HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER / GAME OF THRONES / THE WALKING DEAD / NETFLIX



Make Sure Your Face Is Clean Now, Can't Have No Dirty Dead: Race, Gender, And “The Walking Dead”

By TK | Think Pieces | November 8, 2012 | Comments ()


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CAUTION: Here there be spoilers.

Maybe it’s because I don’t want to keep harping on it in my weekly reviews. Maybe it’s because by giving it its own article, I can somehow make myself realize that I’m not just being a smooshy lame overly sensitive liberal-type about these things. Maybe I just need a full article to get it off my chest. But seriously, folks: There’s something wrong with “The Walking Dead.”

Everyone pretty much knows about my love/hate relationship with AMC’s juggernaut show, now in its third season. It’s a show of lows and highs and little in-between. When it’s bad, it’s frustrating and repetitive and stupid and annoying. But when it’s good — sweet zombie Jesus when it’s good, it’s goddamn sublime. Except that there’s always this… this thing in the back of my mind. This thing that tells me that the writers and creators of this show don’t have a clue what they’re doing when it comes to race and gender. It’s worth noting that despite being set predominately in Atlanta and elsewhere in the Southern USA, there are two black main characters.

Two.

One of whom we met two weeks ago.

The other of whom just died.

On the one hand, are Kirkman and company to be applauded just for including major characters who are women, and black, and Asian? It’s a sad statement on modern television, but this is not the norm. These things are rare, and so I suppose it is laudable that we even have a Glenn or a T-Dog or an Andrea and even, yes, a Lori. Yet the thing is, when you make a conscious decision to integrate your cast so deliberately, swinging and whiffing on it makes the tokenism that much more painfully obvious.

And that’s where the show has been utterly failing, and continues to do so. To be fair, these missteps started with Kirkman’s novels, which tended to (Michonne and Tyrese (who didn’t make the cut for the show) excepted) give the lion’s share of the action to his white male characters. Go ahead and list your favorite characters. Aside from Carl (and maybe that’s just me, because I hate Carl), the weakest and most poorly written characters, the ones the fans hate the most, will invariably be either women, or black… or both, in the case of our newest addition.

Let us start with women, and we’ll make a list. There have been essentially the following major roles for women:

Lori Grimes
Andrea
Carol Peletier
Maggie Greene
Sophia Peletier
Michonne

I’m not including Beth or Amy, because the former has yet to do anything relevant and the latter was barely on the show, and really only served to be a dramatic rallying point for Andrea. And chances are you don’t even remember Jacqui, the other black woman who opted for suicide at the end of Season One, a cast member who doesn’t even get a spot on the AMC cast page. Yay, diversity!

So what have we got? We’ve got Lori, easily the least popular character on the show not named Carl. She’s seen as shrewish, manipulative, passive-aggressive, and generally unpleasant. Lori’s shifting moral compass and dodgy loyalties have, instead of making her a determined woman, wife and mother, resulted in a Machiavellian dumbass who alienates when she should be rallying, an unkind, often-miserable, misunderstood woman perceived as a negligent harpy, one who symbolizes all manner of female television tropes and generalizations. In their efforts to create a strong maternal figure, they’ve instead created a caricature, a woman who whispers, Lady Macbeth-like, in her husband’s ear to try to get things to go where she wants.

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And when that blows up in her face, we’re left with Season Three Lori, a woman who spent her time apologizing and self-flagellating for her supposed failures as a mother and a wife — without really ever being recognized as anything else. Lori was a character defined by three things: mother, wife, and adulteress, and nothing else. It wasn’t even really Sarah Wayne Callies’ fault — that’s simply the straw the writers so shallowly drew for her, failing to give her any depth or traits beyond those core ideas. Yet the show allowed her some form of redemption, wherein she finally showed some rather breathtaking displays of motherly love… and then promptly died.

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You will see how this becomes a trend.

Maggie Greene gets a pass, because she’s genuinely smart, interesting, and funny. Mercifully, her character is decent and well-rounded, and her rapport with Glenn is one of the show’s few bright and positive spots in terms of interpersonal relationships, and more than any other couple thus far, their connection feels real and is actually quite captivating.

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Andrea, on the other hand, is another unpopular character. She’s the one who is on the surface portrayed as a strong, assertive woman, yet is also the one who accidentally shot Daryl due to some breathtakingly bad decision-making, one who tried to hitch herself to Shane’s crazy train, and now, appears to be making similar moves on the not-so-secretly-crazy-as-fuck Governor. Andrea initially seemed like one of the more well-realized characters, yet she still is incapable of making an independent decision without male input, and her development hinged on the lessons taken from Rick and Shane and, yes, poor departed Dale. The show runners have tried to give Andrea the appearance of the strong, independent woman, but the fact remains that she attaches herself to whatever alpha male appears to be the toughest and then sticks with him until he dies or she realizes the error of her ways. It’s a weak, insulting attempt to show strength by osmosis, as if Andrea is incapable of an adult decision without a man to point her in the right direction.

The other side of this co-dependent coin is Carol, a simpering mess of a woman for most of the first two seasons, one who was abused by her oafish husband, then obsessed with her daughter, and then, only when she wins the attention of Daryl, does she finally emerge from her shell. Carol actually has a bit of personality now, and emotions beyond “sad” and “really sad,” yet one can’t help but see that her character evolution was similarly male-dependent.

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Michonne, however, is a conundrum. From all I’ve heard, Danai Gurira is a supremely capable stage actress and award-winning playwright (full disclosure: she’s a good friend of my sister). Upon learning of this, and hearing about her cast as Michonne, I was ecstatic. The character in the books is spectacular and a fan favorite, so I expected good things. What we got was a character who has uttered few lines, who apparently has a face permanently set on “scowl,” and whose attitude upon entering Woodbury is completely single-minded, capable of only suspicion and increasingly petulant demands for her weapons. Right as she may be, the writers have already shoehorned her into an unfortunate position as someone who is incapable of anything other than defensiveness and suspicion. And while the character is the strong, silent type in the comic books, there was always a deft intelligence and cunning behind her actions.

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Michonne’s intelligence was more on display this week, yet there’s still a lack of emotion, a monotone, disaffected and robotic tone to her that makes the character less appealing to many. My only hope for her is that since she’s the one to question the governor (however tactically unsound such a challenge may be), so she’s clearly sharply clever. What makes her arc more frustrating is that the relationship between her and Andrea doesn’t really stand up, almost as if Michonne was a stand-in for Andrea’s savior until a man showed up. What’s more distressing is the very nature of the way the episodes have been shot — all of a sudden, Michonne was relegated to the background of every shot, dark and unfocused, as Andrea — vibrant and glowingly blond — suddenly took center stage, despite being at death’s door hours before. It is, quite honestly, puzzling, frustrating, and somewhat infuriating.

