November 09, 2011

"The Walking Dead" becoming another "Battlestar Galactica"?

Jonah Goldberg and I would really hit it off if we ever got a chance to meet, mainly because we seem to enjoy precisely the same sort of entertainment. About the only TV show I am regularly following now is AMC's The Walking Dead, based on Robert Kirkman's incredible graphic novel series, and today Jonah has a thorough dissection of why that series -- much like another big fave of ours, Battlestar Galactica -- is rapidly ceasing to make a lot of sense.

You may recall Battlestar's main failing (aside, that is, from the writers' winging it during the last couple seasons) was the utter ridiculousness of the human motivations and interactions based on an extinction scenario. Tens -- hundreds? -- of billions of humans were systematically exterminated by the Cylons, and what does that "ragtag fugitive fleet" led by the Galactica do? Worry about freedom of the press. Make sure there's a democratic government that rules over the military. Refuse to act on an opportunity to exterminate their genocidal enemy. In other words, things that make no f***ing sense whatsoever.

Which brings us to The Walking Dead. Goldberg covers many items that have had me scratching my head during this second season, such as:

* There needs to be more talk about the best place to hide from zombies! Indeed. So far the survivors seem determined to plunk around in rural -- and wooded -- areas which offer seemingly little safety from the zombie horde. The last few episodes they've lost one child in the woods, and another was accidentally shot. I've always thought about appropriating a nice little island somewhere; the water acts as a natural buffer to zombie incursions, and if you get a few boats you can occassionally send a party back to the mainland for supplies.

Or -- and maybe the series will get to this -- the group can hole up in a prison like it did for many issues of the graphic novel series. It served their purposes quite well, for the most part.

* A little more concern about blood spray. It's long been established in zombie lore that the zombie infection is spread via the undead's bodily fluids -- their blood and saliva. But the crew in The Walking Dead always seems to have little worry about blood spatter when they happily smash to hell a zombie's skull. (A head shot/wound is the only way to kill a zombie, if you recall.) One character recently got a really nasty open wound on his arm -- so much so that it became gangrenous -- but there he is, wacking away at the undead with wanton abandon soon after. Not to mention in last week's episode the crew was hilariously trying to remove a zombie who had fallen into a well -- so that they could drink the water?? Like, how long had the freakin' thing been in the well in the first place? And, he didn't excrete any nasty fluids all the time he was in there?? Yeesh.

Anyone remember 28 Days Later? That flick did the infection part to a perfect tee -- so much so that it included a close-up of a drop of blood from an infection victim falling directly into a survivor's eye ... which then led to the survivor's immediate execution by a colleague ... because he had become infected! 28 Days Later routinely pointed out how survivors had to worry constantly about the infected's fluids -- a [very] intelligent plot point.

Most of Jonah's other points are also very well taken, especially the seeming lack of concern for acquiring more firepower. But I don't worry overmuch about the scientific "plausibility" of a zombie virus other than his point about the aforementioned 28 Days Later making more sense (fast zombies vs. the traditional slow ones) when it comes to the rapidity of virus dissemination, and the inability to control it.

Hopefully Walking Dead's writers will rectify these concerns and make a good show even better.

Posted by Hube at November 9, 2011 06:37 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

I absolutely love this show, but they better clear up the missing girl plot line real darn quick, as I am losing patience.

Also, I too have wondered about the dearth of guns among this group, as they seem to be available all over the place.

Posted by: W.R. Chandler at November 10, 2011 06:38 PM