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The Female Perspective: The Walking Dead – Here’s Negan!

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


We waited for season 7 and we were not disappointed...Well most of us anyway.
We waited for season 7 and we were not disappointed…Well most of us anyway.

This post isn’t so much about feminism in The Walking Dead because I have touched on that before, but more it’s about me being a total nerd for this show and I wanted to chat a bit about the Season 7 premiere that happened last Sunday and the reaction thus far.

Do you watch The Walking Dead? Did you see it yet? No? Then stop reading, there be SPOILERS AHEAD! Why are you reading a blog instead of watching the show? Yeesh, go, go now!

Okay. Onward and upward.

If you watch the show then you  know that season 6 left us all in a quandary. We had just met Negan (if you didn’t read the comics you had been hearing about him ad naseum for quite a while I assume) and I can say that for me, I had a hard time remember to breathe the entire episode as we waited the big reveal and what it meant for our hearty band of survivors.

If you read the comics, then you know that someone is about to die, and Negan is going to be the one who does it. With Lucille, his vampire bat.

I started watching Walking Dead before I read the comics and I instantly loved the show and very quickly thereafter began to devour the comics as well. I am now currently caught up with the comics but won’t spoil those here.  Sufficed it to say, Negan is still alive and kicking and he is still a very, very, VERY bad man. Can you be a man when you’re a horrible monster in a world of horrible monsters?

Many people knew that someone was about to die, we didn’t know who and season 6 was not about to end telling us who dies, they left us all wondering, as the screen went black and the horrific crunching of bat on head echoed all around us. We waited and we guessed and we worried, and finally, we know. It wasn’t just one character, it was two. TWO! Walking Dead you’re getting greedy now.

Winner of best facial hair on "The Walking Dead" has to be Abraham.
Winner of best facial hair on “The Walking Dead” has to be Abraham.

It was a brutal episode, first Abraham got killed, but not before he got in one last, “Such my b—s” as he collapsed. It was a death worthy of the character and it was sad to see. It was actually really grotesque, but this is a show full of grotesque imagery, I mean, for pete’s sake, the dead and decaying are walking around la-dee-dah like. It’s pretty gross.

What came next was a surprise and a pretty good shock, Daryl gets a good, solid punch in on Negan’s handsome face and voila! We have our second death of the evening, Glenn. Poor Glenn, he got it via Lucille in the comics so he’s who I had my money on to be murdered on the episode. I admit to jumping and yelling when it happened. I admit to crying a tear or two when he finally cries out to Maggie and tells her he’ll find her.

Ugh.

It’s a brutal episode. Not only do we see characters we love get butchered in front of our faces, we see some pretty gnarly zombie death as well. But besides all of that is the emotional toll the show took. We watch as Negan beats Rick down emotionally, brutally, gleefully. After so many years with these characters, it’s hard to see someone as strong, as capable, as kind of cuckoo-pants crazy, as Rick get beaten down to the point of weeping and begging.

I say it again, it was a brutal episode.

Sadness...RIP Glenn Rhee.
Sadness…RIP Glenn Rhee.

So why am I so surprised that people are mad? We live in an age where people can accept gratuitous sex and foul language as par for the course, but violence on a show known for being gory and violent shocks us. People cry out, “My kids were watching!” And I ask, “What the heck were you doing let kids watch this show?” People cry out, “It’s too much,” and I ask, “So why doesn’t the violence on the news get you this upset? Why are half naked women okay, but violence is not?”

To me it’s a mark of a show doing something right. If people have such a strong and emotional reaction that they vow to stop watching the show, then the writers, the actors, everyone is doing something right. It means it’s effecting people (either positively or negatively) and that is what any entertainer wants to do. As a writer, I would LOVE to effect people with my words so much so that they have an emotional reaction so strong as to be angry, sad, happy, etc.

Is the show too violent? I don’t think so, not in the context of everything else that surrounds us. Not to mention the show is on at 9 AND has multiple warnings about violent content. They’ve done their job in warning people, if parents are letting their kids watch the show and the kids have nightmares, that’s on them. I’m sorry, but it’s true. It’s not AMC or The Walking Dead’s responsibility to censor itself because parents don’t make good decisions. I also think that if you don’t read the comics, then this weekends premier was probably a shocker for you, I get that. For those of us who have seen it, we know that Negan is horrible, violent and sadistic. We know what he does. If it was a surprise how violent things got and you are angry, that’s okay, but take a breather and think about the show you’re watching. It’s a show where the dead walk. Where people have been killing each other, sometimes there’s cannibals, always there’s death, and you’re surprised it got violent?

