underneath it all by kristen hoyt
the walking dead, season 7, twd, andrew lincoln, rick grimes, zombie, atlanta, rise up, amc, negan

The Walking Dead: Walkers Are Just the Wallpaper

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I have to admit that when I first decided to stream AMC’s The Walking Dead  I was skeptical.  I did not expect to like it.  I’m not a big horror fan and gore’s not really my thing.  But I dove in and from the moment Rick Grimes rode down I-85 into Atlanta on horseback, I was hooked.

If you’ve watched the show for any length of time, you quickly realize that the “walkers”, or zombies, are just the wallpaper of the show.  Sure, they feature prominently in certain episodes because you need to understand the magnitude of what the characters are dealing with.  But over time their noises become almost soothing and the sight of them ceases to shock as they fade into the background of the drama.  What shines through for me in every episode is the indomitable force of the human spirit and the power that we harness when we put aside petty differences and work together for the common good.  In a world that is so polarized by gender and identity politics, The Walking Dead is a beacon of hope.

Season 7 of The Walking Dead returned on Sunday, and by now Rick’s crew includes people from all walks of life. 

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santa clarita diet, santa clarita, drew barrymore, timothy olyphant, netflix, netflix original, zombie

Santa Clarita Diet Falls Flat and Fails to Whet our Appetites

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I was looking forward to it. I wanted to like it and believed it had a chance. After all, I always enjoy a good Drew Barrymore movie.  But, alas, I just couldn’t do it.  And I really tried!  Unfortunately, the Netflix original dramedy Santa Clarita Diet failed to satisfy in almost every way.

The sad thing is the show should be funny!  The premise is clever — an average family in suburban Los Angeles has their lives turned upside-down when the mom wakes up as a zombie one day.  In an era where zombies are all the rage, you’d think this would be an easy sell.  But even the valiant efforts of a top-notch cast, including Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant, and Nathan Fillion (who guest stars in the first two episodes), can’t save it.

Like many similarly promising shows that fail, the problem here is the writing. It’s really terrible. In addition to a lot of meaningless banter, the first few episodes are peppered with enough profanity to make you think you’re watching a documentary on the proverbial sailor. Add countless overt and less-than-tastefully-done sexual references, graphic violence, flagrant drug-use and bathroom humor, and it’s difficult to find any redeeming qualities.

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Outlander, Sam Heughan, Jamie Fraser, James Fraser, Starz

Outlander Is a Clear Winner With Four People’s Choice Awards

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How can television’s Outlander, whose main character, James Fraser, embodies all that women participating in last weekend’s marches rail against, win four People’s Choice Awards?  Outlander won for Favorite TV Show, Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress and Actor, and Favorite Premium Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series. Perhaps fans (whether they are marching women or not) see James Fraser as something more than just a man’s man. This 18th century hero has a modern view of how to treat the love of his life.

The Starz hit series is based on the series of novels written by Diana Gabaldon.  For those of you not familiar with Outlander, let me tell you first and foremost – you are missing out!  Not only is the show filled with intricate storylines and breathtaking cinematography, but it is infused with humor, history, and a love story for the ages. At the end of World War II, Claire Randall, a combat nurse, and her husband, Frank, a British intelligence officer, journey to Inverness, Scotland, for some much-needed R&R.

However, what was supposed to be a second honeymoon turns into the adventure of a lifetime when Claire accidentally wanders through the standing stones at Craigh na Dun in 18th century Scotland.

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high castle, highcastletv, man in the high castle, highcastle, whatifwelost

The Man in the High Castle is a Timely Warning Against Big Government

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Amazon’s original 2-time Emmy Award-winning Sci-fi drama, The Man in the High Castle, is a veritable feast for the eyes and intellect. By executive producer Ridley Scott, it has a fascinating premise of a post-WWII dystopian society, stunning visual effects and incredible performances by an all-star cast. It also provides a timely commentary and warning on the dangers of centralized governments and socialized healthcare.

In today’s very polarized political climate, there are calls from the Left for a more powerful, patriarchal and centralized government that provides for our every need. Free college, free healthcare, free phones as well as food and housing provided not only for those in need, but for those who don’t want to be, as Nancy Pelosi so eloquently said “job-locked.”

However, the reality is that the very people who want freedom from job-lock, to be uninhibited and free to do whatever they please, whenever they please, ironically, and consistently vote for a model of government that will eventually subvert their desires to meet its own objectives.  It’s called centralized government. And by the very definition, a centralized government (which includes autocracies and totalitarian governments) goes against everything for which America stands.

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