The Walking Dead: Season 3

The Walking DeadIt’s pretty slim pickings on television for science fiction fans these days, and while I know a couple of fans who refuse to even contemplate watching a zombie show, The Walking Dead is still in my opinion the best thing out there at the moment. It does what all great science fiction does, it makes an adjustment to reality and asks what that means for the individuals caught up in it. The plots the show is working on are not necessarily the most original, but the focus on characters and the superb acting and direction make this one of the most satisfying programmes on the air.

Each season of this show seems to move through different phases of survival, from the most immediate survival after the zombie outbreak through to more long term issues such as finding supplies, shelter and eventually a place secure enough to build a home and community. Rick’s group have spent the winter on the run, but they’ve militarised and under Rick’s dictatorship, and have actually all survived. When they stumble onto a prison they think they have finally found a home, and between that security and their well honed zombie killing skills, life seems relatively settled. Well other than the problems which come from having limited medical expertise, food and ammo and a thrown together group of people who’ve been through massive traumas.

Meanwhile somewhere nearby (facts like distances and travel times aren’t really a strong point of the writing) we are introduced to Woodbury, a town sealed off and defended from the walkers where a substantial community is living in relative comfort under the leadership of the charismatic Governor (the wonderful David Morrissey). But all is not as it seems, and when Andrea (who was separated from the group when they escaped the farm) and her scary new friend arrive, The Governor’s true colours start to show and it’s not long until Woodbury and the prison are clashing.

The similarities between the two groups are obvious and not exactly subtle – both Rick and The Governor take questionable actions in the name of protecting the group. Both are willing to sacrifice outsiders to protect their friends and families who may not see what’s being done in their name until it’s too late. It’s difficult to forgive some of the characters for not opening their eyes, or taking action which would have avoided the inevitable and bloody outcomes, I found myself shouting at the screen more than once when they just stood by and did nothing as their leaders crossed more and more lines.

The pacing of the season was also frustrating at time. While I found The Governor and the situation in Woodbury interesting, I grew bored when we spent too much time there, particularly the episodes exclusively set in Woodbury. I was frustrated that we were delayed at seeing how events were effecting those back in the prison. Similarly there were episodes where we didn’t see a single shot of Woodbury, or even some of the characters in the prison which was equally frustrating. I would have preferred the content was more evenly distributed, which would also have helped to give the new characters momentum, it’s easy to forget about people if you don’t see them for a couple of weeks.

The Walking Dead this season was something that I pounced on as soon as it was available, it really was one of my go to programs. I hated even the few days delay between the US and the UK because I knew I would be unable to resist or avoid spoilers and hence some of the biggest punches of the story were softened. Even then I was still on the edge of my seat every episode, and not just for the action sequences, more often than not it was the quiet conversations between characters that were the really intense moments. The absolutely stunning way the series is shot also adds to the intensity, the beautifully lit and framed shots give a quietness and grace to everything, counterpointed by brutal and phenomenally messy action sequences. I’m hard pressed to think of a series at the moment that I get more excited by or am more eagerly awaiting its return.

The Walking Dead: Season 2

The Walking Dead title screenMy principle complaint of the first season of The Walking Dead was that at just six episodes long there wasn’t really much more to it in either time or depth, than a standard feature film. The great news is that with thirteen episodes and all the foundations already in place, season 2 finally gave me what I’d been hoping for. The extended runtime was put to really good use with characters and stories being developed with far more care and detail than any film ever could.

For me, probably 75% of my enjoyment of television shows comes from watching characters develop, working why they do what they do, and how they change as they’re affected by whatever occurrences the writers throw at them. Season 2 of The Walking Dead eases up on the running around evading zombies and could almost be seen as an extended character study.

The season plays out over just a couple of weeks (maybe even only a few days) as the group find somewhere to settle for a while, maybe even permanently. As people stop having to focus on the immediate day-to-day fight to survive, priorities change, relationships adjust and the whole dynamic of the group shifts. Characters can start to evaluate what’s happened, who they are now and how they want to live in this new world. The characters grow beyond the limited fences imposed by the large cast and short runtime of the first season. Everyone gets more attention and characters that I’d mostly ignored because of their background position in the group got a little more depth and interest to them. The new additions to the group who have been surviving in an entirely different way challenge the characters and relationships even further, asking questions that may otherwise not have occurred to anyone.