I do agree though that it was still brutal. And brilliant. That was some of the finest TV I’ve seen in awhile. Not because it was violent, but for the quiet moments after the violence was past us. When Rick and Negan are having alone time, when Rick is going through what’s just happened again and again. When we see the look on Daryl’s face when Glenn is killed. It’s those little moments that make it brilliant. The violence is just wrapped into that, it’s the catalyst for those little moments of true brilliance.

I personally cannot wait to see where Season 7 goes. If it’s anything like the comic book, we are in for quite the horrifically brutal treat.

Oh Negan...
Oh Negan…

What did you think of the premier? Too violent? Are you going to keep watching the show?
Yes or no?
Why or why not?
Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: Why The “Walking Dead” Cliffhanger Is Awesome

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


** SPOILERS AHEAD **

If you haven’t seen the season finale of Walking Dead by now, don’t read this. That is your only warning.

walking-dead-season-5-comic-con-poster-image-widewallpapershd-20-114967

I am a huge Walking Dead fan, both of the comics and the TV show (though I started watching the show first in all honesty) and I think it has consistently been one of the smartest, grossest and funnest shows on TV for many years now.  I also love/hate a good cliffhanger. This season, Walking Dead delivered on both keeping it’s quality at the highest level while also giving us one killer (pun intended) of a cliffhanger.

So why are people so peeved about it?

It is simply amazing to me how many people are upset that the show ended in a cliffhanger. First off, this is not the first time in TV history that there has been a cliffhanger ending for a season so why are people acting all shocked and/or angry that Walking Dead chose that route? All season they have been playing with us, making us wait for the final 10 minutes of the season to finally see one of the biggest bads in all of Walking Dead history, Negan. Not to mention, they teased us with Glenn’s death earlier in the season, only to take it away with a sly wink and a nod, “Don’t worry folks, we’ll get to the death soon…Just be patient,” and then, when death is imminent for one of our mighty zombie killers, the screen fades to black, screams are heard and the credits roll. Leaving us no idea as to who just got their head bashed in by Lucille while also leaving us angry, confused and wanting more.

It’s freaking brilliant TV show writing.

What’s the best way to ensure a huge audience when your show premiers in October? Tease a major characters death and then end the show before telling us who it is. End the show with the bone cracking, blood squelching sounds of a bat (wrapped in barbed wire) being smashed repeatedly into someone’s head, in front of people who love them, but don’t tell the audience who just died. It’s amazing. It’s brilliant and yeah, it’s a little infuriating but I can’t even count at this point how many times I’ve yelled, “I hate this show!” at my TV as the credits roll. But really, that’s code for, “I love this show!”

The fact is, I refuse to give up and/or complain about a show that has given me years of entertainment, taking the zombie survival scenario to a whole other level and who delivers some of the best performances in acting I’ve seen on TV. I mean, the fear in Rick’s eyes as he realizes just how screwed they are when they finally meet Negan after weeks and weeks of him prancing around all cocky, “We’ve done it before,” kind of nonsense. Rick thought Negan was a simple man doing bad things that they could defeat easily.

He is very, very wrong.

Yep. Pee-pee pants city, all aboard!
Yep. Pee-pee pants city, all aboard!

For those who read the comics, we spent the season anxiously awaiting the arrival of Negan, knowing what it means for the survivors, knowing how bloody and brutal things are about to get. Knowing just how diabolical (and damn charming) Negan is. I can say for me that it’s been maddening. Imagine my relief then when Negan steps out of the RV with all his swagger, all his smiles, and Lucille, the bat from Hell. Well, I thought I’d feel relief, but really all I felt was heart pounding fear. I knew what was coming (as so many did) and the anticipation as Negan stalked his prey, toyed with it and made a grand speech that I only heard a little of (it’s hard to hear when you have your shirt over your face and you’re going “Oh God, oh God, oh God,” over and over again) was maddening.

(FYI: Jeffrey Dean Morgan was made to play Negan. I couldn’t be more happy with his performance. He makes Negan confusing, just like in the comics, he’s insane but handsome. True evil, but charming. A sexist , but … Nope, he’s just a jerk)

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead - Season 6/Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan – The Walking Dead – Season 6/Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Then when the screen fades away with the sounds of screaming and skull crushing, I wanted to faint a little bit. It was perfect. It was everything I hoped it would be, even if it was insanity-inducing. To all those people who are creating petitions to find out the ending of WD, or who are complaining that the show was “lame” or “badly written”, you all need to take a step back, survey what else is on TV and realize, this is one of the best shows out there and if you see anything other than total brilliance, you are missing the point and should just stop watching … Oh, but you won’t, because you want to find out who Negan killed. Uh oh!

