Archives for category: The Walking Dead

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While the undead still rule the horror roost over the likes of sparkly vampires and CGI werewolves, it is inevitable that the zombie market is bound to soon hit a saturation point. With big budget offers like World War Z down to indie gems like Jeff Monahan’s Corpsing, zombies have reached a mainstream appeal that keeps our rotten bellies as full as we can stuff them.

When AMC announced this week a spin-off series to The Walking Dead (arguably the standard bearer for the genre), the online response reached near “Bat-Fleck” proportions. Comic purists will likely drift even further away from the spin-off while those who still have the hunger for more are ready to sink their teeth into another piece of the Walking Dead universe.

While spin-offs like Better Call Saul (a Breaking Bad spin-off for those who have been living under a giant rock) won’t affect the source material because the original show will be off the air, the Walking Dead spin-off risks the chance of sullying the brand if poorly executed. Despite the risks of media “over-zombification” and possible poor writing/acting, there are five things AMC can do to maximize their chances of success with this new series.

5. Keep Rick’s Crew Away From It

The Walking Dead

Think of it this way: If George Clooney shows up for 20 seconds in a two hour independent film, the film becomes about that 20 seconds. Now you have an hour and a half of wondering if someone else from Oceans 11 might pop up.

It would be unfair to the new characters if they bump into Glenn and Maggie while they are out on a supply run. At that point everyone would be focusing on the possible crossovers, future encounters, a movie version featuring both crews (a la Star Trek Generations) rather than the story at hand.

Rick and company have plenty to contend with in their own little corner of paradise. Leave them to it.

The post 5 Ways To Make The Walking Dead Spin-Off Series Work appeared first on WhatCulture!.

Rick Intro

Season 4 of The Walking Dead is finally here. And so is another showrunner. Frank Darabont was in control for season 1 and the first half of season 2, Glen Mazzara gained power for the latter half of season 2 and all of season 3, and now Scott M. Gimple is stepping up to the helm for season 4. Watching the series as a whole is like watching Dr. Frankenstein’s monster come to life. Large pieces from separate sources make up the anatomy of the series. Each showrunner has a different style and attitude towards the show, and they’ve been sewn together along the way. What’s more is the show has become an irrefutable monster in the ratings.

Perhaps the show is aptly named The Walking Dead because every time it looks like the show is going to die, AMC chops off the old legs and attaches some new ones. They’re determined to keep it going whether or not the show maintains a unified storyline and style. Are there zombies throughout the series? Of course! But the show’s also at risk of becoming one. Trudging along ages after it may be necessary to put it down. Has that day come? I don’t think so, but I panic every time they attach a new pair of legs.

I’m always wary of change. Whether it’s as small as changing my hat or as large as a zombie apocalypse, I get nervous. Change brings risk, and risk brings panic. I find solace in the fact that Gimple has been on The Walking Dead staff for a while. He’s written some great episodes as a producer and supervising producer since season 2. For example, he wrote Pretty Much Dead Already (S2, E07) which features Sophia’s exit from the barn. He’s certainly willing and capable of flaunting dark subject matter, evoking harsher realities when hope tries to come out and play.

Like Daryl’s necklace of zombie ears, Gimple certainly has some trophies to back up his new position. But like I said, I get nervous about the smallest things. I’m not as brave and stoic as Rick; in a zombie apocalypse, I’d keep my headphones on. So here are 10 things I’m concerned about as we continue into season 4 of The Walking Dead. Be careful though, there will be spoilers from the first 3 episodes of season 4 lurking in this article.

The post The Walking Dead Season 4: 10 Reasons To Be Concerned appeared first on WhatCulture!.

The Walking Dead Season 4

Am I the only one who thinks that AMC’s proposed spin-off of their hit series The Walking Dead is a bad idea? While the television series has seen ratings success, critics have questioned the inconsistent levels of zombie action and some of the dramatic storylines.

Meanwhile, the comic appears to be running out of original stories (find a safe place, get overrun by zombies, meet hostile humans, fight them, get overrun by zombies – wash, rinse, repeat). The world may be just about zombied out and it will take a lot of creativity to come up with an original concept that won’t simply be a retread of the existing series or worse yet, dilute or detract from the original series.

Today, we’ll take a look at some of the possible directions that a spin-off could take and why they probably wouldn’t work.

5. Morgan Jones – “I Am Legend”

Morgan Jones Walking Dead

We’ve had a taste of the life of Morgan Jones, one of the first survivors encountered by Sheriff Rick Grimes in the first episode “Days Gone By.” Morgan and his son Duane are managing pretty well despite the persistent “visits” of Morgan’s undead wife. When Rick and Morgan part ways, we have no sense of the tragedy lying ahead. In season 3 s “Clear,” Rick returns to his hometown to scavenge weapons to fight off the impending attack by “The Governor.”

