In the past week, a couple of television series said goodbye to notable faces. So please take note of this SPOILER ALERT!, as I take a brief look back on three of the week’s television offerings…
The Walking Dead
Goodbye Shane! – This season, The Walking Dead has seriously tried my patience. Hershel’s claustrophobic farm sucked all the energy and tension from the series. Without a clear antagonist, the show has simply meandered along at a glacial pace. Rick Grimes and the rest of the thinly characterized company have fought to survive the zombie apocalypse, without really accomplishing anything other than stay alive. Sure, zombies are still out and about, but they have just acted as mere roadblocks for the characters to fight through rather than against. But recently, Shane (as brash and annoying as his character can be at times) stepped up to the plate to become the villain that the show so desperately needed.
Shane’s transformation from jealous best friend and lover to vengeful would-be-and-has-been-one killer has been one of the series’ most successful character arcs, though granted, there haven’t been that many to begin with. His clashes with Rick about the nature of leadership have been more compelling than any of the repetitive and heavy-handed philosophical musings on life and death. The climactic standoff between Rick and Shane, though inevitable, proved to be quite suspenseful and engaging. And even more interesting, is the reveal that anyone who dies can turn into a walker, not just someone who comes into contact with a zombie. As the series heads off into its final episode of the season, Shane’s death brings a clearer focus to Rick and the gang, who now have to fight off the oncoming herd of zombies and deal with the nearby human survivors. It’s sure to be a bloody finale with a high body count.
Goodbye Mike Delfino! – When it was announced that this year would be the end of Desperate Housewives, I looked forward to the possibility that the series would with a bang. Unfortunately, this final season has been an overall disappointment, fizzing out over the course of the year. The major through-line for the season, the Wisteria Lane gang dealing with the fallout of the murder of Gabrielle’s step-father, has gived the housewives ample opportunities to clash against each other and strengthen their bonds, but has been sullen and dour as a whole.
The whole loan shark storyline, which ultimately became the demise of Mike Delfino, has been tedious at best. Past Desperate Housewives villains have at least been interesting, if not flamboyantly devious (see: Edie Britt’s psycho husband, Katharine Mayfair’s psycho ex-husband), but this loan shark is downright cartoony. As for Mike’s death itself, the shooting in broad daylight was certainly unexpected, but it didn’t carry much emotional impact for me. As Wisteria Lane pays respect to Mike Delfino in the episodes to come, I hope the series doesn’t wallow too much in despair. In the past, Desperate Housewives has been the most successful when deftly blended a sense of whimsy with the threat of violence. Here’s hoping the final hours can rekindle some of that excitement that endeared America to these housewives in the first place.
Goodbye Gentle Giant Jermaine Jones and Shannon Magrane! – I must say, I could not be happier with this Top 10, who have earned a spot on the summer tour. This is a really well-rounded crop of finalists, quite possibly the most evenly matched group the show’s seen. In these past two weeks, the three clearly weakest and least versatile singers in the competition were thankfully sent home: syrupy balladeer Jeremy Rosado and the aforementioned disqualified felon GGJJ and the in-over-her-head, tries-too-hard, “I only missed one note” Shannon.
However, only Shannon was eliminated by receiving America’s vote. Based on this week’s bottom three of Shannon, Elise Testone, and Erika Van Pelt, I highly doubt Jeremy (who was sent home by the judges) received the lowest amount of votes over Elise. This now-familiar voting trend of sending women home before the men is highly disappointing. Here’s hoping the self-proclaimed “old ladies” can connect with the voting public. So Elise, that means that you cannot not be happy when your competition makes it though! We know you’re disappointed and bitter, but America wants to see lightheartedness and support from its contestant! Enough with the sour faces! Onward to Billy Joel week we go!