There are still plenty of practical issues of survival for the group to deal with and I thought the pacing of the season was well handled, not just building and relieving tension smoothly but occasionally startling me with sudden jumps or even more cleverly, introducing moments of calm into the chaos. The show is beautifully produced, and every shot, whether an edge of seat action sequence or a lingering shot of a zombie shambling across a field is gorgeously framed and lit.

There are still a few problems with the show – cliché moments, appearing and disappearing plot threads and overly contrived scenarios litter the scripts. I also still struggle to relate to some of the ‘lead’ characters who I wouldn’t really want to be stuck with in any sort of crisis. While that’s probably intentional, sometimes it felt like the writers were trying a little too hard to make their leaders flawed and the fact the other characters don’t stage a coup becomes increasingly unrealistic. I also continue to struggle with Andrew Lincoln, I’m not sure he has enough ‘oomph’ for the role and I am unconvinced by his accent.

My recommendation to anyone that hasn’t been watching is to pick up the first two series together and just watch them straight through back to back. Season 1 is really just an extended trailer, establishing the world they are living in, It’s Season 2 where the meaty stuff kicks in and there’s an interesting exploration of what happens to people and society long term. This was far more the show that I’d been hoping for!

2010-2011 – New Shows

I watched 30ish pilots this year, most of which I gave full reviews of. Last year I did 27 and this year most of the extra ones come from some random British series that I watched but didn’t pick up. Even with giving up on comedy pilots for the most part it was still a bit of a slog frankly with an awful lot of mediocrity out there.

Things I watched:

  • Blue Bloods – Frankly not very good – an interesting concept, but badly written. Just saved by the wonderful Tom Selleck
  • Downton Abbey – excellent fun, perfect for Sunday evening family viewing
  • Game of Thrones – Very entertaining and an impressive production
  • Mad Dogs – A great cast in a relatively mediocre production, thankfully very short
  • Outcasts – Entertaining, but massively flawed writing and plot holes. Not massively disappointed that it was cancelled.
  • Terriers – Charming, hilarious, interesting, entertaining and criminally cancelled
  • The Big C – hilarious and moving
  • The Walking Dead – The novelty made me watch it, but it was horribly cliché and flat

Two things jump out at me from that list. The fist thing is that genre shows get a bit of a free pass from me in that they only have to be not awful to get me to watch them. The second thing is there’s only one network show on the list, and even that one wasn’t very good. Other than that everything is either British, or on cable in the US; and they’re all short seasons. That’s not good, not good at all.

Might watch

  • Harry’s Law – the worrying preachiness of the pilot put me off, but given it survived a season, Kathy Bates might lure me back again
  • Hawaii Five-O – bright and entertaining popcorn action, I meant to watch it but I failed to catch it as it went past. I do intend to catch up though
  • Falling Skies – I enjoyed the pilot, but haven’t actually got around to watching the rest of it yet
  • Bedlam – Terrible Sky drama where Will Young was the best thing about it. I still have the last two episodes on the Sky box but haven’t quite got desperate enough to watch them.

Might’ve watched if they hadn’t been cancelled, might pick them up on dvd at some point

  • Chicago Code – OK, unremarkable, and then cancelled
  • Detroit 1-8-7 – solidly entertaining police procedural in a sea of mediocrity. Cancelled anyway
  • Hellcats – The pilot at least was entertaining in an awful Glee kind of way, it aired on MTV over here which was deeply annoying. Then it was cancelled.
  • Off the Map – It wasn’t as good as it wanted to be, but I enjoyed the pilot. It never seemed to make it to the UK at all due to its early cancellation I guess.

Not my thing

  • Being Human – not as good as the UK version, and I’m already 2 years behind on that
  • Boardwalk Empire – beautifully shot and acted and all that, but too slow
  • Exile – well acted and intriguing, I meant to watch the rest of the series but it disappeared from iplayer too fast and I wasn’t devastated
  • Nikita – felt like it was trying very hard (and maybe even succeeding) at being the next Alias, but given I never got round to watching that series I didn’t feel like committing to this one.

Just not very good

Body of Proof
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour
Law & Order: Los Angeles
Lone Star
My Generation
No Ordinary Family
The Cape
The Event
The Shadowline
The Whole Truth

Not a great year
I just don’t think this was a very good year for new television. Looking back at last year’s freshman there are a lot of stand-outs, both critical successes like Justified, The Good Wife and Treme and ratings hits like Glee, NCIS: LA and The Vampire Diaries. There are a few direct comparisons this year (Boardwalk Empire is this year’s Treme, Hawaii Five-O this year’s NCIS:LA), but overall there’s an awful lot of mediocre going on.