Seriously though, everyone has their opinion and I respect that, the fact is that cliffhangers happen. They happen quite a bit and they are both a lot of fun as well as being smart TV making and marketing. What better way to get your audience to come back than to leave them wanting more? In this case Walking Dead killed off a major character but left us wondering who that was. Unusual for them as they like to show us who died, leave us in the aftermath and make us wait 6-7 months for the revenge. This time, they left us mid-kill and invite us back for the death, the aftermath and the revenge. I for one cannot wait!

We shall see Rick, we shall see..
We shall see Rick, we shall see..

It’s funny, almost everyone I’ve talked to has a different opinion as to who died in the finale. I say Glenn (I’m sticking with the comics here), others say Daryl, Aaron, Eugene or even Maggie. Which is exactly what those jerks at the writers table of Walking Dead want us to think. They want us sitting in limbo until October so that when that 9pm rolls around we are glued to our TV, just waiting, and then they’ll give us a “filler” episode about Carol and Morgan and we won’t know who died until episode 2 – because the writers of the Walking Dead are mean people, but I love them just the same.

Who do you think died? Tell me in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: “Fear The Walking Dead” – Do We Really Care?

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


But do we really? Or do we just want the cast to get eaten up?
But do we really? Or do we just want the cast to get eaten up?

We’re a few weeks into the newest show by Robert Kirkman and his crew of zombie lovers, Fear The Walking Dead is supposed to take us to the time of the start of the zombie apocalypse. I was never 100% sold on this idea only because I have such love for the crew of The Walking Dead and I’ve never been a huge fan of spin off shows. They are rarely as good as the original source material.

So what do we have with FWD? Not much so far. The first episode, a long 90-minutes of television, goes on and on and ON about these characters that they desperately want us to care about. We have this family, Madison, Travis and Alicia. We have Madison’s son, the drug-addicted Nick and then we have Travis’ other family, his ex-wife Liza and his son Chris.

Got that so far?

See that sullen look on the girl teenager's face? That's Alicia and she looks like that ALL the time.
See that sullen look on the girl teenager’s face? That’s Alicia and she looks like that ALL the time.

In that 90-minutes we see our first zombie fairly quickly but what got me was the loud, dissonant music and weird filming as Nick discovers that his girlfriend has become one of the walking dead. He runs into the street (in weird slo-mo) and gets hit by a car.

Madison (his mother) gets the call and rushes to the hospital because her son had been missing for awhile now and they were all waiting for the call to tell them he was dead or in jail. No such luck mom, he’s alive and well… well, well-er than he should be considering the fact that he’s beginning withdrawal (but we’ll get to that).

In a slower than a turtle pace, we start to see cracks in the world, zombie-sized cracks but really never see another zombie again, it’s a disappointment to say the least. I won’t go into a critics of each episode but I will say that this past Sunday’s episode was much better than the one’s before it. There were more zombie’s for one and finally some conflict that’s not focused on characters we don’t care about. Though Travis is apparently in such denial that seeing his neighbor eating a dog isn’t quite enough for him to be convinced that something is actually wrong.

Oh yeah, here’s a point that is just irritating. Travis, his ex-wife and son are trapped in a barber shop (with the amazing Ruben Blades as Daniel) and when they get back to it, in the midst of a full-scale LA RIOT, his truck is fine. Despite the fact that people are setting fire to EVERYTHING and rocking cars off their tires. Oh yes, but this is Travis’ truck, it’s totally fine. All I could think was that if this was The Walking Dead, they would have found a burned out shell and had to walk back home. Just saying.

FWD makes me miss my not-so-merry group of survivors...
FWD makes me miss my not-so-merry group of survivors…

Here are my thoughts about the characters. I like Kim Dickens (who plays Madison), I most recently saw her on Sons Of Anarchy and she was great. I’m not sure how I feel about her here, while she is quickly beginning to realize that things are not okay and that they need to actually take care of the zombies instead of hoping for a cure, I find her to be a little … uninteresting. Here’s why; When you’re home, waiting for your husband to return with his other family and you saw your neighbors getting eaten, maybe don’t leave the lights on and the shades OPEN. Sure, it was super smart to distract Nick and Alicia with Monopoly but CLOSE THE SHADES and um, why the heck would you leave your door open when you leave your house?

