the-walking-deadHi all.

Okay, so the wife and I didn’t want to watch The Walking Dead initially, since we’re BIG BABIES and get frightened easy. Due to lack of the DVR being empty we decided to give an episode a shot.

To be honest, it wasn’t scary at all AND once Rick woke up in that hospital bed, walked down the hall, and saw those zombie hands trying to break through the barred doors…WE…WERE…HOOKED…


Note to those who don’t like scary stuff, similar to me and the boss, it’s not that scary. One of the brilliant things about the show is that it is mostly character development and relationships in this zombie apocalypse world. Zombies are sometimes few and far between, but when they do show up, it’s usually all out, which is cool.

Few Gripes in General

Before I start in on season 3, I have one HUGE PROBLEM that continues to bug me.

Guns attract zombies. Guns require ammunition that is quickly running out. So why are we using guns?

Daryl has a crossbow which makes perfect sense, but there was a point in season 2 where everyone goes out to learn to shoot. Why? Yeah, we’re on this nice peaceful farm all secluded like, but we’ll waste ammunition AND possibly attract walkers to learn a skill that we’ll eventually NOT be able to use.

Why aren’t they raiding EVERY sports shop in Georgia for bows and crossbows and getting AS MANY arrows as they can? Does this make sense to anyone else?

Then you have ARCHERY training and maybe even a fletching class or two to replace the arrows lodged in zombie skulls.

Season 3 Issues

So far this season there seems to be a lot of filler.

It reminds the wife and I of the last few seasons of Lost. There’s an overall story, but we’re going to drag it on until we figure out exactly where we’re going, or to make the studios more cash (or both).

Judging by the tweets and posts I see I’m not alone in thinking that. The story’s still there, but it just feels like a lot of down time, or time spent on side stories we don’t care enough about. (See the Lost episode about Nikki and Paolo.)

Anyway, even though the season’s shot and done, here’s two major thoughts that could improve the plot from a screenwriting perspective.

the-govenor-walking-deadThe Governor

I don’t like him.

And I know I’m not supposed to, but I don’t like him in the way that he’s a douche I could CARE LESS about. He’s not some evil genius, but just some random psycho that bounces around from one misdeed to another with no rhyme or reason. If he just disappeared (and maybe took Andrea with him) you couldn’t GIVE me a finer present from that show.

I was listening to Robin on Howard Stern this morning (as she griped about Season 3) and she called him “pure evil” or something similar.

No, he’s not. Sometimes he can be, but like I said, with no clear motivation, he’s just a character who’s all over the place doing whatever the writers tell him to do.

I was REALLY excited this week for he and Rick to have a sit down, hoping Rick would just pull the trigger and be done with it.

THEN Rick mentioned something like, “You’re just the asshole who knocked down my fence,” and I thought that was AWESOME. Only I initially mistook that statement as the Governor would be some delinquent from Rick’s past that was always causing trouble, and Rick had to lay the law smack down on.

How cool is that? Instant motivation for why the Governor hates Rick, and wants to off him. Personal motivation right?

Only two lines later did I realize he meant driving the zombie truck through the gate of the prison…Hopes of a good storyline DASHED…

Tip here, when writing characters, TIE THEIR MOTIVATION into other characters. Don’t make their actions random. Drama is stronger when two characters have opposing goals.

Michonne-walking-deadLack of Eye Candy

This one is probably me at my shallow best, but it’s a TV show.

Other than the occasional Michonne in a tight tank top shot, there’s really nothing to look at. And I’m not talking about for me, but the show lacks any real sexual tension.

And that’s coming after the unbelievable Sarah from Prison Break….er…Rick loves Laurie loves Shane triangle.

We have Andrea, who most people can’t stand, Maggie who’s with Glenn and cute at best, Carol…and maybe Maggie’s sister who’s cute, but enters a gray area should any characters get involved there.

I remember a character from The Stand, who Nick meets while traveling to Mother Abigail. Some pretty, young thing who’s always used to getting her way with men. She’s a bit of a flirt, but don’t cross her. That’s what this story needs. Some little vixen that’ll stir things up and cause trouble among the survivors, especially if one of the male characters refuses her advances.

That tension is missing, and I wish they’d introduce it, and with something more believable than a good looking guy like Shane pining away over a mediocre at best gal like Laurie.

The-Walking-Dead-Season-3-Episode-9-Daryl-and-Merle-FightThe Show’s Saving Grace

Daryl.

