Tag Archives: Walking Dead

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.

Writers Comp?

What could possibly stop a writer from posting about Emilio Estevez and working on a novel?





I picked up a pan from a 425 degree oven. Just forgot about the pot holder. Yup. Now I can type with my left hand only, and that’s just not working out.

If you write from home, there’s no writers comp to cover an injury. Sometimes you miss the old  office job, like when you sizzle your hand on a hot pan or fall down the stairs or walk into wood furniture, all of which I’m prone to do.

So, yesterday: A day with series three of the Walking Dead. Today: more of the same.



The Life of Zi, aka the zombie flick

Turns out, a zombie apocalypse might be the only way to end the Israel-Palestine conflict. That’s one lesson learned from Brad Pitt’s fantastic World War Z. But can Pitt save the zombie genre from audience fatigue? I doubt it — not while he’s saving the world and raising all those kids. So the job falls to me. Today’s blog: Shelley’s zombie movies. (No WWZ spoilers.)

This weekend brought a movie duo: World War Z and The Life of Pi. Seeing both in a 48-hour period is a bit like eating a hotdog basted in curry. There’s something odd about the combination, and it sparked a long, confusing, and circular conversation. (The more my stomach thinks about curried hotdogs, the more I think about planning a dinner party. Yum.)

So I wanted to write about The Life of Pi. Remember, English majors, Pi is the famous math number that never ends. Pi is the protagonist’s nickname.

My deep thoughts … (long breath) … The use of the name Pi reflects the story’s religious thread in which God and the universe, like Pi, the number, not the person, are never ending; and the story illustrates Pi’s question about why God would dump into His own son into a life with miracles but also tremendous suffering, and somehow the answer is related to suffering bringing beauty and peace; and then there’s the modern day Noah’s Ark; and choosing faith without proof; and the link between man and beast; and subtext about the Garden of Eden; all told within the framework of magical realism and–

Then my head exploded.

Instead, I chose Brad Pitt’s World War Z for today’s blog. No spoilers. If you can’t trust a childrens book writer, who can you trust?

Here’s why WWZ is a great film. There’s more movie, less zombie. You’ll still get your fix of flesh-eating terror. But WWZ is the big picture zombie movie. Instead of focusing on a couple of strangers trapped in a mall, fighting the walking dead, WWZ uses wide-angle lenses. How would society fall? How would our institutions respond? How quickly would scientists become top dogs, bumping football players and the Kardashians into a boiling vat of meaninglessness?

(Yes, the Walking Dead has its own big-picture view. Yes, WWZ the movie throws WWZ the book out the window. Just work with me here, ok?)

So then I wondered just how much ghoulish entertainment we can take. Are zombies destined to be the next vampire craze, where the only remaining plot twist involves a handsome family of vegetarian zombies, one of whom falls in love with a frail virgin named … (copyright?) … Nell.

Someone, some noble and brave artist, has to break the zombie rules and reinvent the genre. That someone is probably not me, but let me get the conversation started.

“Shelley’s Zombie Movies”

1. In my zombie movie, the beasts can only be killed if they’re shot in the ring finger on the right hand. (Am I the only fan bored with the blow-to-the-head rule?)

John: Face down the zombie, Roger. Nail him in the ring finger! Right hand! Hurry, Roger, hurry!

Roger: uh … my right or his right?

John: Just do it or you’ll die!

Roger:  uh … see, we’re facing each other so I’m unclear whether you mean I shoot his right hand, which is my left, or shoot his left hand, which is my AAAAAAHHHHHHH. HE GOT ME. DON’T LET ME BECOME ONE OF THEM!!!!

2. In my other zombie movie, zombies can be cured only if they eat the people they love most in the world. When they return to human state and realize they ate loved ones, the former zombies are so heartbroken and flat, they turn into figurative zombies. The movie’s really an exploration of love and relationships, like Beaches or The Bodyguard.

3. In my other zombie movie, a young boy stumbles upon a crazy solution: zombies freeze when they hear the Chicken Dance. The boy spends the whole movie trying to convince Our Nation’s Leaders that his idea works. Then world is free, the boy’s a hero, and  the Chicken Dance becomes our national anthem, an anthem with no words, just arm flapping and clapping. Polka displaces hip hop on Top 40 radio.

4. In my other zombie movie, the infestation is a real-life pandemic. Pharmaceutical companies get government contracts for zombie vaccines and cures. Execs charge a fortune for the drugs. The rich, who own shares and control the market through stock derivatives, are immediately saved, but the poor will die unless they apply for huge bank loans they’ll never be able to pay. Congress launches an investigation into banking and investing practices to appease the public. Then, one-percent of the surviving population will develop Guillain-Barré syndrome from the vaccine, leading to the world’s largest class action lawsuit in which lawyers get 90 percent of the settlement.

Oh, then Michael Moore will make a documentary about the whole mess, Capitalism 911: Bowling for Zombies. Bill O’Reilly will accuse Moore of “hating America.” Life will be normal, at least on FOX TV.

5. My other zombie movie is a sequel comedy. The Center for Disease Control hires Shawn (of Shawn of the Dead) to manage the U.S. zombie outbreak after his success in Great Britain. Trust me, it’s very, very funny and very, very British, because all the moms are called “mums.”

See why Brad Pitt needs me?

And did I mention WWZ’s twist ending is nuclear war with only the zombies surviving? Just kidding, and I’m sorry. It’s tasteless to joke about movie spoilers.