Where’s the creativity? Even things that television executives hail as new and exciting aren’t really. The Walking Dead is a remake of just about every zombie film out there, Game of Thrones is a bog standard fantasy epic – Lord of the Rings for the smaller screen with less pointy ears. Next year’s most hotly anticipated show seems set to follow the trend with Terra Nova bringing Jurassic Park to the TV.

Superheroes are out – there was a flurry of superhero shows and none of them were any good. People keep trying to find the magic of the early season of Heroes and the massive success that’s being found by Marvel and DC Comics at the cinema, but no one’s managed it yet. Here’s an idea, stop pissing off Joss Whedon and get him to do one, after he’s done making millions with The Avengers that is.

Procedurals ain’t doing so well either. I enjoy procedurals but it’s been a while since a good one came along. Maybe the market is still too saturated, because even the ones that had potential and critical praise couldn’t find enough viewers to make a go of it.

Finally, they’re still all desperately trying to find the next Lost – people keep trying, but the high concept stuff just doesn’t seem to catch. High concept is something that can be explained in a sentence (“Lost: a plane crashes on island”, “Inception: you can enter and control people’s dreams”). This year’s main attempt, The Event, was a little too high concept I think “Something happens” really is a bit too high, I gave up after about four episodes – for a show called The Event – something should bloody well happen.

The 2010-2011 Season

As always my definitions of what counts for a season are a bit variable, pretty much anything that aired somewhere between the beginning of September 2010 and the end of August 2011 are fair game for this.

Blue Bloods: S1
Bones: S6
Brothers & Sisters: S5
Castle: S3
Criminal Minds: S6
CSI: S11
Doctor Who 2011
Downton Abbey: S1
Friday Night Lights: S5
Fringe: S3
Game of Thrones – S1
Glee: S2
The Good Wife: S2
Grey’s Anatomy: S7
House: S7
Leverage: S3
Lie to Me: S3
Mad Men: S4
Merlin: S3
NCIS: Los Angeles – S2
Sons of Anarchy: S3
Stargate Universe: S2
Supernatural: S6
Terriers: S1
The Big C: S1
The Walking Dead: S1

There’s a few bits and bobs that don’t make the list – Outcasts (meh), Mad Dogs (ok), Warehouse 13 (fun but poor), Bedlam (awful), Falling Skies (still haven’t got round to finishing) more documentaries than I might expect (I remember being impressed by a lot of them but the only one I really remember is the superb Inside Nature’s Giants).

Between everything listed above and the pilots I reviewed that’s getting on for 600 episodes of television, probably about 500 hours, which given the national average is somewhere between 20 and 30 hours a week, actually is still way below ‘average’. Of course most normal people don’t watch television in the ridiculous concentrated way that I do, so I guess I shouldn’t jump up and down and declare myself well adjusted just yet.

All in all, I’ve not been massively impressed with this year. Although I found it hard to narrow down most of the categories below there were relatively few things that I’d label as outstanding. I don’t know whether this is because I’m getting increasingly hard to please in my old age or because television writers and networks are getting more willing to settle for mediocre in the tough financial times. Either way, given that several of the shows I mention below have come to an end or are looking at likely final seasons, it doesn’t bode particularly well.

Best Shows
These are the shows that are superb – with amazing writing, beautiful direction, compelling acting and thought provoking stories. The ones that the Emmy’s and Golden Globes *should* be nominating.

  • Friday Night Lights – I don’t think season 5 was the best season of the show, I never fell in love with the Lions as much as I did the original Panthers, but even with that in mind it was still one of the absolute highlights of the year and I will miss it.
    Mad Men – this show can appear very slow and dull to a casual viewer, but if you invest in it and pay attention there is such incredible depth that with a little bit of analysis and discussion you have a real sense of satisfaction fitting everything together.
  • Fringe – I rewatched a few episodes of the first season recently and who knew that the ok but unspectacular X-Files wannabe would turn out to be such a fascinating and creative story about alternate worlds literally colliding.
  • The Big C – A comedy about terminal illness, really? But it manages to combine being hilariously funny with being beautifully moving without becoming cloying or preachy. It’s one of the most uplifting things I’ve seen in a long time.
  • Stargate Universe – as far as I’m concerned season 2 was as near to my idea of perfect science fiction as is likely to be seen for a long time. It had interesting stories and ideas, but more importantly was all done with a fascinating group of characters and a lot of humour.

