I had hoped that with a new showrunner this season The Walking Dead would pull its head out of its rotting ass and get better. Alas, after watching two episodes (I’m behind) I still would rather run from a zombie than watch any more of this crapfest and I finally figured out why.
I hate all the characters and don’t care if they get eaten by zombies. In fact, I’m pretty sure being undead would improve thier personalities!
This show breaks one of my cardinal rules of storytelling: Danger is not an acceptable substitute for characterization. As in I will NOT care about your character simply because they are constantly in fear of being murdered. You actually have to give them characters and personalities.
Let’s start with the hero, Rick. He’s the small-town sheriff leading the rag-tag buncha humans to hopefully a better life away from the stinking masses of undeaders. He’s a Mary Sue, except a boy. He’s a Mary Dude. He’s so noble and self-sacrificing! His only “flaws” are when he can’t be Superman and save everyone everywhere all the time! He gives long, impassioned speeches bewailing his fate in the apocalypse. And he only thinks of the children! When he begins to open his mouth to nobly pontificate once again - well, I usually take that time to see if there’s any jam between my toes.
The heroine, I guess, is his wife, Lori. She has no likeable qualities whatsoever. She looks as if she perpetually is sucking on a pickle, and not the fun kind. She begins the series thinking Rick is dead, so she takes up with his BFF and they run from zombies together. I get it - hey, if the end of the world comes I’m sure all sorts of new families will be made. But it’s a tough place to start the heroine. She better be likeable if you’re going to accept her dropping the BFF and going back to her hubby and never telling said hubby. But she’s not! She’s sour, judgey, and bitchy. I’ve really racked my brain to try and remember one moment when she was likeable. I couldn’t remember one. But she’s not a fun villainess, either! She’s just beige and frowny.
And these two characters exemplify the #1 flaw with The Walking Dead: there’s no humor. Everyone is so very serious because it’s the end of the world and it’s very very serious. And yes, it is, but damn — do we all lose our humanity in the toughest of times and become milquetoast, empty vessels of pontification? One of the characters on TWD tried to commit suicide and a patriarchal old man stopped her “for her own good.” Who the hell could blame her? If this group of assholes was all there was left, then I’d want to blow up, too. I’m pretty sure a I’m supposed to like that old man, but he’s an asshole, as exemplified by the previous story.
The only character I don’t want to be eaten is Daryl, a finely-acted anti-hero survivalist. He actually gives wry one-liners and has a character! Good job, writers! Mostly I think we can thank the actor, Norman Reedus. His head is not up his own “I’m gonna get me a Golden Globe by crying!” ass and it shows.
I may still continue to hate-watch TWD, if only to hang out with my husband because he hasn’t given up on it yet. But please, AMC, lighten the fuck up. If humanity is all sour faces and big speeches about “where is GOD??!?!?” then I’m not interested. The zombies actually all look pretty happy…
Why would anyone want to say a word that thousands and thousands and thousands of people have said time and again is offensive? That has a murderous history? Yes, murderous. Blood-soaked. Steeped in evil.
So what if you can’t say it whenever you want?
Is the lack of uttering “n*****” making you ill?
Is it harming your children?
Did it take yer job?
Did it kick your dog?
What harm has not running around screaming n***** done you?
Why are you arguing?
It’s a horrible word with horrible overtones. It means hate when uttered from White mouths.
Who cares what it means when coming from another race?
From your White mouth, and my White mouth, it means hate.
Are you hate?
Well, are you?
If you think you are not made of hatred and oppression, then stop saying it.
What does the argument serve?
If you must continue to argue, then you bolster hate.
You bolster oppression.
Is this the mark you wish to leave on the world? “Person in Favor of Hate Speech”?