Author Archive: qmbridges

Amazon, The Zombie Apocalypse, World Domination, and Junk Mail

junkdrunkcoverAmazon bought Goodreads. It was big news. Goodreads is a popular social network where readers connect with each other, connect with authors, and review and recommend books.  It’s a very active community. Amazon wants to incorporate the site into their Kindle tablets, and the easiest way to do that was to buy the site.

Amazon’s purchase of Goodreads created some hysteria.  What would happen to the site?  Would it essentially become another arm of Amazon? Would Amazon basically be spying on people to learn what they like to read?  Eh, I don’t know.  I think we are all plenty spied on by merchants, especially online.  I don’t expect to keep my preferences private when I’m wandering all through cyberspace.

Amazon has already changed the world of books.  Basically, Amazon has made traditional publishing companies poop themselves.  No longer do new writers have to bang their heads on the doors of those hallowed halls.  They can publish their own books, and sell them.  Established writers are wandering off the farm, too.  They are self publishing both their old and their new material.  In addition to books, Amazon sells virtually everything you could ever hope to buy, and they are even stepping on eBay’s toes by letting at-home vendors sell. 

So, Jaye Manus and I were discussing this and, frankly, laughing about it, when we started saying, “What if Amazon REALLY took over?”  Thus was born JUNK MAIL, my vision of Amazon making the zombie apocalypse a little more survivable. It’s a twenty-something page short story, and it’s available as an ebook through, of course, Amazon.com

Special shout out to Jaye.  She’s writer, she’s an ebook genius, and she’s a fun, fun girl. Together, we plot our own version of world domination, and it’s a blast. 

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Marina Zombie Report: Rick Grimes Takes A Road Trip

300px-Walking_Dead_Season_3_CastWith the Governor of Woodbury knocking on the prison gates, Rick Grimes has decided to take his son on a road trip.  Michonne, Rick and Carl go looking for guns.  Rick seems entirely confident that they will find guns, which is confusing until we realize that Rick is remembering the guns back in his old hometown.  On the way there, the little band drives remorselessly away from a survivor who runs behind their car, screaming for help.  This ain’t no trip to the beach.

Not surprisingly, there are no guns left in the police station that Rick used to police.  On their way to check other places, Rick and company discover a compound festooned with junky booby traps.  It becomes obvious who took the guns when the compound’s occupant opens fire with an automatic weapon.  The surprise in the episode is that the gunman proves to be Morgan, the man who saved a bewildered Rick’s life during the first episode of the show.

Poor Morgan has had such a horrible zombie apocalypse that Rick seems absolutely lucky by comparison.  The walker wife he couldn’t bear to kill attacked his son, and Morgan was forced to kill them both.  Consumed by loneliness and guilt, he has become a kind of serial killer, except the victims he lures and traps are already dead. 

Rick invites Morgan to join his people at the prison, but Morgan declines.  Maybe he knows that the prison group already has their quota of nuts (Rick).  Maybe he knows that he is too nuts to fit in with other people.  His remaining skills seem to be killing walkers and writing crazy stuff on walls.

“Clear” is actually the best episode that The Walking Dead has offered us in a while.  We get some much-needed character development for Michonne when she tags along with Carl on his secret mission to retrieve the one photo that still exists of his shattered family.  Both Michonne and Carl have been little more than hard people doing hard things all season, and their budding friendship in this episode is a refreshing relief. 

We get a little of Rick back, too.  Morgan is his unflattering mirror.  Like Rick, he’s useful in a murderous sort of way, but crazy fuckers are terrible for group dynamics and morale.  And, they totally screw up situations that call for diplomacy rather than screaming crazy-talk.  Rick actually has a conversation with Michonne, before they return to the prison.  We haven’t seen Rick really talk to anyone who isn’t a hallucination in a long time.

The great part about “Clear” is that a little relief isn’t a cure.  These people aren’t going to go back to being who they were.  The old Rick would have knocked Morgan out and dragged him to the prison for his own good rather than leaving him in his lonely hell.  And that clear-eyed, selfish, survivalist cruelty is the last thing we see in the episode, when the survivors come upon the smear of blood that once was the man they didn’t stop to rescue.  This time, they do stop… to grab the dead man’s backpack.