She goes out with a hammer to kill her neighbor-turned-zombie and can’t do it because Travis talks her out of it because he still thinks these things are people. Sigh.  Okay, sure, you don’t want to get into a fight about killing zombies because your hubby thinks they’re still human but dude, you should have DONE IT. One less zombie is, well, it’s one less zombie.

On another note, since when do drug addicts have better ideas than the non-drug addicts? Seriously, Nick remembered that their neighbor had a shotgun and goes out to get it. First rule of zombie apocalypse people, gather weaponry! I suspect that the mind-altering substances that Nick has ingested have made him more open to the idea of the dead walking the Earth. Go Nick! Though really, what’s up with your withdrawal? You look like one of the zombie’s and are kind of annoying 80% of the time but so far, out of all the annoying people on this show, you are my second favorite. My first favorite is the barber, Daniel Salazar (again, played by Ruben Blades). He knows what’s up. When asked about what’s going on in the world he responds with the super cool line, “It’s something to survive.”

So far my favorite character is Daniel, played by Ruben Blades.
So far my favorite character is Daniel, played by Ruben Blades.

Damn straight Daniel!!! I want you on my zombie killing team for sure.

What really gets me is the way that Madison tries to protect her daughter from seeing what’s actually happening. There is no point in keeping her from it, let her see it, freak out about it and move on to the acceptance part of the zombie apocalypse because I’m telling you, you’re not doing her any favors by keeping her in the dark. Besides that, I have a small issue with both Alicia’s and Madison’s zombie escaping attire, who wouldn’t wear short shorts and a tank top when going off on the run to escape the apocalypse? And heeled boots, oh sure, totally practical. Madison, you and me, we gotta talk about your footwear choices. Heels are NOT going to cut it in the world of The Walking Dead. I promise you that you’re going to want flat shoes with a good, comfortable sole that’s good for running. Cars only last so long.

I know, I know, they aren’t living in a world where the zombie mythos exists. I know that. I also know it’s a fictional show but does it have to be lazy too? There are few things that annoy me more in the TV world than lazy writing. Don’t assume your audience is dumb. Treat us like we’re wicked smart and give us something to think about (Hannibal was a great example of this).

More than anything, I want this show to be as good, as compelling and as interesting as The Walking Dead and I’m not sure that’s possible. I remember being instantly engaged in what WD had to offer, right away I found the plight of Rick Grimes to be exciting stuff. I do not feel engaged to this blended family of soon-to-be survivors. What I would love to see is Madison taking control (ala Rick Grimes) and showing Travis what it means to be a survivor. There are hints of that in the way she is reacting versus the way he is reacting so maybe Kirkman and crew will show us something. I have to say that you can see Madison trying to work things out, trying to make sense of the situation and you can also see that this woman is a survivor. She has strength in her, it’s bubbling to the surface and I can only hope she gets a chance to flex those muscles (figuratively and literally) before the season is out.

 

So far it's not fear so much as a general sense of ennui.
So far it’s not fear so much as a general sense of not caring.

Only time will tell. I still have hope that FWD will get better, to that end I’ll keep watching and updating my blog, fingers crossed these characters grow on me and start doing smart things instead of annoying and/or dumb things. Actually, I’m going to cross my fingers AND toes just to be safe.

Now, you all tell me, what do you think of Fear The Walking Dead? Is it a dud or does it have potential? Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: Women of The Walking Dead, Part II

Welcome! This blog is written by author J.L. Metcalf and will chat about comics, movies, garden gnomes, ghosts or even books and daily life. It is a place where I offer my ladylike perspective on anything and everything my brain can think of. 


A few weeks ago, I did a post about feminism on The Walking Dead. After last nights powerful and female-centric-ish episode, I wanted to take a look at that a little bit more, focusing once again on Carol but also looking at Maggie and Sasha as two other powerful women on the show.

It was one of those episodes of The Walking Dead that is quiet, nothing really happens and yet, it’s amazingly powerful. It was an episode about finding your way after so much death. About trying to figure out if you had it in you anymore to simply survive in this new, horrible world. It was an episode about family.

You don’t get to choose your family and in this episode, it’s made clear that while they weren’t able to choose each other (for the most part), they fell in together because of shared ideals and needs. They work well together because they all want to survive. They are unable to simply give up and die. They won’t give up the hope that some day, they’ll find a place to finally call home.