There’s really no need to make a list of the male minority characters, since the only other ones are Glenn and T-Dog (I’d love to include Morgan Jones, except we haven’t seen him since the early days of Season One and I doubt we will again). Oh, wait, that’s not true. We also have one Latino convict, a handful of black convicts, and waaaay back in Season One, a group of kindly Latino gangbangers. Thanks, “Walking Dead,” for subverting those stereotypes so fiercely.

But here’s an interesting bit of additional fact for you: both T-Dog and Daryl are new characters, invented for the show. T-Dog is the token black guy, killed after an empty and pointless existence. In the comics, there was a character named Tyrese, another black character, who developed a relationship with Carol. And apparently, the writers decided to replace him with Daryl. And as much as I love Norman Reedus’ Daryl, that still chaps a bit. Herein lies the larger problem, in some ways. “The Walking Dead” is lousy with women, and terrible with minorities.

Where shall we begin?

Glenn is, of course, a fan favorite, and rightfully so. My only issues with Glenn come from him being so specialized a character — need someone fast and sneaky? Send in the Asian guy! And don’t worry, he’s pliable and compliant, and will do whatever the leaders say. And even when Glenn begins to develop, it’s once again not a self-realized, self-actualized development, but rather at the urging of his new ladylove.

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But nothing is more aggravating, no character more frustrating, no token more overt than T-Dog. A character who’s been with us from the beginning, he’s been given nothing. Zero. Nada. No backstory, no episodes to center on his character, no flashbacks. He hasn’t grown, or learned, or developed any relationships. He follows Rick, though only in the sense that he’s in the same scenes. To even give him as faint praise as to call him a follower implies that he’s made the choice to follow, and there’s no evidence of him even doing that. T-Dog’s character was an empty vessel, without thought or opinion or emotion or ideas. He’s a blunt instrument, a big, bald, black club used by the gang to fight their way out of the tough spots, but without any personality aside from the occasional flat one-liners. For those who are curious, someone actually compiled all of his lines from Season Two. The video is four minutes and fifty seconds long, and much of it still includes other people talking.

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This week featured the most meaningful dialogue T-Dog has had so far, and it was mainly him sympathizing with the convicts. And then? He dies. Some will be tempted to call it a hero’s death, and while it was perhaps heroic, the overall character arc was little more than an insult. He finally gets a moment to shine, and it’s the moment that kills him. I’ve heard rumor that Irone Singleton was a difficult actor to work with, and was thusly phased out. I don’t know if I buy it. I do know that killing off a secondary character is always a crowd-pleaser, and that’s what happened this week. Because make no mistake, despite being in every episode, T-Dog was a secondary character, a glowering, dark-skinned table lamp that managed to find its way into every shot. And in hilariously poetic fashion, he’s swapped out for another token character — the black convict. This was the show’s final insult. T-Dog 2.0 was conveniently waiting in the wings, an easy replacement, another brother just trying to survive this apocalypse who can feel indebted to Rick and be another heap of cannon fodder. I can only hope that T-Dog 2.0 (or 2-Dog, as the Internet has already dubbed him), will get more than a couple of “aw hell naws” to work with.

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The truth is that T-Dog was an embarrassment, worsened by the fact that he was created specifically for the show, making his tokenism that much more overt. He was awful, and it’s hardly Irone Singleton’s fault. I have no idea if he’s a good actor or not, because the show stubbornly and infuriatingly refused to let him act. He was weapon-wielding window-dressing, and not even a consistently good one. If anything, he was a jive-talking prop at best, a halfheartedly politically correct afterthought at worst. If there were a competition to see who got the least dialogue, T-Dog was just barely ahead of the walkers themselves.

So there you have it. Proceed to punch as many holes in it as you like, but one can’t escape the fact that “The Walking Dead” most definitely has race and gender issues. It’s ugly, and it’s obvious, and it’s mostly just stupid. I applaud the desire for a diverse cast, but the trick to having a diverse cast is to have those people all share the load proportionately. That’s not what we have. We have a core cast of white men — Rick, Shane, Dale, Daryl, even Hershel — and a series of women whose characters revolved around those men, and a series of minorities whose characters simply occupy the secondary spaces nearby them. Wake up, writers. You’ve got actors with talent to burn. Use them, and use them equally.



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Comments Are Welcome, Douches Are Not


  • F.G.R.X

    Good article but I'm more impressed by the fact you managed to work Misfits lyrics into the article's title...

  • Jack Strawb

    Reposting, since it seems to have disappeared, and I'd be interested in comments:

    "It's regrettable that somone of your obvious intelligence would look with such a blurred lens at so many disparate actions with varied motives.

    Using your template, we could just as easily decide that Kirkman and company loathe men, that their misandry swamps their alleged misogyny. To wit:

    Shane! what a pathetically shallow characterization of the brutish male! He tries to steal his best friend's wife, and when that seems to fail spends two seasons skulking and plotting. He defines himself essentially in terms of the female. Does he, or does he not possess her? He's unable to act independently of how his actions affect Lori.

    The Governor--what an absurd caricature of the cunning sociopath!

    Merle--just another violent, racist, bumpkin. The Governor lite, at best.

    T-Dog--can barely speak. An already cardboard character turned sideways in enough episodes that he's not even visible.

    And Rick! Don't get me started. A caricature of the fuddled cuckold, bumbling around for much of the first two seasons, unable to make crucial decisions, his inability to protect his son the worst of all his failings...

    Oh. and don't get me started on Ed, that protypical feminist nightmare, lunging around camp in his pit-stained wife-beater, resting only between pounding his sweet wife, Carol, into submission.

    Then there was Candace Jenner, the REAL scientist in the family, according to her husband at the CDC at the end of Season One. Jenner himself was a mere button pusher compared to her. The ongoing idea in TWD, that women are simply superior to men in every facet of life is a profound frustration to those of us who are sick and tired to how badly and bleakly men are portrayed on television.

    See how easy that was?

    TWD does suffer at times from weak writing, but it's a dim view of human nature, not of women, that's an integral part of the show."

  • Jack Strawb

    It's regrettable that somone of your obvious intelligence would look with such a blurred lens at so many disparate actions with varied motives.

