Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Walking Dead

Seeing as how its Christmas Eve I thought there’d be no better time than the present to voice my thoughts on everybody’s favourite zombie apocalypse TV show, The Walking Dead. Rather than do a thoughtful analysis on the themes presented in the show and what it says about today’s society, I thought instead I’d just give you my opinion which characters are awesome and which are lame. For those of you unfamiliar with the show here is the cast of characters:

From left to right: Sheriff, Little Girl, Mother, Wifey, Son, Black Man, Asain Guy, Stupidface, Old Man, Mr. Awesome, Sheriff's Friend

The Sheriff (aka Rick)

It's hard not to look cool when pointing a gun off to the left of the camera

He’s the leader of the group and the show’s main character. He always does his best to do what’s right even if it means making things harder for him, and tirelessly works to keep everybody alive and well. At the same time you can see that this new world he woke up in is slowly getting to him and his sanity is slipping out beneath him. I enjoy watching his journey, I think he’s well-developed, and he stands out as one of the most sympathetic characters on the show. A lot of people don’t like the British actor’s Southern accent, but they all sound retarded anyway so I can deal with that.

Little Girl (aka Sophia)

SPOILER ALERT: The above picture contains massive spoilers

Her personality is she’s a little girl who runs away screaming. I honestly can’t think of anything more to say about her.

Mother (aka Carol)

Mother at her most happy

She really wants to find her daughter and she won’t fucking stop crying until that wish is granted. I think that about sums up all you need to know about her and my opinion of her.

Wifey (aka Lori)

Wifey doing... stuff

This show suffers from a severe lack of strong female characters, and the fact that Wifey here is probably the strongest greatly saddens me. She’s fundamentally useless and is dependent on men (either Sheriff or his friend) for survival. She divides her time between crying and bitching out. I really believe the writers can go places with this character and develop her into something more likable, but for now I guess we’ll just have to watch her cook and do dishes in the zombie apocalypse.

Son (aka Carl)

Shut up, Son

When Son got accidentally shot in the stomach I literally did not give a shit. Partly because I knew he’d somehow survive, but mostly because I don’t care about him. Child actors often aren’t that great (for an example to the contrary see Maisie Williams as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones) and I feel guilty holding lack of acting skill against them, but in this case I can’t help but find him obnoxious. H could be worse I suppose. Nothing will ever compare to Jake Lloyd in Phantom Menace.

Black Man (aka T-Dog)

Black Man at his most efficient

At one point Black Man expresses his frustration at always been left behind while the others go out to search and explore. The reason for this is that he’s really dumb. He’s so inept that he manages to seriously wound himself on a car door. There are a thousand acceptable ways to kill or injure yourself in a zombie apocalypse and this is not one of them. I honestly do not understand how he’s made it this far. By this point in his life he must have run himself over with a lawnmower at least twice and probably got trapped in the dishwasher while working at KFC. He’s so clumsy you’d think he was the female lead in a romantic comedy.

Asian Guy (aka Glenn)

Kid, you're alright

It’s hard not to like Asian Guy. He’s useful, nice, funny, clever, and gets to have sex with Farmer’s Daughter (aka Maggie). Given his situation he’s surprisingly optimistic and relatively sane. He’s one of the few characters whose death I’d be deeply saddened by, but I’m fairly confident he’ll survive based on what I’ve been told of the comics and the fact that everybody seems to like him. He’s just an all around cool guy.

Stupidface (aka Andrea)

This picture accurately summarizes my opinions on this character

If you couldn’t already guess, I’m not a huge fan of Stupidface. All she does is mope and whine about how nobody respects her. She seems to assume this is because she can’t use guns, but I’m pretty sure it’s because she’s useless, and well, stupid. When they do finally let her use guns, the first thing she does is accidentally shoot and almost kill Mr. Awesome (more on him later) which if he had died would have actually been the worst thing that could have possibly happened (my least favourite character killing off my favourite). My friends who read the comic books assure me that she will get cool and badass further down the road and god I hope they’re right.

Old Man (aka Dale)

He sees into your soul!

I used to like Old Man, but recently I’ve found him to be increasingly annoying. He always acts like he knows everything, knows who you really are, and knows exactly what to do. The problem is he’s kinda dumb and doesn’t really understand people’s motivations at all, but that doesn’t stop him from acting like he does and pissing off everyone around him in the process. He went from being grandfatherly to being a holier-than-thou know-it-all.

Mr. Awesome (aka Daryl)

Fuck yeah!

Mr. Awesome is awesome. He’s super effective at killing zombies with his crossbow and looks badass while doing it what with all his armless shirts. At one point he’s wearing a shirt with arms just so he can rip them off and make a tourniquet for himself before killing a couple zombies with his bare hands and scaling a cliff, all while grievously wounded and battling his personal demons. Considering that he’s a redneck he’s also surprisingly nice, helpful, and caring and does better than most at keeping his humanity intact. I also find it interesting that he’s one of the most interesting and likable characters on the show even though he’s not in the comic books at all as far as I’m aware. So I guess the writers must be doing something right.

Sheriff’s Friend (aka Shane)

Shane seen here uncharacteristically carrying a gun

This guy apparently died in the comic books ages ago, but I don’t mind that they kept him around. Sure he’s a hotheaded asshole, but I find he makes for a compelling villain who inhabits a moral grey zone. Some say he’s just another example of the zombie fiction cliché of humans being the real monsters, but I don’t find his character to be so simplistic. He walks a fine line between cold-blooded killer and caring soul, and all of his actions can be read in both lights. He does what it takes to keep those he cares about alive and at least he isn’t retarded or a pussy about it which is more than a lot of the other survivors can say.

Bonus points to whoever comes up with the best insult for Stupidface.

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