Plus points for the episode’s subtle salute to Mayberry’s Deputy Barney Fife, when Rick goes around with one bullet in the pocket of his shirt.

Marina’s Zombie Report: The Walking Dead, Season 3, Second Half

300px-Walking_Dead_Season_3_CastThis post is dedicated to romance novelist Julia Barrett, who is mad at The Walking Dead since Shane died, but who wants me to write about the show, anyway.  And to short story writer Kelly Shew, who’ll be with me Sunday night with a blanket over her head because she doesn’t understand that you have to WATCH the violence to become desensitized to it.

The Walking Dead is baaaaaack!  No more mid-season break gloom and suspense and marathons of past seasons.  Daryl survived his fight to the death with his brother Merle, so no Facebook riots, either.  Actually, Merle survived, too.  Obviously, it was a fight to the nobody dies. 

The Governor, you see, couldn’t stand that his plan was working, that Merle was being forced to kill Daryl to show his loyalty to Woodbury…okay, damnit.  I didn’t understand why the Governor sent the zombies into the fight ring.  The Governor is a cruel, cold bastard.  It would have been far crueler and colder to let Merle kill his own brother than it was to send the zombies in.  Unless… the Governor sent the zombies in because the show needed something to unite Merle and Daryl because they had to not die and to kind of get along in future episodes.  There.  I said it.  The whole messing up of the fight to the death so the boys wouldn’t hate each other later pissed me off, although it didn’t piss me off as much as any given episode of The Walking Dead pisses off Julia Barrett since Shane died.

Rick and his fellow survivors rescue Daryl and Merle, who wander off into the woods together because nobody wants Merle around.  Soon, Daryl will feel the same way but, for right now, he doesn’t.  The rest of the survivors return to the prison, where Rick goes insane again, shrieking at Dead Lori, who looks much nicer in her white gown than she ever did in any other costume on the show.  The new survivors, who were hoping to stay on at the prison, take Rick’s screaming fit to mean that he doesn’t want them there.  Or maybe they realized that you can’t be a black actor and last long with Rick’s group.  In any event, they are gone.  (Oh, crap.  Michonne.  Michonne has lasted more than half a season.  But, to be honest, she says so little that I keep forgetting that she exists.)

The next episode was actually better than the mid-season opener.  Andrea is becoming the heart and soul of  Woodbury because she annoys me and she won’t go away.  We learn a little about Merle and Daryl.  Daryl gets tired of wandering around with Merle, and back he heads to the prison, with Merle following because ain’t nobody really wants Merle.  I can only assume that Merle is going to become Carol’s new love interest, considering her taste for convicts.  Back at the prison, Rick is following Dead Lori around outside the fences, Glenn is trying to take charge in a very I’m-Taking-Charge-Although-Nobody-Seems-To-Be-Following-Me way, and the Governor attacks.  Talk about your timing. 

In spite of being seasoned fighters, Rick’s group can’t hit shit when the Governor and his forces attack.  Maggie finally kills the sniper in the guard tower.  Daryl and Merle (has anyone besides me noticed that their names kind of rhyme?) arrive in the nick of time to rescue Suddenly Sane Rick from the truck full of walkers that the Governor’s men crash through the prison fence.  Glenn returns from his risky and lone (remember, no followers) mission to the back door of the prison in time to rescue Hershel.  More timing.

In spite of the fun I’ve made of the second episode of the second half of Season 3 of The Walking Dead, it was actually a better episode that the mid-season premiere.  I thought that Season 2 gained steam as it went.  I’m hoping we will get some steam going, this season.   Although I’m sure that Julia Barrett might not agree. 

Stay With Us, Daryl

darylAfter a Season 1 marathon last weekend and a replay of Seasons 2 and 3 this weekend, The Walking Dead will return to AMC with a new episode on Sunday, February 10th.  It’ll be a great relief for fans.  The hardships of winter and the disappointments of the holiday season double suck when you can’t even get your zombie fix.

The Season 1 marathon on Super Bowl Sunday featured a lengthy teaser from the upcoming Governor-ordered fight to the death between brothers Merle and Daryl Dixon.  Not since the Civil War have Americans been so interested in brother-against-brother conflict.  The outcome of the fight is sure to be one of the highlights of the mid-season premiere.  The producers of The Walking Dead have promised us repeatedly that no character is safe, so there is fan anxiety attached to the fight.  We stand to lose yet another main character.  If Merle dies, nobody will care.  If Daryl dies, there is a Facebook group that proposes we riot.

