Tuesday, March 22, 2016

'The Walking Dead': best season yet?

This blog is often critical of post-modern, mass media-driven culture in general, and the television and film industry in particular.

But there are exceptions: The Americans, FX's spy series about Russian undercover agents living and operating in the suburban America of the Reagan era, is the most creative television series I have ever seen.

The Walking Dead (AMC), now in its sixth season, would be this blog's second choice for Best Thing on TV.

Not that every season has been stellar. Yes, one or two past seasons of TWD have been sub-standard. The zombocalypse is actually a constraining field of play for a long-running series. There is the inevitable tendency toward self-repetition, as one revisits the constant themes of survival and the methodical killing the omnipresent zombie.

But most seasons of The Walking Dead have been very good, indeed.

The Walking Dead has worked so well for so long because the focus is on strong characters and ambitious storytelling, according to the best traditions of both film and fiction.

You don't tune in to The Walking Dead every week because you want to see yet one more zombie blasted by an AK-47. You tune in because you are invested in the characters, and you want to see how the latest cliffhanger ends.

The Walking Dead is worth your time; and so far, Season 6 is one of the most interesting seasons yet.