First of all — if you're reading this thinking "Oh shoot! Did I miss the premiere of season three of 'The Walking Dead'?!" — no, don't panic. This is just a blog about the special season three preview that aired on AMC this weekend, culminating with Sunday night's episode of the "Talking Dead" panel show.
Yup, I was that bored that I took the time to write a blog recapping a preview of a show that won't come back on the air for another three months.
To be fair though, I didn't sit on my couch and watch all 19 episodes as they were rebroadcast all day Saturday and Sunday, or the special black and white version of the series premiere on Sunday night. I do have a life after all! (By having a life I mean umpiring beer league softball, wading in a swimming pool at a condo park that I don't live at, drinking cans of cheap beer and making myself feel sick and sad by eating at an all-you-can-eat buffet.)
But alas...you came here for the goods about the season three preview, and that's what you'll get.
Michonne has me excited!
The money shot of the entire preview was an exclusive first-look scene of Michonne (Dania Gurira) stalking some walkers in a general store and then expertly dispatching them with her samurai sword. She then grabs some aspirin and ducks out. Michonne (pronounced MEE-SHONE) is clearly going to be a major part of season three, but you already knew that.
They also had a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a San Diego Comic-Con exhibit which will allow fans to have their picture taken as one of Michonnes' two "pet" walkers.
Series creator Robert Kirkman also said that there will be a "The Walking Dead Escape" obstacle course at PetcoPark during Comic-Con. Does anyone want to pay for me to fly to San Diego next week? I'll blog about it?
Other new (and old) characters
It was confirmed that ol' one-hand Merle (Michael Rooker) will be returning to the cast this season, and he has apparently made some interesting repairs to his severed mitt! Also, The Governor (David Morrissey) is going to be playing a pretty big role tormenting our survivors and trying to run the twisted outpost of Woodberry. Of the Gov, producer Glen Mazzara said "The Governor is a guy who believes that this zombie apocalypse is all about him. That somewhere down the road history's going to look back and there was one guy who kept the light on, who kept humanity going … he thinks he's the messiah."
Mazzara also said that Rick Grimes has to figure out how far he can push people, and it seemed like he said "Rick-tatorship" about ten times even though he probably only said it once.
Little Carl calls in
Fans of actor Chandler Riggs (Carl Grimes) were treated to a surprise call in from the special little guy, who seems to be developing a complex about being portrayed as a little munchkin who's running around playing cowboys and injuns and crying when he spills his ice cream. Riggs said that Carl Grimes "is growing up, he's definitely not a kid anymore … no more crying or being told to get in the house. He's more of a soldier now, he's more a part of the group now." He then said that if he could pick any weapon to have during the zombie apocalypse it would be a flamethrower with a bayonet on it, and that he was "pretty okay on the video game."
Season Three will have a rocket launcher and a machine gun
On one segment, host Chris Hardwick visited the set to chat with props manager John Sanders, who showed off some of the weapons that would be featured in the upcoming season. Those weapons included a rocket launcher (that'll leave a mark!) and a machine gun, which Hardwick got to squeeze a few rounds out of, after taunting some imaginary zombies by saying "Hey zombies, suck it zombies." Oh yeah, and there will also be Michonne's sword, obvi. Hardwick got to swing a sharpened version of it into some hanging mat, which it easily cut in half, and then the sword hit a cement wall, slightly damaging the sword in the process. I think he was taking out his frustrations from asking the show producers questions and constantly being told "You'll just have to wait and find out."
Scared Straight with Steven Yeun
There was a pretty cool segment where Steven Yeun (Glenn) guides Hardwick around the prison set that looks to be the survivors' home base during most of season three. They actually constructed a prison from scratch and it looks pretty dang cool. Yeun even demonstrated how the actors are asked to just hock loogies on the floor when they're walking around to help develop that lived-in look. Yeun also whipped the fans all up into a frenzy by saying that the breakneck pace that last season ended in is going to be the kicking off point for this season. "It's just gonna get more nuts," he said.
Drew Carey, former star of "The Good Life" and host of "The Price Is Right", was the special guest on "Talking Dead." He looks kind of weird now. I'm used to him being this jolly fat man, but now he looks all gaunt and pensive, like some hipster. He seemed a little sedated to me, and his highlight was when he feigned mock surprise when host Chris Hardwick, he of the perfectly manicured "tousled and mussed up hair" look, told him that he had won a new car. It was also pretty fantastic when he said, "I would want somebody close to me to kill me," when asked what he would want if he was bitten by a zombie.
David Alpert reminds me of Patrick Bateman
During the second half of the show, producer David Alpert joined the panel. At first he looked like a really clean-cut, easy-going fellow with his stylish flats and all-American good looks. Then he turns to the camera and says "Honestly the thing that excites me most is that we're gonna kill so many people this season ... people that you care (about) and love and it's going to be awesome." Someone might want to check the freezer in his basement for human body parts in Ziploc bags.
Sprinkled throughout the preview were teasers of various upcoming "The Walking Dead" video games. There is Activision's first-person shooter, scheduled for a 2013 release, which features Daryl and Merle Dixon trying to survive in the Georgia countryside during the first days of the breakout. Then there was a commercial for TellTale Games' episodic adventure game, which is out now. And finally, Hardwick pitched "The Walking Dead" Facebook game, which has not yet been released but is said to be in the final testing phase. It looks cool, but man, I've played those Facebook games before and they are bad news! First it's kind of fun and you're getting new weapons and meeting new people, then you're playing for an hour or two everyday to unlock new items and send and receive gifts, then next thing you know you're adding hundreds of people you haven't met as friends to increase your empire and playing for five hours a day. Bad news...
There is also a special season three trailer scheduled to air sometime during the premiere episode of this new AMC reality show called "Small Town Security" about a group of quirky security guards in Georgia. It doesn't air until July 15, so I don't know if I can remember to watch it. I guess both shows are based in Georgia, but it seems like kind of a silly marketing stunt. I feel kind of like Ralphie sitting in the bathroom with an Ovaltine decoder ring. Speaking of other AMC shows: Bob Odenkirk is in"Breaking Bad"? What the heck?