Why Women Love The Walking Dead
“The feminisation of TV is complete”, said Dirk Benedict (Lt. Templeton ‘Faceman’ Peck) in 2008. “It’s all… watched by women, produced by women, written for women. The guys on it talk the way women want them to talk. It’s just this… feminist fantasy.” And you know what, he’s right. Want a good example? Ratings behemoth ‘The Walking Dead’. According to Ad Week, season 3 of The Walking Dead was the most watched show on U.S. cable among women. In fact, it doubled the nearest female-orientated programming viewing. So how is it that a TV show about zombies and the end of the world has drawn in so many female viewers?
Allow ManlyMovie to explain.
You see, The Walking Dead isn’t a zombie TV show. It’s a soap opera. Or at least a soap opera that just happens to have zombies, or at least the occasioal zombie. The Walking Dead, like 90210 or Dawsons Creek, is far from intelligent or unique. It certainly doesn’t have a tendency to provoke rigourous contemplation, such as ‘What would I do?’. What it does have is a truck-load of clichés. Clichés long on feeling and short on thinking. Take season 2, from beginning to end it was riddled with typical female eye rollers such as the secret affair. Or the secret crush. No? How about the old ‘who is the father’ yarn? Or the one where daddy disapproves of a new boyfriend? In fact, the backbone of the show up untill that point was angsty pining of a woman over an edgy bad boy. Wiho will she pick? The safe and sweet husband or the jock asshole? Gimme a fucking break, they have nothing more pressing to worry about? Such as how close they are to a nuclear reactor, just to give one example? During all of this, you might have noticed, the zombies took a backseat and went on holiday.
It was the safest zombie apocalypse ever.
Now men, on the other hand, watch zombie movies for a different reason. They don’t watch them because of secret affairs – that’s for dumb people. They watch them because men are naturally drawn to crisis management. It is because men have keener situational awareness. Men like to emphasize with questions such as how they’d handle the present situation they see on the screen. Perimeters. Safety. Logistics. These are important questions and the best zombie movies lay on these problems and considerations thick and fast. The Walking Dead purposely removes this threat, these zombies, because it is an inconvenience to shitty romantic drama. In ‘Day Of The Dead’ Frankenstein and Captain Rhodes contemplate important questions, such as rations and the ratio of zombies to living humans. These questions never appear in The Walking Dead because they do not stimulate female thinking capacity, it’s above their paygrade. Instead, we get rolling in the hay and pathetic fucking guff where people sneak into each others bedrooms at night.
No officer in the military ever got a promotion because of his ability to play cupid.
In a typical Romero movie, you can practically feel the walls closing in on the cast as they are surrounded and in perpetual trouble. Take ‘Land Of The Dead’, when the survivors venture outside the walls of safety, the stiffs/zombies are masters of the wilderness and their swarming ability is respected. Notice that the survivors never stay in one location for too long, it’s just too dangerous. But in The Walking Dead, there is no perpetual trouble. At all times, the survivors are masters of everywhere, with the occasional zombie getting taken down effortlessly. This is boring, And it is to accomodate endless female orientated character relations, and that is to accomodate more, more, more ratings. Because women own television now.
Because the feminisation of TV is complete.