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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 11.6K 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.

  • 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.

  • Sorry but I have to disagree here - In my opinion 'The Walking Dead' is focusing on the human condition when put in tough survival situations. It has a variety of characters to gather different perspectives on certain situations. So, the fact that we see human emotion or human interaction whether it be relative to 'soap opera' standard is only natural in my opinion.

    To me, 'walkers' are a metaphor for death. No matter whether its slow or fast it will eventually get you, and seeing different characters struggling to keep walkers off is a literal fight between them and death and not only that but their decisions decide how close or how safe from death (walkers) they'll be.

    Sometimes characters win, sometimes characters lose. Walking Dead has many different characters and depending on our individual perspectives on them depend on how we react to these victories and losses. Just because it delves into topics such as pregnancy or suicide (which are also topics in soap-opera) doesn't mean it has to be seen as a soap opera.

    It can just be seen as different characters responding to different stimuli trying to prevent death and living in a world where they've finally realized there is no black and white to morality, good or evil just shades of grey.

  • No shit no one would watch it if everyone hated the lifeless characters

  • Gotta say the game and show are both amazing and to find that so many people don't like walking dead on this forum is funny. Romero may have invented zombies but what the guys who made the show did with the zombie apocalypse is amazing, they've realistic characters to show how humans struggle to survive in a fallen society. What he said is stupid and I didn't really like his movies anyways, they felt ridiculous.

  • Its someone's opinion. I hardly think all this hate or love for him is appropriate

    I like the show and comic too but that is just my opinion.

    • The odd thing is, I don't see why

      "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."

      is such an inflammatory comment. I mean, it is basically a soap opera in a apocalyptic setting. I doubt anyone would ever argue that the zombies are more important than the dramatizations of these peoples' day-to-day lives. And that's basically the definition of a soap opera, right?

      It's a completely different approach to Romero's own use of Zombies. Romero noted the differing styles; he turned it down because it "wasn't him". His final comment implied some disapproval towards the use of zombies in general today, but it's really faint, and not really directed at any particular target. So why is there a need to take sides? For heaven's sake, he even complimented Darabont.

      Is it because "soap opera" just has a terrible stigma attached to it?

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