|Glenn atop a cave-in looking down on a dark tunnel filled with undead.|
Dystopians are the new hotness these days (and to you literary buffs I acknowledge that there have always been dystopians like 1984, however, they never stole center stage like they do today). From Suzanne Collins to Allie Condie, you've got quite a plethora to choose from. But here's the thing: all of these are written for young adults. They star teenagers fighting for goodness against a backdrop of something that loosely resembles our world.
Are there even dystopians for adults? Sure. Atwood's Oryx and Crake is one that I've read. But it has none of the colossal influence that The Walking Dead has. This comic book series by Robert Kirkman is so powerful, it even eclipses Monday Night Football.
Why is The Walking Dead so popular? Dystopian stories written for teenagers speak about a world that they can affect. The real world can be seriously messed up and most of us have no idea of how to go about fixing it. Some of us blame big corporations while others blame big government. It really is two sides of the same coin and both present problems so hideously huge that a single person basically has no chance at all to make a difference.
However, in a story, one person can make a difference. For teenagers, it manifests as the heroine who faces down her fears and finds love and then wins through skill and hard work. For adults, it's a little bit more realistic. Our fears eventually get realized in an apocalyptic collapse of civilization, and now it's up to the individual people to try and survive. Every living person is now important in the scope of the big picture, because you need numbers to stay safe from the zombies. That's what The Walking Dead is all about, and it's probably why I'm addicted to it so much.
The Walking Dead finishes up its fourth season this weekend, and there's a dread growing in the pit of my stomach. For one, we've had foreshadowing all season long with Daryl lying in a coffin and Glenn allowing Maggie to burn the only picture he had of her. Sure, she says "you won't need a picture of me" and that's supposed to be reassuring. But it probably means Glenn is going to end up dead. Second, I know from the comics that the group is going to be encountering the Hunters soon (a group of cannibals). And ya know, Beth is still missing... Ugh. How creepy was Terminus to have only a single woman doing BBQ and there was no evidence of any animals around? Where did the meat come from?
|This one panel explains why I think Terminus is just bad. "Those who|
arrive, survive...to be eaten slowly."
This show is a master at making me care about the characters. The latest one that has grown on me is Eugene. He won me over my misleading Rosita back to the tunnel just to make sure Glenn and Tara made it out alive.
So what do you think? Is The Walking Dead the most successful dystopian for grownups? And are you looking forward to the season finale? If you're watching the show, do you think the people at Terminus are cannibals?