**it’s true, i’m a a
little lot bit of a zombie fanatic, and i was originally gonna include my own post on the walking dead (twd) and race here, but i found this one to be as illuminating as anything i could say. anyway, twd/contemporary zombie mania and gender is its own post anyway, so maybe i’ll get to that myself in the future. in the meantime, here’s to a *hopefully* rad 3rd season of twd (and check out the original comics that inspired the series here).**
UPDATE: The arrival of a new character signals a possible shift in season three.
It’s an old and uninteresting complaint: black characters on TV — and horror movies — get killed or written off too early. Clearly, that is what’s been happening on The Walking Dead with T-Dog. (For a good rant, head to Clutch).
I’m going to try to push the debate further, past “isn’t it a shame characters of color get short shrift.” The truth is the T-Dog Problem signals broader problems with The Walking Dead and some other prominent dramas. It’s a symptom of an ailment the writers might actually care to remedy, beyond appeasing black viewers.
First, the basics. Earlier this season T-Dog told Dale he was concerned about being black and a weak link in the group. This was an insightful moment from the writers, foregrounding the idea that being different after the apocalypse might be a problem — after all, in times of stress, people stick to their own — and an interesting meta-commentary on the fragility of being a black character on TV — T-Dog was a great candidate for a quick kill. Then T-Dog disappeared. I literally forgot all about him until last week, when he had one line that was almost comically interrupted. This week T-Dog was similarly marginal, leading Vulture‘s recapper to state: “By this point, the casual dismissal of one of two minority characters…on this show is feeling extremely suspect. The only thing saving it from being full on offensive is that the same treatment is being given to Hershel’s entire white family.”
The problem isn’t only about a tired debate over representation.
The real problem with T-Dog’s absence is it undermines the point of the whole show. Let me explain. Continue reading