    Using your template, we could just as easily decide that Kirkman and company loathe men, that their misandry swamps their alleged misogyny. To wit:

    Shane! what a pathetically shallow characterization of the brutish mal! He tries to steal his best friend's wife, and when that seems to fail spends two seasons skulking and plotting. He defines himself essentially in terms of the female. Does he, or does he not possess her? He's unable to act independently of how his actions affect Lori.

    The Governor--what an absurd caricature of the cunning sociopath!

    Merle--just another violent, racist, bumpkin. The Governor lite, at best.

    T-Dog--can barely speak. An already cardboard character turned sideways in enough episodes that he's not even visible.

    And Rick! Don't get me started. A caricature of the fuddled cuckold, bumbling around for much of the first two seasons, unable to make crucial decisions, his inability to protect his son the worst of all his failings...

    Oh. and don't forget Ed Peletier, that protypical feminist nightmare, lunging around camp in his pit-stained wife-beater, resting only between pounding his sweet wife, Carol, into submission. That her vengeance once he's dead, driving a pickaxe over and over into his brain, and played for chuckles, only underlines the show's deep-seated hatred of men.

    Then there was Candace Jenner, the REAL scientist in the family, according to her husband at the CDC at the end of Season One. Jenner himself was a mere button pusher compared to her. The ongoing idea in TWD, that women are simply superior to men in every facet of life is a profound frustration to those of us who are sick and tired to how badly and bleakly men are portrayed on television.

    See how easy that was?

    TWD does suffer at times from weak writing, but it's a dim view of human nature, not of women, that's an integral part of the show.

  • peeps

    It must be exhausting to go through life being constantly offended and being a self appointed watchdog for equality. These characters are all individuals in an insane situation, do you really need a quota for lead characters or a Ripley trope for the women characters?

  • Mike

    the problem is that you have zero understand of story telling and character development. besides that characters like that are real and authentic. a woman like carol who was abused for years wont come out of that strong and there are lots of women like Andrea who cant get shit done without a guy. most women are attracted to the likes of Shane and his bad boy persona. with every fandom, the women flock around the guy who has the worst qualities, women writes letters to rapist in jail and fall in love with them etc. women are just like that, you will have to accept that or try to talk to those women and not criticize a show for pointing out the reality.

    moreover its kirkmans show and universe, he can do whatever he wants to do. he can have an all white cast (like The Prince of Bel-Air was 100% black
    and that was cool with people) and make them dance under rainbows if he
    wants to. if you dont like it, dont watch it. if enough people watch it he does a good job, its that simple.

  • Mark

    Get over yourselves - its a TV show you complete bores! Go moan about something else!!

  • Lisa

    So you never ever had a complaint about a TV shows? I admit, that's pretty impressive.

  • Keep in mind that all the feedback 'we, the audience' give the station at this point here may only become reality in season 4. Season 3 has probably been shot and edited completely already, and they are just doing special effects work at this point. But it seems they listened to a lot of feedback that people gave after season 2, so season 4 might rock even harder than 3.

  • In the comics, the Governor is of Irish and Mexican descent. They missed a great opportunity to cast a Latino actor in this huge role.

    I hope we see more of the doctor in Woodbury. Dr. Stevens is a white dude in the comic, so it was cool to see the role played by a black woman.

  • Lauren_Lauren

    Actually, I'm glad they changed the Governor. The only thing worse than whitewashing is whitewashing the good characters AND keeping a bad character a minority.

  • Artemis

    Wait, SERIOUSLY?

    Jesus Christ, I give up on this show. That is fucking unconscionable.

  • Jack Strawb

    Because, hey, if some random dude on the internet said it, it must be true.

  • Lauren_Lauren

    Best post you've ever written, TK. Bravo.

  • amylu

    Agreed. You hit the nail on the bald, black head, TK. Great article.

  • topscotched

    Great article! I was super upset to see T-Dog die after he got his only real line in the last two seasons. And ps I am the person who compiled all of T-Dog's lines together and made that youtube video. I'll be making something similarly themed at the end of this season.

  • TK

    No shit? Now I feel bad, I should have credited you. Nice work.

  • The Fiendish Dr. Wu

    I've seen several movies & shows where a black person is a sacrificial lamb for a white character. Has there ever been a movie where a white person gives up his life to save a black person?

  • elikit

    Heh, When you find that movie or tv show, let me know. I'd watch the fuck out of it...

  • Jerce

    Danai Gurira is an astonishingly beautiful woman, and so far Michonne's mostly-silent presence has made her mysterious and intriguing. But if she doesn't start developing soon--if we don't start getting some insight into her character--I'm going to be really irritated.

    Everything you say about Andrea is true, which I really hate, because I like the actress so much.

    Actually I like the whole cast. I don't even hate Carl; I'm delighted with how the show's timeline has fitted in with the young actor's growth spurt. I expect great (well, interesting) things from Carl.

    I was spitting mad about T-Dog's dying. That was just fucking lazy writing. So far none of the cast has let this show down, but the writers do it all the fucking time. They should all be forced to read TK's criticism.

  • Bryan

    Jesus Christ, shut the fuck up. Why does everything have to be about race or sex? Sit back and enjoy the ride.

  • Anthony Hoffman

    Are we too...uppity...for you?

  • Jack Strawb

    Hey, just go ahead and call Bryan a racist.

    You know you want to.

  • I never get why some writers have problems writing women and non-white characters. It's not like women and non-white people are another species, they're people. If you're story isn't about the character's gender and isn't real, and you aren't sure how to do it, you just write a person. Then cast a woman or a black dude or an Asian lesbian, who ever works best. That's why Morgan and his son were so amazing. They were people. Frank Darabont, for all his errors in seasons 1 and 2, understands that. The fact that they were African American doesn't even matter, aside from the novelty of having such strong characters of color on a popular TV show. I've said it before, so I might as well say it again: This doesn't have to be hard, Robert Kirkman.

  • Artemis

    Yes, thank you! That's what Shonda Rhimes did with Grey's Anatomy (which, yes, is a terrible show, but on this issue is actually a model of how to do things right). She wrote all of the characters just as people, not as any specific race, and then cast whoever they liked most without any regard to the actor's race. Isaiah Washington was first considered for Patrick Dempsey's role, a white guy was originally cast as the character Isaiah Washington ended up playing, Chandra Wilson and Sandra Oh both ended up playing characters the show initially thought were going to be white, etc. And then nothing about their race was written into the roles (I can think of one exception, when Sandra Oh had to explain how she was both Korean and Jewish -- stepfather named Saul Rosenburg -- which was kind of a cute hat-tip to how race-blind the casting had been). As a result, none of the characters feel like stereotypes, even the Asian woman who's hyper career-focused overachiever -- because the show just wrote a three-dimensional character and then happened to cast Oh to play her, instead of writing "The Asian Character" and then not bothering to develop her past a broad stereotype.