Favourite Shows
These are the shows that I adore. They’re the ones that I desperately wait for new episodes of, the ones that I follow on blogs, the shows that make me smile, cry, and forget that the characters aren’t actually real. Comparing these to Mad Men is like comparing apples and oil rigs, but they still deserve recognition.

  • Glee – this is far and away my favourite show of the year. It has massive consistency problems when it comes to writing and storylines, but every single episode makes me laugh, and simply hearing one of the songs on my ipod can make me forget all about my troubles and grin like a fool.
  • Grey’s Anatomy – with the exception of a questionable couple of storylines towards the end of the season Grey’s has been right back on the sort of form that got me addicted to the early seasons of the show. Even my frustrations with what I describe as poor writing choices are only because I’m so unhealthily emotionally tied to these characters.
  • Doctor Who – I’m not sure whether I’m referring to the previous season that ended at Christmas or the one that’s currently half way through (which is likely why I’m missing the season review), but it really doesn’t matter because each has been superb, somehow managing to be hugely entertaining Saturday evening family viewing, but also superb quality drama with delicate and beautiful writing. This one really could have gone in either category.
  • Terriers – This may be a partial pity vote, if it hadn’t been cancelled would I have been so passionate about it? Don’t know and never will, so it’s on this list because I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • Downton Abbey – I’d been looking forward to the remake of Upstairs Downstairs and probably to the BBC’s consternation, this ITV almost-rip-off blew it out of the water. A great cast, hilarious writing and a lovely Sunday evening vibe to the whole thing made this a lovely piece of television to watch with friends and family.

Male actors

  • Tim Roth, (Cal Lightman, Lie to Me) –Roth’s performance was so entertaining and unpredictable that it took me three seasons to notice that the rest of the show around him was actually not very good at all.
  • Jared Padelecki (Sam Winchester, Supernatural) – I’m a Dean girl through and through, but even I have to acknowledge this season that Sam got the better material and Padelecki acted his way through Sam’s splintering personalities impressively.
  • Matt Smith (The Doctor, Doctor Who) – who knew that I’d start forgetting David Tennant. The energy and charm of Smith’s doctor is just infectious.
  • John Noble (Walter Bishop, Fringe) – Noble made it on to my list last for playing the wonderfully bonkers character of Walter – sometimes brilliant scientist, sometimes emotionally unstable child. Given that in addition to that performance he adds on the character of Walternate, an alternate universe version where he’s a terrifying politician, there was no way he wouldn’t make the list this year too.
  • Kyle Chandler (Coach Eric Taylor, Friday Night Lights) – poor coach had a miserable couple of years struggling with having to chose between the lesser of two evils over and over, nothing ever seemed to quite go his way. Chandler’s understated performances just broke my heart.

Female actors
I still find myself struggling to find 5 decent nominees for this category, I hope that it’s just a coincidence of the shows I watch, but I fear that it’s representative and that’s very troubling.

  • Laura Linney (Cathy Jamison, The Big C) – I imagine this is the kind of role that actors dream of. Linney is simply phenomenal.
  • Julianna Marguiles (Alicia Florrick, The Good Wife) – I think this season of The Good Wife lost its way a little, but that doesn’t change that this continues to be a wonderfully rounded character and a lovely performance.
  • Anna Torv (Olivia Dunham, Fringe) – I’ve found her character a bit bland in previous seasons, but this season thanks to playing multiple different characters, Torv proved that it’s the character that’s bland, not the performance. The subtle differences with her alternate universe version were fascinating, and as for her performance of being possessed by Leonard Nimmoy…
  • Connie Britton (Tami Taylor, Friday Night Lights) – like her husband, nothing ever seems to go Tami’s way, every piece of good news is balanced with a difficult decision. She’s got more stoic and resigned to this as the years have gone by, but watching her wrestle with the potential break up of her family at the end of the season felt like the world was ending.
  • Katey Segal (Gemma Teller-Morrow, Sons of Anarchy) – I very nearly put her into the group category alongside Maggie Siff’s Tara because these two women at the heart of the male oriented motorcycle club are incredible. But Segal’s performance is the more nuanced one, the balance between confidence and insecurity, cold blooded scariness and utter devotion to her family.

