The Walking Dead Season 7

twdseason7Going into the third episode of The Walking Dead Season 7, most fans of the show are aware of the deaths of some fairly significant characters. I won’t go into any specific details just in case you haven’t seen the first couple of episodes, however, I felt that it was appropriate to comment on a couple of things.

First of all, the zombie post apocalypse is certainly a violent and unpredictable place. It would be completely unreasonable if the main characters remained unscathed. We were already hearing voices (no not the voices in my head – fortunately, I don’t hear those yet…) complaining about how there weren’t any significant character killings in most of the 6th season. Inevitably, those voices would have gained strength among fans claiming that the story was unrealistic (insofar as anything could be unrealistic in the zombie apocalypse). Naturally, fans expect that people will be killed, but only those characters that they don’t like or get to know very well. Anyway, in keeping with the comics (which I haven’t read intentionally), our core group of survivors has dwindled down further, much to the dismay of many.

Over the years, we have watched as our remaining core group of The Walking Dead characters became less isolated. As they meet new groups of survivors, we are starting to see that there is indeed a type of functioning semi-civil-system in place, at least in that part of Virginia, and perhaps all over the world. It seems as though what remains of civilization has reverted to a form of feudalism. The strongest and most ruthless rule the day while the weaker serve them. In neganthis case, we find that Negan, ruler of “The Saviors” is the “big boss”, enforcing his power through his liberal use of brutality and his special friend “Lucille”. I have previously discussed to the likelihood of a tendency for sociopaths to rise to the power in the post apocalypse (link) and I think that would hold true. We have seen “The Governor” in previous seasons, now we see Negan, who certainly would “fit the bill”.

In the second episode, we also meet a whole new community of survivors that call themselves “The Kingdom”. It turns out that “The Kingdom” is quite fascinating and amusing place, to say the least. The leader of “The Kingdom”, “King Ezekiel”, is downright hilarious and has a flair for the dramatic, having been a Shakespearean actor and a zoo keeper pre-apocalypse. Oh, and did I mention that he has pet tiger named shivaezekielShiva! That’s right, A PET TIGER that actually comes along with a fairly detailed background story as well (maybe we will see more of this story in future episode flashbacks). How awesome is that!

Then we have the end of our modern fairy tale notion that things always get better. “Better” being a relative term, of course. Unfortunately, in the real world, and certainly in any imaginable post apocalyptic scenario, “things” get worse too. You might think “how much worse can it get for Rick’s family”. Well it turns out, it can get much, much worse, as we have witnessed in these episodes.

Being such a fan of apocalyptic fiction, I find that I’m “pinching myself” (metaphorically, most of the time) while I watch The Walking Dead. Is this show really on Prime Time TV on a Sunday night? Is it really the most popular show on television?

Oh, and did I mention that there is a fucking TIGER! A rather large tiger with huge, menacing teeth and very sharp claws! I can’t wait to see Shiva tear into some zombies or living people for that matter (as long as they’re bad guys 😉 ). Will she take their heads off with her claws or bite and crush their skulls? I think Shiva tearing off Negan’s head would be appropriate, then they can shove that barbed wire bat “Lucille” down what’s lucilleleft of his throat!

Innovation in fiction. Ultimately, it’s the unique “tiger” ideas that I love. These great “where did that come from?” ideas are what keep me reading and watching. The post-apocalyptic environment is well suited for those “what the fuck! (WTF)” moments (who they hell thought of that?). After all, the apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic genre is a bifurcation of science fiction, the exploration of “what ifs”. I think people appreciate the way that the writers (Robert Kirkman, et al) of The Walking Dead have re-imagined and reinterpreted the zombie apocalypse. They are exploring it in a new way. It is different from George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead that has been regurgitated countless times. People can sense when an idea or concept is worn out and they get tired of it. Fortunately, just when you think it has all been done before, someone comes up with something new and flips everything on its head. Who knows what type of calamity someone will come up with next? Whatever it is, I’m looking forward to it. That is, of course, if we have time left for those types of things…

