A The Walking Dead Community
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I'm not sure do I qualify as a fan of The Walking Dead... For God's sake, the only reason I started to watch the show was quite literally because it had zombies. It served as a 'reset' button for me. I could just turn on the TV and watch without thinking about character development etc.

But I found out that there are a lot of reasons why I actually watch this show. I don't think it's as bad as some people say it is, I don't think it's even close to being the best show on TV. It's like the Big Bang Theory of drama. I wouldn't say it sucks, I enjoy it but I have absolutely no idea why it's one of the most popular shows on TV. That being said, 4th season has 3 episodes left, and while I have mostly enjoyed this season, I have a few problems with it as well.

1. Maggie and Glenn ”The Couple” (and their groups)

Maggie and Glenn were separated during the last half of this season. They understandably have been trying to get to each other ever since, I have no problem with that (provides some direction for the characters). I know that the show has limited amount of time to tell what the people are thinking and feeling and that Maggie and Glenn are one of the most popular characters in the show. But I have to say that they should have reached each other already. Maggie doesn't seem to give a shit about her sister Beth (at least compared to the amount of shits she gives about Glenn). Then there's Glenn... I don't remember the girl's name... The girl Glenn saved in the prison and who saved him when he passed out? I think her sister's name was Lilly. I mean... I think that a character who tries to make amends for siding with the Governor would be interesting. So far I can't remember her name. But I guess the writers are going to focus on her when she's about to die. So... I hope she dies soon so because there is potential for good character moments? What...

2. The Character centric episodes have been a failure for the most part.

I like it when The Walking Dead makes an episode that provides great character growth or character drama. ”Still” is my favorite episode of this ”Gotta get to Terminus” arc (”Claimed” coming after that). It had little to no zombie action and most importantly, the episode had a lot of great character moments, most of which are listed in Tim's review of the episode, I think... There has been one character centric episode that I actually thought to be great during this half of the season. And considering that many of this season's second half's episodes have been more about the characters than not... I'd say it's not been so successful.

3. This is nitpicking for the most part... I felt like Lizzie killing the bunnies was a bit too much... As if the viewers didn't realize that something's wrong with Lizzie when she almost suffocated the baby. What's her name? Oh God... I should really concentrate when watching this show. But back to the point. The show's underlining of how messed up Lizzie is, is like playing a video game that walks you through everything... ”Press ”W” to walk (because PC Master Race!). Move the mouse around to look around. ”This is a game, you should not enlist in the army if you are good at this game”. But as I said... Nitpicking. I guess most of the viewers didn't think that the disturbing look in Lizzie's eyes when keeping Judith? (YEAH! I remembered!) quiet wasn't enough of a sign.

4. The ”giving depth to a character and immediately thrust the character to peril/killing him/her.”

I shouldn't have been surprised that Beth would face a life/death situation immediately after the episode that spend most of the time strengthening the bond between her and Daryl and giving more depth to the characters. This happened when the moustache prisoner (I can pretty much name all the POV characters from AsoIaF from the top of my head but for the love of God... I'm lucky to remember Rick's name at times) started getting screentime and died pretty much in the same scene. The 'black prisoner' agreed to help with freeing people from Woodbury... Died during the trip. It's almost like the writers didn't want to develop the characters before killing them. I'm not at all surprised if Bob* and Sasha die from a meteor in the next episode. Maybe a bit. But the point is... You could develop the character from the get go, not at the last moment just before the life and death situation.

*Bob is quite literally the best name during an apocalypse... Ever. Just think about it... If you're called 'The Governor' or 'The Mayor' or 'The President' or any other political title during an apocalypse, you're a bad guy. The minute I hear that you're called 'The Inquisitor' (though isn't that rather infamous title already?), I'll run to the opposite direction... But Bob...

”Hiya! My name's Bob. I'll give you two options; you can join me, obey me and sacrifice yourself for me or get flayed alive. Welcome to the Abobalypse, I am your lord and savior OR your judge, jury, and executioner, are we clear? Now go fetch me a vest made from human skin.”

So that's it actually. I thought I had more problems with the show.

  • If two character are a couple, make sure that both of the characters can be described as something else than ”The boyfriend” or ”the girlfriend” and that they have more to live for rather than only each other. Both Glenn and Maggie most likely have something to live for other than each other but the show is not showing it enough.
  • When you make a character centric episode, focus on those character you wish to develop, and don't try to develop too many character in one episode. The weakest part of ”Claimed” was the hide and seek with Rick and the random bandit group because it took away from learning about Michonne IMO.
  • Don't rely on the clichés and don't hold the viewer's hand, they can think for themselves... For the most part...
  • Develop characters from the very first moment we meet them. Don't make them spill out what makes them tick when someone has them in their crosshairs. It's dull.
  • And what I realized during writing this article... If I can't remember a character's name, I would go as far as to say that he/she is not nearly as well developed as he/she should be.
Okay. That's it. And remember, even though I focused on the bad stuff, doesn't mean that I don't enjoy the show and that I'm bashing it or anything. The show is just okay for what it is, these are just the things that bother me.

What kind of problems does this community have with the show? And just to keep the conversation a bit positive as well... What surprised you positively? I was positively surprised by "Clear", because I didn't really think that TWD could deliver as powerful of an episode with an emphasis on characters and without anyone dying.
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