Sunday night wasn’t the straw that broke the camel’s back, but it’s one of the straws that will eventually crush the poor bastard if I decide to keep watching. Season 3 has been a fucking train wreck, and I was hoping that after the midseason break, things would get better. But we’re getting to the point where I can no longer suspend disbelief and continue enjoying the show when it’s obvious that literally none of these characters would be surviving the zombie apocalypse if there weren’t writers playing deus ex machina for them. Before I start outlining why I now hate the show, let me say that I don’t care what happened in the comics, because the writers of the show are clearly not concerned with that, either. And don’t begin an argument against one of these points with, “They explained it on Talking Dead,” because that doesn’t hold water with me. I shouldn’t have to watch a second show to get the plot holes of the first show explained away for me. I’m taking the show itself on its own merits, and I’m finding it lacking for the following reasons (again. There will be spoilers):
- This season’s entire plot would have been avoided if they’d had the foresight to scavenge for baby supplies in the nine months that Lori was pregnant. Think about this, guys. We’ve seen these characters go in and out of abandoned houses and stores and things. I’m sure that in their travels, they had to have come across supplies like diapers and formula and bottles. They had nine whole months to get what they needed for the impending arrival. Instead, they wait until the baby is there, send two of their people out to get supplies, and they get captured, leading to the conflict with Woodbury. Why did it happen like this? Because the writers need to be able to send characters down to the store for a gallon of milk so that they can run into the plot.
- There is a scientist in Woodbury who is fucking useless. Hello, my name is Glasses McUseless, and I work as a scientist in a big lab in Woodbury. I’m sorry, what was that? Find a cure for the zombie disease that will wipe out humanity? No, I’m really busy trying to figure out if zombies remember their grandchildren when I play this old record and ring a bell. This is a good use for our resources.
- The writers of this show think we can’t tell two black male actors apart. It’s pretty clear that T-Dog had to die because they were introducing Tyrese, and in Walking Dead-land, more than one black guy in the group is just unacceptable. Look, we started out in season one with Morgan and Duane. Rick split with them to go find his wife and son, but there were hints in the narrative that they these two would find Rick again. Once Rick met up with Camp Dinner Bell, though, we were introduced to T-Dog. At the beginning of season 2 it was again hinted that Morgan and Duane might return, but they never did, and Camp Dinner Bell didn’t meet any more black people (except for the dude who got tore up by zombies during the stand off in the bar and whose total screen time contribution was being shady and eaten). T-Dog stuck it out for the whole season, though he was never given anything important to do other than get an infection and carry stuff, and he barely had any lines. Then season 3 started, and the group found the prison, where they met two more black guys, one of whom Rick promptly locks up in a prison yard with some zombies, but the other guy joins the group, so RIP, T-Dog for no reason. But then Tyrese showed up, and I thought, “Well, this noble prison guy isn’t long for this world.” And boom, he dies in the attack on Woodbury. Now we’re back to one black male main cast member. He better hope Morgan and Duane don’t show up, or else he gets the axe next. Of all the stupid Hollywood conventions the writers of this show fall back on, this one is the most frustrating. Not just because of the obvious racism, but because they’re establishing these characters and hinting at their pasts and personalities to get us interested before killing them off with no pay off, or just abandoning their story lines for a whole season while they carry stuff in the background. While the people behind the show trust our ability as an audience to tell the difference between any number of dirt smeared white blond ladies, clearly we’ll become confused if there is more than one black male involved in the story at any time.
- The characters are surviving without making any smart choices or adapting in any way. It’s roughly one year post-zombie apocalypse, and the characters are still relying on automobiles for transport and survival. They’re still running down to the store for one or two items with the idea that they’ll go back if they need anything else (this was the most obnoxious in season 2, when Glenn and Maggie would make trips to the pharmacy so the writers could develop their relationship and put people in danger that never paid off). They find a prison where they can stay safe from walkers and outsiders, then they immediately start splitting into groups and running around outside of the prison. If it weren’t for the writers saving them, they would all be dead already, and that’s super frustrating. It’s hard to root for characters who won’t do anything to assure their own safety or survival.
- How are they keeping these cars running, anyway? In the first episode of season three, we saw our band of survivors creeping around yards, through houses, on foot. I assumed it was because they had ditched their cars. Then they find the prison and go back and get their cars. First of all, at the end of season 2, they were hard up for gas. Where and when did they find more in the eight or nine months between seasons? And where did they find brake pads for the Hyundai that was squeaking like a sugar glider on coke back in season 2, but now sounds just fine? Furthermore, if these people have cars, why did it take them so long to find the prison, which at the end of season 2 appeared to be at most a mile away?
- I thought we were rid of Lori. Ghost Lori is just unacceptable, okay? I didn’t like her alive, I want no part of her dead.
- Every character has flipped personalities, or new characters have stepped up to don abandoned personalities. Tyrese is clearly the Rick of his group, and that other guy whose name I’m not going to bother to learn because he’s going to die soon anyway is the Shane. Tyrese argues with Rick that if they leave the prison, they don’t have a chance… and Rick becomes season 2 Herschel, arguing that they can’t trust them. Meanwhile Herschel has become season 2 Maggie, arguing that they can’t just let this new group go. Carl has taken on the role of season 1 Rick, and now Rick is losing his marbles, so I guess he’s the Shane of their group now? It’s like the writers have a finite number of characterizations and no idea how to complete an arc, so they just Invasion of The Bodysnatchers everybody until there’s no more room for further lunacy, then they kill them. This is not satisfying television, guys. It’s frustrating.
- Andrea is the worst.
Are you loving or hating this season of The Walking Dead? I’m interested to see what y’all have to say about it, because I know some people are feeling this is the best season yet.