How The Walking Dead ‘Killed’ This Passionate Fan’s Passion…

In a hurry, I might add.

It’s the lack of character development, stupid.

1.  Tired, trite plot devices.  Hey, old campy sci fi flicks and cartoons like The Simpsons and Futurama have used ye olde decapitated head floating in a jar trope and used it better because the trope was intended to be tongue in cheek.  Sorry, can’t take it seriously. Makes me giggle.

2.  “Smell the Fart“.  We don’t know Michonne.  Last season’s cliffhanger left us with the impression of a borderline insane, possibly psychopathic, cunning, mysterious kick ass female survivor.  I couldn’t wait to get to know her.  Unfortunately we still don’t know Michonne because she has fallen victim to Joey Tribbiani’s ‘smell the fart‘ syndrome.  Remember when Joey landed a leading role in a soap opera?  Well… Michonne is smelling the fart big time.  And that’s about all she’s doing.

3.  Boring writing = the kiss of death = Andrea = Who?  The one survivor I really cared about from the original group (after Shane’s character-assassination and murder), the woman I had high hopes for, has become a zombie without even trying, uh, I mean… dying.

4.  I don’t need record zombie kills.  Zombies are nothing more than set pieces.  I need flesh and bone– three dimensional characters who move the plot forward.  Please don’t resort to zombie attacks to create plot which leads me to the following:

5.  As my son says, heroes are boring.  Villains are not.  Why?  Because most of the time movies and television portray heroes as reactive rather than proactive.  Villains, on the other hand, are proactive.  In other words, villains have a plan.  They have a vision.  Which is probably why The Governor is more interesting than anyone else, heads in jars notwithstanding.  (I must point out the borrowing here– themes from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.  Pay attention, it’s in there.)

I worried the death of Shane might spell the death of the show for me.  I hoped Andrea and Michonne would fill the void.  Not so far.  Nada.

Thus I’m thrilled to have found Faith on Hulu and I can’t wait for A Game of Thrones because if nothing else Tyrion and Cersei Lannister will fill an entire hour with plots and plans, sorrow and joy, murder and mayhem.

Complexity rules.  It’s the characters, stupid.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to How The Walking Dead ‘Killed’ This Passionate Fan’s Passion…

  1. Amber Skyze says:

    I can’t wait for A Game of Thrones! :)

  2. Don’t like Zombies. I see what you mean about heroes. Most of the time heroes have to follow the rule of law. That means “crime” then “action against criminal. ”

    That’s why Jack Bauer of 24 was the anti-villain anti-hero.

  3. Jaye says:

    Fiction writers could use TWD as a primer in what NOT to do with a story arc. Or actually, what happens when one doesn’t have an story arc.

    Ah well. Julia, hurry up and catch up with me on Faith. You will not believe what Choi Young did! Or what he told the king.

  4. Penelope says:

    Julia…do you think this is happening w/ TWD because they fired all of the writers from the “good” season? There is a huge difference in quality, and I think that’s why.

    Excuse me. I have to go feed my bobbing heads in the fish tank. Talk later!

    :)

  5. Michonne is a cipher character in the comics and the movie. Really, she was just there for the “cool” visual of a woman with a samurai sword leading around a pair of pet zombies.

    The “heads in a jar” thing came right out of the comics and it was stupid there, too. Of course, in the comic, the Governor was a lot worse — I’m not sure the little girl zombie was his daughter in the comic because he does some pretty vile things with it.

    The problem I see with the show is the writers are asking us to care about characters that are completely unlikable. And they’re not even unlikable in a good way (like Shane was – he was a dick, but you understood and sympathized with him). There isn’t a single character in the show I have a connection to at this point, so it’s tough for me to care one way or the other about them living or dying. Even Andrea, who did so well when played with Shane last season, has become annoying.

    If I wanted to be annoyed by stupid, pointless people I’d be on the Internet and not watching TV.

    Oh, here’s a great comic strip summing up every storyline from the Walking Dead comic. Thought you’d enjoy it: http://www.the-gutters.com/comic/120-jeff-mccomsey

    -M

  6. Superb assessment, Mat. While I liked the earliest comics, I preferred the show. Note the past tense. I prefer three-dimensional characters. Yes, Shane was a dick but he had good reasons to be a dick and I was glad the writers/producers kept the character alive much longer than he was in the comic. The comic makes Shane avaricious. In the show most of his actions are justified and he’s usually right – a pain in the ass but he’s the right pain in the ass – he’s proactive.
    Andrea is my biggest disappointment. Shane and Shane alone brought her back to life and made her a survivor. Now she’s a complete and total cipher– which is what I had hoped Michonne would not be.
    You nailed it – we are supposed to sympathize with a whole bunch of unlikable characters. Doesn’t work. Glen and Maggie, who are actually likable, are too passive while Daryl, who was an outstanding heroic anti-hero, has become Gilligan to Rick’s unstable Skipper.
    Love the comic strip. Thanks!

  7. Yes, Penny, go feed those heads – always hungry don’t ya know… Maybe it’s because of the changes. I only know this seems to happen far too often. A show starts out with a bang and ends with a boring whimper. Case in point – True Blood.

  8. Jaye – right you are! And hurrying to catch up but the episodes are sooooo long and I have so little free time! ;)

  9. Hi Steph. A good anti-hero is often a great hero. Daniel Craig as James Bond. Yummy!

  10. Mat Nastos says:

    Daniel Craig is an awesome James Bond. I may have a crush on him…

  11. Mat – I have a crush on Daniel Craig no matter who, what or where he is. Rachel Weisz is so lucky!

  12. Tom Stronach says:

    I seem to recall saying half way through serious 1 that it will all end badly as there really was no where for the story to go I hate to say I told you so but sometimes……

    Xxxx

  13. Sandra Cox says:

    Your son has a good point about villians.