Friday, 1 November 2013

Why I Originally Liked Falling Skies Better Than The Walking Dead

Don’t shoot me! I always liked The Walking Dead, but my fondness for the show grew rapidly at the beginning of Season 3.

Before that, while I enjoyed the storylines, watching it was sometimes an exercise in frustration for me. So many people doing so many stupid things. Mostly characters who are dead now. And you know why they are dead now? Because they did stupid things!

Well, that’s natural selection for you, but with my disposition and low tolerance for stupidity, it wasn’t my idea of entertainment. My long-suffering husband had to endure hours of my rants, or screaming at the TV.

‘Take someone with you!’

‘Don’t wander off in the dark alone – I don’t care if you need to pee.’

‘Where is your gun? Where the hell is your gun, moron?’

'Oh my god, why are you letting that kid wander off alone? This isn't a playground!'

Eventually these explosions evolved into a reorganisation of the survivors by yours truly – if only Rick had listened to me sooner, he might have made it out with more people alive.

Of course, then my husband had to listen to me wax lyrical about how I’d be running my band of zombie survivors.

I may not be able to fight. I’ve never shot a gun. I’m short, so I probably can’t run that fast, and god forbid I would have to ditch my heels - a sacrifice I grudgingly admit I would make in the interests of survival. God dammit, why can't one be an efficient zombie survivor and look stylish?

But assuming I managed to survive the initial zombie onslaught using my brain, I’d be organising the hell out of my band of survivors, and you bet I’d be the one running the show. There’d be a buddy system. No wandering off alone, especially at night. In fact, no wandering around at all without a good reason. Everyone would be armed with something. There’d be guards posted.

Ah hell, I forget now a lot of the stuff I said. I’d have to watch it all again.

I know that people were getting used to the idea that humanity was no longer top dog, but hell, we are the most adaptable species on the planet. That’s why we survive. And most of Rick’s little group weren’t doing a good job of demonstrating that – although they were doing a good job of demonstrating what happens if you don’t adapt.

You die.

At the time, Falling Skies appealed to me more because the characters in that show got it. They immediately understood they were no longer top of the food chain, and they were organising themselves to deal with that situation as best they could. They were mounting guards. They were armed. They expected something to jump out of the shadows and try and kill them at any moment. They were treating life like a hostile situation, not a jaunt in the woods, and consequently far fewer of them died.

They were smart. I liked them.

Then of course at the end of Season 2 of The Walking Dead, Rick basically declared it was his way or the highway, and that’s when things got better. At the opening of Season 3, the survivors were finally behaving the way I thought they should have been from the beginning. Better late than never, I guess, although for some of the original characters late was too late…

Season 4 has started, and I’m still waiting to watch it because my husband is working long hours out at the Sydney bushfires, and we’ve had no time together to catch up on TV. So the episodes just stack up on the DVR… eventually I’ll get to watch them.

What do you like about The Walking Dead or Falling Skies, or how do they compare for you if you watch both of them? Yes I know they are different things, zombies, aliens, blah blah blah. It’s all sci-fi, and both these shows are post-apocalyptic dystopian stories.

Just, don’t talk to me about Season 4 of The Walking Dead.


M. E. Franco said...

ROFL! You sound like me Ciara! I spent the first few seasons screaming at The Walking Dead. I still do. I wonder if any of them had ever watched a horror/zombie movie before the outbreak. Big dummies.

Ken Hughes said...

There's a difference, alright. I'd say it's the one between Horror and Action stories: Walking Dead started out being about people who hadn't really accepted they were in *so much* danger all the time-- or, it leaned on the idea that people were so stressed out they still screwed up now and then. Falling Skies is about soldiers and military units, who know right off that ordinary rules don't apply. (Well, unless there's a dog or a child in the scene, sigh...)

Ciara Ballintyne said...

I know! I don't watch much in that genre, but STILL... I knew what NOT to do.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

There is a military presence in Falling Skies, true, but not everyone is military - in fact, off the top of my head, I'd have to say most of the main characters aren't. Hell, Tom was a history professor (albeit military history, but that in itself demonstrates human adaptability), Maggie was a cancer survivor who had a baby in jail, Pope was a felon.

Arguably Rick and Daryl brought certain skills and knowledge to their group, but no one seemed to be listening in the first two seasons. Most of the screw-ups didn't get a chance to get it right because their screw-ups got them dead. I maintain the dead ones were stupid.

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