Well, shit. I have no idea what to make of this. I’m not particularly well-versed in the ins and outs of television writing, and apparently swapping writers between seasons isn’t exactly uncommon. But still, this seems a little insane.
Frank Darabont, the producer of AMC’s excellent “The Walking Dead,” which I and many others have been in love with for the past five weeks, has apparently fired their staff writers.
All of them.
Now, this isn’t as crazy as it seems at first. Truth be told, the episodes for season one have been mostly written by Darabont himself, series creator Robert Kirkman, and Glen Mazzara (who wrote Sunday’s episode, “Wildfire”), with some pitch-in work from the staff writers. According to Deadline, “writer turnover on series between seasons is commonplace but wholesale overhauls are unusual. ” Darabont also let go of his his main lieutenant, writing executive producer Charles “Chic” Eglee.
Rumors are swirling about what will happen about Season 2. Let’s start with this: It’s still going to happen. “The Walking Dead” is posting massive numbers in terms of viewership and its ratings are excellent. A second season is a slam dunk. However, what will happen with the writing is the question — right now it appears that Darabont will abandon the staff writer technique and use freelancers, a technique that has had some success with shows like the U.K.’s “Torchwood” (or so I hear — I’ve never seen “Torchwood”).
Production has yet to start on season 2, but most guesses are that it’ll air around the same time as season one, which means that after this coming Sunday, you’re going to have to wait until October of 2011 to see more episodes.
And in the meantime, we can all kvetch and panic about the state of the show.
I will say this — some of the dialogue in the show has indeed been kind of clunky — most people will point to the opening scene with Andrea and Amy in “Vatos,” but I see more of it in Lori’s dialogue, but may be that’s more due to Sarah Wayne Callies being the weak link in the cast. Andrew Lincoln has done an excellent job but lines like, “There’s us and the dead. We survive this by pulling together, not apart” are a little bit heavy on the melodrama. So maybe a new batch of writers working for their dinner, under Darabont’s tutelage, can bring something new and exciting to the table. Then again, the show is pretty new and exciting as is,so…
We shall see.