Saturday, February 21, 2015

I'm afraid TWD will get too dark

I love this show. I've been watching it since it started lo these many deaths ago, and I've been taken by surprise by every one of the Group who didn't make it, or turned evil, or had to be killed because plot. 

But I'm afraid it's going to get too dark for me.

See, it's already gotten darker. There's less people around, less food, more walkers, more psychopaths. Which is realistic. But the first season we had the hope of reunions and making it to the CDC. In the second season, despite the cluster that was staying in the farm, we had the hope that they could settle and start over. Since then, it's been the hope of the prison dashed by the Govorner, then the hope of Terminus dashed by crazy cultish cannibals, and now there's two major deaths in a row, not soon after several other deaths, and more psychos and less food and more dirt, and I'm just...

I'm a firm believer that there has to be something to look forward to in a post-apocalyptic story, something to strive for, something to build a new world on, or else we're just watching The Road in drawn-out form. We're just watching the world die. And what the hell is the point of that? That's super-bleak and hurtful; it just becomes an endless string of watching people we like get killed in creative ways, and that'll get old. I, at least, will stop caring about them.

So, this season's dive into yet more sadness and despair? Eugene was lying, but we've got to find some new reason to hope, some new thing to wish for and strive toward, some new reason to keep being human--and now, five years in, I feel like it's a good time to find something real. Not a hope that literally blows up on them. Not a piece of the old world held up by denial or by lunatic dictators or cannibal weirdos. No, we need something that will actually help, that will start swaying others to Rick's side instead of pitting them always against the world, something that gives people a reasons to not eat each other.

I'm not asking for anything unrealistic. I'm not saying it has to be something easy--in fact, it's better if it's hard and violent and dangerous, on this show. I just want them to find something that will actually help, that they can rally behind. And then they can get proactive as the crazies, and save people from the hospital and from places like Woodbury and Terminus. I haven't read the comic past the very beginning, and I know things really just keep getting worse for everyone, but I also think that TV is a different creature than comics, with less recovery-time between episodes, and a wider audience, and people will start leaving if there's nothing to hope for.

Some suggestions:
  • Immunity. Someone gets bit and doesn't die or turn. Grass-roots science trying to figure it out. This would be a good thing to give to Judith; she was born into this world; she was never not infected.
  • A Cure. This is probably a last-ditch storyline before it closes up shop, preferably in a planned and whole way. But that doesn't mean they can't start looking for one, testing them, figuring out how not to be a mass-mudering fuckhead about it.
  • Mutation. The virus was only creating walkers because it was poorly-adapted, and now, two or so years later, it's adapting so that maybe walkers are still conscious. Or are turning into something else. Think of the moral dilemmas. But if it's adapting to not kill the host, they just have to survive.
  • An actual community of people that isn't led by a lunatic. Either started by Rick, or heard of by him and they go there, and find that it actually is good--and then they have more to defend than just their own stuff and friends, AND a chance to settle down and rebuild. Maybe it's mobile, a whole town on wheels, and that makes it harder to find and more of a hunt.
  • A mission. Something like "find the last CDC scientist" or "build this lab" or "travel to this place" or, hell, "build a rocket and move to the moon". Just something that would make everyone proactive, give them a shared goal other than "don't die". Something that could help the remaining people rebuild.
What would you suggest? How would you give everyone hope? Do you fear it'll get too dark?

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