    Now, I think The Walking Dead should deal with race, because it's a post-apocalyptic version of the South and there are some excellent places to go with what that setting does to people's existing feelings about race. But even--or especially--if it's not up to that challenge (and it's obviously not), it still needs to spend time developing characters of color who are just people. It has been relatively successful on that front with Glenn, especially as time goes on, but that is the single glaring exception in a pretty fucked up pattern.

    It's obvious that the showrunner/writers have been trying to correct some of the big flaws from seasons 1 and 2, so maybe T-Dog's departure will let them hit the reset button on this issue as well. It's not like it's even all the difficult to fix: (a) keep doing what you're doing with Glenn; (b) pretend Oscar is white and give him a distinct personality and some kind of skill; (c) adjust the ratio of screentime/dialogue between Andrea and Michonne so that the latter does more than just brood silently while Andrea takes center stage; and (d) without changing *anything* about the scripts, tell the casting director to fill the most prominant one-off guest roles with actors of color and women.

  • idiosynchronic

    Someone with a bad attitude and a finger on the down vote switch seems to be lurking the comments. While I was (and am) an ass in my earlier comment, you have to be kidding.

  • Artemis

    Thanks very much for this.

    I've ranted a lot here about gender and race issues on this show before, so I won't repeat myself now. But over the past few days I've been thinking about how remarkable LOST was on this front, and specifically how good it was at having well-rounded, important, strong characters of all races and genders. All of the things people say in defense of TWD -- that it's a big cast, that it's just not possible for women to take a lead role in disaster situations, that it's more realistic if the white characters don't give credit to the minority characters, that TV shows know their audience contains a lot of white people who aren't interested in watching minority characters, etc. -- were pretty solidly disproved by LOST. Although basically all of the same constraints applied to that show, it managed to have a core group that included several Asian characters (with subtitles much of the time!), a hispanic character (two if you count Michelle Rodriguez's character, who they hadn't intended to kill off until her run-in with the law), several black characters, an Arab character, and a number of female characters who were as well developed and capable as their male counterparts and were not useful solely when there was laundry to be done or meals to be cooked (Kate, Juliet, Sun, Claire, Rousseau, Penny, etc.).

    And TWD really can't be defended on the grounds that its source material is the problem. First, because it actively changed the source material to REMOVE prominent minority characters and make the women LESS capable. And second, because it would have been easy to make some of the characters a different race or gender than their comic-counterpart. There is ZERO reason Andrea could not have been black or hispanic. There is ZERO reason that one of the women couldn't have been the person who was good at fixing vehicles or tracking things in the woods. Hell, even if for some reason you were wedded to the main cast having exactly the roles that they did/do, the minor characters who make any impression at all are overwhelmingly white men as well. Why couldn't the CDC doctor have been a woman whose fellow-doctor husband died? Why couldn't the father Rick met in season one have been a mother who just couldn't bring herself to shoot her zombiefied husband? Why couldn't Hershel and his wife have switched places, so that she was the crotchety old veterinarian who was useful to the group and keeping her dead husband in the barn?

    The issue is definitely, definitely not limited to T-Dog, but he's emblematic of the problems with the show and the way he was treated is frankly embarassing. Not only was he given nothing to do except taking part in big fights with walkers, but there was zero attempt to give him a consistent characterization on the few occasions he expressed an opinion (seriously, there were TWO times he took part in a big group decision, and in one he was all "sure, let's kill the prisoner to keep the group safe" and in the other he was suddenly the voice of compassion advocating for letting potentially dangerous people stay with the group).

    By contrast, think back to Mr. Eko on LOST -- he appeared in 19 episodes of that show (one fewer than T-Dog did on TWD), and I would guess he easily had four or five times as much dialogue, he had a fully-fleshed out backstory (admittedly helped by the flashback format, but does anyone seriously think that TWD would have devoted an entire episode to T-Dog if it shared that format?), he had a discernable personality, and he had an arc over the course of his time on the show. And he was a minor character! There were 7 or 8 characters of color who were a significantly bigger part of the show than he was over the course of the first three seasons! T-Dog was one of TWO minority characters on TWD until this season, and literally the only memorable thing he didwas let walkers rip him apart (once he knew he would die anyway) so that a white woman could escape. Absolutely disgraceful.

  • T.Chicken

    And they still have Glenn, who is the ONLY competent Asian Zombie survivor. He's one of the useful character in Walking Dead and not a token minority. Ironically, T-Dog was my rapper name when I was 13 years old.

  • Jack Strawb

    Artemis, your agenda is showing.

    You make, for the most part, a good case, but when you fudge or ignore facts it doesn't help that case. Just in your last few lines, you forget Jacqui. (It doesn't help your case, that TWD doesn't feature brown folks enough, when you go ahead and forget them yourself.) Second, as preposterously underwritten as T-Dog was, he died bravely, and it was clear he did so. That you'd reduce that to 'letting walkers rip him apart' is simply shoddy stuff.

    You also slap the truth around pretty good by forgetting his interesting dialogue in s2 ep1. I would have really liked to have seen the writers dive into his moment of convincing race-based fear.

  • pockets full of stones

    "I’ve heard rumor that Irone Singleton was a difficult actor to work with, and was thusly phased out."

    This is the first time I read something like this, yet it's the feeling I've had since very early in the show. He just seemed to be cast by accident, like he looked good for the part but no one remembered to check his acting chops. Bad, bad actor. If he indeed was a difficult actor to work with, maybe it was a writers' revenge to kill him off and replace him with another black character as if to say we're sorry for T-Dog, please give us a second chance? If that's the case, there's at least some humor in this racist-ish-y madness.

    I'm trying to be benevolent towards the showrunners since they seem to have read all the reviews and comments from the last season. They are now trying really hard to redeem the show and its characters. Just look at Carol's sudden badassness, Carl's whole new substance, Rick's total absence of crybabyness, poignancy Lori's storyline was given, and FUCKING ZOMBIES ALL THE TIME EVERYWHERE. (Sorry for yelling, I hate when people do that.)