There he is reunited with Morgan who is a little unhinged by his experiences, to put it mildly. His son Duane has been bitten and killed by his undead wife and he now spends most of his days clearing captured or dead walkers from the countless booby-traps he has laid throughout the town. Morgan declines to join Rick’s crew at the prison and when we last see him, he’s back to clearing the zombies from his traps.

Just Imagine…. The story of one man against an onslaught of the undead has been told time and time again but few have told it better than Richard Matheson in his trailblazing book, “I am Legend.” Hollywood may have butchered it on numerous occasions, but AMC has the opportunity to gain inspiration from the source material to craft a gripping series about one man and his fight for survival in a world where he is the now the monster. Killing walkers by day, fighting for his sanity at night, never knowing whether the humans who stumble upon him are friend or foe, the potential exists for a dramatic series that could catch fire with audiences.

Morgan Jones actor Lennie James gave a stellar performance in this role and has the acting ability and range to headline any Walking Dead spin-off. While this would provide a break from the ensemble cast feel of The Walking Dead, one wonders if what would essentially be a one man show with little dialogue would be able to keep audience interest. One could easily see the concept of “a man alone,” swiftly abandoned and either amping up the action by teaming Jones up with other zombie killers or simply falling in line with the original series by creating another ensemble cast on the road looking for sanctuary.

The post The Walking Dead: 5 Spin-Offs That Could Work But Probably Wouldn’t appeared first on WhatCulture!.

Arrested Development Poster

With Storm Nemo in our midst, the activities on the eastern side of the country are quite limited these days. So for those of you east-coasters with lots of extra indoors time on your hands (or west-coasters, too, for that matter), we’ve compiled a list of the top 11 TV shows to catch up on in lieu of the upcoming Spring season.

Whether it’s a show you’ve been meaning to start watching, or a show you miss and want to re-watch, take a look at our list and indulge in the lack of eating, sleeping, or doing anything else kind of binge that is beginning a new TV series. If it’s one of the shows in our list, you’ll be glad you did!

1. Arrested Development. A tongue-in-cheek comedy that tried to gather its footing in mainstream TV. Based around the hilarity that is the dysfunctional Bluth family, the three-season long show had all the right material, but all the wrong publicity. After tepid ratings, the show got cancelled by FOX in 2006, much to the fans’ despair. However, after 6 years of silence, the cast (Jason Bateman and Michael Cera in their breakout roles) and creators reunited to announce the production of a fourth season to be released exclusively on Netflix in May, 2013. After watching the first three seasons, you’ll be itching for the fourth. And with all 52 episodes on Netflix, it only makes sense to start the show from the beginning in preparation for one of the most highly anticipated revivals of the season.
Commitment: 3 Seasons, 52 episodes, 22 Minutes each — Approximately 19 hours

2. Downton Abbey. This British show serves as the highest rated show to ever air on PBS, creating buzz all over the American TV world. With an explosive cast including Harry Potter‘s Maggie Smith, and awards being thrown at the show left and right, it’s been called “one of the best shows Britain has ever created.” The best and worst part about British shows is that they have short seasons. All three seasons are available to buy on itunes, which includes episodes that haven’t aired yet, here in America, giving us the entire British soap opera series at our fingertips — including this season’s striking finale.
Commitment: 3 Seasons, 25 episodes, 45-66 Minutes each – Approximately 20 hours.

3. Breaking Bad – It’s almost impossible to have a conversation these days about TV without mentioning AMC’s Breaking Bad. This show has been raved about from the day it first premiered back in 2008, catapulting its stars, Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston, into super-stardom. The show’s fifth season is returning in March, so now is the perfect time to catch up with TV’s hottest meth makers, fresh off of a successful Emmy season.
Commitment: 5 Seasons, 54 episodes, 47 minutes each – Approximately 42 hours

4. House of Cards. This is the first original series to be produced and aired exclusively on Netflix, meaning that it could be a hit or miss of a show. Critics and viewers agree that the show is a hit, and is fit to be aired on a more public platform. The all star cast, including Kevin Spacey, and the curiosity alone will make you want to watch. There is really no reason to not watch this show. The entire first season of 13 episodes is available on Netflix, and so far, the first season can’t be watched fast or often enough. There’s as much quality as there is quantity.
Commitment: 1 Season, 13 episodes, 45-60 minutes each – Approximately 13 Hours

