Let’s Do This…

AMC released the full-length trailer for The Walking Dead season 4 at Comic-Con and whatever you may think of the show as a whole, there’s no denying the awesomeness of their trailers.

Sounds like they may be channeling 28 Days Later with that radio broadcast, which might actually serve the show well.  I have long considered 28 Days Later to be the best zombie flick ever made.  (Some argue that it isn’t a true zombie flick because the zombies became zombies by infection rather than reanimation after death.  Whatever.  Splitting hairs as far as I’m concerned.)

Plus, it appears that Daryl gets loads of screen time and anyone who watches knows that more Daryl = happiness. 🙂



Made To Suffer

All right.  Here it is: I like The Walking Dead.  Really, I do.  But every episode is a bit of a struggle for me.  For every five awesome things about it, there is at least one bad thing.  Like, one seriously bad thing.  And lately, the best and worst things all have to do with Michonne.

First, the good things: the feeling of unity in this episode is stronger than it has ever been.  The group pulling together to rescue Glenn and Maggie and Rick’s sturdy leadership throughoDaryl and Merleut the entire intense, dangerous and desperate mission is outstanding.  They really aren’t just a group of random people bound together for a better chance at survival anymore.  They’ve become a family.  And they will risk it all the save a member.  This is the most solid they’ve been as one unified group and I’ve never loved them more.  Further testament to that was Daryl’s choice to stay and fight with them over seeking out his biological brother, Merle.  In all honesty, I kind of like Merle.  Not his actual character so much as the level of conflict he brings to the show.  He’s a damned good antagonist.  And since Shane died, the show needed another antagonist.  I don’t know how Daryl got caught nor do I have any idea how he’ll liberate himself, but it sure would be interesting if he and Merle both escaped and rejoined the group together.  (Note: Daryl had better escape.  While killing him off would be one ballsy move, my heart just couldn’t take it.)

Back at the prison, the addition of Tyrese and his crew adds some excitement to the mix and allows Carl yet another opportunity to behave like the disillusioned, adept, overly mature man-child he’s become.  All remnants of innocence and childhood are gone from Carl; he’s a seasoned, even burdened, veteran of the zombie apocalypse and he does what he has to with a cold kind of sadness that breaks my jaded heart every f**king time.

And finally, Michonne.  Danai Gurira is a complete and total badass and her fight with The Governor was almost too much to take.  Never before have we seen such a cut-throat, balls out, bloodthirsty battle between two people on The Walking Dead.  These two weren’t just defending themselves.  They weren’t trying to subdue or capture one another.  There was no mercy, no hesitation, no semblance of The Governora conscious in either of them.  This was two people trying their absolute hardest to kill each other.  Period.  The fact that she sat in his office and waited, oh so patiently, for him to return shows a cold, calculated determination within her.  Michonne is more than capable of taking care of herself and of killing anyone and everyone who gets in her way – The Governor included.  But not yet.

Which brings me to the things about this episode that did not work.  First of all, you know she had to have put together that this group of people is most likely the very same group to which Andrea used to belong.  Michonne knew that Merle and Andrea knew each other and then when she saw Merle kidnap Glenn and Maggie, she overheard Merle and Glenn reference their shared past.  A woman as sharp as Michonne would not have neglected to put that together.  Yet, at no point did she ask Rick or any of the others if they knew Andrea.  Are we supposed to believe that it simply never came up?  This is lazy writing, pure and simple.  Along the same lines, after Andrea stops Michonne from killing The Governor, not a word is spoken between them.  Seriously?  Why didn’t she say something?  Anything?  “He tried to kill me.”  “He kidnapped Glenn and Maggie and planned to kill them.”  “I found your friends.”  “He had his f**king zombie daughter locked up in a cubby hole.”  Nope.  Instead, they stare at each other for a few long, pregnant moments and then Michonne leaves, allowing another opportunity to close a rather large communication gap to pass idly by.  I just don’t buy it.  I know she isn’t a talker.  I know she’s dark and cryptic and I love her for it.  But this level of silence borders on absurd.  At least, without explanation, it does.  It’s simply bad writing.  And in a show where we’ve some of the best writing currently on television, there’s just no excuse for it.

Also bugging me these days is Andrea’s complete 180 from last season.  At the close of season 2, she was this whip-smart, strong, independent woman who’d taught herself how to use a gun and practiced until her shot could rival that of any of the men around her.  These days, she’s a lovesick girl who does as she’s told.  Did the severed zombie heads in fish tanks send up any red flags?  It seemed so for a minute, but then she stayed with him.  What about seeiThe Walking Deadng Daryl alive again and captured by her new boyfriend – did that feel wrong to her at all?  If so, she chose to stand by in terror, mouth agape but motionless.  Because that’s always better than taking action.  Who is this broad?  Where is the Andrea we got to know during the past two seasons?  My plea to the writers/producers of the show is to return Andrea to the willful soldier she used to be.