    What infuriates me about Lori and Andrea is not how badly they are written but how faithfully they resemble some women I know, women who have no idea how strong and fabulous they are because they are so insecure and/or dependent on their alpha males. I hated Lori because she felt so real and true in her awfulness. It's good that the writers gave her character a chance to realize the wickedness of her ways, if only a second before dying a horrible and downright oedipal death.

    I'll remain benevolent and forgiving for all previous missteps, and I'll look at this season as a start of TWD 2.0. So far, this new show has been a rather gratifying one.

    Dear God, what a long post. Sorry about that, too. But enough about me. How have you been?

  • Jack Strawb

    "I’ve heard rumor that Irone Singleton was a difficult actor to work with, and was thusly phased out."

    This is hard to believe. He 's extremely charming, and bore no ill will whatever in the numerous interviews he did after dying on the show. In any case, we could reasonably ask, 'how would the producers of TWD possibly know if he was a difficult actor to work with'?

    "What infuriates me about Lori and Andrea is not how badly they are written
    but how faithfully they resemble some women I know, women who have no idea how strong and fabulous they are because they are so insecure and/or dependent on their alpha males."

    Sure. If it only hadn't been for that awful Shane leading Lori to have sex with him a few weeks after her husband appeared to die, none of these terrible things would have happened. Sweet jesus. Please, just stop.

  • e jerry powell

    I'm going with Key and Peele on this one. Racist-ass zombies.

    That said, were I a zombie, I would eat the hell out of some Kevin Sorbo.

  • MGMcD

    I don't have anything to add to TK's spot on analysis, so I will use this opportunity to say Im glad to see Key and Peele getting some love. That show consistently hilarious and more people need to know about it. I was weeping laughing at the racist zombies sketch.

  • Utopian

    I'm thinking that The Walking Dead is going to address at least some of your concerns by turning Oscar into the Tyreese-type character this season. Especially because Daryl and Maggie are going to run into/probably be captured by Merle/The Govenor in the next episode, therefore making Rick turn to Oscar as his right hand man for the time being. In Glenn's case, I couldn't help but notice how similar he was to Short Round when he was first introduced, but I think they've fleshed him out plenty over the years.

    As for the women; let's be real here. Unless they were a bonafide badass like Michonne, women in general would undoubtedly perish WAY more often in this kind of scenario than men. They're no longer living in a world or equality (or something close to it), they're living in an apocalypse where the strongest survive, and unfortunately most women would be forced to follow the rule of their male counterparts if they hoped to survive. I know it's absurd to ponder over this kind of situation, but let's not act like the history of mankind (no pun intended) has not already proved this to be true.

  • Roy

    This is not a direct reply to you Utopian, tho I disagree with some of your statements, it's mostly a reply to your responders as I've had several conversations regarding the survival rate between women and men in apocalyptic situations revolving around hypothetical scenarios such as massive natural disasters to "the walking dead." I find it funny that most of the animosity immediately responded with the ideology stemmed from society which pushes a protected idea of equality. Everything from, this is a world of guns to you must have never met a woman to questioning the accuracy of history. Which by the way does show that the sexes are not as equal as one is led to believe by the ideology taught by this society. LET ME MAKE THIS CLEAR HERE AND YELL IT (TYPE IT IN CAPS) SO THOSE WHO WOULD POUNCE ON THIS CAN READ IT AND SEE, I AM NOT AGAINST STRONG WOMEN, STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS, INDEPENDENT FEMALE CHARACTERS OR PRESENTING THEM IN EQUAL TERMS AT ALL. The issue here is what Utopian said that in REALITY in a situation such as this it's not going to be the world you know now where you can argue, shout and state your equality. No, women and men would have to prove their worth to a community. In a situation where despite you have guns or not you have to kill walkers by hand and despite this being a fictional sense...I was just thinking the other day how silly it was to have Michonne running around with a sword slicing and dicing human bodies with ease when that is even difficult for a MAN TO DO in reality. In reality if you have say 4-5 walkers charging you and you need brute strength because you have a gun or don't want to use it cause you don't want to draw a larger crowd...who does better fending them off with brute strength? Male or female unless you want to argue the female is more nimble, but even then that's not true all the time just like someone wanted to point out that it's plausible Glenn is not physically stronger than Andrea...but even that's not true. When I was 16 I was smaller than most of my peers, but when we went toe to toe or play wrestled I often overpowered them despite my small frame as a male, this included play wrestling with females sometimes twice my size. While I would disagree that ALL WOMEN or MOST WOMEN would perish in this type of situation, I think it's logical to say that the male to female ratio would be different and that modern ideologies on gender equality would not survive in such a scenario. This is one of the reasons television Andrea annoyed me. She kept pushing for the gender equality character rather than simply being a strong woman who could fight and prove her worth to the group. Back to the world with guns thing...most people need training, need to learn to aim, need to learn to keep a weapon like this. Does this mean woman can't do it, no, does this mean men are better at it, no. It just disqualifies it as an argument against Utopian's supposed "Moronic" idea that in a situation such as this the gender equality idea would more than likely fall flat on it's face. Does this mean that women would be regulated to non-offensive/defensive communal duties across the board...no, I doubt it because if the world goes to heck in a hand basket tomorrow we still have learned new ways of doing things and to value people for what they bring to the table rather than what we stereotypical see in them, but don't get mad if the end of the world scenario calls for brute strength rather than finesse and not every female can just pick up a bat and or sword and go charging at the oncoming threat...just saying. It amazes me that one would attempt to argue from an understanding of what one sees today in a protected society with rules, regulations and enforcers protecting such rules from a world where there are none and things change and then expect the status quo to be maintained when it comes to gender equality...sorry not buying it. Call me what you will.

    I'll end this with this, I agreed with everything in the article, I just found it irritating everyone pounced on Utopian for stating the obvious that genders are not really equal when you strip us (men and women) down to nothing (no technology, no nothing).

  • Jack Strawb

    Your post is almost completely incomprehensible. Please rewrite and resubmit.

    Thanks.

  • K

    I have to wonder if you have ever actually MET a woman before, given your 'let's be real' bullshit, let alone had any idea of the actual history of mankind (protip: throughout a lot of prehistory, women were actual of equal status to men!). It may come as a shock to you but being subservient living washing machines isn't encoded into their freaking DNA.

  • Jack Strawb

    Yup, prehistory sure is relevant here. Sigh.

    And no, there are no 'state of nature' arguments that pass muster insofar as claiming women would have no worse of the ZA.

    Have you ever actually SEEN men and women standing side by side? or do you really want to tell us that a 135 pound woman is as strong and as fast as a 160 pound man?

