The Walking Dead: “Something They Need” and Female Leadership

Despite initially offering some problematic portrayals of women – Lori, Andrea, and Carol – The Walking Dead has really stepped up its game in the last few seasons. Lori and Andrea were killed off, so that takes care of that; and Carol transformed from abused housewife to tough-as-nails survivor. More women eventually got added to the main cast, and they keep getting stronger and more well-rounded.

Now, Maggie, Michonne, Rosita, Tara and Sasha make up some of the best female characters on TV today. But it took until Alexandria for us to get a female leader; and soon after, she died and Rick took over. Then we met Dawn, who was in charge at the hospital. She turned out to be two-parts villain, one-part weakling who couldn’t stand up against the wrongs she knew she and her group were committing. Even more recently, we met Jadis. There’s not much yet that can be definitively said about this group, except that they are strangely modelled after a 90s sci-fi flick. Unfortunately, it’s unclear at this point if Jadis is friend or foe.

Suffice it to say, the depiction of female leadership has been questionable. Nonetheless, this week’s episode, “Something They Need” shined a spotlight on two of the season’s most significant female leaders. Natania of Oceanside, and the rising leadership of Maggie, at Hilltop. Both make very interesting case studies for the authority of women in a post-apocalyptic world.

Continue Reading

Image Credit: AMC

Advertisements

Top 15s: 15 Gruesome Villains We Love to Hate

For generations, classic storytelling has used the convention of the gruesome villain to incite the excitement and anticipation that comes with following the protagonist into the grips of danger. While not exclusive to the horror genre, it plays to the cathartic and escapist nature of the scary or thrilling narrative. The villain can work on various levels: juxtaposing the hero to create a clear distinction of good and evil, mirroring the hero to blur the lines between right and wrong, cautioning against giving into the darker aspects of human nature, and reflecting that which we might fear about human nature and ourselves.

Film theorist Robin Wood explains that the monsters we create for our stories are really just manifestations of that which we have repressed most in our civilized society – people who look different, or act different, or who can otherwise be considered outside of the norm. It’s fair to say then that the monster represents our own fears of being out-casted. However, it is also fair to say that in this golden age of violent narratives, the monster is not just to be feared, it is to be admired. There is something utterly captivating about a charismatic villain. They can make our skin crawl, shock us, scare us; and yet, we can’t seem to look away. Here are 15 gruesome villains of which we just can’t get enough.

View List

image via: Screencrush