In cases like Tom Sellek there’s one actor holding together an otherwise mediocre group, in cases like Laura Linney, she’s clearly carrying the weight of the series and standing out from an already very good supporting team. But for these guys and gals it’s the pairings and groupings that are the standout, if I commented on one of them, I’d have to comment on them all or I’d have the guilt.

  • Grey’s Anatomy – this show has always been the gold standard of ensemble acting and character development and this season has been no different. Everyone has interesting relationships that grow and mature (if you overlook some terrible backwards steps) and all are equally capable whether dealing with melodramatic emotions, intense medical scenes or hilarious comedy.
  • NCIS LA – the season has been an exploration of what it means to be partners and each of the pairings has delivered fascinating and entertaining performances, ably supported by the centre point of Hetty, NCIS could learn a lot from its offspring.
  • Glee – although Chris Colfer is clearly my (and the writers) favourite this is a spectacularly talented bunch of kids. The movie proves that they can perform just as well live in front of thousands of people, while the tv series shows that they can also deliver even the most ridiculous of storylines compellingly. All this on a ridiculously intensive schedule, imagine what they could do with decent material and a bit of sleep.
  • Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James (Terriers) – My new favourite partnership sadly gone too soon, but I loved the easy camaraderie and open friendship of two people who came from entirely different backgrounds and ended up exactly the same.
  • Stargate Universe – it took a while, but eventually I came to love these characters and performances, right from the flamboyant ones at the front, through to the ‘supporting’ array of scientists and soldiers who could steal an entire scene with a throw away reference to Star Wars or a perfectly timed eye-roll. A dysfunctional family, just like lies at the heart of every great science fiction show.

Notable absences
Not listing Supernatural as one of my favourite shows of the year actually hurt, but it came down to a choice between it and Terriers and Supernatural was edged out just because my abiding memory of the season is one of sadness. It all just got a bit much this season for the show to be as enjoyable as before, but while it was all done really well it doesn’t quite make it into the other category of top shows because it wasn’t quite even enough to stand alongside the other shows.

Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead – being a genre fan I also find it sad that I can’t comment on these more favourably, but just being about a different subject doesn’t give you a free pass, you still need to be good. Game of Thrones was good, it only narrowly missed out in the favourite category, but The Walking Dead just wasn’t good enough, yes it’s great to see zombies on television but it still needed to just be better – better writing, better characters, better acting – just better. My feelings on BBC’s Outcasts meanwhile were so confused that apparently I never even got round to writing a review of it… it tried hard, but it really wasn’t very good.

British TV – there are a few British series that I watched all the way through this year, and a few that were so short they didn’t make it to proper reviews, but generally I find that I really have to force myself to watch them. Partly it’s self-fulfilling, I watch mostly US stuff, so I mostly read US blogs etc and therefore mostly find out about US stuff. I often find out about British stuff a couple of episodes in and then never get round to catching up. iPlayer et al help, but it’s one of the areas that I’d like to watch more of this year.

The Walking Dead: Season 1

The Walking Dead title screenThere were only 6 episodes in the first season, so between that and the fact that I’m massively behind with my writing not many posts have been by since I reviewed the pilot of this. Once you’ve edited out the ‘previously on Walking Dead’ sequences, the long (but very pretty) title sequences, slow lingering (all be it beautifully lit and framed) movie-style landscape shots and a fair amount of recapping by the characters themselves – the season is barely longer than an average film, it really doesn’t give it much time to develop and pretty much all the issues I had with the pilot carry through, and in some cases got worse.

My key feeling about the pilot was that while the concept was new for television, if you’d seen a couple of zombie films there wasn’t much original going on. After a couple of episodes I realised that even for television it wasn’t very original – Survivors (new or old) and the recent Day of the Triffids miniseries on the BBC, or the short lived Jeremiah and Jericho in the US told similar stories.

I can get past the lack of originality, the cliché plots were at least well told and engaging, if a little slow going. The thing I found hardest to overcome however was the lack of self-awareness. I described the pilot as feeling like it existed in a vacuum and it continues to do so. According to the imdb trivia page, the word ‘zombies’ is never used in the first season… that’s not a good thing! The scariness of shows like this should come not just from the gore factor (which is very impressive), but from the familiarity of the characters – that these people struggling to survive were just like you and I before the trigger that separates their lives from ours. But they didn’t live in our world, because not a one of them references George Romero or Left 4 Dead. It places the characters outside of our world – you never know what else is different, so you never really know what’s been lost.

