Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Good and Bad of The Walking Dead

I was once told by an editor that I have a real talent for leaving the reader hanging at the end of my chapters. As a reader, I like to be left guessing and be excited to flip the page and see what comes next. It’s obvious that the hero or heroine won’t be killed, but still, the excitement of flipping the page and seeing how it all comes out is thrilling.  It’s my belief that if you want to draw the reader in, you need to keep them guessing and throw them the occasional curve ball.
I like my movies and TV shows the same way. But there are times when I’m so furious of the way the creators have taken a movie or show that I want to throw something at the screen.  I felt that way two weeks ago while watching The Walking Dead. First, I LOVE this show.
I’ve never been big into zombies. The whole eating of flesh just turned my stomach. But from the moment I saw the first advertisement for The Walking Dead, I was hooked. It was different from any zombie movie I’ve ever seen. It had a real plot. From the very first show I was hooked and I grew to love and hate each character.
There have been twists and turns like Rick surviving his near fatal gunshot wound to find himself surrounded by the walking dead, then finally finding his wife and son. Sophia going missing only to be found on a farm after weeks of being missing and discovering she is a walker. This is a little girl. And now she’s a zombie. It tore me up when they had to kill her.
When Carl, Ricks son is shot and is on the verge of dying I was on the edge of my seat. Would they kill him off too? Then Shane heading to the city for medical supplies with the guy who accidently shot Carl and shooting the guy to get the zombies off his back. Leaving him to die.  But when a zombie gets Dale and tears open his guts, I was screaming, NO NO NO, not Dale! I LOVED Dale.
And last nights episode kinda pissed me off.  Not that Shane was killed off. I didn’t much care for his character anyway. But it’s how they did it. Shane pulling a gun on his ex-partner Rick wasn’t a surprise. What Rick did, and subsequently his son Carl did was a move I wasn’t happy with at all.  Rick stabs Shane, as Shane is giving up his weapon. Rick just jams the knife into Shane’s guts and watches him die. But that’s not the worst. Carl shows up and is shocked at what he sees. Rick tries to tell him it’s not what it looks like only to have Carl pull a weapon on him. His ten (I think that’s his age) year old son, pulling a gun on him. Seriously? Shane then stands up, as a zombie and comes after Rick, though he has no idea. Carl fires his gun and kills Shane. But the way they make it seem is that Carl might kill his father.  In the background you see a crowd of zombies heading toward them. YIKES!!!
As a writer I like to keep the reader guessing. And yes, I have killed off loved characters. It’s a good ploy to keep the reader on the edge of their seats. Still, as much as I love it, I hate it all the same when it’s playing out right in front of me. But would it make me stop watching the show? Not! Still, I’ve read some groups on-line who are avid fans of the show swear they will never watch another episode of The Walking Dead now that Shane has been killed off.  I don’t know about anyone else, but if you love a show so much that you can’t wait to see the next episode, refuse to watch anymore because a character has been killed off is….harsh. But that’s just me. Am I alone? Anyone watch The Walking Dead. What do you think? Are you happy with the way the show is heading, or not?


Ashlynn Monroe said...

I miss my expanded basic now I have to wait for the next DVD season. I'm always afraid to leave readers hanging...nasty grams result lol.

Unknown said...

This show has me pulling my hair out! I'm so sick of Andrea! Shane was a pain in the butt, but at least I could see the reason for his being there for the plot twists. When they killed off Dale, I was so disgusted, I was ready to quit watching. He's the only voice of reason left in the group, for pete's sake. Argh! So frustrated!!

Gena Robertson

Fierce said...

I've only watched the first season, though I will catch up sooner or later.

I, too, prefer rougher edges when it comes to plots and relationships. They still have to be done well and in keeping with characters' natures. This doesn't sound like it was...

Shiela Stewart said...

Hi Ashlyn,

I've never recieved a nasty gram and I'm not sure if I'd be upset or thrilled that someone was that engrossed in my book. :)

Hi Gena,
I know just what you mean. Andrea makes me want to smack her several times. It ticks me off that the writers made her turn on Dale and hate him. He was like a father ot her and her sister and her coldheartedness(is that actually a word) drives me nuts.

I hated Shane, but he kept it interseting to see what crap he would pull next. Can't say I'm sorry to see him go though.

I agree with you Fierce. If its not done right it only pisses the reader off even more.

Lorita OLeary said...

I know this is an old post but I just found it and I'm into Season 3 and still catching up on Season 2 (near the end). Of course I know that Dale and Shane die because they're not in Season 3 and I watched the last two Episodes of Season 2 so I know how Shane dies. But I liked Carl the way he was. You have to realize the world they now live in and Carl has become a man. It's about survival. When a character dies off (even one we love) there will be a new one to replace them and Season 3 shows us how complicated things can get. Now its not just the fighting amongst the group and an occasional passerby - its a whole town and evil governor. The game is getting bigger.