Thursday, April 14, 2016

I Ain't No Negative Nellie: A Bunch of People I Genuinely Like

So, as my faithful readers already know, I do a regular feature here at the ole blog, entitled "People Who Need to be Punched in the Face." For those not in the know, this feature is just what it sounds like, a list of people who I believe need to be punched in the face. You know, people like Chris Martin or Lena Dunham or Ted Cruz. Now granted, this feature is all just tongue-in-cheek (all fun-n-games), and I do not really advocate punching anyone in the face, but it still might be construed as a bit on the negative side. So, to counteract this image, and to prove that I am not, as the title so eloquently reads, a Negative Nellie, here are a slew of peeps I genuinely like. Nothing negative here. Just positive thinking. And without further ado, here they are, in no particular order.

Norman Reedus
Hillary Clinton
Bruce Banner
Michael Fassbender
Tom Hiddleston
Kendall Jenner
Lady Gaga
Sterling Archer
Maurice G. Esworthy III
Whoever wrote that Shoop Shoop song
People who bring me cake
Chris Hardwick
Wil Wheaton
Brazilians
Jimmy McGill
Winona Ryder
Don Draper
Bjork
Hawkeye
Hasil Farrell
Holly Golightly
Female Leads in Star Wars Films
The 1988 Chicago Bears
Marcy Louise Proust
Hopey & Maggie
Eeyore
Negan
Fried Chicken
The Late Kurt Vonnegut
Jughead Jones (my Spirit Animal)
Vampires who do NOT Sparkle
Daniel Day Lewis
Liz Lemon
Leslie Knope
Gal Pal Rachel Greene
The Atari 2600
Pete Rose
Hypodermic Sally
The Little Missus (of course)
HAL 3000 from 2001
Aaron Sorkin
The Creator of the Spork
Leslie Jones
Linus Van Pelt
Ron Fucking Swanson
Rick Fucking Grimes
Bill Motherfucking Murray
The Funko Company
Jen & Gary
People named Pablo
Peter Pez
Matt Smith
Ben Affleck as Batman
The Gang at Comix Connection
Benedict Cumberbatch
Clark Gregg
Peggy Olson
C.T. Liotta
Mr. Spock
Rat Fink
Alan Moore
Mathilde
Yoko Ono
Tim Curry
Laverne Cox
Justin Timberlake
Dr. Peter Venkman
Jane Eyre (the Cat, not the Character)
Randy Macho Man Savage
Reina Wooden (aka the Artist known as r76)
That Guy who works with Flo at Progressive
Mayor Adam West
Carrie Fisher
Sliced Bread
Michael Stipe
Squirrel Girl
Esther Rosenblatt
Ryan Stroup
Ken Jennings
Sarah Paulsen
Zooey & Fanchette
Cap'n Smiley-Face
Chloe Sevigny
and
Jesus (He's just alright with me)

See, I really do like people. A lot of people.
Don't worry though, people will be getting punched in the face again soon.
That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.


Monday, April 4, 2016

The Walking Dead Season 6 Finale: Who Did Negan Kill ??

As those who watched the season 6 finale of The Walking Dead last night, already know (and yes, spoilers ahead), Negan has finally made his long anticipated TV debut. And as all of us know, he beats someone to death in the final scene. And, as we also know, the screen goes black before we find out just who gets the death sentence. Instead, we will have to wait until season 7, coming in October, to find out who the poor bloody victim is. I love me a good cliffhanger, so well played AMC. Well played.

Ok, so unlike the Season 6 finale of The Walking Dead, we are going to get all the suspense out of the way immediately. The probabilities of just who Negan killed, who Negan beat to death with the barbed wire wrapped baseball bat he calls Lucille, in that epic cliffhanger season finale episode last night, in order of likelihood, are...um...er...okay, maybe a little more suspense. But hey, please allow me to pontificate a bit, and explain my reasoning, and maybe even let ya'll in on who I think got Lucille'd last night.

But before we get to all that, I would like to give a big ole shout out to the great Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who made one hell of a debut in last night's episode. In case you don't know, and why would you even be reading this if you did not, Jeffrey Dean Morgan has been cast as Negan, the most badass comic book antagonist this side of the Joker. Leader of the group called The Saviors, he is a true psychopath who kills with great glee, but Negan is also one of the most charming motherfuckers the zombie apocalypse has ever seen. Negan's (and Morgan's) highly anticipated debut, and killer (figuratively AND literally) seven minute monologue at episode's end, has abruptly made the guy my new favourite character on my current favourite TV show. But now, on with those aforementioned reasonings. Oh, and as always, spoilers ahead maties.

First off, let's face facts. Rick Grimes is not going down. He is the crux of the show. Maybe in the series finale, whenever in the future that may be, but Negan is not going to take Lucille to him right now. Anyway, the whole idea of killing one of the group, is to teach Rick a lesson. To make Rick suffer, so he tells his group to do as the Saviors say. Hence, Rick is not getting the business end of Lucille. Other unlikely candidates would be Carl and Michonne. True, they, especially Carl, would be the best ways to teach Rick that lesson, but neither one is likely to be the dead one come that season 7 opening scene. Rick losing two love interests so close together seems unlikely, and Carl, in the comics at least, becomes the co-lead as time goes on, and he may end up doing that n the show as well. And anyway, he has some unfinished business (cue sexytime music) with Enid.

