Tag Archives: Robert Kirkman

Evan and Gordon Talk: The Walking Dead

GORDON: Ladies and gentlemen  devoted readers and people who found our blog by googling “dokata fanning playboy.” We’re were to have a frank and open discussion about “The Walking Dead,” both the critically acclaimed television series and Robert Kirkman comic books of the same name.

EVAN: I’d like to issue a fair warning to those who haven’t read the comic series or caught up on the show that there will be SPOILERS. You have been duly warned.

GORDON: Indeed. I’d like to kick things off by talking a bit about how the books and the television series differ, and whether or not that’s a good thing.

EVAN: I think there’s a firm answer there. The show differs a lot from the books, and that’s definitely a good thing.

GORDON: How so?

EVAN: Sticking to the book means that there aren’t any surprises for loyal fans of the series, and keeps them guessing. Furthermore, it allows AMC and others involved to play a little bit more loosely with the way the show is going, without feeling too tied down.

GORDON: I thought about that.

EVAN: And?

GORDON: At the same time, I feel there’s definitely a lot lacking from the series as a result of their pretty strong (and ever increasing) departure from the source material. Take some of the deaths, like Dale’s and Shane’s, for example. It’s like knowing you’re gonna go get Chinese food versus being surprised that you get some potato chips with your nasty sandwich.

EVAN: I agree. Both deaths were undeniably very well-written and powerful moments. I just think there’s something to be said for not being slavishly dedicated to one vision of the show.

And as far as Dale’s death is concerned, I can easily see his key line being spoken by some other character some ways down the road.

GORDON: I guess my point is that while the show does keep you on your toes, the changes it makes are typically just less impressive than the story itself. I think loyal fans of the series would be just as cool seeing a faithful show as one that goes its own way.

I mean, look at it this way: The books are dark. Really dark. I’m talking Laurie’s comic-book ending dark. It pushed the envelope in ways I just have yet to see the show do. That was a lot of the charm of the books- how unflinching it was. I’m just not getting that same power with the show’s spin.

EVAN: It’s obvious that fans are going to want a show that is as close to what they originally experienced in the comics as possible. I also agree that the comics are undeniably better than the show.

My point is that I think the deviation is good and realistic. Having the Governor both physically and sexually assault Michonne is probably not something we’re going to see. Neither did I think we were going to be witness to a woman and her baby being brutally gunned down.

The writing is weaker, but I don’t think that faults the direction to not stick to the book, it faults the current writers.

GORDON: Interesting, but it seems that the logical solution to that is to try to get closer to the hard-hitting story the books gave us. Here’s what I’m hearing from you:

“The books are objectively better, but the fault is with the show’s poor writing.”

Seems like you either just start trying to write a better zombie story while trying to stay within sight of the original material and characters (which kind of kills the point), or just stick to the material to begin with.

EVAN: I don’t think they’re not trying to write better stories. I’m saying they’re not succeeding. I don’t think they set out to do a bad job.

GORDON: Fair enough. So what needs to be done then?

EVAN: As with most forms of media taking into account constant feedback from fans and acknowledging their mistakes. Season 2 at the farm really dragged on, and was low on the zombie killing. At the very least, this season has given us plenty of “walker”-eviscerating action.

GORDON: No argument there . . . no complaint either. But I don’t think it’s a solution; just something to help ease the need for something more.

EVAN: You do get that not everything in the comics can make it on TV, though, right?

GORDON: Of course. And I wasn’t going to say that. I mean, ever since the season began, I’ve been like: “How the **** are they going to show a baby being shot on national television?”

The rest I could imagine, but not that.

EVAN: Okay, how about we move on to something most fans of the AMC show can relate to: How horrible Andrea is all the time always.

GORDON: That bugs me. I like Andrea. Andrea gets it.

EVAN: Andrea is horrible. Andrea almost shot Daryl in the face. Because she couldn’t listen to people telling her to hold the **** up.

GORDON: That was messed up. But otherwise, I think the criticism of her is all just BS.

I mean, everyone’s like, “Gah- I hate Andrea! Why can’t she see that the Governor is evil?”

And I’m like: “Please. If you had survived as long as she had, which you wouldn’t, you would be groveling at the man’s feet for a bowl of warm soup, let alone a flippin’ suburban paradise free from living corpses.”

Relatively, anyways.

EVAN: She only survived because of Michonne, who I don’t like all that much at the moment. And for the most part, I agree with you about the Governor not being a bad dude.

GORDON: Let’s not turn this into my twisted/completely reasonable sense of morality. What I think the show is really lacking is the eeriness. You got that in the first season, when Rick was on his own, that feeling of isolation. Upping the action doesn’t solve that problem, especially as more an more characters come in.

EVAN: What I really want to see is the whole idea, which has been communicated but could be better, that it’s not the zombies you’re afraid of, it’s the people. Two kids die, and everyone things it’s the huge black dude who did it. Turns out it’s the mild-mannered white guy who decapitated these two little girls.

GORDON: Very unexpected. Dang, there was so much good stuff there that we’ll never get to see. . .