The death of T-Dog bothered fans of The Walking Dead, but the mourning was brief.  Folk hero T-Dog was damned near scenery, truth be told.  He had five minutes of lines in Season 2, even less in Season 1.  Daryl’s death would impact the show in a much bigger way.  Fans don’t like Daryl just because they like him.  Daryl has become the heart and soul of The Walking Dead.

I didn’t really understand how it was that Daryl had wormed his crossbow-wielding, white-trash, man-of-few-words way into our hearts until I watched the Season 1 marathon this past Sunday.  In the early days of the show, Rick took pleasure in his family. Glenn seemed to enjoy his transformation from pizza delivery guy to zombie slayer.  Everybody hopped on the chance to get drunk.  The group had reasons to survive.

By Season 3, not so much.  Rick could barely look at Lori before her death.  He has glanced at his new baby maybe twice, and he gives his son, Carl, orders and not much else.  Carl struggles to take on adult responsibilities because there isn’t anything else for him to do.  Glenn has acquired the ultimate hot farmer’s daughter love interest in Maggie, but their love is earnest and dutiful and doesn’t look like it’s any fun at all.  Carol, eh, she’s still cleaning up the other character’s messes.  With the joy gone from life, people have started doing everything they do on the show because they have no other choice.  It’s backwards evolution.  The original characters from Season 1 who’ve made it to the prison aren’t getting more complex.  They are turning into mice. 

In the middle of these miserable, desperate people, we have Daryl Dixon.  Before the walker virus, the best Daryl could hope for in life was a trailer home and a live-in girlfriend to knock up.  The zombie apocalypse has given Daryl a place of trust in a group that wouldn’t have admitted him in the pre-walker world.  His nothin’-to-lose bravery and his got-nothin’-better-to-do tenacity allow the character to take on lost causes (the search for Sophia) and to spend time worrying about what really matters. Daryl is often the only character to acknowledge the other survivors’ grief, and his “Little Ass Kicker” greeting of dead Lori’s baby allowed the other characters to feel something better than despair over her arrival.  

Daryl Dixon is the anti-mouse of The Walking Dead.  With the other characters running around on a wheel, doing things because they have to, Daryl does things because he wants to.  He has grown, not dimished.        

The character of Rick Grimes gets the most camera time on the show, but, make no mistake about it, Daryl Dixon is the hero of The Walking Dead.  I really hope that the producers won’t kill him off just to prove that they can. 

Marina’s Zombie Report: Greatest Zombie Moments of 2012

It’s nearly 2013.  Fuck you, Mayans, we made it.  In honor of the special occasion of us all being alive and not cosmic cinders, the Zombie Report would like to present…

The Five Greatest Zombie Moments of 2012

5.  The Discovery Channel finally gave the zombie apocalypse the respect it deserves and showed us scientists on the same show with people who hoard weapons and passionately debate whether or not they can bear to shoot their families when they get bit. 

4.  Filmmaker Joss Whedon endorsed Mitt Romney for President because he’d be the candidate most likely to bring about the zombie apocalypse.  Romney lost, in spite of Whedon’s help.

3.  Marina Bridges and J. W. Manus  published the ebook,  ZOMBIES TAKE MANHATTAN! (you seriously didn’t think I’d leave myself out.)

ZTM Promo

2.  Most of Ronald Poppo’s face was chewed off by Rudy Eugene in a bizarre Miami, Florida zombie attack.  Police had to shoot Eugene multiple times before he ceased and desisted and died.  There were cries that the zombie apocalypse was upon us, but Eugene took the reason behind his actions to his grave without infecting any of the rest of us.

1. AMC’s The Walking Dead killed off the character that hero Rick and the entire country loved most…T-Dog.  In spite of hardly ever having lines or anything to do, T-Dog won the hearts of the country by being a black guy in a zombie entertainment who didn’t die immediately.  Rick’s wife, Lori, also died, but eh, nobody much cared.  Here are all of T-Dog’s lines from Season Two of the top series.  All five minutes of them.

