Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Glaring Problem With The Walking Dead

AMC's The Walking Dead is a great show. Not a fantastic one, but an above average one. It's got a great feel, and overall tone, even if it needs to be paced up just a bit. As for the story, so far it takes all the right liberties with the source material, taking it's time to really hit those emotional beats.

It's a great show that, by all accounts, is only going to get better, but there's one major thing wrong with it.

They got the main character, Rick Grimes, all wrong.

I don't want to sound like some kind of angry comic nerd here, so give me a second to explain. I get that when you move to a new medium, things change.

Movie Spider-Man doesn't crack tons of jokes. Fine.
Cartoon Captain America can't fight the Nazis. I get it.
The Joker can't rape and paralyze Barbara Gordon. Sure, I guess I understand.

This is different. In AMC's The Walking Dead, they've gotten the core of Rick Grimes wrong. In the show, Rick Grimes accepts his new zombie reality, something Comic Rick only did after years of the undead.

It doesn't seem like a big thing, but stick with me here. In the book, Rick begins his journey believing that the zombies are a temporary situation. His drive to keep his family alive comes from the idea that this whole thing will blow over, which makes it all that much more heartbreaking when he realizes it's not the case.

It was watching Rick's resolve dissolve that made the book a must read. Wondering how much further he could be pushed until he broke. And then seeing what happens when you keep pushing. That's what makes The Walking Dead a must read.

The AMC show, with a Rick that instantly accepts the fact that zombies are the new way of life? It's okay, but it's not as interesting as it should be.

1 comment:

  1. In general the show has made Rick less reflective. You'd think that they'd take the time somewhere for a conversation containing "How did this start? How widespread? What did CNN or Fox News say before they went off the air?" That doesn't mean you answer those questions, but c'mon--a guy who wakes up in Rick's situation, where the world is completely different, has got to have SOME curiosity, right? While stuck in a department store for several hours, a least a couple of, "So what the hell happened out there" questions would have not only been appropriate, but almost inevitable.

    Yes, the comic never provided those answers, either. But it doesn't mean no one asked the questions, especially Rick...