• The Daryl Dixon dilemma

    Karen Kunawicz

    Karen Kunawicz

    If, for one reason or another you are still depressed and reeling from the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda, and stressed about the mad swirl that is commercial Christmas like I am—watching The Walking Dead’s mid-season finale may not be suitable if your goal is to kick back, relax and free your mind from the cares and worries of day.

    So much of that episode is tragic; it probably counts as one of the saddest episodes I’ve seen of the show. Sometimes, I wonder how I’ve followed it through four seasons considering how depressing it can get. You find yourself investing in a few characters but since this is a cruel and frightening world created by Robert Kirkman and his co-horts, the reality of theirdreadful demise lurks at every corner.

    For my own sanity, I probably shouldn’t be watching anymore but beyond the writing, I’ll have to own up to saying it’s Norman Reedus aka the crossbow-toting Daryl Dixon who keeps me going.

    I first saw Norman in 1997’s Mimic—that horror movie about giant cockroach-like creatures in the subways and sewers of Manhattan. It was directed by one of my favorites, Guillermo del Toro, and Norman has but a few minutes at most of screen time.

    I didn’t see him again until 1999’s The Boondock Saints where he and Sean Patrick Flanery play vigilante brothers. He has a thing for being in indie films, so it took until Blade 2 for me to see him after that. For the most part, I’ve had to track down the indies to get my fix.

    Norman is gorgeous, a bit crazy and off center and is amazing to his fans. He doesn’t mind shooting their “selfies” with him—at a convention, on the street, at a coffee shop, on the set of TWD. When he has time, he also shares photos he has taken of gifts he receives from his fans: customized clothing, drawings from kids, notes. I don’t know where he has the space to put all these things.

    So here is my dilemma with that show, do I love Norman or my sanity more? I suppose sticking around this long has given me my answer.

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    If one seeks lighter fare, the cinemas are filled aplenty with: Disney’s Frozen, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Ender’s Game.

    * * *

    You can catch the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead tonight at 7 p.m. on Fox. Norman Reedus appears on the cover of this month’s Men’s Fitness. He also released a limited edition photography book recently, The Sun’s Coming Up Like A Big, Bald Head.


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