Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Walking Dead, it's not just about the characters you know...

Sure AMC's new zombie apocalypse drama has a bizarre love triangle at its core.  Sure we get an insight into how foolishly and un-heriocally any of us might act under extreme pressure.

But there's also a whole lotta zombies getting shot, stabbed, smacked, stomped and sworn at. Here is every zombie execution from Series 1:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A break from our usual programming: X-Factor final. And tarts and that.

I rather fancy i'm pretty unshockable. I've seen all your Frankie Boyles and your 2 Girls One Cup and such. And survived.

But I did think that the dance routine around Christina Aguilera's solo number was a bit rich. Fine for Zoo readers with their elasticated waistbands and muscly wrists, but not ideal for X-Factor's young, and substantially female audience.

What's the lesson there? If you want to make it in showbusiness, you had better get your arse out? It may be the truth, but like the non-existence of Santa Claus it's an inconvenient truth that as parents we postpone telling for as long as we can.

I was cross and tweeted about it a bit. My wife actually did something about it. Here's her email to ITV. You might find the email address or some key turns of phrase helpful if you felt the same way we did.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Walking Dead, and the mainstreaming of zombie horror

Every now and then, a TV show comes along that is worth making a noise about.

Not the noise of revulsion that you make when someone eats a rat-dick vol-au-vent on I’m a Celebrity. I mean the noise where you tell everyone you know how great it is and you get more and more vociferous in the show’s praise as they look increasingly skeptical.

So it was with The Sopranos and The Wire. Both reframed the cops and robbers format as something far more thoughtful and thought provoking, while still finding room for action, humour, and no small amount of sexy.

I’m old enough to remember when there was no sex on British TV. I’m old enough to remember when there was no sex in British-made movies.

The ‘X’ certificate, the equivalent of today’s commercial suicide ’18’, was awarded almost exclusively to horror flicks.

Looking back from today’s perspective on Hammer’s lovably camp output, it’s difficult to see why Christopher Lee’s conjunctivitis or Ralph Bates’s improbable transgender antics might endanger the equilibrium of young minds, but that was the age that we then lived in.

The age of the shambling monster; Frankenstein’s creature, the zombie and his exotic cousin the living Mummy seemed over as we segued from the shockable Sixties into the seen-it-all Seventies.

Serial killers and other assorted psychos moved into that space. The shamblers never really went away, of course - George A Romero almost singlehandedly kept their dim, brain-hungry flame alive.

The only creatures who seemed able to survive the end of the classic horror era were the vampires. The thing about vampires - as currently demonstrated in True Blood - is that it’s not much of a stretch to make them sexy.

Yes, even though they’re essentially talkative corpses.

Not even Michael Jackson could make zombies sexy.