5. Mad Men. When Mad Men premiered in 2007, it quickly became the frontrunner of a series of AMC hits. Set in the fascinating venue of 1960′s New York, this drama will get it’s hooks in you from the very beginning. With the first 4 seasons all available on Netflix, it’s easily accessible to get ready for the shows highly anticipated 5th season premiering in April. And if nothing else, the lead is played by Jon Hamm, who is either shirtless, or dressed to the nines in every episode. Enough said.
Commitment: 4 Seasons, 65 episodes, 46 minutes each – Approximately 50 hours

6. The Walking Dead. Everything about this show is unprecedented. AMC took a risk making a show with very short seasons revolving around a zombie apocalyptic world, but if the rave reviews and amazing ratings are any indication, it more than paid off. With all this talk of zombies these days, it’s exciting to get a well-written show giving all the worrying people out there a real take on the eternal question of “What if Zombies actually did take over the world?” Practically speaking, the show has only 2 short, but action-packed seasons all available on Netflix. Also, with Season 3 returning on Sunday, AMC is marathoning Season 2 and the already aired episodes of Season 3 on Saturday and Sunday — set your DVR! So, what are you waiting for?
Commitment: 2 Seasons and 8 Season 3 episodes, 27 episodes, 45-60 minutes each – Approximately 24 hours

7. The Wire. Set in the world of the underground drug trade in Baltimore, this gritty drama is still being raved about years after it went off the air. With a successful five-season run, adorned with awards and great reviews the whole way through, The Wire marked one of the first of many hits from the house of HBO. There isn’t a revival or a premiere coming up for this show. In fact, it came and went, airing the series finale in 2008. It’s just a powerful, unique show that everyone should watch. And if we’re still talking about it despite it being off the air for almost 6 years, that’s got to mean something, right?
Commitment: 5 Seasons – 60 episodes – 50-60 minutes each – Approximately 58 hours

8. Deadwood – Westerns are never out of style. And in the world of cowboys and bar brawls, it doesn’t get any better than Deadwood, South Dakota. This HBO series only got to entertain us for three seasons, but each episode packs enough punch (literally) that you won’t feel the least bit disappointed. Go back to your roots with American’s oldest of successful genres. Deadwood’s an American gem and it’s all accessible through HBOGo for subscribers and iTunes.
Commitment: 3 Seasons, 36 episodes, 55 minutes each – approximately 33 hours

9. Homeland. As one of Showtime‘s most successful dramas, Homeland is sure to be present in conversation, awards announcements, and on TV for years to come. Having just competed Season 2 and Season 3 returning in the fall, the plot will thicken just enough for you start counting the days until September. This political thriller just got Claire Danes her second Golden Globe of the season. It’s a product of our times and sometimes it hits too close to home. It’s on iTunes and, of course, the Showtime Anytime app.
Commitment: 2 seasons, 24 episodes, 50-60 minutes each – Approximately 22 hours

10. Game of Thrones. – This HBO series based on George R.R. Martin’s fantasy novel series, A Song of Fire and Ice, single-handely put fantasy shows back on the map. Since it’s premiere in 2011, the fictional kingdoms of Westeros and Essos that the show takes place in keep getting more and more intense. Think of it as Lord of the Rings meets The Young and the Restless. Garnering more and more fans every episode, this isn’t a show you want to fall behind in. Who doesn’t like a good (like, really really good) escape into fantasy from time to time? With the aired episodes all available on HBOGo and iTunes, there is plenty of time to catch up before Season 3 continues in March. Now, you have no excuse to not be in the loop!
Commitment: 2 Seasons, 20 episodes, 50-60 minutes each – approximately 19 hours

11. 30 Rock. The comedy series, created by Tina Fey, just came to a heartfelt close after a successful seven season run. The premise of a fictional TV show set inside 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City won six golden globes, and multiple primetime Emmy Awards because of its impeccable cast and writing. Comedy television at it’s finest. Plus thanks to our Eat Like Liz Lemon map, you can indulge in one in all the edible delights of one of TV’s most comedic characters. If you didn’t just watch the series finale, this is a good way to see what all the fuss was about for the last six years. Lucky for you, Seasons 1-6 are available on Netflix. And by the time you’ve completed those, Season 7 might just be available. If not, there’s always iTunes! Season pass, anyone?
Commitment: 7 Seasons, 138 episodes, 22 minutes each – approximately 50 hours

Which TV marathon are you starting first? What are your suggestions for other TV fans stuck inside for Storm Nemo?

Dio Anthony contributed to this article.

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