Considering the amount of viewing that must go into producing ScreenJunkies' Honest Trailers series, it's not too surprising that they don't turn their critical eye to television too often. But when they do, it's typically a big event - often highlighting among the most watched and high-profile of modern TV programming. And love it or hate it, AMC's still mega-popular The Walking Dead absolutely qualifies as such.
Now, Honest Trailers has trained its sights on the previous three seasons of the series, offering fans some laughs and memories en route to the back half of Season 6.
Framed as a retrospective of the series in general and the three most recent seasons in particular, the "Honest" recap zeroes in on the most common complaints against the popular AMC production; which despite tremendous longevity has been frequently criticized for re-using similar storylines and padding out episode-length via footage of the main characters, well, walking.
Coming in for particular scrutiny from the Honest Trailers parodists is the series' tendency to frame seasonal storylines around the familiar arc of the heroes visiting a seemingly safe location, discovering it to be not so safe at all and leaving it in ruins. The repetition of specific action beats also gets a comedic tweaking, with elaborate headshots and "straddle-punching" sticking out humorously. The clip also finds time to get its jokes in about Daryl and Michonne's apparent fandom-based invincibility, the questionable decision to rush through a potentially intriguing cannibalism storyline and Rick Grimes' (Andrew Lincoln's) bizarre pronunciation of the name "Carl."
For good measure, tie-in series The Talking Dead also comes in for a quick ribbing in the form of "Only Talking Positively About The Walking Dead" with a fast-talking host introducing a lineup that will include "somebody who died," an actor who may or may not watch the series and a producer "I'm not allowed to criticize." It's not all negativity, though, as the clip devotes a extended bit to marveling at the evolution of Carol (Melissa McBride) from meek victim to battle-hardened survivalist and makes special note of varying degrees of faithfulness shown to the original comic book series on which the show is based - a wealth of material that has left the show's producers confident that they can keep the franchise going for several more years, with executive producer David Alpert having said:
“I happen to love working from source material, specifically because we have a pretty good idea of what Season 10 is gonna be.”
“We know where season 11 and 12 … we have benchmarks and milestones for those seasons if we’re lucky enough to get there.”
Created in 2012 by ScreenJunkies' Andy Signore and Brett Weiner, Honest Trailers is among YouTube's most comedy series. Backed by vocals from prolific voice actor Jon Bailey, the series has developed a potent following thanks to its insightful observations about its target-material and the spot-on parody of old fashioned "Mr. Voice" trailer narration. The series has aired over 100 episodes, and has accrued over 300 million views on YouTube, with the creators branching out to also parody video games, classic films and other variations on the format as the franchise has continued to evolve.
The Walking Dead continues next Sunday with ‘The Next World’ @9pm on AMC.