Contains Spoilers

Early this week I took the time to write a column about a memoir I had just finished. Sadly I had little positive to say about the book and in the end I deleted my column. It's kind of too bad because I thought the book was interesting but the author was just plain mean when maybe she thought she was being funny. (I don't think calling an older woman a 'wrinkled creature' is terribly amusing. Eventually, if we're lucky and don't conk out sooner, we'll all be old and wrinkled. And hopefully be having an awesome retirement.) For try number two I'll be slightly less negative while discussing a couple of television shows.

The Walking Dead – Carol
So a couple of weeks ago Rick tossed Carol out of the group, leaving her somewhere random. He says it's because she murdered two sick people and burned their bodies, but I think he did it because he's afraid she's becoming too much of a leader. Yes she did kill two people, in hopes of stopping the epidemic, but he's no moral compass with sparkling clean hands. He killed Shane in cold blood and he went a little nuts after Lori died. It's weird to me how people trust him to be in command when he was hallucinating to the point his companions were in danger.
On the Talking Dead, which runs after the Walking Dead and discusses the show, interviews actors and just plain gossips, they were discussing Carol and the likelihood of her returning to the prison. Both weeks they've discussed it they all decided no she would not come back, she would stay away. But I've never seen them ask a mother what she thinks.

Carol lost her little girl Sophie in a slow, grueling way. She had no idea of her child's fate but of course she agonized over what had probably happened the entire time Sophie was missing. She also lost her husband, although I say she's better off without him. Now she is a surrogate mother to the two little girls at the prison. She may have warmed one of them off, telling her not to call her mom, but it's obvious to me she cares deeply for them. She's also been reading to all the children and teaching them how to protect themselves. I can't imagine that she would willingly abandon them, especially in the care of a mentally ill, hypocritical murderer.

Furthermore the timing of her exile could not be worse. As an epidemic rages through the prison, dividing the populace into the very ill, the exposed, who are quarantined, and those who are healthy and trying to do the jobs of those who are ill or dead, the last thing they can afford is to lose a set of helping hands. When the very ill, possibly dying, are the ones who are operating the ambu bag for a patient in respiratory arrest you are in dire straits indeed. It was unfair to every person in the prison to get rid of Carol, who is strong, healthy, determined and tough. I hope she comes back and takes a stand.

The Blacklist
Did I talk about this show yet? It's deranged. When I watched the opening scene of the pilot I thought it was a parody. I still think it's entirely possible that it is a parody but only the writing room is in on the joke.

James Spader plays an arch criminal who walks into the FBI office, kneels down in the lobby, puts his hands behind his head and waits to be arrested. Once their scanning system identifies him as a much wanted public enemy a million FBI agents surround him, both on the main floor and also on the mezzanine or whatever it is, and point their weapons at him. They're all in a circle so if they fire they'll likely shoot each other, but none of them seem concerned about that possibility.

Once they hustle him away and interrogate him he says he wants to work with a brand new agent called Lizzie something. He gets amnesty and Lizzie and they get his assistance catching a whole list of bad people. (One of them played by the every charismatic Isabella Rossellini.) Some of the casting for the villains is hilarious, such as casting Robert Sean Leonard, the actor who played Wilson on House, as the most dangerous man in the world. He doesn't look like he has a hostile bone in his body, making him a surprising villain. In other casting news I am once again baffled by the decision to cast actors who look as though they have had so much plastic surgery and/or botox that they'll never be able to move their faces again. When a character looks exactly the same no matter if they are supposed to be crying, joyous, frightened, or enraged there is a serious problem. I'm not going to name any names but if you watch this show for five minutes you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
The very best thing about this show? James Spader's character's hat obsession. I have never seen so many scenes take place in hat shops before. He even bought two hats at the same time while chatting with the FBI. We could change the name of the show from the Black List to the Hattery List. The second best thing is James Spader himself, who totally seems to be in on the joke. Especially when he's rattling off a string of the most overused cliches in the book. If you like camp, which may not even be aware that it is camp, you should enjoy this one.

I meant to talk about a couple of more shows but this ran longer than I anticipated. So maybe next week.

Bonus Treat:
This week's bonus treat is hopefully not a repeat. It's Mark Twain's brilliant take down of James Fenimoore Cooper's writing. In part of the essay he explains that in one portion of the Leatherstocking Tales a Native American is tracking someone and almost loses them when they take to a stream to hide their tracks. Not to be so easily misled, he gets the stream to leave its bed and is able to follow the tracks left by the refugees when they walked along the bottom of the creek. Because that's how it works. I can't count the number of times I've followed people by looking at the footprints they leave in water. A child could do it. http://twain.lib.virginia.edu/projects/rissetto/offense.html