Guest Post C. Chase Harwood Author Of Sudden Origin

Our next guest post comes from C. Chase Harwood, author of the Of Sudden Origin Saga. In his apocalyptic book series C. Chase Harwood introduces us to his own action packed interpretation of the zombie apocalypse. Thank you C. Chase Harwood for giving us all some insight into your creation and for sharing your thoughts with us!

ofsuddenoriginI suspect that we all secretly wish for a zombie apocalypse–for a day. I also imagine we would all want the option to exit the moment we might get chomped.
It’s not as if we want our family, friends and neighbors to deal with such a horror. It’s the survival thing. We all fantasize about surviving the worst; being put into a situation of terrible odds, the thrill of facing the dead head on just around the bend. We don’t imagine that it just happens, that we’re walking down the sidewalk and a raving zombie suddenly charges us–we defenseless and without arms, no, we imagine ourselves well prepped for such an event. We’re ahead of the curve as the news of the building catastrophe grows into the day of reckoning. When it comes, we are ready to take on the end of civilization–for a day.
Zombie novels provide a window, a visit to such an event without having to actually get the hands dirty… or em… bloody or the face bitten off, guts used in a ropey tug-o-war. Zombie novels let us imagine blasting our deepest nightmares apart, fighting injustice and overcoming the worst of men. They place us in the raw undiluted space of me against the ruined world, perhaps with the help of some friends.
All of this is fine. All of this is fun. I’m as much a huge fan of The Walking Dead as the next guy or gal, but there’s one part that always leaves me frustrated: how in the hell do the dead walk–particularly the ones that are mostly skeleton? I know it’s best not to ask such things. Just go for the ride already. Don’t delve into how the cars stay on the track.
Of Sudden Origin solves this conundrum for me and I hope for others like me. It utilizes the conventions of Armageddon and zombies, but goes a bit further. The series makes an attempt at creating a scientific basis for a zombie apocalypse. The zombies aren’t dead. They can die any way that any other person can die, but they are fast, have a bit of brains left, and are just as relentless as their dead kinfolk. They also have a secret weapon: the novels explore a sudden leap in evolution, thus the title Of Sudden Origin. The offspring of the infected are the next iteration of man, and you don’t want to meet one. You’d much rather have the covers pulled up to your chest, book in hand, rather than cowering under the blanket as mad humans and their horrific offspring charge into your home.
As with most apocalypse tales, Of Sudden Origin explores our relationships and interactions with each other when faced with the very worst and asks, can the best in us survive?
C. Chase Harwood

Follow C. Chase Harwood on Facebook, Twitter and get his books Here or through the link below:

Fear the Walking Dead

Some Walking Dead fans have been slow to warm up to the spin off Fear the Walking Dead that is now approaching the end of its second season. After all, how many countless hours have we logged following Rick and his crew of survivors. I must admit though, approaching the end of Season 2, the show has grown on me.fearthewalkingdead

Initially, I was drawn to the show to discover the details about how the zombie apocalypse started, supposedly in Los Angeles. That aspect was somewhat disappointing since it basically happened the same way everywhere else (one zombie…two zombies…million zombies). We don’t get much in the way of details, except we see how the military attempted to create “safe zones” then was forced to bomb most of the cities in a last ditch effort to stem the tide of zombies.

Fear the Walking Dead (FTWD) has a sort of dreamlike quality that has kept me watching. Though it is hard to pinpoint, the characters seem to float through the scenery as if they are a part of your own zombie apocalypse nightmare.

Taking place mostly in Mexico, Season 2 has unique cultural and religious aspects that create a certain tone and atmosphere that set it apart from its southern US counterpart and main franchise, The Walking Dead. Actually, we find a completely different perspective in Mexico as we see a more religious/biblical interpretation of the zombies. A type of superstitious attitude prevails where the survivors see the zombies as a way for god to cleanse the Earth.

