Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It's all about the characters.

This past weekend was crazy--we had storms (high winds, hail, thunderstorms, tornadoes) come through the south, my cats got spayed and I had to get the vet's permission to pick them up early to avoid said storms, and then I fell sick again--it's been ridiculous for illnesses this winter--and I could hardly focus on anything.

On Saturday night, my husband and I started watching the tv show The Walking Dead, and I am sooooooo not a zombie person. I mean, I cannot begin to express how much I am not a zombie person. I have been horrified of everything zombie-related since my sister sat me down and made me watch 28 Days Later some years ago. But I started watching this show because one of my friends recommended it. Given that this friend is much more of a biographies and contemporary fiction sort of person, I was intrigued. I've spent most of the time with my eyes looking like this: O_O or covering my eyes or holding hubby's hand so tightly I'm probably cutting off his circulation. And then after every episode I watched in the first season, I went and squeezed my kids and still looked like this: O_O

My daughter, who's about to turn seven, wisely told me, "Mommy, it wouldn't be so scary if you stopped watching it!"

She's absolutely right, and as I'm asking myself whhhy am I freaking myself out like this, here's the answer: characterization.

Yup. This show has amazing characterization. They made me care about the characters immediately, and they keep introducing characters that I care about (and then freak out about--"AHH, AHH, this person's going to get eaten, I KNOW IT") but the point is, as a reader/television viewer, if you can make me care about the characters, I will step far beyond the bounds of my comfort zones to read/see the story, because I want to know what happens to these characters.The actual zombies freak. me. out. Of course, it probably doesn't help that we watched the first episode at like midnight, so I spent the whole night dreaming about zombies. (Fortunately, they were not panicky, scary dreams, but just annoying ones.)

And that is why I am watching a horror/sci-fi/zombie apocalpyse show that I simultaneously can't stand and enjoy. It's all about the characters.

(I should add that as we've moved into season 2, I'm doing much better on the dealing with zombies front. I also am still enthralled with the characterization.)


  1. I quite like the idea of being a zombie. My kind of pace. Plus, no work, no taxes, plenty of fresh air...

    Moody Writing
    The Funnily Enough

  2. If the characters are compelling enough, we'll endure most anything.
    And Mood's comment made me laugh!

  3. I like zombies. I think it's funny how they move so slowly but still manage to get you. Anyone can run faster than a zombie, right? I, however, am terrified of ogres (the LOTR variety).

  4. your daughter is a sage! any characters in your books based on her?

  5. This reminds me of the life size cardboard zombie I saw on the 4th floor of the local library last week. Creepy, yet funny.

    This also reminds me of the time I watched a zomby show on PBS and laughed my head off during the 'naked zombie from behind' scene.

    I don't watch zombie stuff very often. ;)

  6. This is exactly how I feel about Dan Wells' "I Am Not a Serial Killer" series. He got me so I cared right away for John. Made him a very sympathetic character--and that says a lot because John is a 15-year-old sociopath who has all the makings to become a serial killer. Except he doesn't want to be.


  7. I just discovered Downton Abbey on Netflix and felt the same way about the characters -- instantly intrigued. I'm also interested in watching The Walking Dead, but it will probably have to be when my husband's not home -- since he is the anti-zombie one around here.

  8. My boyfriend was getting all excited over the weekend about season 2 of The Walking Dead. My first question was, "What's that?", as I've never watched it myself. As soon as he said the word 'zombies' I was like, "Noooooo. Not gonna happen. I'm not watching that!"


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!