Category Archives: TV reviews

Not with a whimper but a bang

The sur­vivors of ‘The Walk­ing Dead’ open fire on a group of zombies

At a gun vio­lence pre­ven­tion hear­ing on Jan­u­ary 30th, 2012, Sen. Lind­sey Gra­ham (R-S.C.) cited a pos­si­ble “law­less envi­ron­ment in this coun­try” as an exam­ple of when a legally owned military-grade assault rifles, and other firearms, would come in handy.  “I have an AR-15 at home,” Gra­ham con­tin­ued, “I would be bet­ter off pro­tect­ing my fam­ily if there was law-and-order break­down in my neighborhood.”

I couldn’t stop think­ing about the phrase “law­less envi­ron­ment” dur­ing The Walk­ing Dead, AMC’s hit zom­bie drama whose first two sea­sons I have been dig­ging into with rel­ish on Net­flix. It’s a very good, immensely com­pelling show, set in the South after the undead rose up and brought down soci­ety, civ­i­liza­tion, and every­thing we knew and took for granted. There are pock­ets here and there of sur­vivors, cling­ing on. Amer­ica has turned into a harsh, cruel, vio­lent, empty landscape—it’s a good time to have an AR-15Con­tinue read­ing

We are being controlled

Kevin Spacey, as Congressman Frank Underwood, tells it as it is in 'House of Cards'
Kevin Spacey, as Con­gress­man Frank Under­wood, tells it as it is in ‘House of Cards’

It has been said, or I pre­sume it has been, that there is noth­ing an audi­ence likes bet­ter than being in the loop, feel­ing smarter than the var­i­ous onscreen char­ac­ters who are very prob­a­bly being either duped in some way or another. And we know it, and they don’t. We are in con­spir­a­to­r­ial asso­ci­a­tion. We are being con­fided in.

Such can be said with House of Cards, the orig­i­nal TV series that Net­flix debuted exclu­sively online last Fri­day. It is a mod­ern polit­i­cal drama set in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., full of politi­cians wheel­ing and deal­ing with ques­tion­able intent. One of these is Con­gress­man Frank Under­wood (Kevin Spacey), a house major­ity whip leader. He sup­ported the right man, and when that man became pres­i­dent, Under­wood expected some­thing spe­cific in return. It’s no spoiler to say he didn’t get it. Con­tinue read­ing