I miss The Walking Dead

Ok folks, this has been bothering me for weeks, and I wanted to discuss it further.


I ranted about this a bit in my last TWD post, and most of you told me to relax, I was over thinking it, and it was cool.  Well my zombie world does not have room for this!

I hate it.

Probably the most intriguing thing about TWDtv is that the show is so firmly rooted in reality. "But Jawa, this is a show about zombies..." True, but the producers have gone through great lengths to establish a strong, believable foundation. This makes it easy for us to willingly suspend our disbelief.

Case in point:  The scene with Jenner in the CDC.

If this one scene did not exist, I would be much more willing to accept things like a mysterious sword wielding stranger leading around mouthless zombies on chains.  But it's too late.  Jenner pointed out that some sort of infection invades the brain, killing it. Then reanimates it, but only the most basic of instincts.

The instinct to feed, and basic motor skills are fed by this strange fire.  This answers how and why zombies do what they do. They need to feed, and go after any food source they can. Some have eaten possum, a group was eating a cow, etc.  But the episode also set the stage for another stark reality of zombies, if there can be a reality of zombies. Any thing that was human about them is gone. Most importantly, the human ability to think, reason and learn.  I don't know the exact quote, but it was something like "every thing that we were, is gone."

Enter Michone and her chain'o'zombies.

This kind of thing works well in comics and video games.  It's cool. We can willingly accept a chick with a katana and her tamed zombie pets.  In a fantastical comic world, it is ok to break the rules. (That Jenner set)

How are the rules breaking? Well, once you accept that zombies can be taught to be led on a chain, you accept that zombies can be taught to do other things. If zombies can learn that it is ok to be on a chain, what else can they learn?

You guys saw that one right? Humans built a stronghold on Manhattan because zombies would not go through water. But wait... zombies learned lessons, and figured out that an enmasse attack by walking through the water would overwhelm the survivors. Terrible.

Once we accept that these fantastical comic/video game images can be translated into a TV show based on reality, we lose it and get Umbrella Corp swooping in to erase any evidence of their wrong doings with chizled hollywood model soldiers.

Other examples?

How about zombie dogs that instead of biting you with their mouth, have entire heads that open up with banana sized teeth and snake like tongues.

It's worse than that, he's dead Jim...

Or you get situations like this one:  "WTF I shot that mutant zombie 20 times in the face with a shotgun! Why didn't he die?"  "Because has 3 million hit points you dummy."

Remember this?

Great scene. We immediately felt for the zombie. Rick came back to put her out of her misery. The webisode gave us background info on how this happened.  Fantastic. One of my top 10 TV moments.

Ever see Return of the Living Dead?  You know, that mid 80s punk rock zombie party?

Well, once we start accepting silly comical zombie stunts, we start getting this.

This is what could have happened instead of the scene with Rick.  They are essentially the same zombie! Know what this zombie is doing in this picture? Yup, talking to them. She is telling them, in Caveman type jargon, that she wants to eat their brains.

Once our zombies start learning lessons, like "Hey, I'm on a chain and have no mouth, I'm NOT going to try to eat the lady with the sword because she will cut my head off," the next logical step is that they start learning that certain combinations of moans and grunts, repeated in pattern, can be used as a way to communicate and once they are communicating, they are organizing, and invading New York.

Why stop there? Lets put zombies behind the wheel of Humvees.  I bet a zombie would have driven that tank Rick hid in. How about zombies with guns! Zombies in the CDC in Maine trying to find ways to make the virus work faster and infect humans before they die!!

It goes on and on. I really want to see the show as rooted in reality (Believable) as possible. Which is why I hate Michone's chained up zombie pets. What do you guys think?  Can you name any other absurd zombie moments?

Ok, got work to do. Those were my thoughts on the commute this morning. :)

Come on October!



Doc Railgun said...

A zombie did kinda drive that tank Rick was in. That (well, the soldier that became the zombie Rick met in there) was supposed to be explored in this season or the next but since Frank Darabont got fired, that's not going to happen.
I don't think the show is going to get much better now that Darabont is gone. The show will devolve into 'hey, this was cool in the comic... let's use this!'.
So, maybe go watch A Game of Thrones?

Paul Johnson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jawaballs said...

Already watching. Great show! I think you are right, the change left a big difference in the flavor of the show.

Lantz Witha Z said...

Reading your reviews of this show has been fantastic and I hope you keep it up, but I have to disagree here.

Playing the devil's advocate, being on a chain doesn't mean you're taught to be on a chain. Ask any dog. Just because they were standing still that moment doesn't mean they're obedient.

As for the not trying to eat anyone, who's to say she doesn't keep them well fed? We never see zombies that are full because they're running out of food so to speak. My assumption is they can get full so logically they wouldn't try to feed if she kept their stomachs full.

As for the chick herself, she is a genius in my book. Katana means no noise so as to not bring attention to yourself. And speaking of which how do you get zombies to not notice you; smell as we learned in season 1. Keeping two zombies with no way to bite or scratch chained to you keeps the smell of death up along with a nasty cloak that goes unwashed that also conceals your non-rotting face.

