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Article Thought provoking review (Swear AND the 'A' season)

Discussion in '7x06: Swear' started by MamaGrimes, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. MamaGrimes

    MamaGrimes 100% Certified Shipper Trash
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    I thought this review from Paste Magazine was really really interesting. Shane is a bit harsh but a great deal of what he says will resonate with many of us as he's voicing the same frustrations we have with this season. His counterpart, Josh, is the more positive of the two but even he seems to be tired of this half season.

    What do you think about some of the points they bring up? Agree? Disagree? Many of us follow spoilers and know what's coming up in the 'B' season so please use tags if you bring them into this thread.

    It starts out with Shane 'writing' to Josh and then Josh's response and it goes from there. Try to read till the end as I believe they bring up many excellent points about the show this season but there may also be some opinions that you will differ with them on.

    The Walking Dead Review: "Swear"
    Season 7, Episode 6
    By Shane Ryan & Josh Jackson | November 28, 2016 | 11:09am

    Josh,

    This is going to shock you, but I’m writing to you today with mixed feelings. I want to start with the positive, because there’s been a serious dearth of that in what has been one of the weaker half-seasons in Walking Dead history. So here’s my big takeaway:

    Rachel is awesome. She’s the 10-year-old who loves killing zombies and really, really wants to kill Tara. I love her heart, I love her gumption, I love her anger. I actually don’t know how her name is spelled, but I’m writing “Rachel” instead of “Rachael” because she doesn’t seem like the kind of person with the time or the patience to abide superfluous letters. She wasn’t on screen for very long, but to me, when it comes to this season’s new characters, she’s already ahead of King Ezekiel and Simon, and she completely obliterates Negan. The entire show should be about her. If last night’s episode had ended with her taking a flamethrower to Alexandria, killing Rick and Carl and everyone else, I would have stood up in my living room and applauded.

    (Quick related story: I re-watched the start of the episode so I could pick up the dialogue I’d missed between Rachel and Cindy. It was about a teddy bear that had washed up on shore, and ended when Rachel spotted the zombie. My brother-in-law, watching with me, summed it up nicely: “She doesn’t strike me as the type who’s into teddy bears.” Damn right, bro-in-law!)

    Rachel owns. As for everything else? I wish I could be less blunt, Josh, but I can’t: It was total garbage. Here are a few of my least favorite moments, though this list is far from comprehensive.

    1. The actor playing Tara is still godawful. It took me a while to even remember where we had seen her last, and I think it’s because a highly adaptive mechanism in my brain had blotted out the memory. (Thanks, brain.) But seriously, the sequence where I went from thinking this was an episode about a couple of badass tropical killers to realizing the mysterious body washed up on shore belonged to Tara…that was the worst kind of gut punch. It was like waking thinking it was Christmas morning, but actually you’re an adult and all your friends are hitting you with soap bars stuffed into socks like that scene in Full Metal Jacket.

    2. In season seven—in season f***ing SEVEN—do we really need another long speech (from Heath, this time) about how life is all about survival, and it’s every man for himself? Did they really think that would carry any dramatic impact, even if they subvert it later via flashback when he came back for her on the bridge?

    3. Every single “funny” bit of dialogue Tara uttered under stress was painfully unfunny. Hire a comedy writer, Walking Dead. Your shit needs a punch-up.

    4. We meet an all-female community called Ocean Side who are ruthlessly competent and have a shoot-on-sight policy, except that they can’t hit a very slow target from close range, and then they also don’t shoot on sight when they have a chance.

    5. I don’t care if the show recognized that Cindy saved Tara three times in the exact same way at the moment of her death—it was still laughably bad plotting. The third time it happened, I just started laughing, while my brother-in-law—who has never seen Tara before, since he hasn’t watched past season two—openly expressed his frustration that she hadn’t been shot.

    6. The closing bridge scene might be the worst action sequence any TV show has ever filmed, right up to the part where the other two Ocean Side people caught up to Cindy and decided to let Tara go, despite the fact that they wanted to kill her ten minutes earlier.

