‘Walking Dead’ briefs: mid-season finale ratings, Steven Yeun, fascism, Sonequa Martin-Green

This is posted on Sunday, December 18, 2017 by Rodney Ho on AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

“MadTV” actor Bobby Lee couldn’t believe it when he saw Steven Yeun auditioning for a relatively small role.

“I was auditioning for a movie, a stoner movie. It was five lines. Of course I’m going to read for that movie, because I’ve really got nothing else going on,” Lee said on TigerBelly, the podcast he does with his girlfriend Khalyla Kuhn. “I’m sitting there with these five lines. They’re okay lines, and then a kid walks in, who’s auditioning for the same part, and it’s Steven Yeun,” said Lee. “Now, I looked at him, and I go, After your audition, I’m going to yell at you outside. So I took Steven Yeun out there. I didn’t yell at him, but I went, How do you not get an offer?” Lee recalls, “He’s like, Dude I gotta read.

Lee felt like given Yeun’s high-profile role on “The Walking Dead,” he wouldn’t need to audition for a five-line role. He didn’t say when this happened. Yeun is now in a good position to get new roles, hopefully juicier than five lines.

Imdb lists three movies Yeun has shot that are now in post production.

One, called “Mayhem,” stars Yeun. This is how imdb described it, via Variety. It seems to have echoes of “The Walking Dead” since it involved a virus:

Matias Caruso penned the script, which tells the story of a virus that infects a corporate law office on the day attorney Derek Saunders (Yeun) is framed by a co-worker and wrongfully fired. The infection is capable of making people act out their wildest impulses. Trapped in the quarantined building, our hero is forced to savagely fight tooth and nail for not only his job but his life.

Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal star in a film called “Okja” with Yeun. I’m not clear how big his role is but the film is described as:  A young girl named Mija risks everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend – a massive pig named Okja.

And in “Chew,” he is given a “voice.” Not sure if that means this film is animated. The description on imdb.com:

Tony Chu is a detective with a secret. A weird secret. Tony Chu is Cibopathic, which means he gets psychic impressions from whatever he eats. It also means he’s a hell of a detective, as long as he doesn’t mind nibbling on the corpse of a murder victim to figure out whodunit, and why. He’s been brought on by the Special Crimes Division of the FDA, the most powerful law enforcement agency on the planet, to investigate their strangest, sickest, and most bizarre cases.

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Someone on YouTube compiled every human death ever on “The Walking Dead” in order from season one to season six. That’s a whole horde of dead people over 16 minutes and it’s pretty darn gruesome to watch continuously. Good luck:

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Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

This theWeek story notes how “The Walking Dead” embraces fascist leadership. Cooperative groups get crushed. Kill or be killed. Enemies lurk. It’s the basic ethos of the show.

Stephen Olbrys Gencarella of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, who has taught about the show as well as written about it for the academic journal Horror Studies, said this:

Other shows out there are hitting similar themes, and that shouldn’t surprise us given the anxieties of our times. But so many of those other shows demonstrate the consequences for violence or debate the ethical complexities of living with others who are different, or show the moral turmoil of people who enact or suffer violence. The Walking Dead is the only show that actively courts, rather than critiques, fascist ethics, and suggest that it’s the only viable solution to perceived threat.

In fascist mentalities, kindness, empathy, and sympathy are seen as weaknesses, critical self-reflection is seen as a danger to security, and discussion and negotiation is seen as failure. Existence is a tragic struggle to be won or lost.

Note that Deanna Monroe, a woman who truly embraced cooperation and diplomacy, was killed off at Alexandria. And so was her son, whose attempt this past Sunday at imitating his mom failed miserably. And Rick’s decision to pre-emptively kill the Saviors at that outpost was a major turning point in the morality of the group. At least Rick is being punished for his actions though since he is the “hero,” he will get his revenge on Negan.

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Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, Ann Mahoney as Olivia - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, Ann Mahoney as Olivia – The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

“The Walking Dead” mid-season finale managed a rather impressive jump in ratings including DVR usage. The overnight numbers were 10.6 million but increased to 15.2 million after adding three days of DVR watching.

But that’s below the season average of 16.1 million Live+3 so far over eight episodes.

That’s also a dropoff of about 13 percent from the season six average of 18.4 million viewers. The show peaked in popularity season five and has seen a slippage since then.

How long the show will last depends how quickly the descent will be from here on in. My prediction: 10 seasons.

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Sasha is not adjusting well to this concept of pre-zombie living. CREDIT: AMC

Sasha is now at the Hilltop with Maggie. CREDIT: AMC

Sonequa Martin-Green, who has played Sasha on “The Walking Dead” since season three, has been cast in a lead role in “Star Trek Discovery,” according to the Independent.

Green will play a lieutenant commander in the reboot,which will total 13 episodes on CBS in 2017.

This doesn’t bode well for Sasha’s future on the show and may imply that she will die sometime during the second half of season seven. Then again, the shooting schedule for season one “Star Trek Discovery” probably won’t coincide with that of “The Walking Dead,” which usually begins production in spring and runs through November.

Corey Hawkins, who is now lead on Fox’s “24: Legacy,” has a significantly smaller role on “The Walking Dead” with Heath. He had very few lines or notable character development until episode six this season where he hangs out with Tara before disappearing. Will he reappear at some point or is he dead?

 

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