Category Archives: Television

And the Rickie goes to …

The midseason Rickies.

The midseason Rickies.

No Walking Dead until February. That means it’s time to announce the midseason Walking Dead awards, the Rickies.

The winners are nominated by Shelley Tougas, voted on by Shelley Tougas, and presented by Shelley Tougas.

Smartest Character

And the Rickie goes to … Carl.

Carl: Why don’t we shoot the governor while he’s not expecting it, while he’s perched on that tank, before he chops off Hershel’s head and destroys the prison?

Daryl: Nah. Let’s just see how it plays out.

Worst Skill Transfer

The Rickie goes to … Daryl.

Daryl can shoot a gnat’s eyelash from 100 yards with a bow and arrow, but he can’t hit the side of a truck with an automatic rifle.

He also can’t drive, which brings us to …

Best Gross Out

The Rickie goes to … Daryl.

Our greasy-haired hero delivers a lesson about distracted driving when he hits a zombie while messing with the radio. Then he drives into a herd of zombies, backs up, and runs over so many walkers that the wheels spin in zombie road jam.

Serve that with some crackers.

Best Zombie Repellent

And the Rickie goes to … the Governor.

The Governor couldn’t be bitten if he put his hand in a zombie’s mouth and forced its teeth into his own flesh. After Woodbury falls, the Governor roams the countryside in a trance, unable or unwilling to fend off zombies, who either don’t notice him or miraculously trip, fall, or stumble around him.

Corniest Line

And the Rickie goes to … Hershel.

“I hereby declare we have spaghetti Tuesdays every Wednesday.”

Maybe Glenn can go on a run and rustle up some Chef Boyardee.

Saddest Death

And the Rickie rests on the grave of … Hershel. RIP.

Dumbest Mother

And the Rickie goes to … Lily.

She’s the Mommy Dearest of the zombie apocalypse. Days after daughter Megan was almost zombie lunch, Lily allows the kiddo to play hundreds of feet away from safety, alone, in a mud pile. When a zombie emerges, Lily’s a second late and a bullet short. And the cradle did fall. RIP Megan.

Best Bad A**

And the Rickie goes to … Carol.

Carol’s banishment is also Rick’s biggest mistake. Turns out they could’ve used her.

Best Singer

And the Rickie goes to … Beth.

She can’t shoot, can’t fight, can’t handle a knife. But man, she can belt a Tom Waits’s tune. And she baby sits, which brings us to …

Worst Babysitter

And the Rickie goes to … Beth.

Never, ever transfer care of a baby to four young kids fleeing an invasion. Chances are they’ll dump the baby carrier in the carnage and run off looking for guns.

Best Defier of Death

And the Rickie goes to … Michonne.

When it’s all over, Michonne will be the last one standing. Nobody takes down Michonne.

Biggest apology

And the Rickie goes to … Bob.

On behalf of cyber fans everywhere, I humbly apologize to Bob for believing he was the prison killer. Turns out he may only be the prison’s zombie baiter, in which case the Ricktator will send him to live with Carol.


Walking Dead

As a writer, I constantly struggle with conflicting plot points, contradictions in character, and things that don’t make sense – those moments in a story where the reader thinks, oh, c’mon. Really?

Instead of using my own work as an example, let’s take on my current favorite show Walking Dead. It gave me a full night’s worth of bad dreams, so I’m feeling a little miffed. Here we go:

  • In a zombie apocolyse, when you finally, FINALLY, get to a store, would you bring a teeny tiny backpack? Wouldn’t you leave with a stuffed trunk? Michonne brings back more supplies (even comic books!) on horseback then the supply runners bring back in a van. Twinkies are back in production, for example, and they last forever. How about some toothpaste? Maybe shampoo and a clean shirt for Daryl, who’s been wearing the same vest for three seasons.
  • If Glenn paid more attention at these stores, couldn’t he steal an engagement ring for Maggie instead of cutting one off a zombie? Where’s the romance?
  • If Rick can keep his hair perfectly sculpted, can’t Daryl get those bangs out of his eyes?
  • I understand there aren’t many cars roving the country these days. Still. Our survivors need to keep their eyes on the road. This would prevent so many zombie-car collisions that result in, well, just watch the show a few weeks ago. Not pretty.
  •  It’s lovely that Beth gets to be the resident singer/nanny. But shouldn’t she learn to be a bad-ass just in case? Her sister can singlehandedly manage a zombie herd at the fence. Meanwhile, Beth knows all the words to “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up.” It’s the typical baby sister unfairness. (Sorry, Cheryl, but you know it’s true.)
  • Since when do antibiotics cure a viral illness?
  • Why don’t people sleep with their cell doors shut?
  • If the group has automatic rifles, why don’t the supply runners get to use those instead of knives and a bow-and-arrow contraption?

Thank you. This analysis has been great writer therapy, no co-pay required.

Downton Crabbey again

(Alert: You are about to be exposed to spoilers from season three of Downton Abbey.)


Bloody hell! How dare they?

Not even the darkest novelists would have written a final episode as heart wrenching as Downton writers. I knew, just knew, bad stuff was coming. When Mary got off the train, ready to give birth, she was wearing clothes the color of blood. Head to toe, her dark red wardrobe  screamed, she’s about to become a widow!

But wait! First, Lady Mary delivers a healthy baby boy. A proper heir. Well done!

What? The show’s not over? Ten minutes left? This can’t be good. And it is not. The death march begins. Into the hospital comes Mary’s husband Matthew, the handsome charmer and savior of the estate. He holds his baby and nearly cries with joy and wonder.

Then he says to Mary, something like, I’ve never been so happy. I’ve never loved you more than at this moment. Our life is going to be perfect because I’m filled with joy and light and love and love, love, love, love. The world is glorious! My life bursts with joy. Everything is perfect: family, business, baby, marriage. I could sing! Glory be! My cup runneth over!

Poppycock. In Downton, joy is death’s harbinger. Seconds later, Matthew is driving, looking at the heavens and marveling at his good fortune. A truck rounds the corner and suddenly Matthew, our beloved Matthew, is dead, trapped under his car.

We have two final moments with the show. The dark red blood, the color of Mary’s dress, drips from Matthew’s ear. And then there’s a joyous Mary holding the new baby, waiting for her husband to return.

Crikey. Here come the tears.

Perhaps this would be managable if the writers hadn’t already killed off Sybil during childbirth, William during the war, Lavinia during the influenza pandemic, Cora’s unborn child, Vera Bates (yeah!) and Pamuk (really, who cared?). Then Bates was almost hung, Mrs. Hughes almost had breast cancer,  Thomas was nearly beaten to death, and O’Brien should be dead due to her lack of having a heart.

There was no tea for me after the finale. I needed a pint before I could sleep.

So, cheerio, Matthew, Sybil and Downton Abbey. I’m waiting for the new season of a happier show: Breaking Bad.