Something Creepy You Might Not Have Noticed in ‘The Walking Dead’

The Walking Dead has no shortage of creepy things—from tense sequences to jump scares and everything in between. But there is one element of The Walking Dead that often goes unnoticed, and it’s definitely one of the creepiest things of the show, once you know how to pay attention to it.

The creep factor? The zombies. Not just in general—although they are, of course, pretty darn creepy—but their evolution as the show has progressed in time. As the show’s creative designers have revealed, the zombies are designed to mimic human decomposition as time goes on. Meaning that the zombies from season 1 are much more “fresh” than the zombies in the current season.

Consider the look of the zombies in the first episodes—most of them, with a few exceptions, look like they were recently deceased. Many of them have most or all of their skin intact, and have little signs of decomposing outside of a loss of color and a general lifeless to their appearance… In season 2, many of the zombies can be seen with sunken eyes, exposed bits of muscle and bone, as well as more decomposed skin that make it more obvious that they are further along in their decomposition. Seasons 3 and 4 likewise follow suit: by season 4, many of the zombies look like true rotting corpses.

But the evolution of the zombies isn’t limited to their appearance. Even their movements and deaths differ between the earlier season and the later seasons. In the earlier seasons, when the zombies were killed they fell mostly like human bodies. In the later seasons, watch the zombies as they are shot—their bodies often fall apart easily. Why? Because a human corpse, rotting and exposed to the hot Southern weather, would be much more likely to crumble apart the longer it’s exposed.

There’s no telling just how far the ‘zombies’ in The Walking Dead will progress in terms of decomposition and general wear and tear. Theoretically, they need their brains in order to keep functioning, since the science of the show attributes their behavior to a virus that affects the brain and brain function—if this science continues to hold true for the show, perhaps humanity could just wait out the apocalypse until the zombies brains fall off the bone due to decomposition.

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3 Great Easter Eggs from Fox’s Gotham Premiere

Fox’s Gotham tackles the prequel story to the ever-popular Batman franchise; rather than focusing on the deeds of the bat-caped crusader, Gotham will instead focus on a young James Gordon (yes, the future Commissioner of Gotham!) as he navigates the dark, seedy and corrupt world of Gotham City. Gordon’s first big case is, naturally, the infamous murder of the Waynes, witnessed by their young son Bruce.

Gotham earned respectful ratings for its season premiere, and many critics are praising the show for its cinematography, acting and its ability to appeal to those who haven’t even picked up a single Batman comic. But there is still plenty of tidbits and fun trivia for Batman fanatics to enjoy—did you spot the following Easter eggs in the show’s first episode?

Ben Mckenzie as 'James Gordon' in FOX's 'Gotham'
Ben Mckenzie as ‘James Gordon’ in FOX’s ‘Gotham’

The Mayor
This is an Easter egg that even some of the most diehard Batman fans missed. In a brief scene, the Mayor of Gotham—Aubrey James—was seen addressing a news crew about the murder of the Wayne family. In the comic books (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, issue 204, to be exact) Aubrey James is labeled as one of the “Madmen of Gotham,” who were designing a drug that would suppress violent tendancies in criminals but ultimately gave them strange superhuman powers.

Renee Montoya

New time ‘Gotham’ initiates could tell that something was up with the relationship between Renee Montoya, the detective and Barbara Gordon, James’s Gordon’s wife. But fans of the Batman animated series and comic book series will recognize her as the same Renee Montoya who ended up being courted by Two-Face/Harvey Dent, before she revealed that she was not attracted to men. In the comic series, Montoya revealed that she had once been in a relationship with Batwoman; given the dialogue between the two, it seems likely that the “Gotham” version of Montoya may have been in a relationship with Gordon’s wife, Barbara.

The Villains Gallery

Gotham's 'Rise of the Villains' promo
Gotham’s ‘Rise of the Villains’ promo

If there was anything Batman fans took away from the Gotham premier, it was an abundance of future Batman villain references. The medical examiner Edward Nygma—who eventually becomes the Riddler—talks in riddles; a young redheaded girl named ‘Ivy Pepper’ who is seen near the plants in her home; and, of course, Oswald Cobblepot as a smalltime gangster who is cruelly nicknamed ‘Penguin’ by his compatriots in crime. Holy Villain Foreshadowing, Batman!