It takes more time to become engrossed in FTWD compared to the original. I remember how I was hooked after I watched the first episode where Rick wakes up from a coma in the hospital to find the zombie apocalypse. The impact of that first episode in the original series was awesome in a way that I think would be impossible to duplicate.

FTWD may have a ways to go before it could come close to replacing the original, but it certainly is a fun show to watch while we are awaiting the main event.

 

All Roads Lead to Terminus

The Walking Dead

Follow the yellow…err…corpse littered railroad tracks to Terminus. Our ragtag group of exhausted survivors carry on down the tracks in the final episodes of Season 4 of The Walking Dead. Is Terminus real? Is it a trap? We get some answers but other questions arise as we follow these apocalyptic hobos. In a dead, haunted world, are the living really the ghosts? It’s going to be a long wait until next October. Check out the Season 4 now:

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 12 Still

In The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 12 titled ‘Still’ we are reminded of the terror and hopelessness that is the zombie apocalypse as Daryl and Beth hide in the trunk of a car for days while a herd of zombies passes. Sure, we knew that there were hordes of zombies on the loose but with the prison fences keeping most of them out its easy to forget. You know things are bad when you are safer inside a prison. Anyway, if you’re like me and really enjoy the fictional exploration of a post-apocalyptic world, you’ll love this episode. How about a post-apocalyptic, zombie infested country club with overgrown fairways, ransacked clubhouse and elite members turned zombies hanging from the ceiling! Ha! Entertainment just doesn’t get much better than that. Watch this episode on AMC’s website Here or on Amazon through the link below:

The Walking Dead Season 4 Claimed

We are briefly introduced to two new groups of survivors in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 11 titled Claimed. Unfortunately, none of the new characters are among the most civilized or intelligent human beings. With no fence for protection, survivors are never safe from the endless zombie onslaught. Not to mention the threat of encountering other people that are more ruthless and violent. Those that have survived over a year into the zombie apocalypse ought to be hardened killers by now. We get some interesting pieces of information in this episode and some hints as to where our friends in The Walking Dead may be heading. Watch this episode through AMC’s website here or on Amazon through the link below.

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episodes 9 and 10

Forced to abandon the relative safety of their prison home and separated during the chaos and destruction following the Governor’s attack, small, fragmented groups of survivors struggle to find hope and safety in the second half of the 4th season of the post apocalyptic tv series The Walking Dead. A complete and utter destruction of one’s home, the illusion of safety, a careful, delicate construct of the mind created to comfort and shelter us from the harsh reality of our often short, brutal lives. The word apocalypse itself, translated from its Greek origin meaning ‘the disclosure of something hidden’, points to this truth and was only later incorporated into english taking on its current, more religious, end of the world context. Isn’t the apocalypse indeed the destruction of our carefully constructed sense of reality, revealing the often cold, hard reality of our situation that we survive on a small speck of life within the vast, empty void of space.

A profound lesson is encoded into apocalyptic fiction that is easily missed. On a surface level, end of the world fiction highlights the necessity to prepare for disaster by storing food, water and having the ability to protect your family which are certainly worthy goals. Going a little deeper though, the real gem concealed within apocalyptic fiction relates to the transient and fragile nature of life itself. While we aren’t forced to face the illusory nature of safety and ‘home’ on a daily basis like the survivors in The Walking Dead, inevitably, even if it isn’t until our time of death, we must face these illusions. Perhaps if we can incorporate and cultivate an awareness of the fantasy nature of true safety, we will be more liberated and able to live more fully in the moment.

To assist you in your contemplation of reality and your own mortality [ 😉 ], follow the links below to watch the latest episodes of The Walking Dead titled ‘After’ and ‘Inmates’.

These episodes are also available for free through the AMC website through this link: http://www.amctv.com/full-episodes/the-walking-dead but there is some way you need to login using your cable company account that I find both annoying and confusing and they are only available there for a limited period of time.