'Walking Dead' Recap: Crazy Cheese! (or: I Heart Rosita)
Although still not exactly a hardy-har knee-slapper, The Walking Dead is undergoing a funny change these days, embracing both a comic, and comedic, surrealness that totally works for me. Sure, Sunday's episode, titled "Claimed," had some fiendishly tense moments (no more so than a trapped Rick surprising a thug on the toilet -- which was actually kinda funny, come to think of it). And yet, for all the zombie slaying, in its 4th season, AMC's hit is displaying a relative light-heartedness, perhaps out of necessity. Who wants to watch a show that makes you feel lousy all the time? Whether that thread of levity continues as more and more of the Post-Prison Gang trudge toward Terminus (salvation...or not), who knows? But for now, there are altogether crowd-pleasing parts in place, more than ever before. Herewith, a rundown of undead smiles:
ROSITA Has there ever been a character as fanboy-titillating as this twin-pistol-packing pinup, who speaks softly and flashes midriff and shorty-shorts? For a show that revels in grit and realism, the new Rosita is straight out of glossy fantasy, like something a nerd would draw in his Trapper Keeper while daydreaming in high-school algebra. Played by va-voomish actress Christian Serratos (Twilight, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide), Rosita is presumably benevolent, an amorous sidekick for Sgt. Abraham Ford, a loopy toughie intent on saving the the world. All apologies to pretties Maggie, Daryl and Michonne: The Walking Dead has NEVER had eye-candy like Rosita.
CRAZY CHEESE A running gag in Sunday's ep, Crazy Cheese (aka sprayable Cheez Whiz) is yet another thing, along with candy bars and comic books, bonding Michonne and Carl. Our katana-wielding dreadlocked samurai tries to cheer up the Kid in the Hat by unloading a mondo glob of Crazy Cheese in her maw. He does't smile; she has to swallow the stuff. Ha! Where did that goofy gag come from? Perhaps it was BYOB Day in the writer's room? Regardless, it was a likable undercurrent for their otherwise heavy side-story about babies: Carl's sis Judith (he named her -- heartbreaking) and Michonne's boy Andre Anthony ("I had a 3-year-old son," she says, "and he happened to find me extremely funny"). Carl's kicker that the infants are "together somewhere" was genuinely sob-worthy. Thankfully, there was one final Crazy Cheese joke to come.
SGT. ABRAHAM FORD AND DR. EUGENE PORTER The Lenny & Squiggy of the Dead-i-verse, Ford (Michael Cudlitz) and Porter (Josh McDermitt) sport the weirdest hair on the show. Ford has a red-dyed blockhead 'do, and Porter hangs the worst mullet since Billy Ray Cyrus. Even more outlandish, the Army man's raging braggadocio ("Aw honey, look at you, you're a damn mess") is in direct contrast with Porter's sad-sack feebleness. According to showrunner Scott Gimple, Abraham, Eugene and Rosita are straight out of the graphic-novel source material -- comic relief, in more ways than one.