Broken Boy Soldier

This week is the 5 year anniversary of The Experiment. I posted some thoughts (a LOT of thoughts) about it here.

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Carl is the Newt of The Walking Dead. Why don’t we put him in charge?

COMMENTERS: I have expressed my problems with The Walking Dead at length. Is there any show where one character seemed to know exactly what was going on and no one ever listened to them? A sufferer of Wesley Crusher syndrome, as it were? Any show that you would have given up on long ago if not for a single redeeming character?

[thanks to @met2art for the alt-text]

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  1. "Is there any show where one character seemed to know exactly what was going on and no one ever listened to them?"

    I was a fan of "That's So Cassandra!" but it got cancelled 2160 years ago.

  2. I would have given up on lost if not for Ben Linus. Not the later seasons, where Ben was just a worried and sad father trying to do good. That early Linus, who was a cold, calculating, manipulative ass.

      • Agreed. I'm of the firm belief that not being spoiled is the responsibility of those who don't want to be spoiled. We can't all monitor where everyone else is in a given series.

    • Yeah is says "in the walking dead finale" in the first bubble of the first panel. The previous comic and that should be your clues to stop reading. Oh well. You're banned from commenting for being rude.

  3. I felt like that with the writtings of George RR Martin for the past 13 years. I haven't even been in it since the actual beginning of the books and I was like "Why are you all not listening to me?! Am I in the Phantom Zone?!"

    Still love the new way your drawin your panels Joel. Top notch. Sorry you won't be at C2E2 this year. I would have brought you beer (winecooler/Mike's hard something)

  4. "Is there any show where one character seemed to know exactly what was going on and no one ever listened to them?…Any show that you would have given up on long ago if not for a single redeeming character?"

    Heck yes. Once Upon A Time had a great first season, but the second season started off by throwing character development out the window. The only reason I stuck around for so long was A) the snark potential, B) the attractive actors and actresses, and C) Henry Mills/Swan. Nobody listened to the kid, but he was usually the only one being honest about ANYthing that was going on. (SHUT UP, WESLEY!)

    • Yeah, the main reason my husband and I have kept watching Once Upon a Time is because we like Robert Carlyle. Also, Captain Hook is kind of fun. Otherwise, the writing, direction, and continuity have been very flawed, and I'm not even going to start on plot holes.

      • Right there with you. Rumpelstilzchen (cause that's how it's really spelled, motherlovers!) and Hook are the best characters on the show currently. Emma is annoyingly clueless most of the time, and Mary Margaret and David are just annoying.
        Also, Hook is kinda hot. Like, Spike-bad-boy-hot.

  5. How I Met Your Mother was a staple a few years back , but it's devolved into something else. Something that has no name. No! There is a name – bad television. If it weren't for Barney Stinson it would be a complete waste of time. I'm not even sure that's because the character is still entertaining or if Neil Patrick Harris just infuses him with that much likeability.

  6. I watched all of Terra Nova for the dinosaurs, does that count? Also the first half of Revolution I wanted to strangle-murder everyone but the Han Solo analogue.

  7. ***Walking Dead Spoilers!!!***

    Am I the only person who thinks Carl wasn't entirely wrong to shoot? I mean, dude, if you want to hand over a weapon and surrender, you carefully put it on the ground and slowly back away. Everyone fucking knows that; it is not a new concept. A guy who five minutes ago was trying to kill you all and who is now *not* putting down his weapon, but instead *is* edging towards the kid half his size and who is the only one who is armed (and who is not reaching in turn for the weapon) doesn't read to me like someone who who is scared and wants to surrender; it reads to me like someone who is hoping to grab a kid as a hostage while keeping his weapon. After all, he's just a kid, right? Like he's actually going to be a real threat. And Hershel is unarmed and crippled.

    It was a bit cold-blooded, yes, but considering the circumstances I don't think it was necessarily the wrong call. Hershel might have been positive the guy was surrendering, but *I* sure as hell wasn't.

    Can I also just say that anyone who is handcuffed in relative safety and has a hacksaw handy who then cuts off his own damned hand to get loose instead of the handcuff chain is not an incredibly bad-ass guy; he's a fucking moron. That happened back in, what? The pilot? Episode two or something? Pretty near the beginning of season one, anyways, and I still can't get over how incredibly moronic it was. Don't even get me started on Lori.

    • No, you aren't the one. It looked like the kid was inching forward to attack Carl…there was no reason for him NOT to put down the gun, except an attempt to overpower Carl.

