Taking a Bite Out of Season 9 of ‘The Walking Dead’…

Well, well, well- look where we are again!

Good Morning, everyone! I had originally planned this post for Thursday- thinking I’d need a couple of days to process the finale to the most recent season of “The Walking Dead”, but considering how much I loved Sunday night’s episode and this season overall- I sat down to start writing and the words just flowed and flowed! Before I knew it, I had a full recap ready to go.

I’ve always been vocal about my grievances with past seasons of what is undoubtedly one of my favorite, “never miss an episode” shows since the TWD’s writing seemed to get lazier as the years wore on. Stories became repetitive, sluggish, and drawn out. The moments that were surprising and meant to catch people off guard felt like cheap ploys for ratings and “shock value” reactions on social media. More and more characters were brought in and then nothing of interest or value was ever done with them until they sort of faded into the background and out of people’s collective memory.

A lot of this downfall I blamed on Scott M. Gimple- the showrunner through seasons 4-8 (which were hands down the weakest)– and I didn’t have the highest hopes for season nine since he was still at the helm and rumors were flying very early on that many of the series’ main cast were in the process of parting ways due to personal reasons, salary disputes, etc.

… But then Angela Kang took over, and although she was essentially left with a years’ worth of messes to sort through and clean up- she rose to the challenge, took what could have been a total disaster- and gave us a string of some of the greatest episodes of ‘The Walking Dead’ since seasons 2 and 3. For the first time in a long time- it felt like someone actually cared about the show, the characters, and the fans who had been watching this entire time.

And yes, while a huge chunk of the main cast jumped ship by the time Season 9 premiered last October- Kang had been careful and creative- and had made it work where the show still functioned just as strongly, maybe even better- without key players to the series’ core.

I’m going to go more in depth after the cut- but this is the part where I warn people that AHEAD BE SPOILERS. If you haven’t caught up, are still binge-watching, or otherwise don’t want to know what happens- DO NOT PROCEED.

Otherwise, let a moment where Negan was actually sweet and heroic WELCOME YOU IN…

Continue reading “Taking a Bite Out of Season 9 of ‘The Walking Dead’…”

“She was an American girl…”

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

It’s back to blogging for me after a few days off to celebrate the Fourth of July, spend some time with friends, and just unplug for a little while. As much as I enjoy putting together new content for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays- sometimes it’s nice to just leave e-mails on unread for a bit and reconnect with nature and loved ones.

I highly recommend taking a break like that every once in a while! I try to do it once a month if it’s possible. It isn’t always easy- but it *is* always rewarding.

But these past few days have been a lot of fun, and I have the photos to prove it!

On Saturday, I headed down to Foxwoods for their annual ComiCONN Comic-Convention with my friend Evan to browse local artists/businesses and see some stars (also also eat the most delicious nachos and quesadillas at Scorpion Bar.) I’ve always been a bit of a Mohegan Sun girl- since most of my favorite bands/artists typically play there- but my first trip to Foxwoods in a long time didn’t disappoint. They’ve really done a lot with the place since the last time I was there and it’s very nice.

While we were there, I got to see/chat up ‘The Walking Dead’s Ross Marquand (he plays Aaron)– and he was an absolute sweetheart. He was so kind, funny, charismatic, and personable. That show might be taking all the wrong turns lately- but I’m so excited to see what he does next!

On Sunday, after running some pre-work week errands, I once again found myself in Western Massachusetts- this time at Ashfield Lake for the very first time with a friend of mine. We were desperate to beat the heat wave that has been mercilessly hammering down across New England for the better part of a week- and the water couldn’t have been more perfect. Not too cold, but not too warm after roasting under the sun all day. It was just right- and completely refreshing.

After we dried off, it was off to Amherst for dinner before I had to head back home and get ready for work.

The photo at the top of the post was taken right before we left the lake- as the sun was setting. One of Massachusetts’ hidden gems!

Although I had to work on Monday and Tuesday (and again yesterday and today)– the Fourth of July was spent in the wilderness. Specifically, in the White Mountains- where I spent the day hiking and swimming in streams, under waterfalls, and in lakes until it was time to head back into civilization, the city- and enjoy some fireworks and BBQ.

I especially love the White Mountains this time of year because it’s not ski-season, which means many of the busier areas and attractions aren’t as busy. I was able to rest and relax and just take in the sounds of the mountains around me until I had to rejoin Boston’s nightlife again. It was beautiful.

And now- back home and rejuvenated- I’m preparing for the weekend. After work today, I’ll be visiting a friend in Northampton before he takes the stage this weekend for a Summer-long theater project, and I’ve got a pretty great recipe up my sleeve that I’m excited to whip up tomorrow (and share next week!)

With that and a planned beach day with friends? It’s shaping up to be a lovely couple of days ahead!

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful Friday, and an even better weekend! I’ve got to get some work done before I take off again!

See you all on Monday!

xx

– Ashley –

Taking a Bite Out of Season 8 of ‘The Walking Dead’…

For anyone who knows me fairly well, or at the least followed me over here from ‘Legally Redhead’– you’ll know I’m a HUGE fan of ‘The Walking Dead’. While I’ve admittedly fallen a bit behind on the comics as of late (I blame work!)– I’ve never missed an episode of the AMC series since it premiered on Halloween night back in 2010.

Every Sunday night the show is on is like a mini-party at my place- complete with themed-snacks (Michonne-ion rings? Fried CARL-mari? Oh yeah. I’ve made ’em all), Walker-inspired decor, and official merchandise like t-shirts and pajama pants. I’ve speculated, debated, and predicated plot-points and characters’ motives at work, family functions, parties, online- and pretty much any place/outlet where the show is discussed. I’ve cosplayed as Daryl and Negan, I’ve hung out with some of the cast (who are all lovely)– and I’ve made friends and met kindred spirits with other fans from around the globe.

To say this show/franchise changed my life would be an understatement.

Every year, around this time- I always review the season that just wrapped up and make predictions for the season to come in the Fall. In this case, Season 8- which ended on a more sinister note this past Sunday night and included the show’s highly anticipated 100th episode- was a doozy of a nail-biter from start to finish. There’s a lot of unanswered questions- and although I’ve taken issues with the show’s writing/creative direction in recent seasons- I was pretty satisfied with Season 8 overall- save for a couple of major things here and there.

But I know there’s quite a few people who haven’t had the chance to catch up yet- and I don’t want to spoil anything for them- so I’m placing my review/guesses for the 9th season behind a “READ MORE/KEEP READING” cut to prevent ruining any twists/turns/shocking moments for those who still need some time to work their way to the Season 8 finale.

Again, last warning- unless you want to read spoilers for Season 8- DO NOT CLICK THE “READ MORE/KEEP READING” cut.

Otherwise, let Negan’s pained expression invite you in.

Same, dude. Same.

Continue reading “Taking a Bite Out of Season 8 of ‘The Walking Dead’…”