I'm not saying this is all true, I haven't read the comics, but if it's set up like I think it is you still have your realistic setup for this character.

I mean no offense, I just think you're taking a 7 sec clip and blowing it out of proportion.

Jawaballs said...

Paul I deleted your comment before I got too far into it because you were getting into discussion about the plot of the comic and I don't want to know much about it. Remember the rules... :) Sorry! Please repost but leave out discussion about the comic background, and spoiler stuff. Try to keep it from the point of view that the book does not exist.

Remember, we are discussing TWDtv not the comic. Im sure in TWDc there are great explanations as to why she has the zombies on chains, but the post is more about the dangers of trying to translate things that look cool in comics into TV. Know what I mean?

Paul Johnson said...

Then forget my comment but, i still think the judgement is too early. Let them explain it before you knock it down. There are reason why she keeps them the way they are and I guarantee they are far from domesticated.

Jawaballs said...

No offense taken Lantz, and I have considered those points too. They make sense even. But it's not the 7 second clip that is the problem, it is the possible ramifications on the next 16 episodes of those 7 seconds and the rest of the examples in my post show what happens when cool ideas become absurd, and that is the risk of Michone's zombie pets.

Jawaballs said...

Thanks Paul! We shall see. It was watching Return of the Living Dead the other day that got me thinking about Michone. And believe me, I would love to read TWDc and discuss it to death, but I am making the choice to keep it to this medium only. Maybe I won't be able to wait any longer over the summer and will break into the comics... then we can talk about them all you want!

Paul Johnson said...

Thankfully Lantz also hit most of my points with out referencing the comic. I'd say give them a chance before you cry fail on them. They have only introduced the character in a small 30 second scene with a shot of her having the two zombies on chains.

Also anyone else see a problem with the feeding of zombies for sustenance. They are already dead and are re-animated, technically they are dead with brain function. Their brain tells them to eat, not because they need it to survive but because it is the last and most basic primal instinct that is left to them. Zombies don't die from starvation as far as we know in this world. The only way to destroy them is to cause enough trauma to the brain to destroy it.

Jawaballs said...

Yah Paul, I think Lantz probably got most of what you were saying, but he did it through speculation. :) And yes Paul, that is part of my beef. They are not eating for hunger, but for basic instinct. Keeping them fed should not satiate their murderous blood lust. And the producers have even gone as far as saying that zombies don't poop! They don't digest or pass food. :)

Will Wright said...

Brainsssssss,I hated RotLD.
I thought you were close to my age I'm surprised you went Land of the Dead and not Day of the Dead when discussing trained Zombies.
I feel you,there is nothing really good on right now,its that crappy time of year.
Gonna wait for Breaking Bad now I guess.

Jawaballs said...

I couldn't even discuss Day of the Dead. It made my brain hurt. I went with Land of the Dead as an example of zombies learning lessons and applying thought process and planning. IE thinking. In Day they still just doing tricks.

Fonkin said...

I don't think this is really a case of zombies learning anything. To me the zombie infection reminds me of the zombie fungus (just google 'zombie ant fungus' and you'll see what I'm talking about); the infection takes over completely and promotes a specific behavior to the exception of every other function.

When the zombies lose the ability to interact with their environment (in the comic iirc Michonne removed their eyes too), they really can't do much anymore but stumble around.

Chad said...

They showed her and her Walkers on screen for about 3 seconds. I'm going to wait and hope they do it right, they haven't lost me yet!! The way I see it, they have no jaws and no arms, even if they were constantly trying to kill anything that gets close, it would be easy for her to give a yank on the chains to unbalance them enough that they need to stop their attack. I hope they show her almost constantly needing to "fight" them. To sum up, they still haven't shown Walkers that have learned or been taught/trained, so I'm going to keep the faith that they know what they're doing.

On another note, Game of Thrones is awesome, once I found out it has a more fantasy feel than historical I knew I had to see it. My roomate bought the first season on blu ray and I've been hooked ever since! You should check it out and do a few posts on that show. I'd love to hear some other peoples thoughts on it!!

Sour Lemons said...

I disagree with your premise; that the zombies on chains have learned to be on chains. I don't think it's a matter of learning to be on chains. I don't think it's a matter of learning. I think they walk forward not because they want to, but because they don't know enough to plop down- or walk backwards- or try to walk away. I think they walk which ever way their eyes look. I do have a hard time believing that de-limbed and de-jawed zombies would not attempt to naw and whatever flesh they have close to them. Teeth or no teeth, their nature is to feed. Maybe you are right... may they have learned. I have a problem with that.

Will Wright said...

With the exception of the Dawn Remake,Day of the Dead was the last one I watched all the way.
I tried to watch City of the Dead and could not get past 15 minutes

Will Wright said...

Not saying Day was good the only one I liked at the time was Dawn

Post a Comment