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George Romero: 'The Walking Dead' Is A Soap Opera With Occasional Zombie

posted by Robert Morgan on - last edited - Viewed by 6.0K users

"They asked me to do a couple of episodes of 'The Walking Dead' but I didn't want to be a part of it," Romero told The Big Issue. “Basically it's just a soap opera with a zombie occasionally. I always used the zombie as a character for satire or a political criticism and I find that missing in what’s happening now."

In 2011, Romero said he loves "The Walking Dead" comics, but hadn't seen any of the episodes at the time. "Listen I love Frank [Darabont], I know he's done a good job. I love the books, I never watched any of the episodes because… my zombies are sort of my own. I didn't want to be part of it. Producers called and said, 'do you want to direct some of these,' and I said no. Because I just didn't think it was me," he told io9.

I can't say I disagree with George here. I know the 'soap opera' aspect is what makes the show appealing to many of its fans, but for me personally, I prefer my zombie stories to be under two hours. To each their own.

  • I prefer the term "Drama".

    • lol, no...Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Homeland are dramas. The Walking Dead is a poorly written and acted soap opera. There is a huge difference.

      • That makes no sense. Because you dont like it, its not a drama? Seriously, you're using Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad as examples of two shows that arent soap operas? Slower paced, character driven shows full of relationship drama. There is no difference between those shows and this one except for the subject matter. BTW, what is your definition of a soap opera? People throw that phrase around and Im half convinced that no one really knows what they mean by it.

        • Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones don't move at the glacial pace that TWD does. If they did, at least you would get a pay-off as opposed to TWD. They will spend an entire season building up to something that never happens.

          • Now I see where this is coming from. You're upset because you didnt get what you wanted at the end of the last season, which I wont spoil. Things didnt happen the way I expected either but that doesnt invalidate the entire show for me and wont. I still think its a good show. You disagree and thats fine but Ive been on enough message boards to know that both Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones have been criticized for their slow pace. That's something that never bothered me as I love both shows and enjoy a lot of character development. Im glad things they went a different way with the end of last season because this season has been taking some interesting twists that I dont think would have come about otherwise.

            • lmao, no I wouldn't use the word "upset", but disgusted would work. Spending an entire season building up to a battle/climax that never happens is bad writing, plain and simple. They painted themselves into a corner and copped out.

              I have never heard anyone criticize Breaking Bad or GoT for their pacing. Dunno what boards you are hanging around on.

              Look at the end of the day there is a reason that GoT and Breaking Bad rake in the awards that matter. Meanwhile TWD only gets praise for its prosthetic makeup.

              • IMDB and Facebook to name two. When I like a show, I like to read as much as I can about it. I also listen to a lot of podcasts so I hear a lot of opinions. Ive seen every episode of Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones and have defended both shows to other fans. Yeah, they are not always treated like the bastions of tv as no show Ive ever seen is. But, if you think The Walking Dead is an inferior show, that is fine. It doesnt change anything for me, not my opinion of it or my love of the show so we can agree to disagree.

                • When did I say I was trying to change your opinion? You are the one who replied to me. If anything you were trying to change my opinion.

                  Let me know when TWD gets praise for its acting or writing. Until then, we can agree to disagree as you said.

      • Soap Opera Definition: "A television or radio serial daytime television drama dealing with the daily lives of the same group of people. Examples: Coronation Street, Days of our Lives, East Enders.

        Your're wrong, TWD is not a soap opera. It's an awesome show! btw I'm not saying that soap operas are bad just that TWD doesn't fall into that category

      • Actually soap operas are dramas as well, just a different type of drama. Li-Lee kind of hits the nail on the the head but I would consider the term "opera" to be inaccurate. Usually operas consist of singing and musical numbers so when you take away the whole "soap opera" thing what are you left with? Drama.


  • TWD has always been about the humans first, zombies second. Thats the way it's been and it's gonna stay that way. Why? Why do you think? It's supposed to be realistic, imagine watching Rick, Michonne, Maggie, Hershel, Carol and Daryl all turning into zombie killing ninjas. Though some of them already are!

    Still I highly enjoy Romero's films and I still like him as a director and respect his opinion. Also I respect him for staying true to himself instead of cashing in for something he doesn't believe in. As for TWD, If it ain't broke don't fix it!

  • Romero is totally right, TV show is crap... But if he's a fan of the comics he must have notice that The Walking Dead is not about political or social satire right ? It's pur drama...

