The Walking Dead


Bryan Cranston (above) of Breaking Bad.

Bad news.  While Breaking Bad has renewed for what no doubt will be an epic 16 episode 5th season, various outlets are reporting that it will be show’s the last.

After heated negotiations with AMC, Breaking Bad has been renewed… for a 16-episode final season. The decision comes as the award-winning drama is hitting a creative and ratings high-point. But some critics are expressing gratitude that the esteemed drama — about a chemistry teacher who, after being diagnosed with cancer, begins dealing meth to provide for his family — is receiving a firm end date, because they see it as an opportunity for Breaking Bad’s writers end the series on a high note. Should we be celebrating the impending end of what’s often called “the best drama on television?”

http://theweek.com/article/index/218337/breaking-bads-final-season-a-good-thing

We’ve heard the show’s creator Vince Gilligan discuss his long range plans for the show several times.  He always mentions that he is telling a story with a definite end that would need several seasons to be fully told.  For us, that number we were hoping against all hope would be six, considering that season 1 had only 6 episodes.  At least Gilligan and AMC have agreed to do three episodes extra in season 5, off of a standard 13 episode full slate.

We guess the hand writing was on the wall with regard to a 6th season after watching Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner take public his rancorous negotiations with AMC to bring back Mad Men without cutting central characters from the cast.   Breaking Bad, in an even better position to negotiate, would probably have commanded beyond what AMC was willing to pay for a 6th year, especially when compared to dirt cheap original programming like The Killing and The Walking Dead.

At least there are 24 episodes left.

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Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

http://blog.newsok.com/television/2010/11/09/the-walking-dead-picked-up-for-second-season-on-amc/

AMC’s new original series, The Walking Dead, has been renewed for a 13 episode second season.  The Walking Dead debuted on Halloween night to a basic cable drama ratings record, as 5.3 million viewers tuned in.  For Sunday’s episode 2 entitled “Guts”, 4.7 million viewers watched.  Season 1 will air four more episodes.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/walking-dead-zombie-nation-or-zombie-community/

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

AMC’s new series The Walking Dead, the latest original series from the network that gifted its viewers the masterpieces Mad Men and Breaking Bad, and the flawed but watchable Rubicon, debuted on Sunday night–fittingly–on Halloween.  The new show starring Andrew Lincoln moved slowly and cryptically.  They got to the zombies alright, but did little to explain their presence, or the world that Sheriff Grimes wakes up in, in which humans are scarce and the walking, or staggering majority, are flesh fiending undead.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/breaking-bad-season-4-air-date-pushed-back-to-july-2011/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/walt-to-jessie-murder-is-not-part-of-your-12-step-program/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/breaking-bad-back-to-basics/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/breaking-bad-is-mr-white-really-going-to-become-the-15m-man/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/breaking-bad-is-gus-about-to-get-got/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/25/breaking-bad-sun-setting-on-jessie/

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https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/breaking-bad-family-affairs/

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https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/rubicon-they-hide-in-plain-sight/

Don’t get us wrong.  We aren’t killing this show, pardon the pun.  We like a good, dark show, and we appreciate shows that take the time necessary to properly develop plotlines.  We like Lincoln as the choice for lead, and the premise, if not original, that the few humans left must have this back to the wall, edge of the world mentality to survive.  But a little more information about the nature of the zombies and the state of the world and its new world order would have been appreciated.  The dead, we have gleaned, have more than just primal instincts.  We learn as much in the opening scene when Grimes accosts a little girl, who we only learn is a zombie when she turns and reveals her decaying puss riddled face, after the Sheriff calls to her over and over, “Little girl!  Don’t be afraid!”  What we first see of her, before we get clued in, is that she bends down to retrieve a teddy bear.  So there’s more to these zombies than the mantra, “just eat flesh.”

They also seem to feature one zombie very prominently in camera shots in Atlanta, where Grimes gallops to on horseback, thinking that he’ll find life.  It’s an ironic sequence, where the Sheriff, unable to find gas for his car, tames a lonely horse by telling the horse he wouldn’t hurt him and that they could go to Atlanta together where there would be food, people, and other horses.  As soon as they arrive in the city, the walking dead smell fresh meat, seemingly led by one zombie, formally attired in a jacket and tie, and with a Frankenstein style mullet of hair.  The next thing you know, Tanto is being eaten alive by zombies while the Sheriff crawls up into an abandoned U.S. Army tank for cover, after briefly having his revolver to his head for a second.

So the army seems not to have survived the onslaught of the walking dead, but marital strife, we are glad to know, has made the cut in post apocolyptic zombie U.S.A.  This poor Sheriff, rightfully concerned about being eaten alive, also has a bitchy wife at home to worry about, who complains to him in front of his son that ‘she doesn’t know if he even cares about them.’

Obviously Sheriff Grimes has his work cut out for him in what we think will be a quality series.  That’s not to say that Community–what we know is a quality series–didn’t beat The Walking Dead to the punch last Thursday with a Halloween zombie themed episode that was more entertaining and that better explained why the Greendale campus became flesh eating monsters.  Dean Pelton (Jim Rash), one of two prominent male NBC characters that evening to dress as Lady Gaga for Halloween (Gabe, The Office…btw, respect to The Office and guest star Timothy Olyphant, Deadwood and Justified star, on his guest run as a Dunder Mifflin paper salesman), mistakenly orders a radioactive chemical thinking it’s taco meat for Greendale’s Halloween party.  Pierce (Chevy Chase), dressed for the party as Captain Kirk, gets sick and proceeds to bite Star Burns while Dr. Rich (Greg Cromer), the pottery ringer from last year’s episode “Pottery 101”, and our favorite Community hottie Annie (Alison Brie, below, who also plays Trudy Campbell on Mad Men) administer care to him.  Annie calls Star Burns (Dino Stamatapolous) Star Burns to his face, to which a panicky, infected Star Burns replies insultedly, “My name is Alex!”  Quickly thereafter, just about everyone is a zombie, and the study group, along with Dr. Rich barricade themselves into their study area as mayhem ensues.

The acerbic Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), dressed as David Beckham for Halloween (in an Italian suit holding a soccer ball), reels off a superb one-liner at his old nemesis from pottery class, Dr. Rich.  “Now would be a good time to mention,” he says “that I hate you.”  And in a stunning Community development, Senor Chang and Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) do the deed while locked in a bathroom out of reach of the zombies–gross–all while Dean Pelton’s iPOD plays Abba and a loop of the Dean’s verbal memos to self throughout the campus, making for a temporary hell on earth indeed.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/community-finale-winger-chooses-door-3/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/community-jeff-and-britta-do-the-deed-finally/

We were disappointed that 30 Rock skipped out on giving us a Halloween episode last week, considering the creative genius behind the show.  We were expecting, in the least, some very clever costumes.  We guess that since they did it live a few weeks back–twice in fact–for each coast, they didn’t have to do it for Halloween.  But at least they did it with Mad Men star Jon Hamm.

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Crack (http://crackbillionair.com, www.crackbillionair.com)