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TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6

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Please note there are Season 5 spoilers in this review and minor spoilers for season 6. please don’t read on if you haven’t seen the 5th series or don’t want to know the storyline for season 6. you have been warned! ūüôā

 

The sixth season of the AMC hit show carried on it’s bleak journey as our survivors struggle to come to terms with living in the nearest thing to safety any of them have ever experienced. Rick and his people struggle to adapt from the savage lifestyle they had been forced to live, which came to a head in the season 5 finale when under instruction from Dianne, Rick kills habitual drunk, Pete.

The fallout from Rick’s actions and the cold brutality in which he went about them causes mistrust against the Alexandria community who are conflicted as to if Rick and his people belong there or on the other side of the wall. This struggle between Rick and his people trying to convince the people of Alexandria that such brutality is needed in the world as it is now and their lack of understanding due to being sheltered from the zombie apocalypse is a prevailing theme throughout the series.

Season six also introduces us to some new villains in the shape of a certain barbed wire wrapped baseball bat wielding maniac who will be familiar to those who have read the comics and we’ll get to shortly, and another group called the wolves. The wolves are essentially everything the people of Alexandria are not. They have lived in the conflict, desperate and clawing to survive, resorting to inhumane tactics in order to survive.

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The people of Alexandria find out first hand when the Wolves attack the town, army of walkers in tow and cause chaos, almost destroying everything the people had worked to build. These scenes are particularly brutal, and test Rick and his group in ways they had started to forget,  causing them to revert back to their savage nature from their time on the road. It is around this time, with the group once again split and in disarray that Daryl, Abraham and Sascha encounter a group in the road who call themselves the Saviors. The saviors tell the group that everything they own now belongs to Negan. Reluctant to hand over their possessions, Daryl and co dispatch the threat and return to Alexandria just in time to help.

The second half of the season picks up in the aftermath of the Alexandria attack as the town (now under the leadership of Rick) trying to repair the damage done by the wolves. During a supply run, rick and Daryl encounter a man called Jesus, who initially seems friendly then steals their supplies. Daryl and Rick track him down and learn that the man comes form a community called the Hilltop. he claims they have supplies and food, both of which are running low in the Alexandria community. Rick agrees to go with Jesus to  the Hilltop to negotiate a trade deal.

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When they arrive at the hilltop, Rick and co find out that Jesus was telling the truth, and the Hilltop is well stocked with food and provisions. Rick learns that the Hilltop community are being extorted for food and supplies by the saviours, who threaten to attack if their demands are not met. Rick and his group agree to eliminate the saviours in exchange for a trade deal with the hilltop where they will share supplies going forward. This leads to an assault on a saviour compound, where Rick and his group brutally kill several people, sure that they have eliminated the threat until they learn that two of their own have been captured. This in turn leads towards the grand finale, where the saviours lead rick and his people towards a face to face confrontation with Negan himself (along with aforementioned barbed wire wrapped baseball bat) who tells them someone has to be punished for what they have done in what has to go down as one of the greatest and most intense end scenes for this show to date.

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There is a lot to like about this season of The Walking Dead. We get to see Carl coming of age after surviving a horrific and life threatening injury. We also get a superb episode dedicated to Morgan’s backstory titled ‘Here’s not Here,’ Which fills in the gap between what happened when Rick first met Morgan in series one to finding him delirious and insane back in the third season. Carol decides that she has seen enough of death and goes off alone, isolating herself from the group as she gives in to the chaos of the world around her. By far the most interesting aspect of season 6 is the start of the upcoming Negan story arc. In a series where Rick and his group have been the alpha, to see him at the end of season six broken, afraid and in tears shows that things have definitely changed. And then of course there is that final scene of the last episode which will no doubt infuriate as much as it captivates.

FINAL SCORE: 9 out of 10:¬†Everything changes in this season and I can’t¬†recommend¬†it enough. go¬†buy it!

The Walking Dead season 6 comes to DVD /  Blu ray on September 26th. You can pre order it now from Amazon below:

Amazon U.K: Pre order season 6 now (UK CUSTOMERS)

Amazon U.S: Pre order season 6 now (U.S Customers)

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Stranger Things SEASON 1 REVIEW

A homage to 80’s horror done right.

There has been quite a reaction to the new Netflix exclusive Stranger Things. It seems that every other post on Facebook was about somebody watching and raving about it, and so, as the credits roll on the final episode, I feel ready to give my verdict to go with the zillion others out there right now.If, like me you were a child of the 80’s, then you will immediately fall in love with the tone of this series right from the start. Everything from the set and costume design to the sinister synth tones of the opening title sequence takes the viewer back to the days of The Goonies, E.T, Eirie India and of course the Horror Movies of that era. There are no mobile phones or Pokemon Go here, but BMX bikes and the great outdoors.

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The plot centres around a young boy called Mike, who, after an evening playing dungeons and Dragons with his friends, cycles home. On the way, he encounters something in the woods which follows him home. The unseen entity follows Mike to the shed, where after a tense standoff he disappears into thin air. What follows is the search for Mike as things grow more and more strange and tense by the episode. ¬†His friends Finn Wolfhard (Mike) ¬†Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) ¬†and¬†Gaten Mattarazzo (Dustin) ¬†who are a Goonies like bunch if ever there was one, stumble across a young girl in the woods when out looking for Mike. she is shaven headed and confused, marked by a tattooed 11 on her wrist (played expertly and with haunting conviction by 12 year old Millie Brown) who seems to have strange mind bending powers not unlike a certain girl in a certain Stephen King novel. ¬†The interplay between the kids is charming and often funny, which are moments offset by the traumatic breakdown of Mike’s mother, played with superb believability by Winona Ryder in what has to be one of her strongest career performances to date.

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As this is a spoiler free review, i don’t really want to go too deeply into¬†the details of the plot (as it would spoil your enjoyment of watching. As the search for Will goes on and Mike and the rest of the kids get to know the mysterious Eleven, the¬†supporting¬†cast are left with plenty to do. David Harbour is the town¬†sheriff, who finds that his simple case of a missing child has started to grow into something much more intricate and potentially deadly. Natalie Dyer’s performance as the quiet desperate to do get with the in crowd Nancy Wheeler is also worthy of note, as her struggle for acceptance and eventual involvement in the overall storyline weaves in and out of the main narrative before all of the¬†separate¬†threads come together for the finale and the mystery is finally¬†revealed.

If 80’s nostalgia is your thing, and you are a fan of 80’s Spielberg of the movie adaptations of Stephen king, then this is definitely worth checking out. If not, check it out anyway, if only for the soundtrack. True, Stranger Things¬†doesn’t¬†tread any new ground, and there are many elements you have seen before, but in a world where people spend¬†their days chasing pokemon and staring at their computer screens, it’s refreshing to go to a time when such things¬†didn’t¬†happen. Thankfully,¬†Stranger Things¬†has been renewed for a second season, and i for one will¬†be watching.

Final score:

8/10

Well worth a watch and a wonderful homage to the 80’s.¬†Recommended.