Welcome to 2013, you survivors.  Be sure to stay with a buddy and aim for the head.

Marina’s Zombie Report: Is The Walking Dead Jerking Us Around?

Last night, in the throes of a sinus medication induced wildness, I posted my predictions for The Walking Dead, episode 6, which will air next week on AMC.  I wasn’t the only one with predictions.  After the show and its partner,  Talking Dead, were over, message boards went crazy with fans opining that both Lori and Carol are alive.

First of all, do I think that Lori is alive?  Do I think that Carl didn’t shoot her and Carol saved her?  Hell, yes, to all of those.  And the path I took to reach to those conclusions is ridiculous. 

The group of survivors we follow on The Walking Dead have survived the walker apocalypse for nearly a year.  They are experienced, they are united, they have become family.  They never give up on each other.  They chopped Hershel’s leg off to keep the virus from taking him.  They searched the woods for Sophia long after it became clear that they weren’t going to find her.  Suddenly, they find Carol’s scarf on the floor and eh, she’s dead.  The next week, they are digging Carol’s grave.

Maybe they think that Carol’s remains were mashed up with the remains of the eaten T-Dog.  That would kind of fit, actually, since even Rick seems to suddenly be SO STUPID that he thinks a single walker ate Lori.  Every bit of Lori, bones and clothes and all.  Nom nom nom. 

This is where Talking Dead comes into play.  There were weird moments on the show, last night.  Director Greg Nicotero was forced to explain to us that it wasn’t Lori’s wedding ring that Rick found on the floor beside the puddle of her blood.  It was the bullet that Carl shot into her head to keep her from becoming a walker.  Oooooohhhh.  Thank you for explaining, Greg.  That was kind of embarrassing for all of us, but especially YOU.  It’s crappy television making when you are so caught up in what you know about the scene as director (Rick is picking up a bullet) that it doesn’t occur to you that the people you are trying to entertain won’t be able to see what you are showing them.  To me, it’s a clue that the show has stopped giving a particular damn about being coherent entertainment.

After that, the talk on Talking Dead got kind of high pitched and unnatural, and it climaxed with host Chris Hardwick making a comment about empty graves that left everyone else strangely quiet, considering it’s a talk show.

So, what gives?  If it’s simply that Lori and Carol are alive, the show has grown clumsy.  I don’t think that most of us guessed that Sophia was in the barn until the last moment.  I do think that most of us think that at least Carol is alive.  If Lori is alive, Carol is a helluva doctor, saving a life with nothing at her disposal, not even her scarf. Did the survivors bury two bodies?  Three bodies?  Any bodies at all?  Did Carol chop off T-Dog’s head and somehow save HIM?  I’m confused as hell, and it’s not fair that we don’t know how many bodies there are.  Right there, The Walking Dead is cheating the viewers by withholding information that most stories would have given us so we could be informed participants in the fun.

If they aren’t alive, if the team at The Walking Dead just wants to make viewers think that Lori and Carol are alive, The Walking Dead has stopped being a drama and started being a magic show.  What was appealing about the show in the first place was that you had to suspend your disbelief long enough to believe in the zombie apocalypse, and that was it.  It didn’t need to jerk us around with Talking Dead as its lovely assistant.  These are adults watching this show, not a bunch of kids at a birthday party.

I hope that the show treads carefully next week.  Very carefully.  What happens in that episode could very well determine not only the fate of Lori and Carol, but maybe the fate of the show itself.

 

Chihuahua At The Nursing Home

I don’t always visit the nursing home, but when I do, I sometimes take a chihuahua.

You might think that chihuahuas and nursing homes would be a poor mix.  Like beer and milk.  Some people think that chihuahuas don’t mix well with anything.  Some people think that chihuahuas are nasty little fuckers that yip and bite. 

To be perfectly honestly with you, the worst dog bite I’ve ever had was bestowed upon me by a chihuahua.  A lot of them are nasty little fuckers.  If YOU only left the house in a purse, if YOU were cold all the damned time, if YOU lived in a land of giant feet, you’d be a nasty little fucker, too.  My chihuahua is the Ellen Degeneris of chihuahuas.  He’s not the prettiest but he seems like the prettiest because he’s funny and he’s so damned glad to see ya’.

