Saturday, January 2, 2016

Zombie Saturation, or Why I Quit the Walking Dead

I love zombies, let's get that out of the way first.  I got my first kiss at a midnight screening of Night of the Living Dead when i was 14 and ever since then I've been all in.  George A. Romero is still one of my favorite directors.   I've written a 5-part zombie novella, set in Hawaii.  Zombies are not the problem, the people are the problem, or in this case the producers of the Walking Dead.

I should mention that The Walking Dead is the most popular show on basic cable, so the formula works, just not for me.  I also understand that I'm a highbrow know-it-all who over thinks things but then again so are you, or you wouldn't be reading this.

So, my first observation (complaint):  I can't see an end game for this series.  I need my stories have to have a beginning, middle and an end.  that's why Breaking Bad worked, you knew the ending in the first episode.  There's no ending for the walking dead, there's no cure, this is it: survival, death, introduce new characters and repeat.  Gale Anne Hurd has said they have 20 seasons of the walking dead based on this formula.  That's not entertainment to me, that's a soap opera, and soap operas are about selling soap, not telling stories.

I don't mind being manipulated and forced to watch commercials to get my fix of plot and drama, provided I am deriving some kind of satisfaction and enjoyment from the show.  That brings me to my second point: I don't care about these characters any more and I'm unwilling to invest time and attention in any new characters.  Really, I started checking out around season 3 when Andrea hooked up with the governor.  I was happy that Glenn met Maggie, thought Darrel was cool, enjoyed the Rick vs Shane dynamic and like everyone, was annoyed with Lori & Carl.  I followed them to the prison, and then to terminus, and then to Alexandria, and now?  I'm not interested in this Möbius strip of survival & betrayal the producers of The Walking Dead have created.  They’ve painted themselves into a zombie infested corner.

How many times am I willing to watch a character trust a stranger and get killed for it?  Well I know the answer now, about 4 seasons.  And there's the larger question, is that how I want to view the world?  Is that the world we live in now with the Paris bombings and cops killing blacks and no privacy?  I watch these show go escape from reality, not have it presented back to me under a zombie mask.  I want to have hope, I want to believe in resolutions, and if I can't have a happy ending, I want a dramatically and emotionally satisfying one.  

I don't see one coming with The Walking Dead.

my first novel? thanks for asking:) I wrote a 4 book supernatural martial arts series concerning the ongoing feud between a group of kung-fu killer witches in san francsico’s chinatown.