[!!!SPOILERS AHEAD!!!]

Last nights episode focused a lot on Maggie and Sasha and their struggles with the loss of Beth and Tyrese. For Maggie, it was a devastating blow to think her sister dead in the chaos that followed the Governor’s siege on the prison, then to find out that her sister is actually alive and that she was going to get her back. To her then arriving at the hospital only to see her dead sister being carried out by Daryl. It was too much for her to be able to shake off and move on. She had to figure out a way to grieve, she had to figure out a way to see the point of all this pain.

She's tough AND fragile. A wonderful combination.
She’s tough AND fragile. A wonderful combination.

I wasn’t sure about Maggie when she first came onto the show and often, I’m still not sure about her. I find her to be a bit irritating but I also enjoy her toughness, her inability to give up or give in. She is almost raped by the Governor but it doesn’t break her, she keeps going, she keeps fighting and she keeps surviving. She watches her father get beheaded (again by that dang, pesky Governor) and yet, she keeps going.

In last nights episode, we see Maggie sitting in the forest, sobbing, a zombie comes up behind her and she slowly gets up, stabs it and sits back down to cry. This has the effect of showing us how desensitized they are to zombies being around them and how deep Maggie’s sadness really is.  She isn’t yet depressed to the point of not doing anything to save herself, but she could be…oh yes, one day, she could be.

Sasha, Oh Sasha...
Sasha, Oh Sasha…

Then we have Sasha, oh Sasha, I don’t know what to think about you! I liked you, then I didn’t like you, then liked you and now, you’re just being a pain. When everyone has a plan to knock zombies into a hole so they don’t have to fight (because they are so weak from lack of food and thirst) she decides it’s time for her to stab some zombies with wild and reckless abandon. Sound like anyone to you? Yep. She is mimicking her brothers grief after the death of Karen (I think his lady was Karen) when he became so self-destructive that all he wanted to do was FIGHT dammit. While this is admirable in a situation that warrants it, it was a horrible idea here. She jeopardizes not only herself, but her entire “family” who now have to help her fight them off. Everyone is weak, tired and slowly dying of thirst and it is a horrible thing to watch them fight as though they are moving through a bowl of molasses.

Sasha is suffering, but she is so self-centered in her grief that it becomes irritating. Everyone in that group has lost people. EVERYONE. They are all grieving and she knows this. But when Abraham tries to extend an olive branch (or whiskey bottle as it were) she snarls at him and states, “We are not friends.” – OK then. Be that way! So I’m still troubled by Sasha. BUT, that being said, she is still an awesome shot with that rifle and I actually enjoy the way I can’t decide if I like her or not, it’s proof of a great actress doing great work.

I simply adore the friendship between Carol and Daryl. They really are a dynamic duo.
I simply adore the friendship between Carol and Daryl. They really are a dynamic duo.

Finally we get to Carol (and Daryl), Carol has been through a lot recently. First she was kicked out of the group, then she saved the group, then she was hit by a car and then watches Beth die. Yeesh. This is all after being married to an abusive jerk and seeing her daughter lost and turned into a zombie. Yeah, Carol’s been through a lot. Even with all that, she is there to mother Daryl through his own grief. She is there to remind him that “she knows him better than anyone” and gives him a kiss on the forehead. She reminds him that he has to grieve, he has to cry or else he’ll take them all down with him. She is the voice that keeps him going and I love her dearly for that. Then later, we see Daryl weep alone in the woods and you know that he heard her, that she gave him a permission he was never going to give himself.

So what does this all mean? It means that The Walking Dead is doing an amazing job of writing complicated, powerful and fragile women that I want to see survive more than anything because they are fighting so damn hard for it. Bravo Walking Dead, bravo.

I also want to quickly add (I know, this post has turned into a BEAST) that Glen really shined last night. He reminded Maggie that she had to stay alive, that she was needed and loved and then he tried to do the same for Daryl. He really stepped up and tried to be there for his people, showing a beautifully kind and even feminine side to his personality that made me so joyful. We are seeing men portrayed as both strong and fragile on this show and it’s wonderful.

What did YOU think of last nights episode? Did you feel differently? Let me know in the comments!!

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The Female Perspective: The Men of “Walking Dead”

Welcome! This blog is written by author J.L. Metcalf and will chat about comics, movies, garden gnomes, ghosts or even books and daily life. It is a place where I offer my ladylike perspective on anything and everything my brain can think of. 


