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Monday, March 9, 2015

The Walking Dead and Bethyl: Review and tribute video

Since its start back in 2010, The Walking Dead has become a worldwide sensation. & why not? It has all the terror & gore that comes with a zombie apocalypse, combined with believable & heart wrenching acting. My husband & I were excited about the show at first, but we lost interest during the second season, mostly because it started getting too repetitive - too much walking around & then finding a safe haven & then having to leave & walk around some more. While my husband (who is pretty much a real life Daryl Dixon) never regained interest in the show, I kept coming back to it. Something about it just kept pulling me back in. Maybe it's all the hype. Maybe I'm brainwashed. Who knows.

So after season 2 I started watching the show again, on & off, until "Bethyl" began to emerge from the ashes of armageddon. Then I was hooked. There had been other relationships on the show, but I was never really invested in any of them. This was something different. Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) was this hardened, stubborn, closed off warrior type, & Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) was the group's little glimmer of hope - sweet, kind, physically weak but inwardly strong. These 2 characters were polar opposites of each other, but it worked because each possessed qualities that the other needed. He made her want to be strong, & she made him want to "Be Good" (See what I did there? If not, you will) ;)

In the episode "Still" these dynamics were really fleshed out. The entire episode was devoted to these 2 characters exclusively, as they hid out in a little house alone together (besides a couple zombies, of course). This was the first episode that focused entirely on just one of the show's many story lines, & for us "Bethyl Shippers" it was a dream come true. No they didn't sleep together or even kiss, but they grew close in other ways. Better ways. Ways that transcended romance & cut straight to the soul. It is this episode that makes up about 95% of my video, & it turns out that the day I finished the video was also the one year anniversary of that episode airing. I had no idea, so while I had been unsure of whether to post the blog & video (mostly due to the fear of teasing from my husband), I took this cool little synchronicity as a sign & decided to go through with it.

I wanted to use actual footage in the video, but we live out in the sticks (pretty much one step up from the characters in the show), so I had to make due with pictures I found online. I used the song "Be Good" by Emily Kinney (who played Beth on the show) because the lyrics are so perfect for it. I almost feel like the song was written about the aforementioned episode. Not sure if that's true or not, but either way, I tried lining as many pictures up with the corresponding words as possible. I know fans of the show will notice the synchronicities, even if I'm not the first to point them out - I have no idea if I'm the first or not. Sticks, remember? ;)

I added some clips of Emily/Beth singing on the show (including, of course, a clip of her singing "Be Good" in the "Still" episode), & I also added some strings in the background & some clips from "Cups" by Anna Kendrick - That song nearly mimics Beth's words to Daryl in the aforementioned episode, & it's also in the same key, so I just had to stick it in there.

(Spoilers Ahead)

Those words "You're gonna miss me when I'm gone" couldn't ring more true now, both for Daryl & for the fans. In her final season, Beth was starting to become my favorite character. She was finally starting to break out of that "weak little girl" mold & starting to become a real badass. I soon found myself more excited about seeing her character progression & evolution into a warrior than about her reuniting with Daryl & the others. But for seemingly no reason at all (except maybe shock value) they killed her off. It made no sense. It's not just that it was sad, but in all honesty, it was just bad writing.

As a writer myself, I recognize an amazing story waiting to be told. Beth was a story. A GOOD story. She was in the middle of an inward & outward transformation that we never got to see fully realized. & I'm not the only one feeling this way. Fellow writers included, thousands took to social media with hashtags like #BethGreeneDeservedBetter. Because she did. & so did we. I originally planned to make my tribute much more dark & depressing & more about her death (& to an entirely different song too), but then I decided that "Still" is how I want to remember them. So I went for a slightly more uplifting & peaceful video. But that doesn't mean it doesn't still hurt. Because it does.

I know I'm a little late with my tribute, as most fans made theirs within a week after the heartbreaking episode, but I think this television tragedy affected me far too much. It took the entire time between seasons just to come to terms with the fact that this awful thing had happened for no logical reason. At this point I had pretty much decided to stop watching the show, but I told myself I'd at least wait to see the characters grieve before I completely stopped watching. The show returned with yet another heartbreaking episode, involving a death that again made absolutely no sense whatsoever, but I stuck it out until finally the grieving episode came. I've wandered back into apocalypse land since then, but as more of a curious spectator than a fan. I'm sorry but I can't be a fan of a show that makes not one but 2 stupid decisions back to back. Guess my husband was right. Why, oh why didn't I listen to my real life Daryl Dixon? Lesson learned ;)

BUT, if I had listened to him, I never would have made this video. Although I cried like a baby more than a few times, I actually enjoyed making this video & tinkering with the music. It's short & simple, but I hope you guys will like it. Let me know what you think, & if you made it this far, thanks for reading!

My tribute:

P.S. I made the last 2, but if anyone knows who did the other 2 frames of digital art featured in the video, please let me know. I'd love to credit them!

 Stay Frosty,
 Kylie Jude.


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