Dear Writers of the Walking Dead,
You fucked up Lori. You fucked up Andrea. We’re here to stop you before you do the same to Carol.
Let’s talk about Lori for a minute. You had a character whose situation could have made her sympathetic. She was misled into believing that her husband was dead and had sex with the man who told her that lie. Her husband turned out to be alive, but the man she had sex with was still around and was devastated by being suddenly cut out of her life. Good stuff, drama-wise. However, Lori came off as inconsistent, illogical, arrogant, and manipulative, as best illustrated when, in rapid succession, she urged Rick to kill Shane, then told Shane she loved him, and then was horrified and rejected Rick when he actually did what she suggested.
Andrea had a lot of potential, too. After losing her sister, she attempted suicide but was prevented from doing so when Dale said he would kill himself, too. She dealt with her anger and worked out her place in the world during the second season. She became a warrior, which you wrote well. However, by the end of the third season it was impossible to have any respect for her after she kept choosing Woodbury over the prison despite increasing evidence that it was dangerous to stay there. (She went back after she knew he tried to kill Michonne, for God’s sake. Why, Andrea, WHY?)
This brings us to Carol.
You’ve finally gotten her to a great place. She has a sly sense of humor, she’s confident, and she can take out walkers. She can strategize brilliantly (we loved her advice to Andrea, which would have solved the Governor problem so neatly). She is tough, but kind. She looks out for her prison family.
In short, you’ve got a lot to work with. You have a character with limited physical strength, no true subject expertise, and no family ties to keep her grounded. How has she managed to survive this far? What role will she play?
Now, you can’t really write about Carol without mentioning her relationship with Daryl. Right now they are oddball friends who care profoundly about each other. Their interactions are quiet but touching. We love that.
However, even zombie shows need interpersonal conflict, so maybe you are looking at Carol+Daryl=love as one source of this. Well, don’t. You don’t do complicated romantic relationships well. We don’t want Carol to become foolish and arrogant the way both Lori and Andrea were. We don’t want to be pondering WTF made Carol decide to do something completely out of character, or making excuses for her the way we did for Andrea and Lori for far too long.
In short, want Carol to behave in a logical, non self-destructive manner. If that means no romantic relationship with Daryl, so be it. Do it right, or don’t do it.
You are probably wondering what incentive you have to change the way you are doing things. After all, you get great ratings and have devoted fans already. Well, here are two good reasons:
- Your show is not as good as it could be. You are missing a lot of opportunities when the only female characters who come off well are warriors.
- It’s starting to become a joke about how awful the leading female characters are. You don’t want the show to be dismissed that easily, do you?
Thanks for hearing us out. And take care of Carol for us.
P.S. I suppose we don’t need to warn you about Michonne, right? Seriously.