Everyone likes him, and his reluctant hero storyline is awesome, ESPECIALLY considering Merle is back in the picture to challenge it.

The two even have their own video game that launches this week. Sadly, I don’t have high hopes for it as it was released early AND at the $49.99 price point which makes me assume it didn’t test too well. Maybe I’ll be wrong and you guys and gals can let me know.

Daryl also spawned one of the best Time Warner commercials of this season with his delivery of two quick lines.

Anyway, there are one man’s thoughts, and I look forward to hearing what you think. Especially on what could be done better (or is being done well) from a writing standpoint.

30 COMMENTS

  1. i’m a giant fan of the comics, so when this show came out, i knew it would suck or at least not be as good. and it isn’t. you can read how i feel on one of the forums at amazon studios under “the walking dead”.

    you’re right, Daryl is the only thing this show really has going for it now. and he’s not even a character from the series.

    i think maybe my biggest problem is people are missing out on how great this show could have been. if it went by the comics, your minds would have blown and your guts turned inside out. not because of how scary it is, it isn’t. just how sad it all is. the walking dead doesn’t refer to the zombies, it’s the ones who survived. and that is what the show fails at, people. since most of the actors are terrible or not right for the roles, they just give us more zombie killing. they actually take time out of the show to have random zombie kills. the comic would go whole issues without even showing a single zombie. they just miss the point of what this series is about, which like i said, is a giant shame. because you have no idea how good it could have been.

    • “the walking dead doesn’t refer to the zombies, it’s the ones who survived.”

      BOOOOOOM. That was the sound of you blowing my mind.

      And the sadness I sense from your comment makes me think of me at a younger age, when I read Jurassic Park in book form, then my dad took me to see the movie. Movie was good, but the book was AWESOME.

      (To be fair to AMC, did they have the budget to do all the stuff that the comic did? At least initially.)

  2. Hey Hank! Welcome to the dead side!

    Its the same argument all over again. The book/comic was WAY better than the Show/Movie. Cry me a river. It’s the same thing with Game of Thrones too ( which is another I recommend). When it comes down to it. It doesn’t matter. Take it for what it is. If they made movies EXACTLY how the book/comic was people would probably complain about that too. Lose/Lose situation.

    When it comes to filler, I get it. You have a comic book series of maybe 6 comics in each series and you have to make seasons of 24 – 1 hour episodes. That is a tough thing to do. This is mainly why they stray from the comics/book they have to expand on things.Which is probably why the first season was only 6 episode3. They took each comic book and made 1 episode. Personally I prefer the expanded way. I actually have decided not to read the books of things until the movie/show comes out. This way i am not disappointed when I watch the movie/show after the book, but enlightened when i read the book after watching the movie/show.

    What other show on TV has another show dedicated to discussing what the first show just did. Check out Talking Dead with Chris Hardwick. It’s actually an interesting show. They have the writers on a lot to discuss the reasons they wrote what they wrote etc.

    • the real world also has a show after it with the cast, talking about the episode that just aired. i think bravo also has the same format for all the house wife shows they have.

      but you’re right, who needs to stay faithful to something that already has a loyal fanbase. take batman. wouldn’t it be cooler if he had superpowers like could fly? or maybe his parents didn’t die but left him to go on a cruise, just never came back. or what if instead of bats he really got into ponies and he became Ponyman.

      • Passive aggressiveness will get you nowhere with me.

        There is a difference between making changes to prolong the series VS your example with Batman. I mean come on.

        …and who watches The Real World anymore??

        • you’re missing the point,

          the comics are better written than what is on the tv series. that’s all it comes down to. since you’ve never read the comics, you have no clue what you’re talking about/missing. you’re ignorant basically.

          my argument isn’t they need to do it page for page, they just need to give us something better if they don’t. and boy have they not been doing that.

          first season, 6 episodes, they spend most of that with them dealing with a gang held up somewhere. filler crap. then they spend the rest of the time at this CDC base. what? I guess because people like joey here need zombie answers, even though all of it was pretty pointless. in the comics, carl kills shane, the rest leave to find a new place to stay. along the way they find a gated community where half the group dies not just goes separate directions to never been seen or heard from again.

          second season they find the farm, in the tv series they spend the whole damn season looking for that little girl, who just ends up being dead in the barn. some of you like joey here i’m sure was shocked. but no, that was stupid. then they try to draw out this rick and shane thing which in the end has the same damn results, minus carl killing him, so that character development is gone now. so is anything with dale, seeing as they killed him off way too early. I guess they figure the show couldn’t have more than one old person in it.

