Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is finally back and to say that I am excited would be a grave understatement. Having just finished the fifth (and last published book in the Song of Ice and Fire series) novel I was excited to see the series from the standpoint of somebody who was “caught up”. Not only that but the Third book, A Storm of Swords, is my favorite book in the series (which is cliché cause it is every fans favorite book) and this season is an adaptation of the first half of that book. The first episode in the season picks back up right after the end of season two and marks are return to the world of George R.R. Martian.
I really enjoyed the first episode in the series but there was an uneasy feeling of “too much story, too little time” throughout Ep. 1. There are so many story lines in the show and this is the first episode that I have seen in the series where I felt like each story line wasn’t given its due. This is a small grumble because what do you expect when you adapt a 1000 page book but most of characters are limited to about 10 minutes of screen time. This is compounded by the fact that we don’t get to see all of the major players in the series. Bran and Ayra are missing as well as Jaime and Brienne who are out trying to make their way to King’s Landing. But the rest of cast is present as we spend a lot of time visiting familiar places and setting up the third season. I guess the first episode had to be heavy on all the story lines to get people back in the mix of things, so for now I can accept that. I was very happy to see good ol Selmy pop up again. He is a character that is hidden for most of the third book but to try and conceal his identity under a beard would be a mistake and would cause mass confusion. Oh and glad to have you back Davos!
Yea I can see why the series is slowing down its pace to accommodate the very dense nature of the books, so I can forgive Valar Dohaeris for being a “welcome back” episode. I don’t want this trend to continue though and hope that the next episode, Dark Wings, Dark Words, will flesh out the characters more and spend more time in the prime locations. Other than that the episode was a good starting point for a season that promises to live up to expectations.
The Walking Dead
The season finale of The Walking Dead promised to be the climax that we have all been waiting for as the Governor and Rick looked to be gearing up for the final show down. For the first fifteen minutes of the episode it looked like this was gonna happen until the show went soft and turned the season finale into a major disappointment. The one redeeming thing about the second half of the third season was that the show promised to include the battle at the prison. That promise held together a very bland and uneventful second half of season three and now that it hasn’t come to fruitarian, part 2 of season 3 is the worst string of episodes in the series. But I digress so lets look at the last episode itself:
Andrea may not be one of the more popular characters in the show but she deserved better than her “we gotta kill somebody off if we don’t have the prison battle scene” death. The Walking Dead creative team knew that death had to come somewhere if they didn’t have the climax that the previous episodes alluded to. So they decided to kill off Andrea in a way that feels cheap. No she doesn’t go out like a hero and nor does her death resonate; it just feels like a slap in the face. When you have a show that hinges on the fate of all the characters you need to make each death count. Andrea’s character should have died in a blaze of glory or her death should have been more shocking but in the end her demise betrays everything that we love about The Walking Dead. Her death was out of necessity.
I really didn’t know if The Governor was going to survive this last episode. If the T.V. show was going to be faithful to the comics then the Governor was a gonner but the show wasn’t ready to get rid of it’s star villain. I don’t mind this because one of my biggest complaints of Season 3 was that the Governor wasn’t “evil” enough. I hated him but the show didn’t give me enough to hope for his immediate death. The season finale promises that The Governor is starting to reach the evilness of it’s source materials counterpart which I can dig. I just wish that something more exciting and creative would have happened in the episode to counter weight the Governor’s survival.
Yea we did get to see a battle at the prison but it lasted for about 5 minutes. The show just wasn’t ready to move past The Prison. I understand because The Prison is the strongest story line from the comics but I just can’t excuse the lack of closure on the season. I mean the show was basically shouting out that the Prison battle was coming and yet it didn’t and most of the fans are disappointed. How can the show move forward when the season finale feels like it wants to keep it in stand still? No Prison battle, no problem but at least heighten the drama a little more. The Walking Dead is scared of moving forward which I am very discouraged by. So many shows find there niche and fail because they get too comfortable with it. Look at Dexter for further proof of how maintaining the status quo can be a double-edged sword. Creativity is what propels a show forward and The Walking Dead is getting away from that in exchange for what is comfortable. I expected more from AMC whose dramas consistently challenge their storylines and their sense of the familiar.
Except for Carl’s cold-blooded murder, there isn’t much in the series finale to sink your teeth into. Honestly if this isn’t the worst Walking Dead episode then I don’t know what is. The first half of season 3 had some of the best episodes of the series and now it seems like the show is stalling. The fan reaction to the series finale was mixed at best and maybe that’s what the show needed. It needs its fans to say “hey, don’t put out that weak stuff”. Maybe the creative team will take notice to the fan reaction and we will get a more daring Season 4. Season 3 of The Walking Dead began with so much excitement and drama and it is a shame to see the show limp off into the sunset as a series on the decline.