In my spare, not-living-up-to-beauty-standard time, I watch a lot of tv. A lot. A lot a lot. I love television so very much. Television is undoubtedly the reason I have so little muscle definition and upper body strength.
Anyway, I’ve been watching AMC’s lackluster adaptation of The Walking Dead. It’s nothing special, certainly not as good as Breaking Bad or Mad Men. It has a distinct visual look, but not much else going for it. This is fine. I’m a fan of the zombie genre, but they can’t all be gems.
The larger issue I’m having with the genre is that nobody ever seems to know the word “zombie.” I’ve never read the TWD graphic novel, but I’ve been told that the undead are called “zombies” in the comic. Most zombie tales have a contemporary setting—are we to believe that no one’s ever seen Night of the Living Dead?
The same problem crops up on Dead Set, which I caught last night on IFC, hankering for some better pickings, zombie-wise. Once again, no one could just say, “Look, motherfuckers, there’s a zombie in there!” At which point, everyone would say, “Shoot it in the head!” Nope, it’s gotta be all, “There was a virus…people come back to life…vagueness!” Like Shaun of the Dead never even happened!
This doesn’t happen in most other monster genres. People see a vampire, they tell other people, “Yo, vampire alert!” And everybody just knows: garlic allergy, stake to the heart, sunlight, etc. Sometimes there’s a variation (sparkles!), but everybody has heard of and agreed upon a definition for vampires. Werewolves, ghosts, leprechauns—pretty much the same. But anytime humanity is confronted with a zombie outbreak, they turn as brain-dead as the zombies themselves.
What can we, the public, do to rectify this egregious lapse in fictional self-awareness? Do we take a petition to ComicCon and then send it to George A Romero, Godfather of the zombie genre? What? For the love of god, tell me! I can’t stand having to humor any more zombie euphamisms or listen to people be like, “What do you mean they’re not really dead?” Can’t we just skip to, “ZOMBIES?! Are you sure? Shit, dude, aim for the head and don’t look back!”