    • I totally agree that Carl made the right decision. At least the way the scene was shot, I was yelling "NO CARL IT'S A TRAAAAP" right up until he shot the kid. The scene was either deliberately ambiguous or just poorly executed.

    • I have been ranting about all the same things you mention, in very much the same ways.

      Also, the Wesley Crusher-syndrome was Dale.. and he got bit for going on a stupid walk by himself. How incredible was that? The guy with the coolest head and most sense gets bit because he does something 'Lori-stupid'?

    • Yes, yes, yes. Thank god Lori finally DIED. So sick of her crap. She should have died in that stupid car wreck that never should have happened.
      It's the zombie apocalypse, bitch. Stop giving your husband the old "you're never home anymore" crap and just be happy you have FOOD to EAT.

      It doesn't matter whether I think Carl was right or wrong to have shot. It's over.
      Take the gun out of his hand, teach him how to use blades so shooting won't always be his only answer. He's young enough to fall into "I'm angry so I shot him" syndrome.

  8. I never got the point of trying to turn zombie fiction into a lengthy story, atleast not with the traditional style, there is literally NO REASON to try and survive in a zombie apocalypse setting. Even if all the zombies stopped being a threat, every survivor is going to be so crippled by PTSD and various other traumas that rebuilding a functional society is a pipe dream at best.

  9. One character knowing what's going on and not being listened to is the basis for shows like Psych and Monk. As for the Wesley Crusher syndrome character, I would have to say Kenzie from Lost Girl suffers from that, despite not always knowing what is going on.

    The condition could also be named for Sheriff Carter from Eureka.

  10. I'd say the best example of the Wesley Crusher Syndrome is Fox Mulder from the X-Files. Turns out that foil hat wasn't so crazy after all.

    As for shows I only watch (or have watched) for one character – the early episodes of Farscape were cringe-worthy with the makeup. puppets, and effects but they played Crichton so brilliantly that I was hooked for the whole series. It was the first time I've ever seen a character of the Buck Rogers/Flash Gordon who was actually freaked out by all the crazy shit they are suddenly experiencing.

    Others include watching American Idol purely for Simon Cowell (though I have never watched the X Factor), reading X-Men only for the Wolverine bits, watching The Pretender when it first ran mostly because Ms. Parker has amazing legs (though now that my hormones are raging slightly less, I just think it's a damn good show), and slogging through the last couple of seasons of Buffy mainly because of my wife's love of James Marsters.

    • I just watched the late Mulder seasons because I love the smug face on that actor. It's also the reason I'll be watching that new submarine movie that's coming out.

    • As someone who was a teenage girl attracted to men in the 90's, I confess the only reason I watched the X-files was to lust after Fox Mulder. The character, not the actor. 🙂

      My husband couldn't see what I saw in the show until I explained that.

      There are a lot of shows like that. Christina Hendricks is why I watch Mad Men. Walking Dead is getting really annoying. My husband was disturbed because I was cheering for Zombie Milton in the last bit. "Come on! Just one bite! Please!"

      As a woman I get really annoyed when the women in a show are weak and hindering. I feel that it reflects badly on my gender. Silly, I know. I like all the women left in the show, mostly, though, so it has potential to get better.

      • That's why we like Michonne and why seeing Carol recover from her abusive husband is so worth it.

        Lori would have been a better character if they had let her keep crawling down the "Lady MacBeth" rabbit hole that she started going down in season 2.


    and all the other toes will be worried about the day he snaps and shoots them for being potential threats to the rest of the foot

  12. Walter kept me with Fringe right through the end of the "Olivia does a terrible Spock Impression for no damn reason" arc. By the time that was resolved, even John Noble tripping on LSD while eating junk food with his cow friend wasn't enough to keep me interested in the clusterfuck the show had become. When you're only holding on for that one character, and it's like everything else about the show is trying to tell you you're not dumb enough to handle the rest of the show, you just kinda need to let your one character friend go.

  13. "Why don't we put him in charge?" – immediately led my brain to imagine a hyper-cheery ad-campaign style: .
    "New boy in the prison yard
    Walker fightin' life has made him hard,
    He's determined to take good care of me,
    And not afraid to kill his family

    Carl's in charge
    Of our days and our nights
    Carl's in charge
    Of our wrongs and our rights
    And I sing, I want,
    I want Carl in charge of me!

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