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Hello and welcome back to one of my totally pointless reviews! I am here today to talk about the Webisodes as the third series "The Oath" was just released. I am pleased to say that I was impressed by it and surprised at how good it turned out to be. The Webisodes got off to a rough start and well lets be honest here, "Torn Apart" could have been a lot better than it was. So read on Walking Dead fans to hear my thoughts on the three Webisode series'.
So on October 3rd, 2011, The Walking Dead: Torn Apart made it's internet debut. The episode revolves around Hannah's (Bicycle Girl) family and their survival in the onset of the zombie apocalypse.
If I had to sum up this mini-series in one statement I would say...good ideas but lack of a budget brought this series down. It was very promising to hear one of the better directors on the show, Greg Nicotero, was directing a set of five 7-10 minute web-episodes. It started off well and the tie-in with the show was apparent immediately. Not just that but it was set in Rick's home town and we got a view of the start of the outbreak and how a town like this would fall in this type of situation. The cinematography was also quite well done and the gore we are accustomed to backed it up, making for a fantastic visual landscape.
So what am I complaining about, well two things stuck out for me; The Story and acting (This was a bigger issue).
I will start why I thought the story was not all that great. Well the big problem was we knew how it was going to end, we all knew Hanna would be "torn apart" and that her kids would probably get way...so the only tension I really felt was when the ex-husband, Andrew, was on screen and I admit his "death" was well done and inflicted some good emotions (He was really the main character). However it all felt irrelevant in the end as the kids escaped and we don't know what happened to them.
Now the acting was definitely not pretty, the worst would have to be the kids as they were just plain awful and even smiled when being chased by flesh-hungry monsters and seeing their neighbors "torn apart." The terrible acting really felt like they were trying to direct a B-grade horror flick, when The Walking Dead tries to stride way from being that.
7/10 - Solid
With a good visual setting and atmosphere, "Torn Apart" is pulled down by it's weak story and poor acting performances.
On October 1st, 2012, the second set of Webisodes; "Cold Storage" came along. It is safe to say that due to the first set being quite a big hit on the web, Nicotero decided to crank up the budget a bit and it payed off immensely.
The setting this time is a seemingly abandoned self-storage facility located on the outskirts of Atlanta City. We meet out main character Chase sitting on the roof along with his husky friend Harris (Get the reference?), who is killed immediately when the two are ambushed by walkers and Harris is bit on the shoulder. The setting in this series is much different than "Torn Apart" as we get to see our characters survive in a close quarters space that is seemingly clear of zombies. Nicotero's cinematography is on point as usual and helps give the viewer a sense of the seriousness of this zombie infested world.
The story is very solid this time around and we don't know what will happen to our main characters of Chase, Kelly and B.J. It quickly becomes apparent that B.J. is not the nice guy he is leading Chase on to believe he is, as Chase soon discovers he is using Kelly as his..."party time." The ending also wrapped up the storyline nicely and you get the feeling the Chase from the beginning is not the same Chase at the end. I was a little disappointed at the TV tie-in though, the picture of Rick and his family felt a little forced and it seemed that it was thrown in there to say; "This is related to The Walking Dead Show!"
So how was the acting? Well it was good for the most part, however it was a good thing they killed Harris as he was definitely the weakest out of the four characters. I also had some issues with Kelly, she seemed to be good at some parts, but weak in others. I also felt that her character was a bit bi-polar, as when she is first found she acts all scared and violated, however in the next five minutes she is a machete wielding pro! B.J. and Chase were very good however, they each fitted their roles well and were very believable the whole way threw.
8.5/10 - Great
"Cold Storage" lives up to the name of The Walking Dead well and does what any Webisode series should; Get you excited for the actual Season of the show.
So after thinking we might not get Webisodes this year are doubts were laid to rest when "The Oath" was released on October 1st, 2013. These were the best set of Webisodes that have been released thus far, which is odd as Season 3 was the weakest Season. However these were not perfect and the main problem was continuity.
Firstly did the visual spectacle impress...mos definitely. This Webisode definitely featured the best cinematography and the shot that peered down the hallways were absolutely fantastic, I did have a problem with the look of the hospital but that will be covered later. The environment is again much different from "Torn Apart" and "Cold Storage." We are thrown into a forest and a deserted hospital. They are great locations and made for a very interesting three episodes.
The story was great, it was an interesting take and raised some great moral dilemmas. A problem I had though was that there were some continuity errors. The first is that the hospital (Harrison, it is the same one Rick was in at the time of the outbreak) looked completely different from the series. Now this may seem like a minor problem but it really bugs you when the webisodes make a big deal making a tie-in between the episodes. However there were some great tie-in like we find out one of the main characters Paul was the on who wrote "DON'T OPEN, DEAD INSIDE" on the hospital cafeteria doors. Another thing that bugs me is that the nurse never mentions Rick...which is odd. You could say she never found him but I don't know, his room was barricaded by a stretcher so she probably would have checked. However she might have been taking care of him...but I think they could have explained some aspects better.
The acting was good, Gale felt a little off at times but at the end she was a fully fledged nutter and it payed off well as it established Paul's character and ending well, however when he turns Karina into a captured walker and plucks her teeth out it kind of felt repetitive as we have seen the capture with Michonne and the teeth plucking with The Governor (GN only of course). Karina was a good central protagonist and her death was very well executed and established a great moral choice and view on the zombie infested world.
"The Oath" delivers a great story with memorable characters that drive the plot, however it suffers from continuity issues and a slight feeling of repetitiveness.
That's All Folks
Thanks for reading my reviews on the webisodes and if you don't agree feel free to leave a response in the comments. My next review will be on Issue 115 of the comic series. I look forward to seeing you all then. Until next time Cheerio!