Had heard nothing but great things about 'The Walking Dead' from friends and IMDb reviewers. It took a while to get round to watching, both from being busy and also not being sure whether it would be my cup of tea. Finally getting round to it a few years ago and slowly working my way through it, having had a very long to watch and review list, 'The Walking Dead' turned out to be very much my cup of tea and as good as the hype made it out to be, have found it extremely addictive.
""Dead Weight", more eventful and gutsy than the previous episode "Live Bait" if not the adrenaline rush of other episodes before and since, does lack other episodes's tautness but it is still a very well done episode. It is yet again a strong reminder of how Seasons 1-5 of 'The Walking Dead' to me were absolutely brilliant and seeing the show in its full glory days (Season 6 was uneven, Season 7 was a huge disappointment and am still debating whether to watch Season 8). It is a thought-provoking episode with some tension and emotion, though these two are stronger in previous and later episodes.
It still shocks me at how an intelligent, well-made (so much so that it is easy to mistake it for a film) show about zombies could be made when so many films have tried and failed abysmally to do so.
Maybe "Dead Weight" has spots where it is too coincidence reliant and there definitely could have been more subtlety, failed redemption is a heavy theme but there were times where it could have been dealt with a little more sympathetically.
Like all the episodes of the show, "Dead Weight" is incredibly well made in the production values, with gritty and audacious production design, photography of almost cinematic quality, effects that look good, have soul and are not overused or abused and pretty frightening make-up. The music is haunting and affecting, having presence but never being too intrusive.
The writing is intelligent and thought-provoking, a bit heavy on the talk at times but intrigues still, with lots of slow-burning tension and emotional resonance and shows signs of character complexity and multiple layer storytelling. The more eventful parts are suitably uncompromising.
Appreciated the ever strong and still progressing story, where there is never the mistake of being confused or over-stuffed, and character building, which the episode has a bigger emphasis on, and that the pace is rarely dull or rushed with a mix of alertness and breathing, with some intensity in the more tense parts. The character writing and the character interactions are what is particularly great here, the further development for the Governor was appreciated and it fascinated as well as resonated.
Everything is nicely paced without rushing through the more important parts, not exactly taut all the time but not dull. The world building is already stunningly immersive and effective. Direction is smart and atmospheric while the show throughout has been strongly acted, David Morrissey here is terrific yet again, very commanding with a foreboding edge.
On the whole, very good but it is understandable if it doesn't work for some. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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