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'The Walking Dead' Hiatus Fix: "Love Actually" (Andrew Lincoln)

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Love Actually

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The Walking Dead is an immensely popular--and immensely addictive--television program. Unfortunately for viewers everywhere, the show has just entered into a 2-month hiatus. Fortunately, however, the cast of The Walking Dead have some pretty extensive resumes that are certainly worth exploring. Particularly interesting is that of Andrew Lincoln, whose past roles are just about as far from Rick Grimes as is physically possible. A British actor, his CV is largely dominated by roles in romances. His most well-known performance prior to The Walking Dead came from Love Actually, a 2003 film that chronicles ten seemingly separate but ultimately related love stories as they unfold in London at Christmastime.

Andrew Lincoln plays Mark, a harmlessly hapless young man who loves all of the wrong people but does his best to do the right thing. Love Actually is so full of big names (Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, etc) and was produced prior to the days when Rick Grimes would become an internationally recognized zombie-killer, leaving the young Andrew Lincoln out of the opening credits. His story, however, is one of the most memorable and touching of the entire film, and it is difficult to make it through his big final scene without grinning...or crying. Or both. As a fair warning to diehard fans of Rick Grimes, Mark emerges from his plot as arguably the most swoonworthy of the characters. He doesn't kill any zombies. His accent is British. Not once does he say "thangs." He shaves and employs proper hygiene. Women won't have to judge their taste in men when they find him attractive.

Current zombie killer Andrew Lincoln aside, the film is filled with great (and highly familiar) actors who deliver fantastically touching performances. For those who may or may not be forced to watch Love Actually against their wishes this holiday season, there's always the fun of finding Snape from the Harry Potter films, Ra's al Ghul from Batman Begins, Martin Freeman from Sherlock and The Hobbit, and many others tucked away in this movie. What is possibly best about Love Actually, however, is the fact that the title does not refer only to romantic love. Family and friendship receive their due as well, and viewers aren't necessarily saddened when certain characters do not get a romantic happily-ever-after.

So, without hope or agenda, I have to recommend Love Actually as a treat for the Christmas season and as a balm for the sting of the midseason finale of The Walking Dead. (Or, at the very least, I must recommend this spoilerific clip of Lincoln's big climactic scene.)

Ladies, feel free to swoon.

Gents, take note.

Love Actually is available streaming from Netflix, Amazon, and for download from iTunes.

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