Last week I explored three of the female characters on The Walking Dead and discussed their roles as feminists. Today, I want to revisit the show but discuss the men this time because it’s fun to see where they have come from and what they have become as the show has gone on.  So let’s take a look at three guys from Walking Dead and see what we end up with!

Hugs, they all need hugs!
Hugs, they all need hugs!

I want to remind everyone that I’ll be speaking only in terms of the TV show and not the comic, I am also trying to leave out any possible spoilers for the current season!

You don't want to make Rick angry.
You don’t want to make Rick angry.

First off, my personal favorite and the leader of our merry gang of misfits, we have Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln). Rick is the first character we see on Walking Dead as he chats with his partner Shane about the marital troubles he’s been having with his wife Lori. Rick is quiet and seems honestly confused as to what his wife wants from him. Not to mention, he couldn’t believe the things she was saying to him in front of their young son Carl. You can see right away that he is a guy who cares about his family and is trying to do his best by them. You know though that there is more to him than that. Once Rick awakens from a coma to a world stricken by a zombie apocalypse he quickly takes action (after some time being heartbroken and scared) to locate his family. As the show progresses, he takes the role of leader (albeit, reluctantly) and does his best to keep them safe. Does he always make the right choices? No. Does he suffer when he makes the wrong ones? Yes, he does. Does he always have to make the hard choices? Yeah, he sure as heck does. Rick is a man built to survive, he won’t die because he has to protect his family, his people. He will kill everyone and everything that gets in his way but recently, he’s made peace with his violent side and his “Dad” side. He seems to have found an uneasy balance between the two by trying to be the man he needs to be in order to keep his family safe. For all intents and purposes, he is the hero of this piece.

Hershel Greene = The Moral Center of the Group
Hershel Greene = The Moral Center of the Group

Next, let’s talk about Hershel Greene, poor, sweet, doomed Hershel (played brilliantly by Scott Wilson). At first, I thought Hershel was a creepy old man who couldn’t come to terms with the apocalypse. Some of that was true, he was keeping zombies in his barn in case there happened to be a cure. He is a recovering alcoholic and a spiritual man. He turns into the groups spiritual, moral center. The one they go to when they need counsel and more importantly, Rick would often turn to him for advice (even if he didn’t always agree with it). Hershel was trying to be human in a world that was killing humanity off (both spiritually and physically) and he was not meant to survive for very long. He couldn’t and watch the world burn all around him. He was a lot like Rick in many ways, though he was able to hold off from becoming a killing machine whereas Rick could tap into that when needed.

Daryl & Beth, a great team.
Daryl & Beth, a great team.

Finally, I want to talk about Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus). Daryl is a character created for the TV show and is sadly not in the comic. He is a man who before the apocalypse was a troubled, racist, redneck with the potential to become a drug addict and was most likely a murderer. After the apocalypse, he becomes a hero. He finds his true purpose and is able to deal with the apocalypse with an ease that many of the characters are unable to find. He holds his emotions in check most of the time but recently, we’ve started to see chinks in his armor. He has befriended Carol and Beth (oh Beth) and has become a trusted friend to Rick and the others. He is like Rick in a lot of ways too in that he makes the hard decisions (Sophia comes to mind) and is able to tap into his killer side while also maintaining connections and friendships.

What I’ve found in looking into both the male and female characters of The Walking Dead is that they are all painted with the same brush. Some of them step into their roles in the apocalypse with more grace than others. You see characters like Carol who have really come into their own but at the same time, who also know that some part of their humanity has died and characters like Daryl who become better because of the apocalypse. His humanity hasn’t died, it has flourished in these years after the apocalypse. What’s great from a female perspective too is that none of these men have time to be sexist, they don’t treat the women as wash maids or cooks, they treat them as equals. Rick often takes Michonne on patrols or dangerous missions. Or, more importantly, he often keeps her to look out for Carl and Judith. Daryl treats Carol not as a potential plaything, but as a friend, as an equal. Plus, we rarely have to be subjected to a “damsel in distress” situation, heck, sometimes the guy’s in distress and has to be saved by a woman!  The beauty of Walking Dead is that the writers (and actors) do an amazing job of making us want to see these characters transform and it makes us like them (even when we dislike them), and it makes me wonder, who (or what) would you become in the apocalypse?

Tell me what YOU think of the Men of Walking Dead!

Post-apocalypse what survives? Your life or your humanity?
Post-apocalypse what survives? Your life or your humanity?