Advance Review: The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live - Rest in Peace

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who LiveIf you've never seen a stitch of The Walking Dead or aren't caught up to how Rick (Andrew Lincoln) or Michonne (Danai Gurira) departed the series, then here is a brief rundown before you dive into this new spinoff series The Ones Who Live:

After being blown off a bridge, Rick is literally taken from his home, his family, and lost for years. Then Michonne discovers he's still alive, and goes off to find him. This new tale is a search for love, for destiny. The Queen sets out to find her lost and fallen King, and bring him back. 

This, gentle readers, is indeed an epic love story, a modern, apocalyptic spin on a fairy tale. It will answer the question: can true love conquer and prevail? 

The musical score of this series, I feel, is the best The Walking Dead-verse has had to offer to date. The writing is both right, quick-paced, all while offering an intimate view of these characters and their new journey forward. Thematic and dark with smatterings of sunshine, it not only broadens the universe, but is of a caliber that could have meant itself to films. In short, this is cinema.

One of the things I loathe about reviews and online chatter are spoilers. I don’t know what other reviewers will say about what they saw, but I am gonna do my damndest to leave this spoiler free. More than that, what occurs in the first ten minutes, as a fan, as a Richonne shipper, as a Rick Grimes fan, left a hitch in my throat, a sting in my eye. Beauty, pain and sorrow. And I believe that you, audience members, deserve to experience that unfiltered. Untainted.

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Doctor Who: The Giggle - An Epic End to the Trilogy

***The following review is full of spoilers, so please watch the episode first***

Doctor WhoThe 60th anniversary trio of Doctor Who specials came to a close today, with part three, “The Giggle.” The episode opens in Soho in 1925 when a man visits a toy emporium and meets the owner (Neil Patrick Harris) and buys a ventriloquist dummy named Stooky Bill for his boss, real-life inventor John Logie Baird, who uses it as the world’s first televised image. Meanwhile back in London in the present, the Doctor (David Tennant) and Donna (Catherine Tate) are still in the middle of the chaos, the owner of the toy store in the background, when they are escorted by Kate and UNIT back to headquarters. It turns out, every human on the planet has had their brain waves altered and believes they are unequivocally right, and eventually go mad and turn violent trying to convince others. Eventually they discover that the signal effecting the planet is coming from a giggle, embedded along with the image of Stooky Bill in every screen. Shirley (Ruth Madeley) traces the image back to 1925, and the Doctor and Donna are off to find out how to stop it. The Doctor quickly realizes that the man in the toy emporium is his old nemesis the Toymaker, who he beat long ago. The Doctor must play the Toymaker’s game. Unfortunately he loses, but since he won in the past, he challenges him to the best out of three, and the Toymaker cannot refuse, however, he takes the third round back to 2023. The resulting battle will decide the fate of the planet.

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Doctor Who: Wild Blue Yonder - A Creepy Look into the Duality of Human Nature

The following contains spoilers for the episode. Please watch it before reading.

Doctor Who: The Star Beast Today Disney+ released the second of the trio of new Doctor Who specials featuring David Tennant as the Doctor and Catherine Tate as Donna Noble, his companion. The episode picks up where the last left off, with Donna having spilled coffee on the console, causing a malfunction in the TARDIS, whisking them away to some unknown place in time and space. They unexpectedly arrive on a spaceship at the edge of time and space, beyond the reach of even the stars. Because the TARDIS is essentially rebooting, when it senses danger, it follows an old hostile action displacement system (HADS) to take off, leaving the duo alone – and without the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver. The ship at first shows no signs of life, but once they start messing around, they discover things are not what they seem, as they find themselves faced with life forms that have no shape and copy theirs, leading to a trippy adventure that tests how well they know each other.

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Doctor Who: The Star Beast - Tennant & Tate Return in a Nostalgic Adventure

The following contains spoilers for the episode. Please watch it before reading.

Doctor Who: The Star BeastDoctor Who returns to television screens today for the first of the long-awaited 60th anniversary specials, “The Star Beast,” directed by Who alum Rachel Talalay. Newly regenerated with an old face, David Tennant reprises the title role, along with Catherine Tate as Donna Noble. Russel T. Davies also returns as showrunner.

When we last left Donna back in 2008, she accidentally took in a blast of regeneration energy that had been stored in the Doctor’s hand that overloaded her human brain with Time Lord knowledge. The Doctor was able to section off that part of her and keep her alive, at the cost of having to wipe all of her memories of the two of them. The special, which picks up fifteen years later, does a decent job of recapping what you might have missed, although in a somewhat stilted way having the two characters literally explaining it to the viewer. However, after the new opening credits, it jumps right into the fun. 