A little more likely, but still not all that probable, is Maggie. In the comics, after losing everything, including her husband Glenn (more on that in a bit), the newly widowed Maggie becomes the leader of the Hilltop community, and it would seem that they are setting her up for that on the show as well. If that is so, then killing her here, does not seem plausible. Although, to play devil's advocate of sorts, this episode was really digging into how important Maggie is to Rick. So maybe this would teach him that lesson of which he is so in need. Still unlikely though.


Anyhoo, another possibility, and one that actually makes sense, is Abraham. He is a major enough character to be a hard enough hit for fans and characters alike, but not so major as to offend the fanbase. Now the TV Abraham has already cheated his comic death, as AMC gave his comic death to poor Doctor Denise a few episodes back. So to kill him here, kinda makes sense. Then again, series creator Robert Kirkman, has stated that he regretted having killed off Abraham, the one actual soldier in the group, right at the beginning of the comic story arc "All Out War," which is where they are right now on the show. So maybe not.

Then we have those minor (and minor-esque) characters in that final scene showdown. I don't think the deaths of Aaron, Sasha, Rosita, or even Eugene, would elicit enough of a reaction from the audience to merit being Lucille's first victim. So, making any of these characters the initial death in this new arc, may seem like a cheat of sorts. Then again, Eugene has finally come into his own recently, so perhaps his death would maybe elicit the proper response, in both viewers and his fellow characters. So maybe it is going to be Eugene after all. Abraham and the others had already said their goodbyes to him when he went off on an apparent suicide mission earlier in the episode.

And that brings us to Daryl Dixon. Since Daryl is an original character made for the show, he has no comic doppelganger, and therefore is a clean slate, whose death would not affect any future comic-related storylines. But, as we all know, Daryl is the most popular character on the show. Sure, Rick and Glenn and Michonne all have their own fandoms, but nothing like Daryl Dixon. Killing him off would take balls by Kirkman and AMC, and would be both awesome and horrific. But come on people. Killing Daryl could also ruin the show. Yes, the zombie apocalypse could easily go on without Daryl Dixon in it, but his popularity could see a severe backlash if Daryl were to go down. And there is also the branding of the show. Yes, Rick, aka Andrew Lincoln, is the star, but it is Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, whose face is splayed across all the show's merchandise. Would AMC have the cajones to kill off the literal face of the show? I think maybe not.

Which leaves us with our most likely candidate, Glenn Rhee. Now I know the show plays fast and loose with the comic book continuity (like Carol being a twenty something housewife, who dies by feeding herself to a walker she delusionally believes to be her friend, and Sophia growing into teenhood, and actually still being alive in the comic), but every once and a while (the taking back of Alexandria, Rick's taking down the Claimers) the show does match up with what Kirkman originally scripted. That being said, it is a strong possibility that this will be one of those match-ups, and just like in the comic, Negan will beat Glenn to death in front of the group. But come on guys, isn't that a bit too obvious? Yeah, who knows. From a narrative standpoint, the logical turn of events is to take down Glenn. But will they do it?

As we have already discussed, whomever goes down first (and yes, Negan will kill others throughout season 7, don't you think he won't) needs to be a major death. Glenn would definitely be that death. Of course so would either Carl or Daryl. Now, as we watched that final scene progress, and Negan finally got into his eeny meeny minie moe rap, the camerawork got very impressionistic - and that was on purpose. Director (and make-up guru) Greg Nicotero, who has helmed some of the best and most artistic of Walking Dead episodes, takes us on a ride again. No matter how much we Zapruder the footage, we can not get a real take on the angle, and who Negan beats before the screen goes black. As best as I can tell (and you really can't tell) it looks like the angle may say it is either Eugene or Carl. Could it be? Negan does say about cutting out the boy's other eye if anyone screams, which could mean that it isn't Carl who gets the beat down. But then who?

Well, logic says Glenn, but the safe bet would be either Abraham, who does appear to impress Negan at one point (take down the toughest first) or Eugene, who has become rather popular lately. Not too big, but not too small a kill either. But why would they want to be safe. My gut says it is Eugene, so that who we are going with here. I would love to see them have the balls to take down Daryl or even Carl though. Yes, I am going to miss any of these characters, but it would be nice to see them do the unthinkable. Maybe Daryl has run his course. Dwight has the crossbow now (a weapon he wields in the Daryl-less comic) and his character, though beloved, has the least amount of future possibilities. Yeah, that's right. But in the end, I don't think AMC has the balls for that one. Negan does say his victim is taking it like a champ, which could make one lean to the likes of Daryl or Abraham. Of course Carl could pull that off too. But hey, my gut says Eugene, so I'm sticking with that choice, even if it is a bit too safe for my liking.

Then again, I will probably flip flop between Eugene & Carl (who are still alive in the comic), Abraham & Glenn (who are not), and Daryl (who has never existed in the comic), all Summer long. Dammit AMC! Why do we have to wait six months. When Kristen shot JR (oh sorry, spoiler alert) back in 1981, we only had to wait four months. Anyhoo, there ya have it. Eugene for the win...er, the loss. Whatever. That's it gang. See ya 'round the web. Wait...maybe it's Daryl. Aaaaahhhhhh!!! I want to change my answer!! No I don't! Yes I do!! Aaaaaahhhhhhh!! But Eugene hooks up with Rosita in the comics! We don't want to miss that! Could it really be Daryl!? Maybe they will riot after all. Now I am saying Daryl. Get the balls AMC. I dare ya to kill off your most popular character! I double dare ya! I triple dog dare ya!! Or maybe Abe!? Egads! Yes! Abe. Final answer! Abraham! Damn, I'm gonna miss that motherdicking galoot.