Sunday, February 19, 2012

She got a TV Eye on Me!

Yes, I'm watching a few things- the continually ongoing brilliance that is Portlandia. (Seriously, if you're not even going and watching clips from Youtube, or something, do I know you? Who are you? Why are you reading this? You clearly must be making fun of me. Is there a drinking game involved? Can I play? Because I can pickle that.)
And, now, the return of The Walking Dead, or, as the last episode showed- The walking Dad.
Seriously, one of the things that moves this show forward is the subtext of an exploration of masculinity. If you watch the show, you're probably starting to nod your head. This is a show about what it means to be human, first, Zombie panic armageddon second, but then, in a very strong third- what it means to be a man. Not just because there are so many Male characters, but because so much of the plot revolves around questions like how to be brave, how to be a father, how to balance courage with caution, how to accept both the comfort and the carelessness of women, and mostly, how to make the hard decisions. I know that I come from a pretty backwards place, sexism-wise. I was raised in a super-traditional family for gender roles. I gravitated towards hyper-masculine things by nature, as well- Boxing, motorcycles, fixing things, physics, misunderstanding girls, yup, I'm pretty much a guy. Many of my friends are guys, too-Mechanics, Engineers, Firemen and so on. I was raised in an enlightened age, though, so, I am aware that there are other ways of being, and I can even see the short-comings in my own way. But, my default position is pretty caveman. So, a show like this really does speak to me. Sure, there are no zombies, but there is crime, and piss-poor choices, and environmental woes, and a lot of jerk offs out there totally lacking in character. So, I can relate to the struggle of how do you raise your son so that he can protect himself, but also have hope and joy. I can understand how you have to have the courage of your convictions, but be prepared to have those convictions challenged, and then, sometimes collapsed. So, you tell me, what kind of a zombie show has a guy like me considering stuff like this? Yes, that's right, a damn good one.
On the other hand, I don't always watch the good stuff. I was excited for HBO's Luck, and the people involved ( Hoffman, Nolte, Farina, Michael Mann, Jill Hennesy, etc) really are great, but it just fails to move me. I know it's good stuff, but I'm just not that into it.
So, with my taste fully in question, of course, you shouldn't just take my word for it, but decide for yourself- Is The Walking Dead a feast, while Luck is a salad wrap? I don't know, but I can tell you what I like...

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