A friend of mine introduced me to The Walking Dead—the graphic novel, not the TV show. Normally I run from the horror genre like a co-ed from an axe murder, but the premise sounded interesting and the artwork looked solid. I love it. The writing, while not always even, is compelling and even though there are times when the story gets violent, I don’t feel like the writer or artists are being gratuitous or pornographic with the subject matter. But the thing I appreciate above all is that I have no idea which of the characters will live or die. It’s riveting and creates real pathos for and with the characters. The stakes couldn’t be more real in this fictionalized world.
It reminds me why I liked the show LOST and currently like the Game of Thrones series—everyone is vulnerable. It’s a nice change of pace from all of the big screen movies where you know that there will always be a happy ending. YAWN.
I wish more writers would be willing to kill off their characters. One of the problems I have with the show 30 Rock is that the creators have kept Jenna, Kenneth and Pete around even though it’s clear that they are a force-fit—I keep hoping they’ll spin off a show featuring just Liz, Jack and Tracey.
The show Breaking Bad is a great show, but how much more daring would it be if the creative team were brave enough to kill off Walter White*? Mad Men without Don Draper?
And on and on.
Look, I get the reality. But sometimes I want the reality to be, well, more realistic. Is that too much to ask?
*Full disclosure, I haven't seen the latest season.