Credit: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images Photo: George Romero

We’d consider killing Karen and David ourselves if it meant getting a job on The Walking Dead. David Morrissey (The Governor) recently said he’d show up just to make tea on the set if they wanted him to, ‘cause he loves being there so much.

George A. Romero does not feel the same. Granted, he’s coming from a different place than the rest of us. The granddaddy of all zombie apocalypse films had a different vision of the walking dead when he made Night of the Living Dead in 1968, then the original Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead and others in the six-part Living Dead series.

Zombies became all the rage, and now we have an incredibly popular TV show that’s sort of about zombies/walkers, but more about the survivors.  

Whatever it’s about, Romero does not want to be involved. “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.”

Fair enough. It’s not even really a diss, just a reflection of a completely different angle that he’s not interested in following. George is still the zombie king — even if he never called his dead “zombies” (and neither does The Walking Dead) — and he’s not totally wrong about TWD. It is kind of a soap opera, but not in a daytime cheese way. (Although … that whole Rick/Lori/Shane love triangle was a total daytime soap plot.)

TWD tells the human stories of the survivors and their loved ones — it’s about family and relationship struggles and holding on to compassion in a darkening world. It’s a very micro look at surviving the end of the world, instead of a big political statement. That’s why it affects us so much more when people die on this show, because it’s not just a horror story, it’s a drama.

There’s more than just an occasional zombie, but that’s not the point. The zombies on this show sometimes represent the enemy, but other times (like with Sophia and Merle) they remind us that the walkers are just human victims who’ve been turned. As much as Lizzie seems “messed up” in Season 4, she’s right that walkers were people too. That’s why no one made a move to shoot Sophia in the barn, until Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) stepped forward. TWD is more about preserving that sense humanity than just surviving as a species.

Anyway, TWD is doing just fine without George, and it’s understandable if he feels this show has nothing to do with his original vision. He doesn’t owe TWD his time or support, just because it’s also about the walking dead. There’s room enough in this world for any number of visions of the zombie apocalypse — and apparently an endless appetite to view them!

The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.

Source: The Big Issue


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