A. Zombie Reviews . . . Dead Set
By A. Zombie
It’s no great surprise when the plot runs a predictable course from here on out. Know what? I don’t care. There’s some golden moments when the entire surviving cast is finally together in the BB house.
First, they need to save Angel. Or not. Then they need to save Grayson . . . . Whoops. Okay, third time’s the charm. Kelly and Space are bullied across the studio lot to escort Patrick and Pippa to the house. That’s pretty much the beginning of the end. Once Patrick’s ego enters the room, unrest takes hold and chaos reigns.
How crazy does a guy have to be to sit there laughing like a kookaburra while disemboweling someone he spent weeks watching via the BB cameras? Reality TV producer crazy is the correct answer. This guy is so certain he has the right idea, he never slows while cobbling together his hair-brained plan. Patrick’s ability to manipulate people is the final nail in the coffin. Despite the others attempting to contain His Lunatic Highness, the Force is strong with this one and Patrick convinces Joplin to free him—based solely on the fact that the housemates loathe Joplin.
Things aren’t much better for Tariq, Kelly’s boyfriend, and his skittish savior, Alex. She never sits still. Always scans for trouble. We get little on her background or why she’s more prepared than most to deal with the zombie fallout. The pair are holed up in a farmhouse alongside a river. Alex feels confident they can stay there, but he’s ready to move on toward the studio. A plan Alex wants nothing to do with, yet still she grabs some gear and off they go. She is right to fight against leaving the farmhouse. The act of kindness is repaid when ‘Riq mercy-kills Alex after she’s bitten. Explains why she didn’t get a backstory.
When Riq makes it to the BB lot, it’s surrounded. He barely clears the fence, with zombies on his heels. The studio greeting party needs to work on their gift basket. Marky fires several shots before Kelly stops him, realizing the “zombie” below speaks coherently and is actually her boyfriend.
Try as he might, Riq can’t get Patrick to believe him about the destruction beyond the gate. Once the producer’s plan rolls into motion, it’s just a matter of waiting for the inevitable. There’s never a chance that Joplin and Patrick can get it together enough to make it past the horde at the gate. Nor is there chance the bumbling housemates, plus Tariq, will rescue Kelly when Patrick holds her hostage as leverage to get outside. The story is told once the gates open, we simply hang around to watch the bloody outcome.
The latter half of this miniseries is much more palatable. I won’t say it’s because the obnoxious housemates started dying like moths around a campfire, but it is a bonus. Going into the first episode, I was sure it’d be the worst. Thankfully, there’s ample gore to balance the reality aspect in the plot. Paired with decent special effects and satisfying character deaths, it produces an entertaining couple of hours.
I give Dead Set an overall three and three-quarters butchered reality stars out of five.
Unfortunately, the reality during an apocalyptic scenario is that most people will not make it far with their families intact—these solo folks tend to fall to the wayside on the show quite often. Season three pulled no punches, culling three characters remaining from the pilot, along with two newcomers who really won fans over.
T-Dog’s primary goal in life was to help others. Anytime he was on screen, he did his best to make the apocalypse easier for his fellow survivors. Often, his efforts went awry in amusing ways. His final mistake came when he ran to close the open gate at the prison allowing walkers to pour into the facility. The dead got him, but not before he closed the gate. This is one character death they should have spent just another second with, giving Rick time to put T-Dog down before he turned. It was not okay for him to save everyone, then get left behind to the fate they all dread.
Post-TWD, IronE Singleton basks in fan love, attending numerous conventions over the years to meet them. He’s polished his one-man show, Blindsided by the Walking Dead and performed it several times for fans eager to learn how he turned his life around. In March 2016, IronE dropped his album Hip-Hopcrisy. On the acting side of his multi-faceted talents, IronE has filmed The Box Cutter, An Amish Murder, Franklin & Bash, and is currently working on a new series, SINs, which is searching for a network.
A lot of the character-driven drama pushing the first few seasons forward centered on Rick and Lori’s tumultuous relationship, highlighting how she moved on thinking she was a widow, but Rick was only motivated by keeping Lori and Carl safe. Their clashes, and the Shane complications, led to some of the most frustrating moments on the show. The biggest of which has to do with Lori’s death during childbirth. That’s a rant for another day.
