Sorry for being MIA lately. It happens from time to time.
Anyway, I watch The Walking Dead. I love the series, I’ve even made a previous post about how awesome it is. I haven’t read the comics, nor do I really plan on doing so. Please understand that everything I’m about to rant about is from a writer’s perspective and not a fan perspective (though some of these things are frustrating from a fan perspective, too). I’m not saying the show sucks, and I’m using it as a specific example of a really, really annoying archetype.
WARNING! THIS POST IS FULL OF THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 3 SPOILERS. IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE SHOW, SCROLL DOWN TO THE TL;DR FOR NON-SPOILERIFIC TEXT
Now that the disclaimers are dished out, on with the actual points!
Have you ever watched a show and wondered why in the world that woman was being so stupid? Horror movies are full of this, so much so that it’s been a parody for years now (my current favorite being Cabin in the Woods).
Andrea has been especially guilty of this almost contagious stupidity. I understand she hasn’t been the fastest of characters, but she’s as slow as molasses on picking up on the obvious — like her boyfriend’s a total nut. A cracked nut, no less.
This is a really common thing when comic/superhero stories are turned into TV shows/movies. As a woman, it frustrates me. Why can’t they get the cool guns? Why can’t they kick butt? Why do they just hide in a corner somewhere?
Obviously Andrea doesn’t always do this, which is why she is one of the most glaring offenders when it does happen. She’s totally willing to stab a walker in the head, shoot whatever needs shooting, and take charge to do the right thing. Until the plot dictates otherwise, then she’s dumb as bricks so the menfolk can get to their ultimate showdown with each other. Because heaven forbid Andrea kill the Governor…
- after she finds the ROOM OF CREEPY HEADS IN JARS
- in his sleep.
- when he’s being overwhelmed by walkers because he’s been hunting her down like some B-rated horror movie plot and whistling while he works. Oh yeah, she gets caught there too. What even
I’m sure there are other moments, but those made me so furious at the writers. This last episode in particular was just. Bad.
You know what would’ve been fun? If Andrea had actually gotten away with killing the Governor in his sleep. If someone had to rise up and fill that place, maybe Milton. If she had to deal with the mental repercussions of actually killing a human being. That’s equally flavorful drama. Instead, I got the feeling that the show wanted to stick to this Rick vs the Governor, the prison vs Woodbury showdown because that’s what happened in the comics (again, I could be wrong. These are just my opinions), and they missed out on some amazing opportunities.
Also, in the process they made a very strong character an utter idiot just because it suited the plot. Saying she was conflicted and wanted to do the right thing doesn’t cover Andrea’s level of slowness in this season. At all.
END SPOILERS (BUT THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS SO READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION)
Make a strong woman character consistent. They don’t have to be tough-looking — plenty of feminine women can kick your ass, once they take off those heels. They can have moments of vulnerability, maybe even have breakdowns (they are human). Hell, they can want cliche “girly” things even, but don’t make them randomly stupid whenever it suits the plot. That’s bad writing.