Back in 2010, I abandoned the AMC series The Walking Dead as mired in its own political correctness. It was the episode where the principal protagonists come into conflict with a Latino gang in Atlanta . . . and the gang turns out to be protecting a nursing home full of white, black, and Asian old people. Because protecting strangers of other races is what Latino gangs do in times of crisis, right?
I mean, on one level, I can understand the writers’ desire to inoculate themselves from the charge the Zombie Apocalypse is a metaphor for race riots. But this was just too much!
I started watching it again this year about the time that Merle, the N-word spewing tweaker from Episode 2, reappeared in the company of “The Governor”, the murderous honcho of a nearby survivor settlement. As it happened, Merle turned out not to be a racist. He was just an a$$hole, and racism was just another tool in his toolbox of a$$holery. Ultimately, Merle redeems himself in time for the Governor to kill him, but you should watch the show for the details.
One of the things that struck me is how little manifestation there is in the show’s day-to-day events of what I will call the procreative instinct. Writers for network-quality (i.e., bad) TV shows often get carried away with will-they-or-won’t-they storylines, and I can appreciate how AMC’s writers want to avoid becoming a soap opera. But that said, the only time I’ve seen a character show something of a normal sex drive is a rescued convict who incompetently but harmlessly expresses an interest in, alternately, Beth and Carol . . . and then the Governor shoots him. People die pretty regularly on the show.
Otherwise, Glenn and Maggie pair off, and the Governor’s insanity doesn’t appear to hold him back. But Rick? Daryl? Tyreese? It doesn’t seem to cross their minds. Even young Carl is coming of age without showing any sign of teenage horniness, and this despite the presence of the young, beautiful, and unattached Beth.