Monday, May 18, 2015

The Walking Dead and What It Can Teach Indie Writers

A little over a month ago I finally got around to watching The Walking Dead.  Mostly because Comcast's Watchathon Week was coming up and I had already watched all of Game of Thrones and wanted a new show to binge on.  (Then Comcast only made half a season available to kind of screw me on that score.)

The first season is OK, though it was only 6 episodes.  Things pick up in Season 2, most of which has them living on a farm, and in Season 3 when they occupy an old prison and tangle with the brutal "Governor."  After that things kind of slowed down until the tragedy of the Governor took center stage.  (And really how stupid were the people he holed up with to want to leave the apartment they had occupied after about a year when the only guy who died did so of natural causes?  I mean they were perfectly safe and then of course after they leave they die like a couple of weeks later.  Greener pastures my ass.)  Then it got kind of Game of Thrones-y with people all separated and different stories playing out until they all unite in Terminus.  I thought the Terminus thing got resolved a little too quickly.  (How about mousy abused wife Carol turning into fucking Ellen Ripley or Sarah Connor?)  After a little wandering the last season slowed when they got to the "safe haven" of Alexandria.  Really the best episode of the last season was the 9th one (the start of the second half of the season) when poor Tyreese meets his end.  By the end all they needed was the song from Gladiator to make it perfect:

On the whole I enjoyed the show and I have to say after you've binged it a few hours it's kind of weird to go outside and remember that society is pretty much intact and there are no rampaging zombies and you can't just go loot people's houses for whatever you want.  (Sometime maybe I'll try that and claim I watched too much Walking Dead beforehand.)

If there was one thing I didn't like is every time one of the main characters like Rick or Glenn or Daryl gets into some impossible situation, you know someone is going to come along to save them.  Like the whole Terminus thing where they're all caged up and then Carol the badass comes marching in to save them.  After almost 70 episodes it kind of starts to lose its impact.  But I guess that's kind of an action movie cliche.  I mean you know no matter how beat up Batman or Iron Man or John McClane gets, they aren't actually going to die.  At least not until the grosses go down.

My entry title promised a message for indie writers and here it is:  You have to stick together.  The reason Rick and company manage to survive as long as they do isn't just because of action movie cliches that bail them out; it's because they work together.  When you give in to petty in-fighting and bickering or you go rogue on your own, your chances of survival drop significantly.  You need someone watching your back and you should watch theirs in turn.  That's how you succeed.  Otherwise you're just going to be Walking Dead.


  1. I don't think any of the main characters are safe at all. The show is written in such a way that they could easily dispose of Rick and keep going.

  2. I think one of the reasons people love/hate GOT is because any of the main characters can be killed off in an instant. Walking Dead seems to flirt with that quite a bit.

    I just started watching it, and I do enjoy the interpersonal dynamics of the show for sure. The zombie thing is just a backdrop. A catalyst, really.

  3. I've never watched Walking Dead but the show is everywhere so I don't feel clueless. Isolation is the worst thing living in a world of rampaging zombies and life is like that too. Although being alone can avoid all kinds of pain without others around you there's a whole different kind of pain. This is true of any business and personal life except for monks but they all live together anyway.



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