    7. The “Hey look it’s zombie Heath OOPS JUST KIDDING it’s another black zombie with his kind of hair and also inexplicably recently dead unlike all the other sand zombies” rug-pulling moment was excruciating. More than anything, it’s just goddam embarrassing, but I suspect it’s tacitly racist in some way too.

    8. At the end, as if most of this episode wasn’t painful enough, the “scenes from next week” showed Negan performing ONE OF HIS CLASSIC monologues where he EMPHASIZES words at random FOR NO OBVIOUS reason. That’s going to suck, too.

    I don’t know, Josh. I always enjoy reviewing these episodes, even when the reviews are critical, but a couple weeks ago one of the fanboys in the comments said the following:

    PLEASE take Shane off this review!! Why would I want to read a review by someone who clearly hates the show now. Im done reading this shit if hes still here. PURE GARBAGE from him

    The capitalization is all his, by the way, and I think it says a lot that he types in fluent Negan monologue-ese. That being said, does he have a point? I mean, I openly dislike the show this season (though I still hold out hope for its redemption), and while I’m getting the sense that most critics around the Internet are feeling exactly the same, I get the feeling that the hardcore fans are probably not enjoying my weekly bitch-fest.

    So I’ll turn to you with all the usual questions about this week, but a larger one about the season—what is this show doing for you, at this point? I usually hate “larger purpose” questions, because if a show is good, it’s good, but I genuinely don’t even understand what they’re trying to do. It’s one thing to put a lot of hope in a character like Negan, and then to watch that character totally fail. It’s another to bounce around the known universe introducing new characters and hoping something sticks, without any sense of a steady hand at the till. Sure, maybe they all come together for some huge battle at the end—and by the end, I mean sometime next year, because this half-season doesn’t have enough time left to execute anything super meaningful—but will that really justify any of this?

    I’m so frustrated, man. I want Rachel to blow everyone to pieces.

    —Shane



    Read the rest here
     
    coffeebean, C-Ben, box5angel and 3 others like this.
  2. ReeciePiecey

    ReeciePiecey Nestled in Rick's Beard
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    Its interesting and i agree with some of their points but I actually would prefer a season like this over some seasons we had in the past. I agree that the pacing is off but I prefer this pacing than 6a which had lots of action but every episode was a cliff hanger with no payoff. I feel like the 6a had no payoff and all I remember from it is Glenn was under a dumpster, the walkers got into ASZ and Rick kissed :orly: but that's all I got of the plot until episode 6.8. It was that forgettable.

    Lets not forget we had season 2a at the farm. Season 3B wasn't that great either with a few exceptional episodes. The difference in the earlier terrible seasons were that the acting was excellent. The early cast was so on point and they saved bottle episodes for great characters and actors so you got a lot out of them. Also though the material was thin at times but they interspersed the boring stuff (Woodbury) with stuff we actually cared about (The family). I remember being so annoyed at the time we had to spend in Woodbury and I never became attached to any of those characters from there. Till this day, no one really cares that much about Karen and David in part because Karen was from Woodbury and no on cared.


    I totally agree about Alanna. I think she is getting the Beth treatment. She is great to look at and has a certain charm but she cant carry an episode. Tara was always funny to me while not trying to be but they tried to make her funny and the dialogue was just corny, flat and unfunny but that's the writers fault. I'm wondering if they plan to kill her off or if she is close with the producers or what it made no sense to give her this feature when there are much better actors that they could have given us more time with. Come on, could you imagine, Abe or Eugene at Oceanside now that would be a hilarious episode. Sasha, Carol, Michonne, even Carl could have had an excellent adventure.

    It seemed like it was just a really convenient way to service the plot and accommodate the actors schedules by using Tara and Heath to tell this story even though its not as compelling as it could be. I totally agree with them feeling like writers are just phoning it in this season. Because its the most watched show they are really taking advantage and getting pretty sloppy. They could have done some really interesting things but instead followed a formula that just doesn't quite work in the 7th season of the show. They need to find new ways to send their message.
     