Free from wearing a prosthetic stomach to work every day, Sarah Wayne Callies starred in Into the Storm opposite Richard Armitage, and Pay the Ghost co-starring Nicholas Cage, before finding a new show to headline, USA Network’s Colony. As Katie Bowman, Callies goes the extra mile to stand up for her freedom while keeping her family together in the wake of an alien invasion. Colony will return for a second season in 2017. Callies is very busy, what with the Prison Break miniseries/sequel set to hit airwaves next year, as well. She will also appear in the upcoming film This is Your Death directed by Breaking Bad star Giancarlo Esposito. The upcoming animated pilot Elena’s Serenade is spear-headed by Callies, who found inspiration in Campbell Gleeslin’s book and wrote the script for the project.
Oscar deserved a better death. He needed more than Axel to mourn him. He should have survived far longer than he did, but thanks to TWD’s inability to handle multiple men of color on the show—I’ll keel over if Glenn ever meets another Korean-American—Oscar was killed off simply to prove Rick couldn’t get his crap together.
Worry not, Vincent Ward gets plenty of love to make up for his too-short time as Oscar. He and fellow prisoner-turned-good-guy, Lew Temple, can often be found making mischief at horror conventions and meeting fans. Recently, Vincent graced small screens for a Bravecto commercial—though his furry co-star totally stole the show. He’s also appeared on Wilfred, The Other Side, Psych, and 2 Broke Girls. Earlier this year, Vincent joined Brandon Routh and Yuqi Zhang for the thriller Lost in the Pacific. His other film projects post-TWD include 4 Play, Message from a Mistress, Grave Walkers, 2016, along with the upcoming star-studded horror flick Death House, and The Choir Director. He has also graced numerous stages for various plays since leaving TWD.
In one of the more startling murders, we said goodbye to kind-hearted Axel. Of course, this was literally seconds after Carol and Axel had a nice bonding moment which promised a healthier mental turn for both. We just didn’t expect The Governor to turn Axel’s mind inside out with a bullet before he found peace.
There was never a doubt that after TWD, Lew Temple would go on to do great things. Heck, he’d done plenty before donning that grimy prison uniform to impress me. Not long after saying goodbye to Axel, Lew joined Johnny Depp for The Lone Ranger. Being in the class of actor who never sleeps, Lew’s post-TWD credits are vast—Longmire, Wicked City, Night Moves, House of Forbidden Secrets, Atlas Shrugged 3, Camouflage, A Fighting Season, The Grace of Jake, plus numerous other projects. He’s got nearly a dozen films in the works at the moment. Horror fans will be excited to know Lew worked with Rob Zombie again for his new feature, 31, which will be available through VoD on September 16th, with a limited theatrical release on October 21st. Lew’s other upcoming projects include Kidnap with Halle Berry, The Endless, Feral, My B.F.F., Behind the Walls, Cut Off, and The Three.
A one-handed bastard to the end, Merle Dixon didn’t care if he had friends, so long as he had everything he wanted in order to make his life easier. His alliance with The Governor was a means to an end. An end which changed at some point, eventually leading him to catch a case of emotions and attempt to end Phillip’s reign in Woodbury by himself rather than hand over Michonne. As much as I want to say Merle should’ve lived longer, he did go out a hero and that’d be a disservice to the rare example of character growth on the show.
Michael Rooker needs no introduction. He’s big, blue, and everywhere in pop culture at the moment after starring in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, directed by James Gunn. Rooker’s Yondu will return on May 5, 2017 when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is released. Fans got a preview of Yondu’s new ‘do at San Diego Comic-Con 2016 when Rooker, backed up by his Ravagers, joined the GotG V2 cast during the Marvel panel. In another project written by Gunn and directed by Greg McLean, Rooker joins a seriously unhinged social experiment in The Belko Experiment. The film screened at the Toronto International Film Festival recently and found a distributor through BH Tilt. Audiences will get a chance to see TBE when it releases on March 17, 2017. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, a restored version of the film will screen at the Chicago International Film Festival on October 14th. The event will include a Q&A with Rooker and director John McNaughton. Henry hits theaters again beginning October 21st. Rooker has been tied to Kevin Smith’s Mallrats sequel, though what form the end product will be remains unknown. Smith’s latest updates says the ten-episode series has Universal as a production house, but they’re still looking for someone to actually air it. Can’t wait for his upcoming projects to get a Rooker fix? No worries! He regularly attends comic and horror conventions to meet fans.