I heard that Morgan would be playing the villain, Negan, on The Walking Dead this season, it was one more chance to see him, and I didn't care if he was the
This summer, thanks to modern technology, I had the luxury of binging TWD all the way from season 1. Husband even re-watched it with me. I had previously tried to watch through a couple episodes with him, but wrote it off as another campy sci fi show. Now that I had a new incentive, I allowed my preconceptions to drop and just watched without caring how
A funny thing happened, though, as I viewed the first few seasons. I was becoming invested. I was taking interest in whether these people lived or died. I was watching the characters change and adapt to the new environment and adjust their expectations. Finally, I realized what a well crafted and well done series this was. I realized how engaging, frustrating, and interesting the relationships are. I was impressed with the writing and direction and the archetypal characters and themes within the show (Yes, I'm THAT much fun to watch with, too). I saw how deftly the writers and producers brought this to life and planned storylines for each character to keep the audience invested. I saw the craft of storytelling right before my eyes, and you don't get that with many TV shows or movies anymore.
One of my favorite seasons was season 4. After the prison falls and the group is scattered, some wonderful and personal storylines come out of the pairings that result. My favorite was watching Darrel and Beth paired up and trying to survive – trying to find common ground. I think it was this season that cemented my fandom. Prior to the prison, it was about survival. Now, it became about personalities and relationships and working together toward a goal.
My least favorite death in the series so far is still Beth's. It was so hurtful to watch them be so close and then lose her that way. I cried over the injustice of it for a long time, despite the fact that I had never really liked Beth. Second place has to be Herschel's death–so horrible. The creepiest thing in the show was the little girls taken in by Carol going koo koo for Cocoa Puffs. Creepy kids are one thing I can't handle. Second creepiest –the revelation that Mischon's "bodyguard" zombies were her family. I literally yelled at the screen when I realized that. Oh, but I forgot about Terminus ....hmmmm.... So. Creepy.
So last Sunday, for the first time, I watched season 6 premier with everyone else. And what a premier it was. I'm now part of the crowd, feel free to call me a bandwagon jumper, a gadfly, a late to the party Lucy, that's fine. I am. But I assure you that I had all the emotions, feelings, overwhelm, and nervousness of everyone else watching that first episode. Literally as the opening theme was playing I looked at husband and said, "OMG!!! I don't want to know! I don't want to know who it is!!!!"
Even though I had guessed one death correctly, and the "surprise second" was straight out of the original graphic novel (right down to the bulging eye - ick!), I still felt sad, I still mourned like everyone else. But the thing is, I can see why it had to happen. There had to be something big, and it had to be someone who was beloved enough to start WWIII. The victim of Negan's bat had to be someone who would kill Rick's soul and make him controllable, bring him down a notch and let him realize that he is not in control. Otherwise our group wouldn't have the strength or incentive to seek revenge against the Saviors.
So, if you've made it this far in my post, which I'm sure not everyone will, I have another confession to make. I don't like Rick. Not at all. I know a lot of people think he is the hero of the story, and he sure thinks he's the leader of the group, but I just do not see him as the hero. I can write a dissertation on why and how and who I think is really the hero of the group, the one who has sacrificed the most for the better good. But that's the kind of thing that makes me so annoying to be around, so I will stop here.
I've learned to love Darryl, appreciate (and sort of hate at the same time) Carol, get over Carl's bad attitude (I'd have one too if I were him), and admire the hell out of Mischon. I hope Maggie steps up this season and becomes someone to admire, and I want to see Rosita kick some ass on behalf of Abraham. I also want to see someone, anyone, cut off Eugene's mullet!!!! But when it comes to TWD, I will take what I get because it is all so good. So well written, and so gripping. It is a story of a real and very relatable post apocalyptic life. Perhaps the most believable one I've seen. You really don't get that every day.
Meanwhile, I can't wait for Episode 2....and more of that sexy beast Negan.