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New fall show for NBC: State of Affairs

Among its new shows this fall, NBC is premiering a political-thriller/drama called State of Affairs. The show has an impressive cast that includes Katherine Heigl, Alfre Woodard, and Adam Kaufman. Heigl will undoubtedly be the show’s big draw. She stars as a CIA analyst named Charleston Tucker who has the weighty responsibility of putting together the President’s Daily Briefing. The briefing is a record of the top conflicts and issues the United States is grappling with. It’s up to Tucker and her team of CIA analysts to decide which issues make the list. The team holds a remarkable degree of power. Their decisions have tremendous consequences—both politically and ideologically—and they work under incredible pressure.

Charleston, who goes by the nickname Charlie, is close to President Constance Payton. In one of State of Affairs’ many interesting twists, the president is played by Woodard, a black woman. Her relationship with Charlie provides a fascinating counterpoint to the big power politics that drive the show. Charlie was engaged to President Woodard’s son, who died in a terrorist attack. Charlie, who lived through the attack, has made it her goal to find those responsible for it and make them pay. Struggling to keep her emotional life separate from her working life, Charlie finds herself acting in ways that—to put it delicately—aren’t quite the status quo when it comes to government. However, her job is her life, and her loyalty to President Woodard and her country unwavering. Whether or not she’s able to nab the folks responsible for the death of her fiance’ is one of many reasons viewers will be drawn into this sophisticated, suspense-fueled series.

Watchers will recognize Alfre Woodard from the long-running TV show Desperate Housewives and from her appearance in the acclaimed film 12 Years a Slave. And, of course, the show’s star, Katherine Heigl will be familiar to fans of Grey’s Anatomy, the ABC drama in which she starred as Dr. Isobel Stevens. The new show marks a return to network TV for the Emmy Award-winning actress, who left Grey’s Anatomy in 2010 and has since starred in a number of films.

State of Affairs is directed by Joe Carnahan of NBC’s popular series The Blacklist. The show is set to air on Monday, November 17 at 10:00 EST, right after the hit reality music show The Voice.

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Everybody’s favorite new show: Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black, the surprise hit series on Netflix, picked up twelve nominations at the Emmy Awards last month in a wide range of categories: Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing, and Outstanding Lead Actress. The latter Emmy nod went to Taylor Schilling, who starts in the cutting-edge show as Piper Chapman, an upper-middle-class woman from New York whose past catches up with her when she receives a sentence of 15 months in a federal women’s prison for a drug deal that took place 10 years earlier. Piper, who is bisexual, had delivered drug money to her girlfriend, a smuggler named Alex. Needless to say, Piper, who in her normal life shops at Whole Foods and favors Toms shoes, has some adapting to do when she hits prison. To make matters even more interesting, she’s joined there by Alex (who’s played by Laura Prepon), and the enforced reunion allows the former couple to look back at their relationship.

Orange Is the New Black turned out to be a huge success when it made its debut on Netflix last summer. The second season, which aired in June of this year, only added to the series’ popularity. The show has attracted more viewers than Netflix’s other hit show, House of Cards. The show is based on a memoir called Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, written by Piper Kerman, who did indeed go to jail for a drug deal that caught up with her, forcing her to leave her job, her boyfriend, and her family behind. Providing a remarkable look at life in a women’s prison, the book has become a bestseller.

The show’s many fans will be happy to know that Orange Is the New Black has been picked up for a third 14-episode season on Netflix. Big rumors are already swirling about new plot twists and character developments among the inmates of the fictional prison. Orange Is the New Black has been praised for its diverse cast of characters. The show features a transgender woman named Sophia, who is played by Laverne Cox. Cox picked up a Critics’ Choice Television Award nomination for her performance on the show. With its darkly fascinating storyline and unique mix of comedy and drama, Orange Is the New Black seems destined for longevity on Netflix. Stay tuned for updates on season three.

