Crossbows and Combovers: Rants of a Walking Dead Rookie

by Faith Amenn

They’re not zombies, they’re walkers.

Op-eds on my generation, the alleged nadir of human existence, are an offensively unoriginal waste of time. (Am I biased? Absolutely. But we’ve got emotionally embryonic men and women in Congress right now, and they didn’t grow up on Facebook. Is it possible that absurdity has nothing to do with age? Imagine that!)

That being said, one millennial stereotype does ring true for me: I spend a lot of time watching television. I’d calculate the exact number of hours, but I don’t want to hate myself.

For years, though, I’ve been avoiding a commitment to The Walking Dead. Despite my younger brother’s fervent recommendations, I participated from a distance on Sunday nights: while knowing virtually nothing about the plot or characters, I would shout out questions and opinions as I studied. (Sample discussion: “Did that guy I hate die?” “Shane? Yeah.” “Thank God.” “It was actually a really emotional scene, Faith. What’s wrong with you?”)

All that — well, some of that — changed on October 13th, when The Walking Dead returned for its fourth season premiere. In an attempt to be a good older sister and inspirational figure, I actually paid attention.

Below the cut is the live commentary of someone who doesn’t have a clue: yours truly.

9:00 

  • Previously on The Walking Dead: “I did what I had to do,” Carl says. Listen, I know this kid has seen things, but his Fisher-Price Sociopath vibes are severely discomfiting.
  • My brother Scotty has just reminded me that Carl had to shoot his mother. I retract my snark.
  • They’re growing plants in the prison! What a nice, strange, little community — like a post-apocalyptic Stars Hollow. I wonder if they have a Whole Foods.
  • Huzzah! Our Unshaved Hero, Rick, arrives. I have no thoughts on him thus far. (He does have a nice pair of baby blues, though. It’d be a shame if the zombies dined on them.)
  • Speaking of zombies, they’re here! Golly, what’ll happen next?
  • The answer to that question: nothing. Rick puts on a pair of headphones, which opens the door for some speculation: what’s on his “Get Through the Day” playlist? (For starters, I’m thinking “Barbie Girl,” “Time Warp,” and “This Little Light of Mine.”)

First Commercial Break

  • Tragically, I have no zombie-themed snacks. I should’ve prepared a severed head punch bowl.
  • In the first advertisement of the night, a wild Don Draper appears! Also, a character from an AMC show no one cares about!
  • R.I.P. Breaking Bad. Aw, I’m feeling so nostalgic. [Vitamin C’s late-90s single “Graduation” plays softly in the background.]
  • The fonts used in this Carrie commercial are truly offensive. Who okay-ed such a monstrosity?

9:04

  • Unlike his father, Carl seems to take the art of grooming seriously. What’s the secret to his shiny mane? Pantene? Zombie excretions?
  • Rick to Carl: “They’re not piglets anymore. They’re food.” Spinoff idea: wouldn’t it be great if Violet the Pig secretly wanted to be a sheepdog? She and Carl could then run off to some Babe-esque village. One thousand Emmys!
  • From what I can tell, Daryl is a fan favorite. Unfortunately, his tragic combover leaves me immediately wary.
  • Are Combover and Carol (henceforth referred to as Jamie Lee Curtis) romantically involved? If their lives weren’t in danger, I might find their googly eyes endearing, but I know better than to get emotionally involved.
  • The zombies are back and everyone’s taking a stab at ‘em! What a fun, gruesome game of Whack-a-Mole!
  • Oh, Glenn and Maggie, you crazy kids. I’m glad you’ve found time for fornication in the midst of unrelenting death. God, get your priorities in order.
  • Maggie: “You know everything’s gonna work out, right?” This line must be Walking Dead code for “the end is nigh.”
  • Tyreese to Karen: “Hey, beautiful.” Seriously, what constitutes a hot date in this world? Is it something akin to The Lady and the Tramp, slurping up zombie intestines instead of spaghetti? What’s considered normal around here?
  • Wait, the kids are in relationships, too? Why is everyone is macking on each other? Are the zombies incapable of detecting sex pheromones?
  • These cars are nice. How do the characters have such sweet rides? Where is the nearest car dealership?
  • Here comes Santa Claus! No, wait. It’s Hershel. I am no less excited than I was three seconds ago.
  • The zombies have remarkable cheekbones. What’s their contouring product of choice?
  • Michonne gallops by on a horse. I can already tell that she is infinity percent more competent than everyone else here.
  • These scenes in the woods are taking me back to that time I saw Twilight in theaters ironically. Does Rick’s chest sparkle in the sun, too?
  • Okay, I don’t know who this woman is. She looks like a zombie but acts like a human; she’s a Tim Burton character trapped in the wrong story. Since she’s currently nameless, I shall call her Helena Bonham Carter. 

9:17

  • Rick should know better than to help Helena Bonham Carter, but I guess he’s a morally upstanding guy or something.
  • Rick: “I need to ask him some questions, both of you.” Helena Bonham Carter: “What questions?” Zodiac sign, Myers-Briggs type, thoughts on the Lost finale.
  • Rick: “You try anything — anything — you’re gonna be the one who loses.” Emphasis! Is! Important! When! Making! Threats!
  • Carl: “They had names when they were alive. They’re dead now.” Shut up, Carl. Why are you acting like such a know-it-all? You named a pig Violet. How old are you, anyway? Stop being a condescending fetus.
  • Carl, Round Two: “Have you seen what happens? Have you seen someone die like that?” Read: “My psychological scarring is more important than yours! You’re dumb! Girls are dumb!” Of course she’s witnessed death, Carl. Your sheriff hat does not make you superior.
  • The gang (Michonne, Daryl, Other People) are entering what appears to be a glorified dollar store. Bargain crossbows?

9:31

  • Helena Bonham Carter had to eat “anything she could find.” Uh-oh. What does that mean? (A crossover with NBC’s Hannibal?)
  • It’s raining zombies, hallelujah! They’re falling through a ceiling that seems to be made of quicksand, which I would consider an architectural flaw.

9:41

  • How is a Walking Dead zombie showdown different from Black Friday human behavior? (Five seconds later: Okay, I may have been too nonchalant. I want to Eternal Sunshine this scene from my brain.)
  • Andrew Lincoln cries beautifully. This moment marks the sixth time I have wanted to vomit directly on Robert Kirkman’s head.

9:53

  • It’s Story Hour with Jamie Lee Curtis! Are they reading Goodnight Moon? What about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? (Never mind. They’re reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer).
  • Story Hour is now Defense Against the Dark Arts for Muggles: she’s teaching them about the proper usage of knives. Nice.
  • Man, this show is depressing. I don’t know what I expected.
  • Is this kid coughing into the water supply? That’s awfully unhygienic. Maybe Violet the Pig gave him the swine flu.
  • Great, he’s turning into a zombie. How inconvenient.

Faith Amenn is a first-year at Barnard and a staff writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Image courtesy of Quotivee.

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