          another reason why this show sucks if you were keeping count, is the acting. it’s really bad. mainly the actor playing rick is terrible. none of the actors really fit the roles they’re playing, everyone was just horribly miscast in this. carl is too old, rick is too sweaty and british, andrea is also too old, not to mention what they did to her character is just blasphemous. goodbye strong bad ass characters and hello whiny andrea that screws a lot because she just needs a man. goodbye killing machine rick and hello sweat bad actor who sees ghost.

          and season three, in the comics a lot happens. they run into some new people, find out everyone is already infected when two teens make a suicide pact. also rick’s leadership is questioned by another member. also one of the inmates turns out to be a serial killer, killing some of the girls in the group. why did they skip over that? I know, they need more scenes of andrea being an idiot and scenes of zombies getting repeatedly killed. they’ve also made a home for themselves at the prison, something the series has failed to do. they really have no reason to stay there. they just stay because… rick says so? and of course the guy playing the governor was the guy in basic instinct 2. so again, great casting. when I heard who they were casting for him I thought they said Bill Moseley. who would be perfect. you don’t need background on why he does what he does. he’s a crazy guy with a tank and wants what the others have. that’s your motivation. and now for the big moment when rick’s wife and baby die. in the comics this is the biggest shocker in the whole series. she runs away from the governors assault, getting gunned down, shot in the back, killing her and the baby. that is now gone seeing as they killed her off giving birth. so now, even if they try and do this scene(which they won’t) it will just be with someone else. maybe that old chick daryl likes. either way that moment is gone. ruined now.

          so I guess what i’m saying joey is… I feel really bad you liked the ewok films. I feel really bad for you. also, read the walking dead comics and learn something about great writing and storytelling. last time I checked, that’s what this site was for.

          • Writing and storytelling is certainly what this site is about, and I know things can get a bit heated via the interwebz, but everyone needs to be respectful. (We’re trying for a civil oasis among the chaos that is the pron filled world wide web.)

            Having watched last night’s episode of WD, I have this to ask:

            What’s the difference between Walking Dead and Shameless?

            Shameless is a good show, lol. (Joking, they’ve both got strong points.)

            PS – Rick DOES sweat a lot now that you mention it.

          • there’s no edit button so maybe i’d take out the calling people ignorant thing. I mean, I love dexter but I’ve never read a single one of the books it is based on.

          • I must have missed it, but as long as you’re sorry for saying it, we’ll chalk it up to nerd rage on the internet.

            Trust me, I know how that goes, especially in World of Warcraft where I have a macro for /gquit

          • @Joe/Brent – Sorry fellas, had to swing the nerf bat, as things were getting too heated.

            Long and short, some of us think the Walking Dead show is great, others think it needs work, BUT it’s not worth getting in a fight over.

            Please remember to keep discussions respectful (and if you feel I’m not doing so also, feel free to tell me here or via the contact form).

            Thanks,

            Hank

          • And I’m finishing it. (Sadly, you’ll use this with your kids sooner than you think.)

            Are you guys fighting on AS or something? You two are both longstanding members here, and I respect both of your views, but this is silly.

          • I protest the accusation of being uncivil. I think I was more than civil in this online “debate.” I shall repost sans what might be construed as uncivil so that Brent can read it

            Brent Said in a deleted post… “My argument is the comics are better”

            Brent, where did I ever try to say you were wrong and try to argue against you? I don’t doubt they are better. In fact, in my original post I stated that I purposely don’t read the source material before watching the movie/show in fear of being disappointed with the movie/show. I also stated that arguing over which is better comics/books vs movie/show is moot becasue it’s not going to stop it from happening and no matter what you do someone is going to complain about it. It is what it is.

            I went on to say that I understand that sometimes the show has to stray from the source material for whatever reason. In this case I thought it might be becasue they need to fill 24 episodes in a season to match only 6 comics in a series. I may be wrong I don’t know. Jeesh.

            Regardless I WAS NOT trying to argue that the show was better than the comic.

            Good Day, Sir.

          • Yes, It is silly, Hank and I don’t understand why Brent has to cut so deep with calling me Joey Fatone.

          • The only thing I said was lesson learned on making a post like this, lol.

            Can we shake hands and all be friends again? Roy leaves, and suddenly it’s Thunderdome.

            OR

            (Hopefully I didn’t just give you both something new to fight about.)

