9 ways to keep us watching The Walking Dead
|FEATURES - TV|
You've got millions of viewers - now how to keep them...
The Walking Dead is one of the most gripping TV shows to grace the box, and millions of people tune in weekly, making it the most watched cable show ever. But if they want to keep us watching the show’s makers could do with making a few changes - because as good as the first two episodes of season two were, there was still plenty of room for improvement in a number of areas - not least of all character and story development.
1. Ditch the glitz.
Running from those flesh-eating hordes, you'd expect personal hygiene to take a backseat, so why does Rick Grimes' wife Lori look like she has her hair and make up done professionally every day? Mess her up a bit; give her some sweat or blood on her clothes. Tell her to ditch the blooming Botox. Wrinkle-free faces and frog pop eyes just don't cut it when you're meant to be running for your life.
2. 'Man' Up
Ditch the 'I'm just a poor woman act' and give the women some kick-ass attitude. Battered wife Carol is a permanent victim on the show – husband knocks lumps out of her, little girl now missing, and no doubt more misery is planned. Blonde Andrea is potentially the most kick-ass of the original women, but she has a gun and can't even use it. Tip – learn. Don’t be such a Walking Dead girl. If Rick's wife pouts one more time instead of getting busy on some undead one’s skull, I’m going to kick the telly in. When the woman from the farm rode into the woods like Zorro and whopped that walker going after Andrea in Season 2 Episode 2, how we cheered! For once we saw some girl power - more, please. Stop making women mere bystanders and plot devices. Lost was such a hit because all its characters were strong ones. The Walking Dead needs strong characters of both sexes too.
3. Oh, the Humanity!
Stop killing the animals. Would zombies really eat a horse when there's some man meat in the form of Rick Grimes? Heck no. Although many zombie aficionados may disagree. Then in what could have been a beautiful moment, they shot the deer. Hey, we know it was so they could shoot Rick’s boy Carl and cause drama, but it was all about convoluted and you shouldn’t need manufactured violence when you have the undead on your tail.
4. Bring on the Muscle
We thought T-Dog; the big handy looking African American guy would be a Vin Diesel type. More like whinge weasel. Let him bust some zombie brains. Stop making him a wuss.
5. Bring Back the Glenn
Give Glenn something to do. In the first two episodes we wouldn’t have noticed if the flesh eaters had gobbled him whole because his role was non-existent. What’s the point of Glenn? If the writers can’t find it, let him be eaten.
6. A Dose of the Crazy
Bring back Merle Dixon, a brilliant character who is completely insane. Who else would chop off his own hand to escape? Good TV shows need a villain, and he’s perfect for the role. It would be riveting TV when he and T-Dog (who condemned him to his fate on that roof by dropping the keys to the handcuffs), come face-to-face. Even better would be Merle's reaction when redneck brother Daryl admits that he saved T-Dog’s neck not once, but twice. How will his bro take that? Not too well, we’d wager. It would also be interesting to see what Merle’s been doing in the meantime – building his own Aryan army; or maybe he’s gone all religious and started his own cult? Whatever it is, we know he’s survived.
7. Meet up with Morgan
Bring back Morgan Jones, brilliantly played by British actor Lennie James. For me, the best episode so far was the first-ever episode, Days Gone Bye where( mistaking an injured Rick for a zombie) his son little Duane knocks out our intrepid lawman with a shovel. The ‘can I shoot the person I love just because they’re a zombie?’ is a staple of the zombie genre and Morgan played it well. The fact that Rick is still talking to his pal on his radio, shows the door is wide open for Morgan (and little Duane’s return). In the comic version Rick and Morgan do meet again.
8. No Mas, Triangle
Cut it with the Rick, Lori, Shane love triangle - I don’t know about you, but its boring the pants off me. If I wanted my-husband-doesn’t-know-I-shagged-his-best-buddy storyline, I’d tune into a soap or the Jeremy Kyle Show. Stop wasting my zombie apocalypse with this melodramatic guff. Surely there are bigger things to worry about? At least there should be.
And that brings me to my last point…
9. Mas Zombies!
We need zombies and plenty of them. Problems caused by zombies and not humans, like the 'Carl getting shot by a deer hunter' storyline. Sure, it’s given us the cliffhanger episode ending in Season 2 Episode 2 (brilliantly scripted as Shane and the new guy Otis get trapped), but there have been too few zombies.
And they need to play around with the genre a bit more. In the zombie novel I’m writing, Deid Bastards (I’m from Glasgow originally, and that’s what we’d call them) I have a pregnant zombie woman being eaten from the inside out by her zombie baby. Not only should zombie apocalyptic tales rehash some old themes as set by our main man Romero, they should also create new themes of their own that have never been done before.
With a third season being commissioned, The Walking Dead needs to get itself some legs.
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