Much like Bruce Campbell the second he hit the San Diego Comic-Con stage, I cannot and will not contain my giddy fangirl squeal over Lee Majors joining the cast for AvED’s second season. A few scant years ago, Campbell told fans he would play Ash again when monkeys flew out his backside, and now he’s got the Six Million Dollar Man playing his pops on TV. Campbell did look a tad sheepish when someone toward the panel’s end brought up that very statement. I’m sure many, many fans are grateful he was wrong.
A surefire way to make a buck at the con over the weekend was to either sit on the panel with Campbell, or sic your children at him from the front row. The star first bribed his costars to say the right things, even Majors and the panel moderator. Then once the questions started, he paid three children to take off their DC villains costumes and get jobs. Yes, folks, Bruce Campbell took several moments to stop and parent someone else’s kids after discovering the first, a ten year old, watched the show. Pro tip: Don’t be that dad. You can see which one in the panel footage Starz posted.
On to the juicy details. Really juicy. Creator Sam Raimi says season two has more intensity. Which in their language means more blood. Good thing Starz is cool with whatever these good people want to put on screen. Campbell praised the cable network for staying hands-off. If Raimi, Tapert, and Campbell attempted to revive the franchise with another film, it wouldn’t have happened, according to the star. Sam Raimi elaborated on the Starz topic. “They want to provide something that’s not just out there, but can’t be found anywhere else on television, anywhere on cable. They want it to be a unique experience so that nobody is providing anything like it.” Well, ain’t that an understatement? Not seeing many networks lining up to show Campbell’s ass or someone smoking weed from a shotgun.
Lucy Lawless returns as Ruby. This season she’s finally a fleshed-out character and in need of Ash and his team. Or as she put it, “…fully in this ferocious second season.” While, yes, Ruby played a large part in season one, they created her as they went. Lawless said the character didn’t even have a last name until episode nine. Having Ruby along will make things a little more balanced for Kelly. We can expect to see some, “girl power thing,” from the ladies this season.
Ted Raimi rejoins the Evil Dead crew. He plays Chet Kaminski, Ash’s childhood friend. When discussing why they brought Ted back, Campbell said, “This is stupid. Where’s Ted? We’ve got to torment someone else on this show.” Aside from the apparent 30 year-old Kick Me sign on Ted’s back, he brings a fun dynamic to the crew missing in the previous season. The energy they had during the panel was insane. Except Majors. He seemed content to take it all in quietly. I don’t blame him. Those panels are overwhelming the first time around. Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago were likewise awestruck when they sat after being introduced.
Ash vs Evil Dead returns to Starz in October. In the meantime, slake your bloodlust with the trailer.
The Walking Dead SDCC 2016 Coverage By R.C. Murphy
The annual walker invasion at San Diego Comic-Con took place from July 21st through the 24th. Okay, there were a few thousand other people there, as well. Comic-Con is kind of a big thing, if you’ve lived under a rock for the last few years.
One of the most anticipated panels this year was The Walking Dead. Lucy had some ‘splainin’ to do about that angst-generating cliffhanger ending. Which is why Robert Kirkman struck that iron while hot shortly after the producers took the stage. Aside from numerous statements defending the ending since the finale, he simply added that fans would love the payoff from waiting so long for the reveal. We’ll agree to disagree, as we have since he first stepped on a soapbox to defend knee-capping Negan’s big moment.
What’s new for season seven? The producers confirmed a visit to The Kingdom, plus many more survivors and locations. Gale Anne Hurd meowed at one point, which baffled show fans who haven’t delved into the comic world. Kirkman admitted that once the show took off, he included things in the comics they’d never put on television. The show’s other producers picked up the gauntlet and plan to include some of the outlandish comic ideas into season seven. Sometimes these things bites one in the backside. In this case, one idea can bite off an entire backside and then some.
Right before they premiered the trailer, Nicotero shared new walker concept art. Looks like we’ve got more burned walkers on the way, plus the older walkers continue to become more mummy-like, and I don’t even know what happened to the bulgy walker. Death by bee hive attack?
Okay, on to the trailer.
I was really looking forward to seeing Jeffrey Dean Morgan swaggering on the screen. Instead, we got a rehash of the finale’s final scene, along with a cliché memorial video of sorts superimposed over Lucille. I would’ve gladly taken just the cropped shot of him slamming Lucille down on an unseen victim after a pan of the group by the RV. Instead they padded the footage with what is essentially an overly emotional teen girl’s video scrapbook. All that’s missing is the sappy song. The second half of the trailer delivers new characters, but too fast to identify any faces. We meet Ezekiel, leader at The Kingdom. Something we’ve rarely seen on this show is animals. Well, that’s about to change. There’s beasties coming. Most notably, Shiva, Ezekiel’s pet tiger. Funny how a few years ago, the show’s budget was nitpicked right and left. Suddenly they’re okay with tossing huge chunks of cash in to make CG animals.
The actors hit the stage when the trailer wrapped. Andrew Lincoln told fans, “Hang in there, guys.” He went on to say Jeffrey Dean Morgan has way too much fun as Negan. Which, as we already know, is probably creepy as hell on set, despite JDM’s infectious smile. There’s just something about a grinning guy wielding a barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat to make one’s sphincter clench. Lauren Cohan said, “We go to very physical and emotional places.”
Pretty standard quo for this show, but things are just beginning to take a turn for the worst. Nicotero confirmed it when he said this [their current situation with Negan] isn’t rock bottom.
The panel devolved into talk about on-set pranks and several cast members doing impressions of other actors. They did air the footage from when Reedus dumped a ton of confetti in Lincoln’s car air ducts. The first time I watched it, I couldn’t breathe because I laughed so hard.
I wasn’t happy with TWD at the end of season six, and they still haven’t done much to convince me they grossly mishandled Negan’s entrance. Yes, we get a flippin’ tiger next season, as well as a smarmy yet charming Big Bad, but fans are kind of a puppy kicked too many times. They’ve promised so many grand things, what happens if these season seven grand plans fizzle like the drawn-out Beth storyline?
Once you jump the tiger, there’s no going back. Hope they have a solid game plan going into this highly unpredictable season.