    And, no, no one is arguing that being subservient anything is encoded into their freaking DNA. Well, except your strawman.

  • Setting aside how accurate the history of mankind bit may or may not be, and also the whole 'zombies are fiction' part, the world has changed. There are plenty of women who have learned to fight or hunt or shoot and maintain guns and camp and other assorted skills that would be very useful. Just because society collapsed doesn't mean that all women would automatically be useful only for cooking, laundry, and repopulating the world who can only survive with the guidance and protection of a man.

  • Steph

    Whether or not it would happen in a real life apocalypse scenario, this is a TV show, and having every female character submit to their male
    counterpart would be a miserable, shitty thing to show. Also, this show is about the zombie apocalypse, nothing about it is realistic. Jesus Christ.

  • minxy

    Utopian. That is just some fucking moronic shit.

  • Jack Strawb

    Yeah--how dare s/he bring facts into a perfectly good two minute hate!

  • Artemis

    Yup. Even if you accept the premise that physical strength is the only helpful skill in the world of TWD, this comment is obviously stupid. Does Glenn really strike you as being physically stronger than Andrea or Maggie? Does it make sense that a TWELVE YEAR OLD BOY is now strong enough and smart enough to take care of himself but GROWN ASS WOMEN are only capable of doing laundry?

  • Ted Lee

    Within a group that has always featured at least one *elderly* white man as a major character, *Glenn* is the first one you think of for this comparison? Sounds like you're the one making some racist assumptions.

  • Jack Strawb

    Yes, of course Glenn is physically stronger than Andrea or Maggie. He's taller, heavier, and has more muscle mass. It's frankly stupid to argue otherwise.

    Way to conflate two completely different issues, btw. Who said mindless rhetoric was dead?

  • John G.

    It's still a world with guns in it, so it's not based on brute strength.

  • Return of Santitas

    The laundry doing and childminding made me think about Stephen ( King's The Stand, where one of the female characters (can't remember who, sorry) says to another that the post-Captain Trips world is "a man's world, at least for a little while" or something to that effect. Because the mens have all taken charge of leading their survival community and being on the town council or whatever it was called. It made me furious reading that because there is absolutely no reason for it.

    As you say, John G, TWD is a world with guns. Anyone can learn to shoot a gun. Similarly, anyone can learn to do laundry in a river. So WTF? Most of these characters would probably have been office monkeys of one kind or another before the zombie apocalypse. Men and women would have been equally unprepared for combat.

    This issue really gets under my skin and it's part of why I stopped watching this damn show. It's just so lazy. And to be completely honest Frank Darabont's long association with Stephen King's work makes this problem almost predictable. Token black guys and laundry-doing women (or, alternatively, crazy scary bitches) abound.

  • Jack Strawb

    So, you're saying physical strength, previous experience with weapons, footspeed, and previous experience with physical work and manual labor would all be meaningless when it comes to surviving the ZA?

    Sure.

    There are a lot of good criticisms to be made of the show. Too bad you're too lazy to make them.

  • LordTomHulce

    The frustrating thing for me about The Walking Dead show (and to a lesser extent the comic) is (a) the depth of characterization vs. (b) the stereotypical nature of much of that same characterization. I agree that introducing T-Dog in the show rather than Tyrese in the comic smacks of a racially insensitive (at least) downsizing of a character from actual human being to "token black guy." I mean, his fucking name is T-Dog, but we never get an explanation of why he has such an awesome name? His origin story should've been an entire episode of awesome, but we never even got a name explanation. Plenty of the other minority characters seem to fall into some pretty easy stereotypes as well.

    On the other hand, the show (and to a much greater extent the comic) has done something kind of incredible. It's hard to tell a character driven story with TONS of characters and keep most of the characters interesting. I think The Walking Dead manages to do that. But it does seem to be the minority characters who suffer the short end of the stick. Maybe it's intentional? An allegory commenting on contemporary American society? Probably not.

  • Jack Strawb

    "Plenty of the other minority characters seem to fall into some pretty easy stereotypes as well."

    Oh, you mean, like the... er,..., well... Okay. But just because they don't doesn't mean the show isn't racist.

  • I'll buy that it's an unintentional allegory commenting on contemporary American society.

  • BendinIntheWind

    I'm also wagering that it's unintentional, but I would pay so much money to see someone try to argue this point at a convention panel:

    "We ignore the black people, too! We're just like you, America!"

  • kushiro -

    Let's see: brutally efficient killer, lack of affect, stalks around sizing up enemies, dreadlocks. Yup, Michonne is Predator.

  • janetfaust

    I was thinking along these lines when T-Dog was clearly a goner and the black prisoner handed the gun to Rick. They can't have two black men on the show?! You never want to think about racism or sexism in the shows you like but it just can't be denied in this show. I started reading the comics after season 2 and the biggest disappointment to me in how they have changed the story for the show is the loss of Tyrese. I'm still holding out hope for Michonne.

  • kushiro -

    I think they made a mistake killing off Dale. I know it served the larger purpose of getting Andrea separated from the group so she can go to CuckooGovernorTown, but character-wise she can't compare to the original character as written in the comics. Comic Andrea is a woman who kicks ass but can also show warmth, mainly because while learning to become a cold-as-ice sniper, she was also in a relationship with someone who at times took care of her, but at others also needed her to care for him.

    Plus Dale's RV came in handy a lot more than on TV.

  • melissa82

    I guess the actor asked to be killed off, he's a friend of Frank Darabont and wasn't too thrilled when he was removed from the show.

  • TK

    And didn't break down every five fucking miles.

  • There's nothing to do but agree with everything you've said. I was so mad about T-Dog that I smacked my hand on the couch. Can't have two black guys running around at the same time--let's kill one off!
    If Michonne doesn't get to do more than be Andrea's watchful pal, it will be a damned shame.

  • Jack Strawb

    I don't suppose you'll issue a retraction now that we learn Tyrese, a significant character from the comics, is going to be introduced. That'll make two significant black characters while a third black character, Oscar, if anything suffers from too much dignity and composure. I don't suppose Michonne taking on four pursuers armed with guns, entirely independent of Andrea, means anything to you, either. Or that Glenn, a young Asian man, along with Maggie, a woman, is the sharpest**, best adjusted character on the series. Or that Carol, a woman, has shown much greater, positive emotional growth than her male counterpart, Daryl (or than any male character, for that matter).

    Don't let anything get in the way of a good agenda, you hear?