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Moviemaker Steven Soderbergh directs new TV drama The Knick

He’s known for critically acclaimed features films like Magic Mike; Traffic; Sex, Lies, and Videotape; and Erin Brockovich, but director and cinematographer Steven Soderbergh is now forging a reputation for himself through a new medium: TV. In 2013, Soderbergh’s made-for-TV movie Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace appeared on HBO, proving a hit with critics and at-home watchers alike. Based on a true story, the movie featured star turns by Michael Douglas, who portrayed the flamboyant pianist, Liberace, and Matt Damon, who played the musician’s much younger lover, Scott Thorson.

'The Knick' Season 2 'Body Shop Brain Surgery'
‘The Knick’ Season 2 ‘Body Shop Brain Surgery’

On the heels of that success, Soderbergh, who has said he’s finished making movies for the big screen, returns to TV this fall with a new offering: a dramatic series called The Knick, with film actor Clive Owen in the leading role. The show, which airs on Cinemax, is set in New York in the early 1900s. The locus of the series is the Knickerbocker Hospital, a facility with ground-breaking surgeons and nurses who fight against the boundaries of science and medicine in a city with an incredibly high death rate. Owen stars as Dr. John Thackery (a character inspired by real-life physician William Stewart Halstead), the controversial new chief of the hospital’s operating staff. Thackery is quite a figure—a cocaine and opium user who’s no stranger to the city’s darker quarters, and who hopes to make a permanent name for himself in the field of medicine.

Soderbergh brings old New York to vivid life in the new series. There’s plenty of tense, operating-theater action, as Thackery and his staff labor to save the lives of the city’s underprivileged residents. The show captures the atmosphere of the era, including New York’s racial and political tensions and economic inequalities.

In spite of his flaws, women seem to love Dr. Thackery, who’s definitely an outsider—a brilliant surgeon with a volatile personality and bad habits he can’t seem to break. The Knick premiered on Cinemax on August 8, garnering mostly positive responses from the critics. Fans of the show will be glad to know that it has been picked up again by the network for a second 10-episode season. In addition to Clive Owen, the cast of The Knick includes Juliet Rylance, Andre Holland, Eve Hewson (daughter of U2’s Bono), and Jeremy Robb. The Knick airs at 10:00 p.m. EST on Cinemax.

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The Voice returns for seventh season on NBC

One of TV’s hottest reality shows, The Voice, returns this month, offering singers from around the country a chance to make it big—or bomb. This is the seventh season for the high-stakes vocal competition series that boasts a cast of famous coaches who—along with fans watching at home—decide which contestants make the cut and which should be ditched.

The Voice debuted in 2011 and proved to be a smashing success rankings-wise for NBC. The show was inspired by a European series called The Voice of Holland. Hosted by MTV alum and Today host Carson Daly, the show takes a unique approach to the competition process. There are five high-pressure phases to the competition. During the first phase, known as the Blind Audition, the coaches, who are seated in swiveling chairs, can hear but not see the contestants. A coach who likes what he hears will press a button and choose the competitor for his team. (If an artist is selected by more than once coach, then he gets to decide which one he wants to go with—a tough decision!) When the teams have been established, each coach works on honing the talents of their chosen vocalists.

The show’s winner is ultimately chosen by TV watchers, who cast votes for their favorites via phone, Internet, and text, and by buying the artist’s music through iTunes. The show’s champ receives a hefty cash prize of $100,000 and—even better—a record contract with Universal Music. Previous winners of the show include singers Cassadee Pope, Josh Kaufman, Jermaine Paul, and Javier Colon.

The Voice's 'Jeffery Austin'
The Voice’s ‘Jeffery Austin’

The Voice’s cast of musical coaches represents every spectrum of the industry, and they’re part of the show’s appeal. Past coaches include CeeLo Green, Shakira, and Usher. Two new coaches join the cast this season: vocal goddess Gwen Stefani of the band No Doubt (stepping in for a pregnant Christina Aguilera) and hip hop star and producer Pharrell Williams. Their presence on the show is sure spice things up! On board again this year as coaches are heartthrob rocker Adam Levine and country superstar Blake Shelton.

