The Walking Dead
It’s been over a week since season seven finale and I’m still annoyed. All the problems I had with the second half of season six and its finale were amplified in season 7. I respect that the producers and writers (especially Kirkman and Gimple) want to tell the story they think is interesting the way they think it is interesting to tell it. I’ve come to realize that I’m no longer as interested in this story and I really don’t like the way they are telling it. I’m tired of separating the group and then focusing on one character or set of characters per episode. It feels plodding and rarely works for me. And I could care less about a war with Negan because I could care less about Negan. He’s an unsubtle villain with little to no back story, vague and inconsistent motivations, ill-defined goals, and a ridiculous overall strategy (see this link for a great list of why Negan is an idiot). And the worst sin – he talks and talks and never really says anything. I doubt I’ll watch the show completely again. I’ll probably do what I did through most of season six – read the recaps and then fast forward to the scenes with characters that I like or that sound like they actually move the plot forward. It usually takes about 10 mins an episode. That’s sad. Maybe I’ll just re-watch seasons 2-5 again. Maybe I’ll enjoy season 9 again, after the big war (which I hope only takes one season). Maybe then zombies will one more be the focus of the danger of the show. (I know the producers have said something about humans bring the real danger – but that’s true in the real world, so why even bother with a zombie story then?)

This is one messed up, crazy show — and I LOVE it. I’m never quite sure what is really going on, especially when I think I know what’s really going on. Dan Stevens is great at David, a man who thinks he’s been mentally ill all his life, but really has super powers…and is probably crazy. The show has a wonderful cast, especially Aubrey Plaza as Lenny…I can’t even talk about that. The show also has a great vibe. Like someone gave the creators permission to make a mind-bending art film that’s 8 hours long. It’s a show that I actually learn about writing from, and that makes it even more exciting.

Iron First
I really don’t understand all the grief this show is getting. I thought it was great goofy fun — much the same as the other Marvel Netflix comic book shows. My wife actually enjoyed this much more than Luke Cage and Daredevil (although not as much as Jessica Jones). It lags a little toward the end, but I think all the Marvel series do. They should all probably be 10 episodes rather than 13. It would help them tighten up they story. But I enjoyed Danny Rand and Finn Jones playing him. And how could you not like Colleen, played by Jessica Henwick. And, honestly, all the anger that Danny Rand didn’t get recast as an Asian actor because he’s a Kung-Fu master seems a little ridiculous in the 21st Century. White guys can learn Kung-Fu. I learned from a white guy who learned from a filipino guy who learned from a Chinese guy named Bruce Lee. Which conveyed no special knowledge to me, but is kind of cool. And I assume by “Asian” the critics mean Chinese, which is kind of a…what’s that word? Oh yeah…stereotype. Now if you want to criticize the show for not being culturally inventive, to get away from the tired ‘white guy as martial arts master’ storyline – why not get really radical and suggest casting a Nigerian woman, or a South African woman, or a Iranian women, or a Native American woman. Or maybe just scrap the 70’s Iron Fist comic altogether and cast all four women in a story about a quartet of badass martial arts women from around the world who track down criminals in a different city each episode. I wish I could watch that show next.

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