    **Oh, wait. Glenn's reasonably intelligent. Clearly the series is stereotyping Asian's here.

    I've written a half dozen posts mocking some of the claims in this thread along with some of those in the article. It's just way, way too easy. Those of you taking the low road just aren't working nearly hard enough on your arguments. It's painful to read, in some cases.

  • IntoLonderland

    "If Michonne doesn't get to do more than be Andrea's watchful pal, it will be a damned shame."

    If they follow the comics even slightly where Michonne is concerned, I don't think her subsequent experiences with the Governor will do much to improve the show's rep as far as its treatment of female characters is concerned. Maybe the reason the actress seems so perpetually pissed off is she read the comics: "Hey, awesome, my character is a strong, silent, deadly badass, let's skip ahead and see how she fares later on..."

    ...yeah. I don't watch the show anymore but if it's still got issues with characterisation and repetition, frankly, blame the comics.

  • Return of Santitas

    Yes, I so agree with this. Tricky to talk about it without spoilering but I think that Michonne's Governor storyline in the comics works because she is strongly characterized and fleshed out. One-note TV Michonne just makes the whole storyline seem tokenistic and frankly misogynist. I think the show is on thin ice with this one.

  • Jack Strawb

    This is frankly hilarious. That Michonne is one-note means the series is 'frankly misogynist[ic]'. Seriously? On television a character is underwritten after a handful of episodes, but that's not--perahps--weak writing, that's hatred of the female? Was Shane's brutishness symptomatic of the show's frankly misandristic nature? Wasn't Jimmy's one-note character simply more evidence of TWD's contempt for male complexity?

  • d

    agreed

  • idiosynchronic

    Everyone pretty much knows about my love/hate relationship with . . juggernaut show, now in its third season. It’s a show of lows and highs and little in-between. When it’s bad, it’s frustrating and repetitive and stupid and annoying. But when it’s good — sweet zombie Jesus when it’s good, it’s goddamn sublime. Except that there’s always this… this thing in the back of my mind. This thing that tells me that the writers and creators of this show don’t have a clue what they’re doing . .

    Battlestar, anyone?

  • BendinIntheWind

    At least Battlestar can fall back on the defense that (despite being a remake) they were crafting original storylines. With an adaptation like TWD, they have the freedom to diverge from the source material, but the problem is that in regards to the race and gender issues, they're making *changes* but not improvements. To create the best product, it's the show runners responsibility to recognize which qualities of the original should be maintained, and which can be improved.

  • JenVegas

    I suspect my statement is not going to win me friends but seriously? Comics are not really known for their in-depth characterizations....perhaps we are expecting too much of our teevees here? I never read the books so I am having a grand old time with this show. It is flawed but mostly way LESS flawed than most of the crap on network TV these days. Sure I'd love to see more well-rounded, robust female and minority characters on TV but I bet if we started seeing more of them IRL (community, local, state, federal leadership roles) we'd start seeing more of them on TV too.

  • foolsage

    Why in the world are you restricting role models to solely political figures? The show isn't "The West Wing"; it's about a zombie apocalypse, with people from all walks of life. It makes no sense to suggest that female and minority characters shouldn't exist on this TV show based on their underrepresentation in politics. That's a cop-out; a tenuous rationalization.

    Anyhow, you can have well-rounded and robust characters who aren't heroes, you know. The point wasn't that the show needs more minority and female heroes, but rather that the minority and female characters are given shallow characterization (and less air time, and less narrative impact, and overall less representation) compared to the white male characters.

  • BendinIntheWind

    "Sure I'd love to see more well-rounded, robust female and minority characters on TV but I bet if we started seeing more of them IRL (community, local, state, federal leadership roles) we'd start seeing more of them on TV too."

    This whole sentence is completely absurd. There are literally millions of "well-rounded" women and minorities "IRL" - who gives a shit if they're in politics? Television shows function as a microcosm of the world we live in, and it's a cultural responsibility to show other than pretty white men, especially when a show like The Walking Dead is aiming to show a realistic portrayal of what would happen after such a societal collapse as a zombie infestation.

  • Agreed. I would imagine that if your real life is lacking in 'well-rounded, robust female[s] and minorit[ies],' this is less the fault of the women and minorities around you and more your own for failing to notice them.

  • JenVegas

    Really? I would have less trouble buying this statement if 1/2 the country wasn't just shitting itself over the fact that "OMG Hooray for us we elected 3 women senators and one of them is gay!" Television and the arts *ARE* a microcosm of the world we live in. And, as such, it does not surprise me that most shows on TV are white, male dominated. I'm not trying to be all feministy here. I'm just stating a fact. Also I didn't mean to imply that all of our role models should be in politics. I said leadership roles, that means a lot more than politics.

  • Jack Strawb

    Seriously. I mean, after all, we only have Carol, who's grown from a beaten spouse to an autopsier and sharpshooter; a wallflower to someone who can joke about 'going down' with the object of her affections. But that doesn't really count. Not really.

    So, there's Andrea, who's gone from being an attempted suicide to a crack shot and zombie asskicker in hand to hand combat, capable of making up her own mind, a strong woman drawn to strong men. But she doesn't really count. Not really. For some reason.

    Then there's Maggie, as tough as they come, capable of consoling her father, comforting her sister, loving her boyfriend, all while taking down armored zombies with a single thrust. The equal of any man in the gtroup and treated as such. But she doesn't count. Not really. Um...

    And don't get me started on Michonne, that wimp. She's the best close quarter fighter in the entire series, but that doesn't count either, after all, because, oh, well, it just doesn't fit my agenda, dammit!

  • BendinIntheWind

    "[P]erhaps we are expecting too much of our teevees here?"

    This is exactly the kind of thinking that perpetuates the lack of three-dimensional female or minority characters from thriving in American television, and the absolute *opposite* of "feministy". If feminism is marked by the desire for equal opportunities for both men and women, why should this not include a balanced portrayal of both genders in our art and popular culture?

    Your point would make sense if literally every single television show was about American politics, and as such the vast majority of the actors and characters featured would have to be white males in order to accurately reflect that world. However: in order to tell interesting stories, it's necessary to branch out a bit and feature all kinds of life experiences, and it's therefore necessary that a more diverse cast of characters is used to fill those stories.

    As for the "leadership roles ≠ politics", how do you expect people to become "state, federal" leaders if they're not elected? Your comments about celebrating the elections of female senators completely misses the point: no one is saying everything is balanced and equal and great now, but we are excited to see PROGRESS. If people weren't "shitting themselves" over the inch-by-inch advancement of women, minorities, or LGBT individuals, the status quo would never change. This is why we expect more from our television - it's not going to change overnight, but we do expect to see some progress and an evolution towards a fair representation of all kinds of Americans.