EVAN: The theme of the books, if I could sum it up in three words, is “People Are Monsters.” I think that’s really what needs to come out of AMC’s Sunday evenings.

GORDON: I agree completely.

EVAN: We’ve got a little bit of time, do you want to share with the nice people why, barring slaughtering a few US Army men, the Governor’s not such a mustachio-twirling villain?

GORDON: In their defense, that version was pretty over-the-top; like a living Snidely Whiplash.

EVAN: In the books, you mean?


EVAN: What I meant, though, is that as you said people are yelling at their screens, crying “Andrea you dumb blonde, can’t you see you’re making out with the devil?”

GORDON: They are, and without cause (barring knowledge from the book). I mean, people suspect because they’re the audience and can see the big picture. But if we’re talking realistically, they would be more eager than Andrea. I’m just saying the criticism of Andrea as being blind is utter nonsense.

EVAN: And furthermore, what has he done to have anyone assume he’s a bad dude? Taken away their weapons in a peaceful town. Shown them tons of hospitality. If anything, we’d all be telling Michonne to chill the eff out and stop glaring at everyone/thing.

GORDON: Exactly. People need to chill out.

EVAN: And, even though I’m sure we could’ve gone on for another hour, that just about concludes our time. Any topics you have in mind for next week? Probably not something television-related, to avoid the hat trick.

GORDON: True. Let’s talk about food. Let’s hypothesize the greatest food show of all time.


A Look at The Walking Dead‘s Theodore Douglas

Season 2 of AMC’s The Walking Dead wrapped up this past Sunday, kind of a big deal when you take into consideration the fact that the show was pulling in roughly 10 million viewers every time it aired. There are blogs all over the place discussing the big reveal, so feel free to head over there if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about. This post is meant to take a good hard look at character Theodore “T-Dog” Douglas.

AMC’s The Walking Dead is based on an immensely well-received comic book series of the same name written by Robert Kirkman. While it has, for the most part, stuck with the comics’ general plot progression, there have been a large amount of changes made. The addition of T-Dog as a member of the group in the first season was one of them.

As this season has progressed the internet has taken a lot of interest in T-Dog, for the most part discussing how little a role he actually has to play in the show. The following are his biggest moments listed in chronological order:

S1E1, Guts: T-Dog is one of the group members. He is savagely beaten by a racist among them and is almost killed.  The character who beat him is handcuffed to a roof as punishment. Later, when sent to free him, T-Dog drops the keys down a drain.

S2E1, What Lies Ahead: The survivors are scavenging an abandoned
highway for supplies. T-Dog doesn’t hear Rick, their leader, tell everyone to hide under cars due to zombies. He cuts his arm open on a car door. His life is saved when another survivor covers him with a dead zombie.

S2E2, Bloodletting: T-Dog is upset because the group is leaving him behind with an old man. He thinks it is because he is black. It turns out that he has blood poisoning and is weak and might die.

S2E4, Cherokee Rose: T-Dog almost drinks water from a well that had a big fat zombie in it.

S2E6, Secrets: They’re at a farm, and one of the farmer’s kids turns his pistol sideways during shooting practice. T-Dog tells him not to “give [him] any of that gangster sh-t.”

S2E12, Better Angels: T-dog sees that a prisoner has escaped and exclaims “Aw hell no!”

S2E13, Beside the Dying Fire: Zombies attack the farm and everyone scatters. T-Dog is driving himself and two others to the coast. One of them, Rick’s wife, tells him to turn around or she’ll jump out of the truck. He does so, performing a particularly ugly U-turn.

As the second season progressed, the conversation about T-Dog and what he has to do with anything grew immensely. In the last few episodes many were wondering if he was ever going to get past more than one or two lines per episode. Some have theorized [and by some I mean me] that he shares the same affliction as Eddie Murphy’s character in the universally panned A Thousand Words.

Thankfully, an interview with showrunner Glen Mazzara hopes to answer all of your questions about this enigma of a man. Entertainment Weekly asked if we would be seeing more of T-Dog next season, and the answer was as follows:

There is a plan for T-Dog. Given all of the things that I had to focus on to develop the show in a way that I felt was best, I will say that T-Dog got short shrift. We took care of business, and now we can delve into [SPOILERS] and T-Dog and all these other characters. T-Dog fans will be happy. We’re no longer interested in having a character in the background only saying one line per episode. We’re done with that. But again, we only had so much real estate, and it was very important for me to tell Rick’s story.

Which is great, really, except that I don’t see him having much more to offer the show. As far as what his role is it’s difficult to look any further than token black character. Glenn, a Korean-American character, was present in the comics and as a result has a pretty well-defined personality and storyline. In other words, Glenn has a foundation that extends beyond diversity for diversity’s sake. At this point in the series, T-Dog is actually the only character [save for a girl whose name was changed] not found in the original comics, and this really stands out.

It’s great that Mazzara was able to address, in a straightforward manner, that they did have a character who was “only saying one line per episode.” What remains to be seen is whether or not the writers for The Walking Dead can add any sort of complexity to T-Dog in this upcoming season. It’s been amusing watching and waiting to see if he does, well, anything, but while that may be enjoyable it doesn’t make it good television.