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The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon - 1x04, La Dame De Fer Recap

The Walking Dead: Daryl DixonThe beam of a flashlight shines through a stone doorway. Footsteps approach. It is Daryl (Norman Reedus), and as he reaches us, the camera pulls back and we hear the rattle of a chain. He is locked behind an iron gate. Growling draws his attention, and he shines the flashlight through the bars, revealing a group of walkers. Laurent (Louis Puech Scigliuzzi) wanders into view, and Daryl clutches the gate, knife in hand, calling the boy’s name. As the walkers overtake Laurent, he bows his head and puts his hands together, praying, and then he is hidden from view by the staggering figures. Daryl screams his name, but Laurent doesn’t move. Eventually, losing hope, Daryl falls silent. The walkers move back the way they came, and lo, Laurent is standing there, still praying, unharmed. Hallelujah amen.

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The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon - 1x03, Paris Sera Tojours Paris Recap

The Walking Dead: Daryl DixonThe episode begins as Daryl (Norman Reedus) drives the cart into a town, and Isabelle (Clémence Poésy) says, helpfully, “This is the town of Angers.” They stop in a square outside a rundown theatre, and Daryl gives Sylvie (Laïka Blanc-Francard) his gun with an instruction to protect the horse. Maybe he regrets sending Asteríx the mule to certain death last week.

Daryl and Isabelle go inside. Isabelle’s contact is a musician who has been living here for years. A door behind a rack of theatrical costumes opens, and a wild-eyed man with eccentric Beethoven hair emerges, addressing them in French. The subtitles are also in French, so I can’t tell you what he’s saying. As he approaches, Daryl holds up a hand to stop him, and tells Isabelle to ask about the radio, without so much as a “my-name-is-Daryl-Dixon-I-come-from-a-place-called-the-Commonwealth.” Crazy Beethoven realizes Daryl is “Anglais.” “I speak,” he says. “Sky blue, grass green. Where is Brian? He is in the kitchen?” I’m hazarding a guess that this man is not of entirely sound mind.

Beethoven takes them downstairs into a cluttered office where there is a radio. Daryl rattles its bits ineffectively, reminding me of the opening scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Isabelle says something in French about a place called Le Nid, and Beethoven replies “Yes, of course. The radio could call to there.” Daryl stops pretending he knows anything about technology and asks the man to fire up the radio. “Oh no,” says the man in dismay, and asks if they would like a show. “What the fuck?” says Daryl, and Beethoven tells Isabelle that he used some of the radio parts for “amplification.” “Do you like Ravel?” he asks and starts playing Boléro through a makeshift sound system. He goes upstairs, telling Isabelle and Daryl to follow him into the auditorium.

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The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon - 1x02, Alouette Recap

The Walking Dead: Daryl DixonThe episode opens with a flashback. Isabelle (Cleménce Poésy), dressed in eveningwear, stands on a rooftop looking out over pre-apocalypse Paris. Behind her is a brightly lit nightclub, electronic music blasting. She goes inside, weaving her way between dancers, eyeing people and being eyed by men. She chooses a man with whom to dance, and they break it down in slow motion until she walks away. She lets two other men buy her drinks as the evening passes, and she snorts some cocaine. We see the scars on her wrist from her suicide attempt. Guess we’re not flashing back far enough to find out about those.

Eventually, she puts her coat on and leaves, stopping in the lobby while she waits for the elevator. In her purse are men’s watches, which she has spent the night stealing. She stares at herself in the mirror doors of the elevator. She doesn’t like herself. Her hair looks great though, 10/10 for that. Screaming comes from inside the club, and she walks into a quiet corridor, taking pills out her bag and swallowing some. We get it: the nun was once a drug-snorting, pill-popping thief. Everything slows down again as her high hits. 

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The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon - 1x01, L'âmé Perdue Recap

The Walking Dead: Daryl DixonDaryl (Norman Reedus) washes up on a beach, tied to a capsized boat. Exhausted, he collapses on the sand. He is parched, but half-buried in the sand further up the beach is a child’s plastic bucket. It could be full of saltwater or dog urine, but he gulps its contents without doing so much as a finger test.

Leaving the beach, Daryl figures out he is in France when he sees a French sign. He is unmoved by this discovery, or perhaps so shaken by it that his face is briefly paralyzed. He plods onwards, and likely realizes around the same time as we do that France, like the cast of The Walking Dead, looks hot even in the apocalypse. 

He finds a boat, which helpfully contains some bottled water, a map, and a dictaphone with working batteries, twelve years into the apocalypse. Oh la la! The British owner of the boat voice-journaled, and we see a montage of Daryl cooking fish and looking at the map as he listens. Tragically, the Brit’s wife died, and he speaks mournfully on the tape of how his daughter wants to go home. Daryl does too. He picks up a stuffed penguin as he contemplates home. Is this a sniggering gesture towards the fact that he will shortly meet a different kind of “penguin,” in the form of a nun? I very much fear it is. 