The Voice’s unique mix of personalities, artistic styles, and, of course, high-pressure competition has made it a hit with viewers. The show has garnered an incredible 2,271,981 followers on Google+. Tune in on September 22 at 8 p.m. EST for the season premiere.

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Why The “Unauthorized” Saved By the Bell TV Movie Was a Ratings Flop

Lifetime was probably expecting huge ratings numbers with their recent TV film, the Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story. Lifetime had recently enjoyed success with other scandalous films, including the two TV films based on the V.C. Andrews “Flowers in the Attic” series. But the show garnered barely 1.1 million viewers from the 18-40 demographic, marking it was one of Lifetime’s least successful films in terms of ratings alone—never mind the poor critical reception! But why did this film, which Lifetime had been hyping up for several weeks and garnered plenty of online buzz, flop? Let’s look at the reasons why.

Too biased/too focused on Dustin Diamond’s character
The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell story should really have been subtitled: “From Screech’s Point of View.” The film was based on the memoir of Dustin Diamond, who obviously placed himself in the forefront of not only plenty of action, but he made himself out to be an outcast for no reason and even bullied to some extent. Whereas other cast members have noted that Dustin’s perception was likely colored because he was much younger than the other cast members when they filmed the show, and that he had a stand-offish personality.

Unfortunately, this bias definitely seeped into the TV film and made it rather boring. There are only so many scenes where they try to make it all about “poor Screech” before it becomes unpalatable.

The TV film’s actors did not physically resemble the actual actors
There is a very tricky line to walk when you are casting actors to look like real people. There will never be any actors who look just like their real-life counterparts, but the casting directors for this TV movie didn’t even seem to try. Not only were the actors much smaller than their real-life counterparts, most of them didn’t even vaguely resemble the people they were trying to play, except perhaps the actress who played Lark.

Mario Lopez behind the scenes in 1989 in 'Saved By The Bell'
Mario Lopez behind the scenes in 1989 in ‘Saved By The Bell’

Little insight into the actual goings-on of the show
This may be due to the “Dustin Diamond” bias that the film suffered from, but it seemed like there was less insight into the real guts of the show or behind the scenes drama and more random tidbits and oddly cobbled together moments which often made little sense due to the lack of clarity in the show.

The 'Unathorized Saved By The Bell' was saiad to bring up the dirt of the cast
The ‘Unathorized Saved By The Bell’ was saiad to bring up the dirt of the cast

The Pros and Cons of a Potential Full House Revival

Fans of the original Full House series were no doubt bursting with joy with the recent announcement that a potential Full House revival series was in the works was published. The show was very popular in its heyday and is responsible for the careers of several actors and actresses. But is a Full House revival really a good idea? Or should the show be left in the 90s, where it belongs? Let’s look at the pros and cons of the potential Full House revival show.

Pro: Nostalgia is very hot right now

There’s no doubt that nostalgia is very “in” right now. Many people who grew up in the 80s and 90s are taking advantage of the internet and modern technological advances to relive the programming and media they enjoyed in their childhood—which includes TV shows. Not only are DVD releases and streaming collections of these older shows at an all-time popularity high, but revivals, remakes and new spin-offs are also being made on a regular basis in the hopes of tapping into existing fanbases.

A Full House revival would no doubt benefit from the many people who grew up watching the show or even those who have grown up watching reruns and want to see what’s “new” with their favorite characters.

Con: Not all of the actors are willing to return

Although some of the core actors, including John Stamos, have indicated that they are willing to return for a Full House revival, not everyone would be willing to step back into their old roles. Some of the actors may not be interested in TV work, while others have retired from acting altogether. If the show is meant to be a true revival, not having almost all of the core cast will be detrimental to its potential success.

Pro: It could help revitalize family sitcoms
Modern family sitcoms are a far cry from the family sitcoms that many people enjoyed in the 80s and 90s, including the original Full House. Although the changes aren’t all bad, many viewers could benefit from a return to the life lessons these sitcoms imparted on millions of viewers—not only lessons about serious or darker issues such as drinking, drug use or abuse, but lessons about the bonds of family, the importance of caring for others, and of being true to yourself.

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