News, scoops, reviews and more from TV land.
"The Walking Dead" is back for the second half of its fourth season Sunday. Here, without further babble, is my review. Bottom line: I still love this show, rolling zombie heads and all.
"The Walking Dead," AMC, Sunday, 9 p.m.
What it's about: In the wake of the epic prison battle between "The Governor's" (David Morrissey) forces and those loosely led by Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), there is only death and chaos. The survivors begin to scatter as the "walkers" overrun the prison, now completely abandoned. Nothing -- in other words -- is the same. Battered Rick and son Carl (Chandler Riggs) stumble away to who-knows-what-or-where. Michonne (Danai Gurira) and her trusty katana hack their way through the chaos, too. But what remains of the others -- Glenn (Steven Yuen) or of Maggie (Lauren Cohan) or Daryl (Norman Reedus) or Lilly (Audrey Marie Anderson) or ANYONE? All questions awaiting answers as the second half of the fourth season begins Sunday.
My say: In the 2006 novel by Cormac McCarthy, "The Road" -- later made into the movie of the same name with Viggo Mortensen -- a man and his son pick their perilous way through a post-apocalyptic landscape that is (initially) sculpted only with questions and no answers. That's your scene-setter for Sunday night, too, and quite possibly the balance of the season: Down that long, muddy road where Rick and Carl struggle is most certainly danger -- but what lies at the end?
AMC has said "The Walking Dead" could go on for years and years, so that metaphoric highway now extends to a vanishing point on the horizon. But that tension of not knowing what lies around the next corner, or behind that closed door, or in the shadow of the dark woods is what has always animated "Dead" at its best.
Yet the "not knowing" turns Sunday night into a joy ride of real terror. For, like the survivors, we are all now in an unknown world surrounded (paradoxically) by familiar things -- white picket fences, cans of pudding, spacious homes with spacious, airy porches.
(Carl looks on in joy and wonderment at a wide-screen TV alongside a huge stack of DVDs, then his face clouds over: Oh, right.)
Sunday is brutal, but is also another reset that allows just the briefest light of humor and humanity to penetrate the gloom. And it is terrific.
Bottom line: "Dead" brazenly reinvents itself once again, and the result will have you crawl under the living room couch for safety. (Ah, yes, couches, thank goodness for those.)
"The Walking Dead" returns Feb. 9 and...oh, enough! You really don't want any more words, do you? You want to see the clip. And as promised...
"Mad Men" will be back a bit sooner than most of expected: April.
AMC just announced this:
Sunday, April 13 at 10PM ET, the highly-anticipated first half of the final season of “Mad Men” will launch.
(And don't worry -- not that you necessarily will -- but "Game of Thrones," which starts a week earlier, is at 9.)
Yes, even the Governor ("...don't call me that") gets his own tribute: AMC just released what must be one of the year's most unique and unexpected love letters - to the Beast of Woodbury himself. As fans are sorrowfully aware, the Guv ate steel in the season finale. And he did not like being called "The Govenor." David Morrissey did a terrific job portraying one of TV's great villains over the past few years. .Take a look...
For those not otherwise engaged on the shank-end of 2013, this . . . an all-you-can eat "Breaking Bad" and "Walking Dead" marathon. (Come to think of it, scratch the phrase "all you can eat" in the context of anything to do with "The Walking Dead." Let's just call this a binge party!)
The binge party begins Dec. 27, and herewith the details:
"A four-day Breaking Bad marathon, which kicks off at noon ET/PT each day from Friday, Dec. 27 through Monday, Dec. 30, will feature every episode from the series’ critically acclaimed five seasons, making AMC the only destination for cable subscribers to watch every Breaking Bad episode for free. On New Year’s Eve day, Dec. 31, at 9 a.m. ET/PT, AMC will air a two-day marathon of The Walking Dead. Beginning with the pilot, episodes will air back-to-back in chronological order until 5 a.m. ET on Jan. 2, 2014."
AMC last week announced a pair of drama newcomers, including this intriguing period one -- "Turn," based on Alexander Rose's "Washington's Spies." Series arrives next spring, and stars UK actor Jamie Bell. Here's AMC's IMDB description:
Set in the summer of 1778, show tells the story of New York farmer Abe Woodhull, who bands together with a group of childhood friends to form the Culper Ring, an unlikely group of spies who turn the tide in America's fight for independence.
And as promised ... a preview: