Thursday, April 3, 2014

Why the Walking Dead?

The dreaded season hiatus...I wonder, not for the first time, why a television show needs a seven month vacation. Don't they know we're going to suffer withdrawal? Don't tell me the writers need a break. WRITERS DON'T TAKE BREAKS!! They type until they die. Nuff said.

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone is into The Walking Dead. Those poor souls have yet to fall prey to the juggernaut television series du jour. Walking Dead fans are every bit as rabid and hungry as the zombies portrayed in the show. Or Slayer fans.

Those of you who are not, wonder why. In fact, one of my writer friends chastised me, saying "Nothing happens! Why on Earth would you waste your time with this crap?"

Where shall we look first? A fans perspective? Or a writers? Or hey, how about an artist's point of view?

Let's start with the artistry. The gore in WD is pretty intense. More than once, my stomach has rolled with the crimson splatters, chunky chewing scenes and the brutality required to put the undead down. But it's impressive. Even as I'm so thoroughly grossed out, I can't help thinking about the creativity and effort that went into these effects. This is zombie makeup technique at its finest.

And the fan base...I know zombie freaks all over my city alone who drool at the sight of all the work this series sends out every Sunday. They would give their red eye contacts to work on the set.

But ordinary people are addicted to it, and not just for the yucky technique. These are excellent stories about human survival in a post apocalyptic world devoid of electricity, grocery stores and humanity.You can't help but get invested in the characters. Some you hate, some you love.

Case in point: Daryl Dixon. He was a dirty red-necked loser at the start, now he's a trusted member of their council.

Is Daryl that good-looking? Or is he hot because he's such a bad-boy-with a sensitive side? 
Does Carol look like a killer to you?

This is how the Governor cleans up his little messes.
Or consider Carol.  Once an abused wife and mother, now a self-appointed 'cleanser', who teaches children how to kill.

Or what about the GOVERNOR?? Comes across as a benevolent leader---crazier than a Canadian who's run out of beer while watching the hockey game. And no one is safe. Stephen King said "Kill your darlings." and these writers have taken that quote to heart.  Nothing happens? Are you kidding? Half the time fans are sitting on the edge of their couches, wondering who's going to die next. The best thing about this show is it's unpredictability.

Which brings me to why this show is so great from a writer's standpoint. Character Development. I haven't seen a TV show with this much of it since Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Which I was also addicted to.) I would give a kidney to write character development like the team behind Walking Dead. Daryl and Carol aren't the only ones...

What about Carl? The young man who's been growing up too hard and too fast and is getting addicted to killing zombies and taking too many chances.

Or Bob? The recovering alcoholic that's winning Sasha's heart with his 'glad to be alive' attitude.

Or ...LIZZIE---The little girl who believes zombies are people too and she's willing to kill the living to prove her point.

And that's why we're still watching. That's why it's going to be such a long wait til October when it comes back again.

But if they kill off Daryl Dixon we'll all riot.


  1. Ok you convinced me to give it a shot. They have the series on On Demand. I will see it on the next snow day! Enjoyed yout Blog once again.

    1. Gotta warn you, Kevin. It's pretty gory. I hope you aren't disappointed. And thanks for the kudos ! <3