#EntertainmentPSB: “The Walking Dead” – Season Six – February 11, 2016
By: Kris Watkins @KrisWatkinsPSB and Jonathan Hemingway @JLHemingwayPSB
The Walking Dead returns this Sunday with a mid-season premier for Season Six. When the first half of season ended, Alexandria was in disarray. Walkers broke through the walls and the group is attempting an escape. Here is commentary on the show from PSB Pop Culture analysts Jonathan Hemingway and Kris Watkins, who have tuned in to the show faithfully over the previous seasons.
Predictions for the Upcoming Season:
HEMINGWAY: I think this is the season where the group will face the most formidable challenge to date. The teasers at the end of last season alludes to this. Daryl and company run into a character that introduces himself as Negan. From all accounts, Negan’s group is not only evil but they are competent. In the past, Rick and company have been able to outsmart if not out muscle potential enemies. It now appears that Negan’s group will challenge the group in ways unseen before.
At this moment, who is your favorite character and why?
HEMINGWAY: Of course I like Rick, but everyone loves Rick. If you don’t like Rick – then you don’t like the show. But in terms of a character really growing and being intriguing I would say Carol. Here is a woman that was a victim of domestic abuse at the beginning of the story. Now she has just morphed into this strong and cunning character. Not only will she not take anything from anyone, she knows how to stay a step in front of her enemy. Her presentation of herself to Alexandria as this pie-making homemaker was brilliant. All the while she was preparing to protect herself and others from the naïve in the town.
WATKINS: Daryl is a character who I look forward to seeing every episode. He has an old soul and it shows throughout each season. I think he battles with being a part of the group and wanting to be a loner. I think he is beginning to no longer want to follow Rick’s lead. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a split in the group at some point this season and I could see him leading the break.
Who is your least favorite character and why?
WATKINS: I despise Carl and I am ready for him to go. I watch every episode hoping that he gets attacked by walkers and winds up dead with Rick holding him in his arms yelling “CAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRLLLLLLLLL.” I really cannot figure out what his purpose in the show is and I do not feel like his character has developed at all since they left the prison. His only purpose is to hold his sister Judith in scenes. I believe it is his time to man up and start acting like a MAN. He had a chance to win me over in the last episode when he could have killed Ron and had Enid for himself (This is something is father, Rick, would have done/has done when he killed Pete), but instead he didn’t and I think this leaves the opportunity for Ron to kill him later this season.
— Kris Watkins (@KrisWatkinsPSB) February 2, 2016
HEMINGWAY: Father Gabriel needs to go. This guy infuriates me. Not only is a coward and apparently cost the lives of his entire congregation, but at a critical moment he calls Rick’s group “Dangerous People.” What a jerk! This group saved his sorry butt more than once. His tangled past and mental instability are a liability.
Favorite moment from the Series:
WATKINS: Without a doubt my favorite moment of the season was when Rick killed Shane. In the scene Shane is questioning everything about Rick’s manhood and ability to care for his own family telling him, “I am a better father than you Rick, I’m better for Lori than you…I’m a better man than you Rick.” I think this is the moment when Rick’s character really took shape for me to become the man he has to be to keep his group/family alive. I think that the fact the he kills him by stabbing as opposed to shooting him shows the darkness Rick is willing to go because stabbing is more intimate as opposed to simply shooting Shane.
HEMINGWAY: Episode 1 of Season 5 was epic. It appears that Rick, Glen and Daryl are about to get their necks sliced by the cannibals at Terminus. Then at the right moment Carol, coated in walker blood and entrails, launches a fire cracker into a gas tank and creates a huge explosion. This creates a distraction that allows Rick and company to escape their doom. Eventually the group is able to escape Terminus and their once cannibalized fate.
What is the most important theme of the series?
HEMINGWAY: It could be a cliché by now, but I think it is worth repeating: What does it mean to be human? The show takes the viewer to some pretty dark places in this post-apocalyptic world. No government, no civilization and virtually no hope to escape the impending doom of being ate by zombies. The writers of the show do a masterful job of developing the characters and showing their growth. Rick, who was once soft in comparison to Shane, now acts like a savage at times. It is through this that the audience can play out the “What would I do while being surrounded by walkers” scenario. In a world that has no clear definition of right and wrong, Rick’s group always seem to balance survival with what is the right thing to do. And if you think about it, don’t we all do that on a daily basis? Minus the zombies, of course.
WATKINS: I think the two major themes that currently go hand in hand are Morality and Family. There are times you may have to do things that maybe are not necessarily moral/humane in order to protect your family. You see this time and time again with the main group of the show has to test the limits of how far they are willing to go to protect their family. It will be interesting this season to see the links Rick and his crew are willing to protect their own.
If you have never tuned into the series, why should you on Sunday?
HEMINGWAY: Zombie movies, Sci-Fi genres were not in my rotation of entertainment just a few years ago. My programming choices consisted of ESPN or TBS prior to being married. Life changes. Although The Walking Dead does directly conflict with Sunday Night Football during the NFL season, I finally heeded my wife’s recommendation and began watching this series about a year and half ago. All of this is to say, this show reaches a broad audience of viewers from all over the country.
Moreover, the quality of writing, production and visual affects is movie quality. It once could have been said that true quality of entertainment could only be found at the movie theater. TV entertainment was once known for sitcom laughs or soap opera quality acting in the evening. This is not true of shows like The Walking Dead on AMC. The acting quality and storylines play out weekly like that on the big screen. The enjoyment of having to wait from week to week or even months to see the next twist in the story only fuels anticipation. Give it a shot when the show returns this Sunday – I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Jonathan Hemingway is a Chicago sports fan who reps the Bears, Bulls and Cubs. He’s also a diehard NFL Sunday Ticket subscriber. Like Clay, Hemingway’s music taste are wide-ranged and depend on the day. He is also a major part of PeachStateBasketball.com wearing multiple hats with the title of Director of Domestic Scouting and owning CoachHemi.com.
Kris Watkins is a contributor to PSBPopCulture.com. He’s well-versed in multiple walks of life from the latest Brooks sneakers to gluten free beverages. In his spare time, Watkins is considered a go-to in the world video editing and junior college basketball recruiting. Make sure to follow Watkins on Instagram and Twitter @KrisWatkinsPSB.