xtitsx: (Default)
( 17 Jun 2017 04:28 pm)
The Walking Dead - Season Seven:
Season Seven of The Walking Dead was one of the TV shows i was most looking forward to getting back to.
top three or four, certainly, behind Game of Thrones and Better Call Saul.
the Season started, like it normally does, around Halloween and ended at the beginning of April.
as soon as it was through the PSE and i stole it off the torrents, and sat and gobbled down all sixteen episodes in five days.

The Walking Dead, in case somehow you don't know, is the story of a group of people who have survived the zombie apocalypse.
only, the show isn't really about zombies, the zombies are only peripheral, the show is really about the main group of survivors having to fight other groups.

The Walking Dead - Season Seven picks up right where Season Six left off, with the introduction of a Big Bad who fucks the show's main group up for a while.
the Group killed a bunch of the Big Bad's men in their sleep towards the end of Season Six.
the Group did this with almost no provocation, because they told some other group that they would.
so, when Season Seven starts with the Big Bad capturing the Group and exacting his revenge, you can't really fault him all that much.
if i were the Big Bad and i just captured a group of people who killed fifty of my men i would kill every single one of them, just to be safe, not just two.
the Big Bad is really quite benevolent letting the Group off by only killing two main characters.

the Big Bad could very well be the good guy of the story for all the moral relativism might-makes-right shit the show feeds us.
the Big Bad of Season Seven is an enthusiastic sadistic, but, he's brought order and stability and relative peace to a swatch of northern Virginia that he controls, so, that's got to be good for something.
also, he is charming as shit.
the Big Bad is basically a high school football coach who has somehow amassed an army.
he rules through fear and intimidation, but he is jocular and charming and that carries several episodes.
his schtick gets a little old after a while, it is basically a combination of profanity, saying things emphatically, and leaning backwards, but for several episode, that is enough to make him a captivating presence.
ultimately, though, the Big Bad is the Big Bad, not a good guy, and we have to root for the Group, against him, because that is the story TV wants to tell.

for the first half of Season Seven the Group has to come to terms with having to live as a tributary state under the Big Bad and his army of goons.
the Big Bad requires them to go out and scavenge and turn over half of all the shit they collect once a week.
the Big Bad makes the Group give up all of their guns so they can't defend themselves and subjects the Group to terror and intimidation.
the Group goes along with it not because they are slowly planing their revenge like you would expect on a TV show, but because the Big Bad's terror has cowed the Group's leader.
the Group spent the previous six seasons kicking ass through the zombie-apocalypse.
it got to the point where they were profoundly overpowered, where there was no longer any sense that anything could go wrong from them
now Season Seven sees them having to eat shit from the Big Bad for a while, to keep things interesting if for no other reason.

the second half of Season Seven sees the Group finally get their balls back.
they covertly begin gathering guns and making alliances with other groups and regional powers to wage a war against the Big Bad and his goons.
ultimately they put together a force to challenge the Big Bad.
the Season wins with the Group winning a battle against the Big Bad, though, a larger war looms on the horizon, the end.

Season Seven of The Walking Dead is a show about dominance and submission.
like what i imagine a Tori Amos record sounds like; feelings of powerlessness and being out of control and indignity and impotent rage after being raped.
the Big Bad of the Season wasn't just content to beat the Group into submission through brute force, his aim was to break the spirits of people who challenged him through psychological torture.
it is not enough to kill your enemies, true victory is to have your enemies live in your shadow, too afraid to look you in the eye.
that's a kind of brutality you don't often get in stories on the TV.
and it resonated with me as a former fat kid in sweatpants.

i wasn't born mean.
one of my shameful weaknesses is that my natural disposition is to be friendly and get along with people.
cantankerousness and defiance are learned traits for me, not instinct.
so, i know the feeling all too well from my pre-pubescent days of getting picked on by some school bully and just having to sit in it.
that feeling of being dominated, of being cowed.
that might very well be the worst feeling in the world, a feeling i resolved never to have to sit in again.
making the group in The Walking Dead have to come to terms with those feelings was good storytelling.

for being a season about how shitty it feels to be a victim and about how important it is to get over that as quickly as you can, and also, for being a show about the importance of guns and people's ability to defend themselves, Season Seven of The Walking Dead earns an 8.4/10.

//[ab irato ad astra]
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September 2017

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