  3. I agree with Daryl, I think he’s a character that could have been a traitor cliche and I like where they’ve gone with him. He’s the most iconic character.

    Look, I’m not a purist, I’ve never read the comics and never plan to, so I’m coming at it from a completely different angle than you Brent. But there’s something about an honest to God, violent zombie show having this much talent onboard that I can’t ignore.

    The Governor:
    To say he has no goal or motivation is to say that Vic didn’t in The Shield. Vic wanted money because money equalled power. And he was willing to do any little side job to get it. I view the Governor as something like a gold prospector in a world without gold. What would he do? He would lash out, wanting to be superior and more powerful than everything around him. He sees Rick as a threat not because he wants the prison, but because he hasn’t got the prison! Its actually a very simplistic goal and motivation: a God complex.

    Guns:
    The guns are pointless? Well, they’re pointless and do more harm than good in real life, so maybe the show is just asking “would that change?”

    Eye-candy:
    I agree totally.

    I’m an episode behind you guys over here in the UK, so the last one I saw was the side adventure of Rick, Carl and Michonne. Now, you could argue that that whole episode was filler. But damn if it wasn’t some of the most creative, tragic writing in filler I’ve ever seen.

    With TV, I’ve noticed one mans treasure is another mans turd, so I understand everyones opinion and think you’re completely right in you’re own context (unless someone picks on Breaking Bad. Then we got issues, blood).

  4. So more on the Governor. I disagree with your interpretation of his motivation, Hank. It was “said” at the beginning of the sit down. It purely power hunger. He mentioned that he had a boss that was younger and dumber than he was or something to that effect. That says a lot for why he is doing what he is doing. Also he mentioned how his wife died. He couldn’t control it. He is a persons that needs control and when people come into his camp and starting to cause doubt with the people he is controlling he needs to stop it. Now its a revenge thing. He’s been made to look like a fool and he can’t let it go.

    • The govenor’s motivation is cloudy at best. I got all the hints they were hinting at, his talk with Rick, an earlier talk with Andrea about who he was, but there was too little there for me to care. His actions just bounce around now.

      Don’t get me wrong, I like the show, but this season, as stated above, we’re moving insto the last two seasons of Lost territory.

      • I wouldn’t call it cloudy, I would call it conflicted. even though his plan isn’t laid out like a mastermind he has an overall goal of surviving and being the one on top at the end of it all. And it may take him making some undesirable decisions to get there and stay there. I think the conflicted or “cloudy” aspect of his character makes for a more realistic scenario of how someone might act if given the power he has. they aren’t evil to the core, but are willing to do what they need to get something done.

        I just listened to the “Villain” scriptnotes podcast by John August. Really great podcast. I recommend you have a listen.

        When it comes down to it. The Governor and Rick are the same person. they both want the same thing It’s just the The Governor will go the extra mile to get what he wants while Rick has a limit.

  5. I am hooked on Walking Dead, but I’m not overly fond of it. First, I hates drama. They tricked me into watching this, thinking it would be a weekly version of Zombieland or something. Not. Nowhere near enough killin’. Do I care about the characters? Not really. Yes, Maggie is hot, and Beth is cute as can be. Hershel’s cool and I like Merle and Daryl… no, what keeps me coming back is the mystery. How did the Zompocalypse start? Why don’t the zombies rot away? Why don’t they freeze in winter? What is the nature of the infection… it’s like LOST. I’m waiting for some big revelation that I’m sure will never come.

    What this show needs isn’t some hussy. It needs a Burt Gummer or a Snake Plissken. A bad ass who not only is good at killing zombies but is an unstoppable force of nature who has planned for everything. Shane could have been that… if he didn’t have all his baggage.

    As for the show in general… it’s a flagrant collection of ripoffs. Hell, the opening sequence in Episode 1 is right out of 28 Days Later. Sure, I get Kirkman paid homage in his comic to his favorite movies, but now we’ve got a Laura Croft situation. Imitation of move has become movie. Blagh.

    And where is the Deathcoaster?! Seriously, if frickin’ Ashley Holt can make a bad ass, steam powered super zombie killing car in medieval times, why the hell can’t Rick’s band of survivors in a prison WITH A MACHINE SHOP make one?

    • Not sure if you saw the CDC episode, but I’m pretty sure it’s biological warfare that ran amuck.

      Also, they don’t freeze because they’re in GA. Convenient, as they can say, “Yeah it gets cold there, but never quite cold enough…”

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