“The Journal of Wall Grimm” 72: WTF is Wrong With the “Walking Dead” Writers? & Hire Me

April 2, 2013

NAME:  Wall Grimm

DATE OF BIRTH:  August 9, 1989

DEGREES:  B.A. in Writing, M.A. in Reading, a second M.S. in Bullshit, and a PhD in Bullfuckingshit

POSITION YOU ARE APPLYING FOR:  Writer of “Walking Dead”

WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU’D BE ABLE TO DO THIS JOB:  Because someone needs to do it, and nobody else seems to be making any effort.

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE THAT YOU THINK YOU’RE QUALIFIED FOR THIS POSITION:  Wall Grimm.

LIST YOUR QUALIFICATIONS IN ORDER OF SIGNIFICANCE:  I can hold a pen.

SURELY YOU MUST HAVE OTHER QUALIFICATIONS:  I can move it around so it makes shapes.

AND THIS MAKES YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN DO THE JOB BETTER THAN THE PERSONS CURRENTLY HOLDING THIS POSITION:  Shit, yeah.

PLEASE EXPLAIN:  You can’t stop me from doing so.

My name is Wall Grimm and this is my analysis of why the writers of “Walking Dead” currently have lapsed into elementary story development, or why they currently suck.

WALL GRIMM’S ANALYSIS OF “WALKING DEAD” WRITERS

THEY HAVE BECOME PLOT DRIVEN WRITERS AS OPPOSED TO CHARACTER DRIVEN WRITERS.

Ok as I’ve been watching the episodes leading up to and including the season finale, this is my observation of characters’ choices and behaviors, not in any order:

RICK – blows my fucking mind how out of character this guy is, blows my fucking mind, he’s our hero you douchebags

DARYL – out of character because he’s getting too sensitive, writers are catering to the fangirls, btw, speaking of douchebags, his best line was when he called Martinez a douchebag because he smokes menthols

CARL – went from cute kid, to pain in the ass, to cool kick ass, to fucking punk pain in the ass psychopath with a penchant for rebelling against his dad

HERSHEL – I’ll admit he’s pretty consistent, except for the second to the last episode, he lapses.  He’s so consistent in fact, that I think we all expect him to be a martyr at some point since he only has one leg.  He’ll be sacrificing himself.  At the least the writers are holding off because that’s too predictable.  And it’s so predictable, I hope he doesn’t die this way, he needs an unexpected fate.

CAROL & BETH – hard to say because they’re the writers’ way of dealing with the baby so they’re hardly ever around, WTF

MERLE – ok at some point Merle started catching Daryl’s old softy disease, he’s a perfect example of the writers creating character motivations in order to drive the plot to a certain direction, his best line recently, “I am a mystery to me” or something like that

THE GOVERNOR – I just feel badly for this actor in so many ways, but he makes more than I ever will and he can have all the roles Liam Neesen no longer takes, so he’s good

ANDREA – I feel even more badly for her, not just because she’s freakin’ hot as hell, but because she is the scapegoat for how fucking annoying the Governor is.  At some point there becomes just way too much Governor and he becomes less frightening and more agitating even though he does have the authentic threat of peril at his heels.  Andrea, because of her naïve hope and ambitions, becomes the scapegoat who is the target for all the annoyance.  Everyone blames Andrea and hates on Andrea.  As far as being out of character?  WTF yeah I’d have to say there’s a couple things regarding her that she does out of character, very subtle things, that were only to drive the plot.  For example, she kicks fucking ass hardcore.  That’s her true character.  This is a girl who just took down four zombies on her own, while pinned to a tree.  So…..  ???

LORI – I wish she would go the fuck away, she was a bitch from the beginning, now she’s fucking with Rick’s head, I blame her for everything, the first indication of the downfall of the writing with all her fucking paranormal mind games.  Then somehow she appears all holy and …damn, give me a fucking break.

MAGGIE – Sorry Maggie, but sometimes you need to move on a little quicker with trauma than that when you’re dealing with zombies.  In that world, there is no time for trauma because that’s when you die.  That’s all I have to say.

GLENN – was a pizza delivery kid, then the gofer, then bait, then carrier of burdens, revealer of secrets, romantic figure, then he became the angry and vicious zombie fighting monster with the intention to destroy impulsively, then the rational romantic figure able to carry out orders.  The writers no longer know what to do with this great potential for a character because they enforce multiple areas of his nature within two episodes at a time.  He hit his peak when he kicked serious zombie ass while he was tied to a chair.  Then the writers were all like, ”what do we do with him now?”

MICHONNE – potential level for awesome – high, but sorry, this character is only a prop at this time

MILTON – I don’t even want to talk about this guy

MORGAN, TYREESE – These characters, massive cool potential I hope the writers don’t fuck up in season 4.  I don’t think the writers know what to do with black guys honestly.  They get these big black guys, make them really cool, then they don’t know what to do with them.  Did T-Dog ever speak?  Was he really even there?  And Oscar…why?  It’s like if you’re a big black guy and you get hired as an actor on the walking dead, you’ll probably die, and they’ll hire a new big black guy to replace you.  In fact, that’s what they audition for I think.  “We need a new big black guy, the writers didn’t know what to do with the last one.”  If they’re going to keep creating big black guy characters, they need to figure out how to write them.  Maybe they just don’t know how to write black characters.  They’re all cool big black guys, including Michonne.  That’s not a comment on her appearance because I think she’s fucking hot and I love her ass, but yeah, her personality?  Big black guy.

So I’d say Rick, Merle, and Andrea were my hugest complaints regarding out of characterness.  All three characters were the victims of plot driven writing.