I take my chihuahua to the nursing home now and then to visit my mother.  She asks me to bring him.  Sometimes she begs me to bring him.  In spite of being desperate to see my chihuahua, my mother can barely remember his name.  Not because she is in the throes of forgetting everything…the honest truth is she barely remembers anyone’s name because her head is so full of herself.  Few toddlers are as selfish as certain old ladies, and that’s the damned truth.  I know that my mother likes my chihuahua, but she REALLY likes the brief fame that a visit from my chihuahua brings her.

We sit in the lobby because having a little dog visit you at the nursing home is no good unless everybody can see the little dog visit you at the nursing home.  At first it’s just us and Old Lady Who Obsessively Moves Furniture.  I try to ignore her.  She jabbers about the furniture and the fact that the furniture is misplaced.  She throws her weight desperately against a sofa, which doesn’t budge.  I finally get concerned that she is going to hurt herself and I move the damned sofa (which is on castors and slides through the lobby like a breeze over ice).  That satisfies her, and she sits down on the sofa she just made me move and pets the cute little dog.

I don’t know if the aroma of dog gets into the recycled air or what, but people always start to show up when I bring the chihuahua to the nursing home.  The first one to hobble in this time is Woman My Mother Argues With In The Dining Room Because They Both Want To Open Little Old Willy’s Creamer For Him.  They haven’t spoken to each other outside of arguing over Willy’s creamer all week.  Today, there is peace.  My mother’s rival takes a chair and asks us repeatedly how it is that people can hurt cute little dogs like this cute little dog.  We all agree that some people suck.  Several times.

Next in is The Preacher.  I’m not sure why he lives in the nursing home.  He is one of the few residents who can walk unassisted.  He’s so mentally sharp that I thought he was another visitor the first five times I saw him.  Maybe his family is tired of hearing him preach and they kicked him out.  I would get tired of having a fundamentalist preacher for a relative really quick. Maybe he’s actually an atheist and he just THINKS he’s a fundamentalist preacher and that’s why he’s in the nursing home.

Nobody likes The Preacher much.  He is always dourly judging everybody.  Apparently he threw a big ol’ “This is SATANISM!” downer monkey-wrench into the facility’s Halloween party, an event so tame that most two year olds would have bitched that it was boring. 

My chihuahua, recognizing that the mouthpiece of Christ has arrived, gets on his hind legs and dances around.  The Preacher claps his hands and dances with my chihuahua, weirdly risking eternal damnation to dance with a little dog.

We embark on a lively group discussion where everyone wonders whether my chihuahua could cure asthma, diabetic neuropathy, and corns.  Chihuahuas actually have been said to have healing powers. It has always been a chihuahua sales pitch.  It started back when all dogs had to be good for something.  Chihuahuas weren’t good for herding cattle or…well they weren’t good for anything that people have historically wanted dogs to do. So they became magical.

The conversation stops when an old lady who looks like she lost a gang brawl wanders in.  Black eyes, face yellow and blue with bruises and swollen tight;  a line of stitches railroad tracks across on her forehead.

“She’s mean,” my mother informs me, like nobody else in the room can hear.  Maybe they can’t.  We have had to talk awfully loudly to carry on our conversation. I’m not willing to chance being overheard.  I wonder to myself if Mean Beaten Up Old Lady really IS mean and if somebody waited until she was asleep and beat the shit out of her with a walker.  She is STUNNINGLY beaten up. 

Mean Beaten Up Old Lady sits down and says, “I have a question.  Does anybody think I should see a doctor?”

“You already seen a doctor,” yells Furniture Mover, and taps her own forehead to indicate the stitches.

Mean Beaten Up Old Lady touches a hand to the stitches and is obviously surprised to find them there.  “Oh.  I guess I did see a doctor.  I fell.  On my face.  LOOK!  It’s a little DOG!”

So my chihuahua gets in Mean Beaten Up Old Lady’s lap and licks her hurt, fallen-on face.  No miraculous healing takes place, unfortunately.  I don’t think the lady is mean.  I don’t know what gives.  My mom tells me later that her source of gossip maybe wasn’t so reliable and maybe the lady isn’t so mean, after all.