  • I could be wrong here, but the ability to know and interact with complicated, engaging people who are not all white and male doesn't require more women and minorities to be politicians or leaders. It does require the artist creating a microcosm of their world to look beyond their own nose, however, and to the people immediately around them.

  • kushiro -

    Sure, but for the most part, the Walking Dead comic characters have way more depth and complexity. They act in ways that are consistent with their personalities and motivations, and they are discrete, recognizable individuals, while also sharing some behavioural overlap with other characters. You could argue that they've been around for years so they've had time to develop, but they were actually realized fairly quickly on. On TV most of them are cardboard cutouts with broad-stroke traits pinned to their chests.

    Still, pretty fun to watch.

  • The problem for me is, the Walking Dead writing team is clearly capable of pushing boundaries and creating compelling characters and situations; they simply choose not to do so for the female and minority characters. There have been some great, compelling conflicts and well-crafted scenes in this series, but they're all reserved for the white guys. So for me it's not "well it's all crap so why expect anything but crap?" -- it's that the crap is highly selective.

  • Jack Strawb

    Lori wasn't a compelling figure? In waht universe?
    Andrea hasn't been involved in compelling conflicts? Lori wasn't? Maggie wasn't? Jacqui wasn't? Michonne isn't?

    What effing show are you watching, friend?

  • Ah, I see you're all over the rest of the threat shouting "agenda" and "misandry" and flat-out admitting to trolling -- forget I responded to you, I won't do so again.

  • I appreciate that you disagree, although I'm not sure how listing the female characters is supposed to convince me. No, I didn't find Lori compelling. i found her incompetent. Her entire plot was turning her two love interests against one another, not even consciously, just through being an idiot. Andrea followed Shane around until he died, then she wandered off. Maggie's big plot was falling in love with Glenn. Michonnne is a complete goose-egg to me and I don't even remember Jacqui, to be perfectly honest.

  • Ted Zancha

    Damn. As a regular advocate for this show (even though I was not the biggest fan of last season) I have to say that you are totally right. Rick, Dale, and Glenn seem to be the focus of the show. Carl is getting some redemption this season. But other than those four, I haven't really cared about the other characters. I like Maggie a lot, but she still is on the side and always dependent on Glenn.

    I can see why this can be so frustrating for you TK. This show has so much fucking potential, its not even funny. It could be one of the greats. Because when it has its cool moments, they are astonishing. But you got it right. I love moments on this show that are harrowing or freaky, but there is always this nagging in my mind telling me something is off.

    You should send this as a "letter for change" to the writers. Maybe they will pull their heads out of their asses.

  • Anita

    This is so ridiculously true. It was odd seeing IronE Singleton on Talking Dead, as I had literally never seen him talk that much. What a waste.

  • Kate at June

    Are we sure Carol is dead? That was awfully anticlimactic, if so.

  • pcloadletter

    Did anyone look in the barn?

  • TK

    Seriously, this is the best comment on this thread.

  • kushiro -

    General rule is no corpse, no death.

  • janetfaust

    I don't believe we saw her die onscreen. I believe we only saw her run through the door after watching T-Dog get attacked. Then later Daryl finds her headscarf and assumes the worst. I am hoping she is not dead but just lost somewhere in the prison for now.

  • Kate at June

    Thats what I assumed. It would be a shame to kill her when she was just starting to develop. (sorry T-Dog.)

  • Anthony Hoffman

    Not to apologize for the ethnic and female portrayals, but I think we'll learn more about Michonne and she'll be a more well-rounded character. The "pets" meant something to her, obviously. There's a source for the scowl and lack of trust. She certainly has more pathos than T-Dog, original recipe or 2.0.

  • Artemis

    But as a non-reader of the comics, I would have NO idea that there was a back story with her pets if I didn't read internet reviews/comments where readers of the comics mentioned it. I sort of got that it was supposed to be a powerful emotional moment when she cut them down without hesitation to try to keep Andrea and herself hidden, but I had absolutely no idea why it mattered because they'd never so much as shown her looking at one of them sadly.

  • mairimba

    When The Governor and Milton were having breakfast with Andrea and Michonne, Milton asked Michonne about her pets and she changed the subject to wanting her weapons back. Then Andrea confronted her about not knowing anything about her and why she refused to talk about who the pets were. So you didn't need the internet to tell you she has a back story with the two walkers. You just have to pay more attention to the conversations in the show.

  • Artemis

    I pay attention to the show just fine, thanks. Michonne refused to talk to the Woodbury people about anything except her weapons, so the first example didn't really register with me as an indication she was upset about the dead zombies. The conversation with Andrea gave a hint there might have been something more to them than just being pack mules, but it didn't give any indication what it might have been (friends/family? the zombies who killed someone she cared about? just random zombies, who came to be comforting pets after so much time with them?). And then no mention of them since.

  • Adrienne

    How about that one Hispanic family that was originally in the group way back in season one that the writers got rid of? Most likely because they didn't know what to do with them. That still makes me mad when I think about it.

  • I've been so disappointed with Michonne so far, and you detailed why perfectly. Great piece TK.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    *slow clap*

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    *slightly faster, still slow but with the potential for great increase in tempo, clap*

  • Finishing with the full "Hollywood clap"

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I just commented yesterday how Andrea has never looked better, being deathly ill becomes her.

  • FrayedMachine

    I know this is my fault because I should have assumed this would have spoilers but could you please put in a bigger, more grand spoiler warning? Because I just ruined pretty much any emotional gut wrenching effect within 10 seconds into the article and I just started episode 1 :\

  • BendinIntheWind

    You got 10 seconds in without noticing "CAUTION: Here there be spoilers" ?

  • FrayedMachine

    Uh, yes. The title grabbed my attention and proved to be a subject that I am regularly interested in reading in? And seeing as there have been articles done on topics like this without revealing spoilers, I was acting in the mindset that this would be similar? And considering how it's one. tiny. line. amongst massive paragraphs, it's understandable to miss it.

    TL;DR - don't be a dick. I already admitted my mistake and made a simple request for the caution to be more evident.

  • BendinIntheWind

    As TK clarified, by the time I read this there was a new warning up top, so yes, my bad. But if that's your barometer for being a dick, I can't help there.

  • FrayedMachine

    There's different levels of dickishness. Jumping on someone who's already admitted fault for no reason but you feel like it just happens to fall in the spectrum.

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