    I think he was talking about the TV show and in that case i agree because it's poorly written compared to the comics.

  • everyone has a right to an opinion, but honestly if you have nothing nice to say about something than keep it to yourself, ranting about bad writing and acting serves no purpose aside from pointless negativity and trying to ruin the show for anyone who enjoys it and doesnt care about its flaws

  • I'm with him, mostly. Season 2 was good and had its Atmosphere, cause of the Farm. Recently watched the Third Season as a Halloween Event on TV and boy was it boring. Not gonna lie.. i missed Shane in it.

    I understand that this is a TV Format. You can't just run around and killing Walkers for 45 Minutes. There has to be Character Development and so but there was way to much pointless blah blah in this Season. Alone the 'Conversation' between Rick and the Gov..

    Hearing that Telltale wants to bring TV Elements into the Game doesn't make me Enthusiastic much..

    • I'm a fan of the TV show, but I haven't seen the 3rd or 4th seasons yet. I will say though, I agree with you about Shane; he was one of my favorite characters. I just love how they developed so much more in the show than in the comic. I found that he was a very sympathetic and likeable character, and honestly believe that he should have stayed on for longer.

      I would have loved it if instead of him staying at the farm, he just left on his own, with nothing but a shotgun. Would have made for some gratuitous badass zombie slaying scenes, while still cutting back to the farm to focus on story.

    • That conversation had a lot of subtleties that people werent picking up on. Its just "They're talking. Boring!" As for Shane, hate him and dont miss him. He became such a disappointment.

  • This is ridiculous. Two pages of back and forth. Every one has opinions and everyone has the right to express those opinions. What people need to learn is that not everyone is going to agree. Personally, I love the game, but I can't even read the comic and the show was good but has been on a decline. There has been some promising moment's in the new season, but it depends on how it all pays off. If they do what they did with last season's finale, which was very bad writing and disrespectful to the time I devoted to the series, then I don't think I'll be continuing with it. But, for those of you who'd continue to support the series, good for you. My opinion doesn't invalidate yours. Now, as for Romero's opinion, I will say that it does hold a lot of weight, but if you don't agree with it, what does it matter, you're not going to stop watching just because of what he had to say. But, PLEASE, don't disrespect the man, because, without him, The Walking Dead Never would have existed.

    • Logan is soooo right, this is getting silly. Lets either have a pleasant conversation about the topic at hand or be smarmy and condescending to everyone who has a different opinion to you, and that goes to both parties.

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    Vainamoinen Moderator

    Some posts were lost in this thread because I had to clean up the place a bit. Carry on the discussion please. Without the flamebaiting and the blanket statements, of course.

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    stirpicus Telltale Staff

    I think people are reacting to the term "soap opera" like way more of an insult than it was probably meant to be? Yeah it's definitely teasing the show because of how it does everything it can to create drama betwixt characters ("Pregnancy!" "Whose baby is it?!"), but I don't think Romero was implying the whole thing was trash or not worth watching. It's just a different take on the "typical" zombie story which, in my opinion, is part of what's helped it grab such a huge audience. It's the addictive nature of soap operas and human drama, but wrapped up in zombie stuff so it's still cooler. :)

    shrugs Just my $0.02 on the matter. In any case, people should all chill and stop fighting with each other so much in here! Be nice y'all! :)

    • Technically you are right (getting there), but the way Romero put it makes it negative. there is no "satire or a political criticism" in a soap opera.

      But yes, the show has drawn a larger audience because of the soap opera part - let's face it, a TV show based on say a game like Left 4 Dead would have a lot of more action, but wouldn't draw the same crowd as TWD, simply because the interaction between people is not there to the same extent as in TWD. And people like soap operas, that's kind of part of life as well.

      Personally I think the soap part has taken over too much of the show, dragging it to a halt, and that's a damn shame since the premise (survival during a zombie apocalypse) is awesome.

  • TWD is interesting because its not just about killing zombies.

    George Romero should go crawl back under whatever rock he emerged from.

  • The show just lost its way, and i think that thats what Romero is talking about. They no longer focus on the dangers of this world, people being the worst and zombies just being there. This show has devolved into just being "human drama" to the point where i can no longer stand the eps while the game does the human drama right and it feels very natural the shows drama just feels like drama for drama sake.

    Romero's movies use the zombies as a catalyst to people devolving into either monsters or cruel people doing anything to survive, the show only glances at that and goes right back to drama. Honestly I havnt watched an ep since season 2 finale.

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