  3. I'mStillWithYou

    I'mStillWithYou Richonne Trash
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    Interesting article-thanks for sharing. I agreed with both guys on many points. One of my favorite being that perhaps the writers and TBTP may be relying on past success. I wholeheartedly agree that a different character could have done so much more with last nights episode. That said, I'm still not sure what if anything TPTB will do to change things. Sure, critics matter to some extent but consistently being one of the most watched cable shows maybe matters more to them and they will continue to phone it in.
     
  4. slade3

    slade3 The New Mrs. Grimes
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    Thanks for sharing this review. I enjoyed reading it and think they made important and true points. I meant to bring up that horrible scene when Tara thinks Heath is a walker. It was just so bad. I shouted at my TV screen during that scene, as well as when the women of Oceanside kept failing to shoot Tara despite how close she was to them. "Forced" is a great way to describe many of these episodes lately and that's too bad because it's capable of greatness. I hope the show doesn't lose too many viewers before it's starts to bounce back. I think the next episodes will be good.
     
  5. Gooey Goobert

    Gooey Goobert Relocating to The Kingdom
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    Since most of us follow spoilers, we had known for awhile what was coming, and at least for me, time softened the blow. This guy seems like he's stuck on stage two of the five stages of grief, and it's understandable because I was on stage one for a good couple of months. It also sounds like he checked out of the show awhile ago. I'm sure a lot was said for humor, but I'm not willing to sacrifice the main characters for Rachel. I love the little kid, but I didn't think she was light years ahead of Zeke or Simon. :denise:

    That said, he makes some good points. Gimple likes to set the table in an agonizingly slow way. S7 is a set up season. We won't get our feast till S8, and by that point, many of us will wonder whether it was worth it or not.
     
  6. chasus

    chasus Resting on the Love Pallet
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    I have to agree with his assessment about Tara and about Negan I think in the comic Negan seems all fine and good but once he hit the TV screen it was over the top fro start to finish. I am also glad That I am not the only one who is tired of the Negan speeches. I mean it was bad enough during the season 6 finale he got a 11 minute speech now we still get his drawn out speeches while our main characters are limited to 2 minute conversations. It would be compelling if it wasn't so overbearing. So far since episode 1 we GET NEGAN and the saviors are despicable!!! They rule so many communities and annoy the shit out of everyone. Great got now lets get the story moving.

    One thing for me STOP the bottle episodes, splitting the episodes up when surely ALL 3 could have been merged into 1 -90 minute episode. I am too full and sleepy from all this filler and we have yet to see Rick, Michonne, Gabe Aaron in a full episode just focused on them without Negan around. I don't know at this point I am holding out for 7B to pick up a bit and the Negan malarkey to tone down.
     
  7. richonneromance

    richonneromance Caressing Eugene's Mullet

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    Sorry but how is that a review? I'm fine if he hated it but he could at least give reasons besides "TWD makes it hard to suspend disbelief". No shit, it always has. People act like S7 is the first time they did nonsensical shit as if everyone didn't sit through the survivors trying to pull a disgusting zombie out of a well so they could continue drinking the water it was rotting in.

    6. The closing bridge scene might be the worst action sequence any TV show has ever filmed, right up to the part where the other two Ocean Side people caught up to Cindy and decided to let Tara go, despite the fact that they wanted to kill her ten minutes earlier.
    Wasn't there some structure thing blocking their line of sight? And didn't Cindy say she'd cover for Tara?
     
  8. MamaGrimes

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    Make sure to click on the link in the OP as there is a TON more content in the article, including a much softer counterpoint by the other writer, Josh. I think you'll like his more even tempered critique!!
     
  9. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
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    There was. I think this dude just wanted to nitpick.

    It's an interesting negative review, but I do think this guy has just checked out and he should probably stop watching if he has such grievances with the main characters and the nonsensical action sequences. I mean, those are things that have been around since even season one.

    My main issues have been the quality of the scripts and the pacing. But silly action sequences? That's the least of my worries. I got used to those a looong time ago.

    Gimple has groomed his audience to expect a certain arc. And while it's nice he's consistent, it's beginning to make the show predictable and stale. He also needs to hire better writers. He really does. I know he's friends with Kang, Reed, etc. but they're just not cutting it. Fresh blood would do wonders.