The Walking Dead returns Sunday, February 10, 2013.  You know where I’ll be.


If Daryl Dies… We Riot

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this the kind of shit the mafia did (does)?  Read this article.  So, a few guys buy a bar (pizza place, diner, bowling alley, whatever) and decide to spend most of their time there working.  Except they don’t like working, they like drinking (or eating or bowling or whatever) and since it’s their bar, they drink for free.  Then they decide they should make more money so they give themselves raises.  What happens next?  They can’t afford to keep the bar going what with their inflated salaries and constant skimming off the top, so they go bankrupt.  But not before drinking every last bottle behind the bar and spending every last dime in the register.  Sound familiar?  Damn similar to a scene out of Goodfellas.  But also what apparently is now legal on Wall Street and has effectively ruined not just our economy but also contributed to the downfall of the economies of every major industrial player on earth.  When the f*ck did this kind of behavior become okay?  Maybe my Italian ancestors were just vastly ahead of their time.

Does anyone else find it offensive that they couldn’t get an actual American Indian to play Tonto, an American Indian, in the upcoming film The Lone Ranger?  Johnny Depp has been cast as Tonto and even though he claims to have American Indian blood in his veins (it is totally possible), he’s clearly predominantly Caucasian.  How is this any different than getting a white guy in black face to portray an African-American?

If you’re not watching season 3 of The Walking Dead, you are MISSING OUT.  I’m actually kind of glad Merle is back, even though he’s a maniacal tool, and I’m so happy Rick’s balls have finally dropped.  Even better, Lori has died, leaving us with the achingly adorable image of Daryl holding a swaddled infant.  I don’t think it’s possible for me to love Daryl any more.  And, apparently, I’m not the only one.

And, finally, tomorrow is the ultimate foodie’s holiday, so I’ll leave you with this link from our favorite Cleveland cook.



I’m So Excited.. and I Just Can’t Hide It

For reals guys.


First of all, by some strange, cosmic alignment, Nikki and I both happen to be going on week-long vacays at the same time, and to the same freaking TIME-ZONE, the last week of March.  Nikki – to the Pacific northwest, and Annie, to VIVA LAS VEGAS!   Our anticipation of these events is pretty much all-encompassing at this point.  So, we’ll probably be taking that week off, blog-wise.

When we return though, at the beginning of April, it will be the FIRST BIRTHDAY of ravingmadscientists!!!  We’re way pumped for this little milestone.  Personally, I can’t believe we’ve posted 3-5 times a week for FIFTY-TWO WEEKS.  (Well, minus the one week we’re taking off just prior to this anniversary)  It boggles my mind.  I had wanted a blog for SOOOOO LONG but never got up the gumption, was scared, whatever, and it took meeting my girl Nik and her saying randomly one day, “Hey, you wanna start a blog together?”, that my brain responded as if Bill Murray had just proposed marriage:  “YES YES OMG YESSS!!!!”  I’ve been looking back through our collection of posts; I find some things hilarious, some heartwarming, some frustrating, some silly, but more than all of that, the entire thing is a freaking magical time capsule/diary of everything we’ve seen, heard, watched, loved and loathed for the past year.  It’s an awesome feeling of accomplishment and nostalgia.  If anyone of you enjoys reading what we write, that’s even more incredible.  So, thanks for checking us out, if you do on the regular, have in the past, or just stumbled across this page for the first time.  A thousand times… THANK YOU!! 🙂 🙂

On to pop-culture related items we’re all in a lather for:

  1. The season 2 finale of The Walking Dead!  Oh WOW this show is incredible, and the last few episodes have left me sobbing, screaming at the TV, or pulling my hair out and yelling “HOLY SHIT” repeatedly to no one.  The previews for this Sunday’s finale look like a right bloodbath; I think I might actually suffer some sort of medical event while watching.  It looks that crazy.  I swear to GOD if anything happens to Darryl Dixon, there will be blood.

