GODDAMNIT AMC! An Open Letter On Race, Racism and Modern Fiction
This post contains spoilers for the latest episode of The Walking Dead and the comic. Don’t bitch.
Dear Writers of The Walking Dead,
I liked you. I stuck with you during the endless, interminable Search for Sophia because you were actually addressing issues of sexism and you had that one tiny moment in the second episode where you addressed racism. Also, you know, character development. You kept doing it for Daryl, who I kind of love a lot. So fine.
I overlooked the fact that T-Dog got maybe 30 lines the whole of fucking Season 2. I overlooked the spotty writing of Lori and the general whiny annoyingness of Carol and the automatic romance of Maggie and Glenn (just add location) and the total lack of anything that might even possibly be an LGBTQ character and the whitewashing of the Governor and all things fucking Carl.
I gave you a pass on all of those things because the good outweighed the bad, just like I did for Glee until they stopped paying any attention at all to plot consistency or any characters that weren’t Kurt or Rachel.
But I digress. (If you continue to read this blog you’ll notice I do that a lot.)
So yes, I stuck with you because your exploration of the He Who Fights Monsters trope. (Fair Warning: before you click on that link, block out some time. That site is like potato chips.) And in Season 3 you kind of started to come through. T-Dog got to speak and do stuff. I was kind of enjoying watching Daryl and he working as a team. They found the prison so I had hope that Lori would end up really most sincerely dead soon. All was well.
And then tonight happened. First of all, dead Lori is good Lori and that led to a happy Witch. And OK, fine, Dr. Grandad got bitten and is now an amputee and that might add some interesting possibilities for you to talk about physical limitations in a post-Grrr Ahhrrgg world. Neat. Good for you.
THEN YOU FUCKING KILLED T-DOG!
WTF, writers? For real.
The fact that you had a moment wherein you addressed racism at the beginning of Season 1 does not inoculate you against cultural racism within your storyline or your real life decision making process. BAD WRITERS! NO BISCUIT!
Now a lot of people will claim that T-Dog’s death made sense. He isn’t as useful to the group as Glenn or Daryl. He isn’t a main character like Rick or fucking Carl (who is becoming somewhat less annoying this season). He is to some extent, similar to Dale in that he is important to the other characters as support and their reaction to his death will further the plot.
You know what I say to that? Bullshit! It’s bad writing.
Dale had a personality. T-Dog never fucking got one because the writers didn’t know what to do with him. They could have had him take over for Dale as the voice of reason but nooooo, that’s Glenn’s job because he totally didn’t have enough storyline centered around him already. With Andrea gone T-Dog seemed to be stepping up as one of the most badass in a group of badasses. But we know that we’re going to see the eventual reunion of the group so Andrea will reclaim her position as badass minority and I guess we can only really have one of those.
As an aside, if Andrea sleeps with the Governor I am done with this show.
Anyone who has read the comic knows that Michonne is going to join Team Too Dumb To Live and as a result, apparently, they had to free up their black person slot. So out T-Dog goes.
You know what that is? Bad motherfucking writing, that’s what it is! The fact that they couldn’t figure out something for T-Dog to do that gave him an actual personality or, you know, some lines, is a failure on the part of the writers of this show. It’s the end of the world and as far as they know he is the only black person left on earth! Nobody found some plot there? Not one writer?
For real, you’re on notice Walking Dead. Step up your game. Get it together and stop pretending that throwing something a one time mention and then militantly ignoring it in story, while indulging in it in real life is anything other than giving in to cultural racism.
Now you watch, next week that whiny walking millstone Carol is going to show up again, alive and the happy, happy music will start indicating that someone who matters survived.
And T-Dog will remain dead, unless he doesn’t and then they get to kill him again. At which point, if you listen hard enough, that shrill sound you hear will be the sound of me screaming at my TV.