WASHINGTON, Oct. 13, 2013 —Just in time to divert our attention from the impending political apocalypse in Washington, “The Walking Dead” returns tonight at 9 p.m. on AMC. Come to think of it, “Walking Dead’s” predatory zombies are actually a pretty good metaphor for our alleged Representatives and Senators in the Nation’s capital that prowl the night looking for more of our money to waste.
Maybe we should build a big fence to keep these overpaid virtual zombies out of our yards and out of our lives. Talk about investing in America’s future!
While we ponder that attractive idea, there’s always tonight’s TV schedule to bail us out of our misery, at least for an hour or two. Instead of watching the news networks fill air time with dubious, blow-dried, gasbagging experts and their wild, rampant speculation that’s inevitably way off the mark, we can be entertained by “The Walking Dead” and even learn new and creative DIY ways to kill zombies—survivalist skills that could really come in handy in our not-too-distant future. Indeed, given the current state of affairs, adding these apocalyptic survival skills to our resumes sounds like a pretty good idea.
The fascination with end-of-the-world scenarios in the entertainment industry these days validates our current dismal view of our own future. Add to that the lack of confidence we have in our elected leaders, whose idea of negotiating is similar to the substance and style of your average, low-IQ schoolyard bully, and it is no wonder that “The Walking Dead” has become so popular. The show’s season three finale attracted an astounding 12.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched drama series telecast in basic cable history.
“The Walking Dead’s” popularity almost certainly lies in its ability to find the right balance between dynamic action and the struggle to maintain humanity in the face of mindless evil. Rather than color the plot lines with rainbows and unicorns, the show makes us realize that people will do almost anything to survive. The result of such pressure in this series is its now-familiar band of morally ambiguous anti-heroes who don’t hesitate to kill anything that jeopardizes their existence, whether they are zombies or not.
Maybe this is why season four starts out with a hint of stability amidst the chaos. Rather than exile or eliminate every human they come across, the tight knit-group has allowed stragglers from Woodbury to join their ranks.
Maybe they can use the help. The already swollen population at the prison is focused on working together to survive. Gardens are planted, the kids attend school, and democracy is revived in the form of a governing council. The only thing missing from this communal atmosphere is tie-dyed tee shirts and drum circles.
But fans of the show know that the addition of new characters means they will be around just long enough for us to get to know them before they become zombie fodder.
The survival of characters we grow to dislike is just as precarious. This was never more evident than last season when Andrea died. Over the course of the first three seasons social media voiced a consistent and growing dislike of Andrea. Her death confirmed that our collective voice had been heard, and gave us yet another reason to like the show.
Legend has it that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Arguably, we have it much better than the Romans. This country may be going to hell in a hand basket just like the Roman Empire eventually did. But at least we have “The Walking Dead” to entertain us as we slowly go down the video tube.
Yes, for a short time, at least, we can find something interesting and entertaining to distract us from our fiddling, Nero-like zombie politicians, to mix another metaphor. And for that blessing, we are indeed grateful.
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ABC: Once Upon A Time: (New) Hook wants to search for Tinker Bell, believing she will lead the way to Peter Pan’s hideout. Meanwhile, Neal hopes to use a treasured item of Robin Hood’s in order to reach Emma; and back in fairy-tale land, Tinker Bell has a tempting offer for Regina.
CBS: Amazing Race 23: (New) The race continues in Lisbon, Portugal, where one team takes a huge risk in hopes of getting a big reward. A Road Block requires team members to participate in a medieval-themed challenge.
FOX: MLB Playoffs: Game 2: Tigers at Red Sox: (Live)
NBC: Sunday Night Football: (Live) Redskins at Cowboys: (Live) Washington (1-3) at Dallas (2-3). The Redskins are coming off their first sweep of division-rival Dallas since 2005, with Robert Griffin III throwing for 4 TDs in a 38-31 win in Texas. A 28-18 win in the D.C. rematch kept the Cowboys out of the playoffs.
PBS: Last Tango in Halifax: (New) In the Season 1 finale, Celia doesn’t react well to John’s revelation that Caroline is gay; and her behavior towards Kate at a dinner party causes Alan to contemplate ending their relationship.
ABC: Revenge: (New) An unexpected guest at Nolan’s housewarming party leads to a showdown that shocks the whole community; Conrad questions his sins.
CBS: The Good Wife: (New) Alicia is tempted to stay with the firm after Will makes her a stunning offer. Meanwhile, Diane’s Supreme Court candidacy puts her at odds with her colleagues.
PBS: Masterpiece Classic: (New) As “The Paradise” continues, Denise finds an abandoned baby at the store.
SHO: Homeland: (New) Brody returns to his faith for guidance, and Carrie struggles to connect with Saul.
HBO: Boardwalk Empire: (New) Nucky has a tense reunion with Margaret in New York, then heads to Tampa to iron out the details of his land deal and reconnect with Sally. Meanwhile, Richard returns to Atlantic City and makes a confession to an ailing Paul Sagorsky.
ABC: Betrayal: (New) Sara is distracted by heart-racing fantasies as she tries to resist her attraction to Jack; Drew and Jack face off in court during T.J.’s bail hearing; Connie fears for her life.
CBS: The Mentalist: (New) Van Pelt and Rigsby get married. Meanwhile, Jane has the team investigate a case in Napa, Cal., so that he can take a closer look at Sheriff McAllister.
SHO: Masters of Sex: (New) Dr. Haas gets the case of a lifetime, and Libby Masters undergoes more testing with the hope of getting pregnant.
New episodes of:
Alaska: the Last Frontier: Exposed at 8 p.m. on DSC
Long Island Medium at 8 p.m. on TLC
The Real Housewives of New Jersey at 8 p.m. on BRAVO
Making Monsters at 8 and 9 p.m. on Travel Channel
Alaska: the Last Frontier at 9 p.m. on DSC
Halloween Wars at 9 p.m. on Food Channel
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown at 9 p.m. on CNN
Drugs Inc. at 9 p.m. on NGC
Drop Dead Diva at 9 p.m. on LIFE
Keeping Up With the Kardashians at 9 p.m. on E!
The Walking Dead at 9 p.m. on AMC
Call of the Wildman at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on Animal Planet
Alaska State Troopers at 10 p.m. on NGC
Witches of East End at 10 p.m. on LIFE
Catfish: The TV Show at 10 p.m. on MTV
Talking Dead at 10 p.m. on AMC
Alaskan Women Looking For Love at 10 p.m. on TLC
Buying Alaska at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on DSC
For movie lovers:
The Patriot on ENC
The Other Sister on FLIX
Iron Man on FX
This Is 40 on HBO
House of 1000 Corpses on IFC
The Thomas Crown Affair on TCM
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen on TMC
One True Thing on HBO
Blade II on Syfy
Gran Torino on TNT
Ted at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX
Brokeback Mountain at 10 p.m. on SUND
Your Sister’s Sister at 10 p.m. on TCM
Oz the Great and Powerful at 10:05 p.m. on STARZ
The Campaign at 10:30 p.m. on HBO
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