I watched the first two episodes as they aired and then stored up the remaining four and watched them in a marathon one afternoon. But by the time I was starting to see some nuances in the characters and their relationships, the show was over. What separates television from the cinema is that there’s the chance to linger, to tell the little side stories and set up long running plots and mysteries. But while there were a few bits that would clearly have never made it past the edit of a film (a nice sequence about laundry, some family stories and issues) and the 2nd episode dragged horribly, the next four episodes all felt far too rushed. Plans were conceived, discussed, decided, undertaken and resolved every couple of episodes, I didn’t want a feature film paced story every week, that’s why I was watching television.

Had this had been a 20 episodes, or even 13 episode season (which season 2 will be), the first six episodes would form a good scene setter – familiarising with how the world currently works, how they got there and introducing the characters before smoothly transitioning from them ‘surviving’ to actually ‘living’ – rebuilding and planning for the future. But we now have to wait a year for that to happen, and that makes me feel a bit like I’ve been conned into watching an extended preview.

Pilot Review: The Walking Dead

Do you like zombie films? If you do, the good news is that you’ll like this. The bad news is, that at least as far as the pilot goes, you’ve pretty much seen it all before.

Give or take a couple of teaser scenes, the pilot starts with a cop waking up in a hospital to find that while he’s been asleep everything’s gone to hell in a handbasket. Deserted streets, blood smeared walls, bodies piled up, doors rattling. Eventually the zombies shamble their way on to the scene, our befuddled hero finds some exposition laden humans and off he trundles with a bag load of shotguns and a snazzy hat in search of his missing family.

The pilot really did feel like a middling-budget zombie film. That’s not to say it was bad, just a bit average. The characters are pretty one dimensional, falling into reasonably tried and tested slots. The dialogue is fine, the writing tidy enough, but it’s all a bit too unremarkable. Waking up in a hospital has been done in everything from Day of the Triffids to 28 Days Later and the plot doesn’t get massively more original than that, each cliché is solid and the transitions smooth, but at the end of the day, they’re all still clichés.

On the positive side, the production values were superb for television, with extremely good direction, make-up and special effects. The zombies themselves were pitched about right – individuals are no real threat, they’re too slow and stupid more creepy in their unrelenting pursuit and vacant stares than anything else. But they flock together in a slightly terrifying way, gradually building in numbers until they just over-run you. Then they eat you. Being on Cable in the US means it can be a bit more graphic, and they certainly make the most of that opportunity.

I was disappointed in the pilot to be honest. Maybe I was being unreasonably demanding, but I was hoping for something more. While zombies are a new subject for television, that’s not enough to make it original over all. I just expect a bit more flavour and originality from my supernatural based tv shows, a bit more self-awareness and spark. I struggle with shows set in the present that aren’t aware of the rest of the media that has come before them – Supernatural just did a vampire episode referencing Twilight the whole way through, Buffy had seen the Dracula movies… but The Walking Dead felt like it existed in a vacuum.

The interest I think will come in a couple of episodes time, when it becomes clear that this is a TV show, that this can run for hours and hours. The frustration with zombie films for me has always been that they are forced to stop too soon. I want to see how they continue to rebuild and deal with long term issues. So I’ll keep watching it, partly to see where it goes (there’s only half a dozen or so episodes in the first season) but mostly because even if it’s not particularly original in the history of the genre, it’s still a more interesting concept than 90% of the rest of what’s on television at the moment.

The Walking Dead is on FX, 10pm Fridays in the UK.

TVSquad -On the whole, I’d say ‘The Walking Dead’ worth a look, no matter what your genre preferences, but horror aficionados are more likely to enjoy this intense, blood-spattered tale, which, like all AMC dramas, is about as aesthetically well-crafted as a TV show can be.

CliqueClack – So far I’m very pleased with how the series has been translated to television. I can’t imagine that existing fans will be disappointed. As for newcomers, you either know what you’re getting into and should be happy with it, or will be revolted and/or frightened to the point that you’ll quickly know the series isn’t for you. I give the first couple of episode high marks, for sure. I cannot say I’m disappointed in the least.

Links: wikipedia, Official site, imdb,