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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, May 1, 2015

Are We There Yet?




Jay Edwards

I’m a “Walking Dead” junkie. I didn’t want to be. I blame Alexis, my lovely daughter, who’s a horror fan like her old man. 

When “The Walking Dead” first came out, I watched the pilot. If memory serves, which is always a 50-50 shot, I stumbled onto it that first night while randomly flipping for something to watch. I’m bad about that. Drives KM crazy.

Anyway, after that first episode I was interested enough to stay with it for the first two seasons. But then, almost as fast as you can say, “Ewwwww, gross,” I was done. What happened was the gore became too much. See, as much as I love a good scare, I’ve never been a fan of the “slasher” genre. I prefer subtle shock. Let me imagine what spewing jugulars and outside innards look like for myself. 

So after (spoiler alert!) Rick killed Shane and the walkers overran Herschel’s farm, causing our heroes to scatter, I was done, for two and a half years anyway. Oh, there were others to fill in the void, like the last season of Dexter for one. You may remember that good guy serial killer series. I was hooked on it as well, having it in my all time top five television drama series. 

The last season of Dexter had me forget all about the angry zombies I’d left behind. We last saw (more spoilers ahead!) our favorite moral psycho when he unplugged his brain-dead sister Deb from life support, and splashed her body into his salt-water graveyard, before steering his boat, “Slice of Life” into the blackness of the approaching hurricane (named Laura, like his biological mother). Truth be told, we actually last, last saw him as a bearded logger in Oregon, so he’s still out there, in TV suspended animation. 

Lots of folks were unsatisfied with “Dexter’s” last season, and episode. Not me though. There’s really no way a program that had so many fans could end well for everyone. The only one that probably ever came close was the second “Bob Newhart Show.” I know, it wasn’t drama, but the ending was genius.

Speaking of dreams, MM, who works with me here at the paper and is into the same TV shows I am, said she heard one former writer of Dexter say he wanted the last scene to be Dexter waking up startled, in a cold sweat, as if he had been fitfully dreaming about all of the moments we had just watched for the previous eight seasons. Oh, and this is kind of important, he was waking up on a table in prison, where he was about to be lethally injected. Cool idea, but Dexter was the good guy. He had to kill but he only went after the, as they say in the south, “people who needed killin’.”

There were others good shows during my “Walking Dead” sabbatical, like “Homeland” and “House of Cards.” But I had a macabre void. Enter Alexis (AA). It went something like this:

AA: Dad you should go back and catch up on “The Walking Dead,” it’s sooo good.

Me: Maybe one of these days.

That day came this past January when I turned on episode one of season three. It wasn’t long before I had binged through the end of season five.

What’s the difference between where I was before and now? It’s simply character development and portrayal of good vs. evil. Not humans vs. zombies. Those “Walkers” are just a gory distraction now. It’s the good humans vs. the bad ones that make it so great. And of course the writing, and killer music.

My top five:

5. “NYPD Blue”

4. “Dexter”

3. “The Sopranos”

2. “Breaking Bad”

1. “The Walking Dead”

Jay Edwards is editor-in-chief of the Hamilton County Herald and an award-winning columnist. Contact him at jedwards@dailydata.com.

I

’m a “Walking Dead” junkie. I didn’t want to be. I blame Alexis, my lovely daughter, who’s a horror fan like her old man. 

When “The Walking Dead” first came out, I watched the pilot. If memory serves, which is always a 50-50 shot, I stumbled onto it that first night while randomly flipping for something to watch. I’m bad about that. Drives KM crazy.

Anyway, after that first episode I was interested enough to stay with it for the first two seasons. But then, almost as fast as you can say, “Ewwwww, gross,” I was done. What happened was the gore became too much. See, as much as I love a good scare, I’ve never been a fan of the “slasher” genre. I prefer subtle shock. Let me imagine what spewing jugulars and outside innards look like for myself. 

So after (spoiler alert!) Rick killed Shane and the walkers overran Herschel’s farm, causing our heroes to scatter, I was done, for two and a half years anyway. Oh, there were others to fill in the void, like the last season of Dexter for one. You may remember that good guy serial killer series. I was hooked on it as well, having it in my all time top five television drama series. 

The last season of Dexter had me forget all about the angry zombies I’d left behind. We last saw (more spoilers ahead!) our favorite moral psycho when he unplugged his brain-dead sister Deb from life support, and splashed her body into his salt-water graveyard, before steering his boat, “Slice of Life” into the blackness of the approaching hurricane (named Laura, like his biological mother). Truth be told, we actually last, last saw him as a bearded logger in Oregon, so he’s still out there, in TV suspended animation. 

Lots of folks were unsatisfied with “Dexter’s” last season, and episode. Not me though. There’s really no way a program that had so many fans could end well for everyone. The only one that probably ever came close was the second “Bob Newhart Show.” I know, it wasn’t drama, but the ending was genius.

Speaking of dreams, MM, who works with me here at the paper and is into the same TV shows I am, said she heard one former writer of Dexter say he wanted the last scene to be Dexter waking up startled, in a cold sweat, as if he had been fitfully dreaming about all of the moments we had just watched for the previous eight seasons. Oh, and this is kind of important, he was waking up on a table in prison, where he was about to be lethally injected. Cool idea, but Dexter was the good guy. He had to kill but he only went after the, as they say in the south, “people who needed killin’.”

There were others good shows during my “Walking Dead” sabbatical, like “Homeland” and “House of Cards.” But I had a macabre void. Enter Alexis (AA). It went something like this:

AA: Dad you should go back and catch up on “The Walking Dead,” it’s sooo good.

Me: Maybe one of these days.

That day came this past January when I turned on episode one of season three. It wasn’t long before I had binged through the end of season five.

What’s the difference between where I was before and now? It’s simply character development and portrayal of good vs. evil. Not humans vs. zombies. Those “Walkers” are just a gory distraction now. It’s the good humans vs. the bad ones that make it so great. And of course the writing, and killer music.

My top five:

5. “NYPD Blue”

4. “Dexter”

3. “The Sopranos”

2. “Breaking Bad”

1. “The Walking Dead”

Jay Edwards is editor-in-chief of the Hamilton County Herald and an award-winning columnist. Contact him at jedwards@dailydata.com. v