Monday, March 12, 2012

The Walking Dead: Less Zombie Killing, More Talking, Already!

I find it hilarious and earnestly disappointing that the only criticisms I hear from anyone online or on the couch concerning AMC's The Walking Dead comes back to the idea that all that ever happens is a lot of talking and then yelling, and then not killing zombies. It's a zombie show without very many zombies.

Except it's not supposed to be.

The point of every good zombie movie since "Night of the Living Dead" has always been that zombies are nothing but a force of nature. They're empty, useless nihilists. The living are always more dangerous than the sea of corpses at the door.

They never would break in if some idiot didn't shoot out that one glass pane. They'd never notice you had that asshole not started shouting about wasting food on the weak. They'd never have gotten that one guy had it not been for the dumb bitch too scared to raise her gun and squeeze the trigger, and now her throat is missing.

It's always the ineptitude, the infighting, that splintering of groups and the conflicting ideologies and power struggles of survivors that limits the lifespan of a group. Zombies are slow, simple, predictable. Zombies never lie. They don't entrap you. They reach and grasp and gnaw.

People will smile at your face and shoot you in the back. People will look for the easiest way out, survive until the next day with no pause for long-term strategy beyond that. Survival, yes. Rebuilding, never. Because people are afraid. There's no social contract with a zombie, or a wolf, or any man with sufficient cause to believe he is unbound by laws. And people fear this most of all, even now.

So don't complain that there aren't enough beheadings in The Walking Dead.

Every time a zombie dies on-screen, it's a mop-up operation. Every time a man dies it is a coup d'état.

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