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Stranger in a Strange Land - The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, Season 1 Review

***The following contains slight spoilers***

The Walking Dead: Daryl DixonDaryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) is a man in crisis in The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon: a physical crisis, a spiritual crisis, and, apparently, an identity crisis. The six-episode series, a second season of which is currently in production, has a fresh aesthetic, an accomplished supporting cast, and a title which is occasionally necessary as a reminder of who the man on screen is intended to be.

Beautifully filmed, with a soundtrack of wistful French songs and haunting orchestral numbers, the latest offering from The Walking Dead universe features an excellent, mostly French cast alongside Reedus, including Clémence Poésy, Adam Nagaitis, Anne Charrier, Eriq Ebouaney, Laїka Blanc-Francard, Romain Levi, and Louis Puech Scigliuzzi. France offers exquisite backdrops for the story.

But the shiny new setting only emphasizes how unfamiliar Reedus’s character has become. One wonders how much the lack of narrative coherence has to do with the “pretty late in the game” transition away from the Angela Kang–led spinoff featuring Daryl alongside Melissa McBride’s Carol Peletier. In the wake of that tumultuous change, we’re left with an often shaky premise centered on themes of fatherhood, fate, and finding one’s purpose.

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The Negan Obsession - The Walking Dead: Dead City 1X06, Doma Smo Review

The Walking Dead: Dead City“Doma Smo,” the title of The Walking Dead: Dead City’s final episode, means “We are home” in Croatian, and the episode finds all the characters back home, either literally or figuratively. Hershel (Logan Kim) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) return to the Bricks, Perlie Armstrong (Gaius Charles) goes back to New Babylon, and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) becomes, for the second time in his life, the leader of a group of survivors. The Croat (Željko Ivanek), introducing the Dama (Lisa Emery) and Negan to each other, says it is like “mommy and daddy coming together,” and thus he, too, finds himself “home.”

At San Diego Comic Con on July 21, a second season of Dead City was announced, and when I watched the finale some weeks ago, there was no mistaking the creator’s intention that the series continue. The episode is a collection of open ends, the season itself revealed as a kind of prologue to a show in which Negan becomes the swaggering, sarcastic king of New York, giving Morgan the opportunity to do what he does best in the role. But the character’s redemption, systematically and at times clumsily reinforced during Dead City’s first season, remains intact. Negan is visibly repelled by the Croat’s recollections of their days together in the Saviors, and he responds uncooperatively to the Dama when they meet…until she gives him the keys to a box containing one of Hershel’s toes, sliced off by the Croat on her command. The boy grew close to her during his captivity, it seems, and he told her about Negan killing his father. “I could sense in the rest of this story,” she informs Negan, “what he himself couldn’t: that his father’s killer might feel remorseful, responsible, for the boy whose family he destroyed.” If Negan will not work for her running New York, she indicates, she will further harm the boy. She has read him correctly: unable to tolerate that idea, he appears to concede to her demand.

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Welcome! This is a place for those inspired by the strange, fantastic, and unknown. It is dedicated to those who share their talents with us and shine, whether it be on our televisions or on the silver screen. Here you will find interviews with celebrities, reviews from multiple genres, and other pop culture news and multimedia. While we originally started with a love for science fiction and fantasy, this site is no longer just for any one genre.Something you want to see featured here? Have your own site you'd like to see here? Don't hesitate to let us know!
Welcome! This is a place for those inspired by the strange, fantastic, and unknown. It is dedicated to those who share their talents with us and shine, whether it be on our televisions or on the silver screen. Here you will find interviews with celebrities, reviews from multiple genres, and other pop culture news and multimedia. While we originally started with a love for science fiction and fantasy, this site is no longer just for any one genre.Something you want to see featured here? Have your own site you'd like to see here? Don't hesitate to let us know!
Welcome! This is a place for those inspired by the strange, fantastic, and unknown. It is dedicated to those who share their talents with us and shine, whether it be on our televisions or on the silver screen. Here you will find interviews with celebrities, reviews from multiple genres, and other pop culture news and multimedia. While we originally started with a love for science fiction and fantasy, this site is no longer just for any one genre.Something you want to see featured here? Have your own site you'd like to see here? Don't hesitate to let us know!
Welcome! This is a place for those inspired by the strange, fantastic, and unknown. It is dedicated to those who share their talents with us and shine, whether it be on our televisions or on the silver screen. Here you will find interviews with celebrities, reviews from multiple genres, and other pop culture news and multimedia. While we originally started with a love for science fiction and fantasy, this site is no longer just for any one genre.Something you want to see featured here? Have your own site you'd like to see here? Don't hesitate to let us know!
Welcome! This is a place for those inspired by the strange, fantastic, and unknown. It is dedicated to those who share their talents with us and shine, whether it be on our televisions or on the silver screen. Here you will find interviews with celebrities, reviews from multiple genres, and other pop culture news and multimedia. While we originally started with a love for science fiction and fantasy, this site is no longer just for any one genre.Something you want to see featured here? Have your own site you'd like to see here? Don't hesitate to let us know!

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