Greetings all done, my chihuahua sits in the center of the floor and everybody admires him and talks about how great chihuahuas are.  Except for someone’s sister’s chihuahua.  That was a mean little dog.  Except for someone’s mother’s chihuahua.  That was a mean little dog, too.  Actually, nobody has anything good to say about any chihuahuas except for this chihuahua right here.  This chihuahua right here crouches like a Sphinx and wags his tail like mad.   

 

Marina’s Zombie Report: The Walking Dead, Season 3, Episode 2 Recap

I’m hoping people have noticed that my Zombie Reports have been a lot about The Walking Dead, lately.  If you have noticed and you are annoyed,  give me a break.  Season 3 of The Walking Dead is the biggest zombie news since Florida immersed itself in zombie-making bath salts. So, here’s my Official Unofficial Recap of Episode 2, Season 3 of The Walking Dead!

SPOILER ALERT!

(Those of you who both have DISH TV and don’t understand the word “recap,” you’ve been warned.)

The show picked up right where Episode 1 ended. Rick and his people are trying to save the life of One-Legged Hershel, formerly known as Two-Legged Hersel before Rick cut off his zombie spit infected leg with an ax.

The surviving prisoners we met at the tail end of Episode 1 are duly impressed by Rick’s act of savage ax necessity for all of three seconds. These prisoners are under the impression that they are Bad Asses, in spite of the fact that they’ve waited ten months for the guard who locked them into the cafeteria at the beginning of the walker apocalypse to return for them, something that even a lone, terrified four year old wouldn’t wait for after about a day.  The prisoners continue to show us their stupids by ignoring zombie killing instructions, which results in a comically gory scene where they shank zombies in the guts instead of bashing in their skulls.   I will not be surprised if prisoners in prisons all over the country start boycotting the show, since The Walking Dead has even less use for prisoner characters than it has for black characters. Although two new black prisoner characters ARE dead before we reach the thirty minute mark.

More about Hershel’s bloody stump. Blah blah, they don’t want him to die because they’ll miss him and because they’ll have to kill him when he rises from the dead and falls over because he only has one leg. Then Carl does something MIND BOGGLING. HE WANDERS OFF ON HIS OWN ADVENTURE.  First he wouldn’t stay in the house, now he won’t stay in the cell.  These people need to cut off one of Carl’s legs.

Carol suddenly has an emergency, and it’s a great time to have it, right in the middle of a real emergency (man with cut off leg maybe dying and becoming a zombie). Carol’s emergency is Lori is pregnant. Well, yes, yes she is. She has been for a while.  We are worried about this right now because apparently Lori is overdue to have her Nerf Ball-sized baby, and Carol wants to practice cutting women open in case Hershel isn’t there to do it. Carol enlists Glenn to help her obtain a corpse to practice on. I’m surprised they even bothered killing their medical school specimen, frankly. If it’s practice Carol wants, what better practice could there be than performing the operation on a writhing, clawing, moaning female body? Lori isn’t likely to stay corpse-like still for a C-Section without anesthesia. While Carol practices, someone or someTHING watches her from the woods outside of the fence.  I hope it’s a malpractice lawyer.

Back in the prison, Hershel stops breathing. This means he’s dead and this means he’s going to turn into a zombie. Lori performs CPR on him anyway. We are treated to a moment where we don’t know if zombie Hershel is ripping out Lori’s tongue or if confused, no-blood Hershel thinks Lori is his deceased wife.  Turns out he was confused, and it’s a little anticlimactic. Lori is fine, nobody ripped out her tongue and nobody rips her a new one for endangering herself, her baby, and everybody else.

The last scene of the episode is Lori trying to get back with Rick because there are no lawyers left (except maybe the malpractice lawyer watching Carol from the woods). Rick’s zombie-like response leaves us to wonder if he has held onto his life but lost his soul.  Because, my God, who WOULDN’T jump all over, “Let’s be a couple, again. What the heck, it’s not like we can’t get DIVORCED.”

If you watched The Talking Dead after the show, you saw the BIGGEST spoiler that has been ever been spoiled by a show connected with a show where people don’t want spoilers EVER. I’m not going to blow it here, because it was almost as big as showing us Sophia coming out of the barn the week before Sophia came out of the barn.  Umm..AMC? Don’t spoil your popular show by trying to boost the ratings of your silly show. It’s about like leaving Hershel to die because you need to learn to cut people open in case Hershel dies.

