Sunday, March 24, 2013

Well, that's just TOO convenient

I am a HUGE fan of the show The Walking Dead. It's one of those 'if you don't like it, we can't be friends' sort of deals. I honestly do not get how people can NOT like that show. Yes, there are some less exciting parts and it's not perfect by any means (what really is, though?) but I still think it's great and I look forward to it every week. What I do find interesting is the reasons why people don't like the show. I was talking to someone who said they couldn't get past the first season because the main characters were 'too conveniently planned'.


They went on to say that with Rick and Shane being cops with experience and weapons was too 'convenient' for the group. Having Daryl come from a hill billy back ground and know how to hunt and survive in the wild 'just wouldn't happen in real life'. Plus, the fact that Lori, Rick, Carl, and Shane all knew each other was 'totally unrealistic'. 

I thought this was an interesting take and I could see the 'oh, they only did that for the show' point of view she was looking through. And it wasn't the first time I had heard someone use the 'too convenient' complaint about a main character. Though, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that these 'convenient' people become main characters for a reason.

I would love to say that I would survive the zombie apocalypse. I mean, I created Orissa after all, right?? She's somewhere inside my head, so I should know how to survive...right? Nope, not at all. I am by no means a 'convenient' person (even with all the research I did for the Contagium Series), as are most of the people who are fans of TWD. It's nice to imagine the average American citizen rising up against all odds, forming a group, becoming badass, and living through the ZA. It's a great Underdog saves the world story; very inspiring and offers hope to us all.

But realistically, that isn't going to happen. Just your average Joe isn't going to know what he needs to survive. Again, I feel that we all THINK we could survive. But drop me off in the middle of the woods and surround me with zombies...yeah, I don't think it would end well. I know the concepts of hunting and I've skinned a few things in my anatomy classes (we even had human cadavers!) but I wouldn't feel confident with having people depend on me to hunt for food. And finding clean water is even harder. By clean, I don't mean clean from zombie infection, either. This was something a few people couldn't figure out in the Contagium books. Orissa wants clean water but she never makes a reference to it being zombie clean. She was worried about bacteria, and I would be too. If you don't believe me, go drink from a random puddle or pond. You'll be lucky if you don't get sick!

So after you get food and water, you need to find shelter. If half the world is dead, you can just go into a random house, right? Easy enough. But securing that shelter would be another thing to worry about. How many of us 'average' people can actually create a house that is safe enough to ward off zombies AND humans? I think my biggest fear during a ZA would be of other humans. A disaster like that would turn people ruthless.

Once again, in theory, I would say I could easily board up my windows and doors and make my house as safe as a castle. (I should say that once my sister and I tried to build a bird house for mother's day. It came in a kit and had marks for where to put the nails. Needless to say, things didn't go as planned. Somehow we cracked the wood and nailed two parts upside down...)

And that's not to mention knowing how to properly store and can food (watch out for botulism!), stock up on medical supplies, live through hot summers, cold winters, and other bad weather, plus all the stuff I'm not even thinking of.

Anyway, my point is that these 'convenient' characters are the ones who have the know-how to make it in a zombie filled world. So instead of seeing them as 'too convenient', see them as necessary. Without their skills, they wouldn't have made it as far as they did. They took what they had learned and shaped it into something useful in the ZA.

I think that it's those 'convenient' skills that make a character deserving to be a main character. You don't want to watch some boring guy who chances it for a few weeks or survives by hiding out in a tree house until he runs out of food. For me at least, that would be boring. I can only speak for myself when I say that I like watching characters persevere against the odds and find new and creative ways to keep going.

Now, that's not to say that the entire group of survivors needs to be made up of these kinds of people. Typically, you're not gonna come across someone who has all the skills needed (think military medic who used to be a Boy Scout, worked in construction, and can fix up damaged machinery) either. That is why Rick, Daryl, and Hershel are key to their group. Each has a different skill that is valuable. (Same with Padraic, Orissa, and Hayden. Padraic is a doctor, Orissa had extensive survivalist training, and Hayden had many years military experience. Together they make a group that I would hope to be included in!).

And though said person didn't get the viewing pleasure of meeting Michonne (possibly my new favorite character), who better to survive the ZA?? A sword wielding, super tough, badass chick or just the girl next door? I hope you see my point.

But remember, Glen, Maggie, Carol, and even Andrea started out as run of the mill people. With a little training and a lot of determination, they turned into zombie killing badasses too.

1 comment:

  1. Some people just don't get that these "TOO Convenient" people would be the ones to survive. I tried to get my Mom interested in the series but she can't get past the gross part. I finally got my husband into it after the series aired as a Marathon one day. I noticed during that time how much more the Zombies have decayed as time has passed. Its not a detail you pick up watching only the new episodes. At least I didn't.

    I found a link I thought you might find useful this morning. Its what I originally came over here to do. My husbands going to kick my butt if I don't get to work. I'm already getting the evil eye.