What’s the difference between plot driven writing and character driven writing you ask?  Well let me say that when I first started watching the show, it was the characters that drove me more than the plot.  In fact, whenever the plot would get too complex, it got monotonous and frustrating.  The group gets stationed at a location then is stuck there for an entire season.  Which makes sense because of course that’s all they want is stability and normalcy, and none of these folks were nomads prior to the zombie apocalypse, so I accept that.  But that’s where the first problem stems from: what to do when the same people are stuck in the same location, relatively safe from zombies.  You need to do some shit to make it interesting.  A writing challenge, I accept that.

So yeah anyway, a character driven plot is this:  You have strong characters who have specific personalities, and particular natures.  You put them in situations, good or bad, and they make decisions, act and react according to their personalities and natures.  Based on their choices and reactions, shit happens, which leads to other shit.  This is the case here when sometimes writers find themselves saying, “oh shit, I can’t believe that happened but that’s what Rick would do.”  So when you watch a character driven show, characters become real, and you can see them change and evolve.  This means that you can take any one of these characters and psychoanalyze them, and find that all their actions are congruent with their personalities and natures.  There’s a psychology to this kind of writing.

Plot driven writing is when you say I want this thing to happen, I want this person to die, I want all events to lead here.  So you put the end goal in sight, which of course happens for just about every season finale, so understandable but not enough of an excuse.  Once the end goal is in sight, you go back to where you left off and plot out paths to get there.  A lot of writers outline and this is fine, but the trick is to NOT MAKE IT OBVIOUS that you’re outlining.  Then the writing suffers.  Plot driven writing can make it obvious if you’re not skilled enough.  So ummmm “Walking Dead” writers?  WTF is going on, I need an explanation.

I digress.  What happens in plot driven writing?  Well first off, you start laying out things that conveniently happen in order for the plot to get where it’s going.  Such as, oh how convenient that in the middle of this field with nothing in it, there’s the building where they filmed all the “Saw” movies.  Or isn’t that a coincidence that this person survived because how else would such an event occur later without her presence.  And how convenient for a person to run out of bullets just in time for this person to survive.  And isn’t that unfortunate that this person took so much time to do something that any person in their right mind would be rushing through, but this person was too busy being sentimental, that it just resulted in one of the end goals, one of the perfectly laid out plans.

In this example, I have to say, someone was taking so long to accomplish a very important thing, that it was so distracting, that I didn’t even hear the sentimental conversation that was going on which I didn’t even care about anyway.  I was too busy going, “wtf!!! do it already!!!”  In fact, the only way I know the conversation was sentimental is because it was low key.  I was too distracted by the uncharacteristic stupidity of this person to pay attention.  No idea what they were talking about.

So there are props and locations and coincidences all placed along the path to get to the end.  Then, how do we get from prop to location and coincidence?  The characters bring us there, whether or not it’s in their nature to do so.  The characters make choices, or have motivations, that are not the people we as viewers know.  And yeah, there’s a certain level of tolerance because they’re all in a perpetual state of fight or flight, and trauma.  Regardless, the only time a real person steps that far away from his or her nature, is when they fucking lose their minds.

So yeah writers, WTF are you doing to Rick?  It’s like you’re repeatedly raping him, just stop it.  Seriously, Rick is cool, yet they’re fucking with his character so much that it’s just going to get irritating and they’ll have to kill him eventually just because they won’t know what to do with him.  So if Rick dies in season 4, blame the season 3 writers, they set him up.  I’m not even fucking joking.

Anyway, it’s just the hype and the success and the writers have performance anxiety.  They get so caught up in all the popularity and then lose sight of what made the show great.  I don’t know if they keep getting new writers, but that also causes a problem.  Some writers are character driven, some are plot driven, and then there’s a dynamic that takes place when they all get together, a unity of writing style that emerges from the collective.  New writers coming in also may not have that connection with the characters that viewers have.  Then they start listening too much to the fans.  Oh don’t kill Daryl because we’ll riot.  Or, kill this one because I hate that person.  Writers affected by hype sacrificing integrity.

Anyway, that’s why I want to be a writer for “Walking Dead” because I know how to get it back to all its rawness and trueness.

My name is Wall Grimm, and you should hire me.

*******

previous Grimm 71: Exuding Charisma, Ripley on Crack, Men Stuff, & ABBA http://wp.me/p41c99-b8

next Grimm 73: Hasty’s Birthday http://wp.me/p41c99-bk

For a chronological list of links to all the journal entries, refer to the Journal Entries Index Page http://wp.me/P41c99-J

For posts that aren’t journal entries, feel free to explore the Categories in the left side bar or the other pages above, including the Character Directories which list the posts each character is mentioned in.

Categories: JOURNAL ENTRIES 51-75 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on ““The Journal of Wall Grimm” 72: WTF is Wrong With the “Walking Dead” Writers? & Hire Me

  1. Sorry, too long. I think I’ve seen 1 1/2 season since these complaints took place. I’m not feeling your rage. Maybe tomorrow I’ll try again.

    • Oh yeah, I had gone back and read all the posts several months ago and when I got to this one I thought it was kind of irrelevant now, so I understand.

  2. Yeah, I’m still not needing to read this one, and my pretend OCD doesn’t usually let me skip stuff, so this is special.

    • Well that’s a positive spin on it, that it’s special. And I don’t blame you, it’s probably my most worthless entry, for the reason you say, and for those who don’t even watch the Walking Dead, it doesn’t reach people. Maybe I should just get rid of it, and it can be the mysterious missing journal entry #72.

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