The Walking Dead, Season 3, Episode 2- Marina’s Predictions

The Walking Dead returns tonight with a shiny new episode. Many fans can’t wait, so I’m going to satisfy their curiosity with my Official The Walking Dead Predictions, which are based on nothing official other than I officially want to make them.

Prediction #1- Rick is highly displeased to discover that there is virtually no food in the prison. The surviving prisoners raided the grain stores early in the Walker Apocalypse and cooked it all up in their homemade still. Having a lot of product and very few customers, they are delighted to meet Hershel, who immediately trades them Maggie in exchange for a mason jar full of hootch. Maggie, tired of Glenn telling her that he’s inspecting her for scratches when she thinks he wants to get jiggy, does not object.

Prediction #2- Daryl returns to his convict roots and hooks up with an inmate named “Big Arrow.” Carol, realizing finally that her relationship with a gay man was her way of repressing her own sexuality, disappears while looking for the women’s wing.  Her friends, fed up with searching for members of the Peletier family, do not go looking for her.

Prediction #3- T-Dog will say very little, if anything. He IS the black guy and is lucky to still be on the show at all.

Prediction #4- Rick will spend the episode gnawing on Hershel’s amputated leg and screaming, “Fuck off!  I’m tired of taking care of you!” at everyone.

Prediction #5- Andrea and Michonne will have three minutes of airtime this week rather than two.

Prediction #6- Lori Grimes, terrified that the new life in her womb is actually new death in her womb, takes a renewed interest in her son, Carl.  Carl is mortified by being forced to wear diapers in front of his love interest, Beth Greene.  In attempt to look more mature, Carl paints a mustache on his upper lip and insists that everyone refer to him as “Dirty Sanchez.”

The season opener left us with one of the most memorable lines in television history…”Holy Shit.” Hopefully my predictions will prove to be true and this episode will be equally memorable.

Anybody else got any predictions?

Season 2, American Horror Story: Asylum Premiere

FX’s American Horror Story:  Asylum starts like a lot of horror movies.  A couple enters an abandoned old asylum to have sex and we know that VERY BAD THINGS are going to happen to them.  YAY!  Except, as a person who didn’t see the first season, as a person who was virtually harassed into watching the premiere of the second season, it was hardly the kind of surprise storytelling I’d been told to expect.

I felt my eyes closing, I felt myself drifting off to the Land of Couch Nap and…it got better.  We go back to 1964 and meet Kit.  Kit is married to a black woman, and he pretends she’s his maid to avoid persecution.  Kit wants to end the lie and tell everyone.  Kit loves his wife.  So do we.  She’s hot and adorable.  It’s a good little period scene about a time that is thankfully over (unless you’re gay), but nothing shocking happens.  Until a UFO comes and the aliens stick things up Kit’s ass…I’ll admit that I was suddenly fairly surprised.

The next setting: Briarcliff Manor in its heyday as an asylum for the criminally insane.  Eager lesbian reporter Lana Winters is there pretending that she cares about the asylum’s thriving bakery.  What she really wants is an interview with Bloody Face, the Leatherface wanna-be who is moving in that day.  Lana’s little ladder climbing white lie pisses off Sister Jude, who runs the asylum like Julie Andrews on crack would have run a daycare.

Jessica Lange’s Sister Jude is easily 75% of what makes the show worth watching.  Forgive me for not having spent most of my life being obsessed with you, Jessica.  You are insanely good in this show.

I liked the baby-killing pinhead.  I liked the other freaky inmates of the asylum.  I liked the asylum itself.  I LOVED the smart way the show takes advantage of the very horrifically real Ghosts of Mental Health Care Past.

What nerved me? 

The “We Went To Screw In A Haunted Asylum And Bad Shit Happened To Us” story line. I suppose it HAS to be there…or does it?

The fact that there are so many crazy things happening that it becomes amusing…in addition to the UFO, there’s a monster that a mad scientist doctor seems to have brought with him when he took the job at Briarcliff.  Anybody remember David Lynch and his show Twin Peaks?  Even David Lynch waited a few years before he went TOTALLY over the top.

However, the show was good clean nasty fun, and I give it Four Anal Probes Up Kit’s Ass!

I’ll be watching next week, for sure. 

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