    Mad Men

    Image via Wikipedia

  2. The Hunger Games!  OMFG, Nikki and I both adore this trilogy, which we’ve discussed plenty in this venue, and we definitely plan on seeing this while we’re on our trips.  I foresee some bribes being made or punches thrown over who writes the review!!  One thing I am loving at this point:  That they haven’t really showed any of the actual games on trailers or previews.  THANK YOU movie marketing team, for once doing something right!
  3. The return of Mad Men!  Sweet Christ, it’s only been what, 17 months, or something fucking completely insane?  I don’t give a rat’s rear what went on behind the scenes; Matt Weiner sounds kind of like a weiner, but he does make this awesome show.  The buzz on season 5 is that it’s the best and craziest yet.  I wanna know what happened to Joan’s little baby Sterling and Don’s MARRIAGE to that secretary that I totally loved.  God, this show is so much WIN.  March 25th, baby!
  4. Game of Thrones, season 2!  Omyjesus, if the trailer I posted the other day doesn’t get your juices flowin’, you are definitely dead inside.  I CANNOT WAIT for this.  CANNOT.  I can’t express this enough.  APRIL 1ST..
  5. The Ricky Gervais show (Season 3)! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH SERIOUSLY SO MANY AWESOME THINGS HAPPENING BRAIN CANNOT TAKE THE ANTICIPATION.  We’ve long touted our intense love for all things Gervais and Merchant, and we straight up adore the shit out of the animated series that puts podcasts to drawings.  So adorable, so completely hilarious.
The Ricky Gervais Show (animated series)

Image via Wikipedia

Sigh.  It’s all pretty overwhelming, to be honest.  But we’re sooo happy to have so much awesomeness to be looking forward to.  And just as excited to write about it.  Gotta keep adding to the time capsule. 🙂 🙂


I Can’t Wait (Halloween Series, Part 1)

In honor of the upcoming (and my most beloved) holiday, I thought I’d share with you, my lovelies, the new flicks and television shows that have me writhing in anticipation.  Of course, I will be at the theater or in front of my TV, ready and waiting for the premieres of every one of these spooky thrillers, but if I had to choose, I think I’m most anxious for American Horror Story.  It looks deliciously weird and creepy and unlike anything else on television right now.  Which of these (or any others) are you excited to see?

This seems to be the year of remakes, which usually leads to disappointment, but sometimes can be surprising.  Though no one could replace the eternally adorable Kurt Russell, Ramona Flowers -whoops, I mean Mary Elizabeth Winstead- just might bring something fresh to this flick, which looks like it might be as bad-ass as the 1982 gem.

What can I say?  I’m a sucker for haunted houses.

Even more of a sucker for zombies…

It looks like Micah Sloat isn’t in this prequel and I, for one, am grateful.  Listening to Katie whine “Micah!  Micah!” was enough to make me root for the malicious spirits.

Oh, man – I CANNOT WAIT!!!


We call it Riding The Gravy Train

The  absolute BEST show currently on television: Dexter, Showtime, Season 6 to start soon.  Unlike most TV shows that usually start to lose their luster as the years pile up, each season of this drama/black comedy is better than the previous.  Season 5 is my favorite so far.

What else you should be watching:

Sons of Anarchy, FX, Season 4 just kicked off.  If you’re interested, I strongly recommend watching Seasons 1 & 2 on Netflix and renting Season 3 before watching the current episodes.  The first 2 seasons in particular are literally FULL of story-lines and character development that you don’t want to miss.  Also, you really need to see the end of Season 3 before you get into the 4th and current season.

Parks & Recreation, NBC, Season 4 to start later this month.  Though the first few episodes felt a little awkward to me, this series has really come into its own.  It showcases some of the funniest, most lovable characters on TV and, though there’s nothing exactly “cutting edge” about it, it manages to be both sweet and hilarious week after week.

Louie, FX, the Season 2 finale just aired last week.  Not for the faint of heart, this one.  It’s bleakly realistic and often heart-breakingly gritty but somehow, simultaneously, really funny.

Shameless, Showtime, Season 2 begins in January, 2012, which gives you more than enough time to watch all 12 episodes of Season 1.  At times deeply emotional, at others darkly humorous and very often wildly sexy, it’s not for the under-agers.

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, FX, Season 7 premieres this Thursday.  Though the first 6 seasons are chalk-full of absurdity and uproarious comedy, you needn’t watch them all to follow along.  Begin wherever you like, it’s all gravy.

Potential to be among the best: The Walking Dead (AMC), Wilfred (FX), Justified (FX), Hung (HBO)

Recently were the best but I fear they’ve peaked: The Office (NBC), 30 Rock (NBC), The Family Guy (Fox)

Shows I’ve never seen but others say are the best: Breaking Bad (AMC), Fringe (Fox), Mad Men (AMC)

Which can’t you live without?