Stories must make me CARE about characters and what’s happening to them to hold my attention!

Whether novels or TV shows or movies, the stories must make me care about the characters and what is happening to them. If a story fails to make me care, then I lose interest. Action, violence, language, sex, music and special effects may be part of the background but should not be what the story is about. A good story is about the people – characters – more than one or just one. I’m not attracted to “campy” science fiction, although I was when much younger. For example, the original version of Battlestar Galactica in 1978 (when I was age 22). It was fun and interesting, but it did not put me on the edge of my chair…

…The newer version of Battlestar Galactica in 2004 (when I was 48) was well-acted DRAMA at its very best, even though acted within a science fiction setting, deadly serious, keeping me on the edge of my chair, holding my full attention, making me care…

There are so few shows on TV that I really care about. Same for movies, and reading novels.

SEVEN SEASONS now of The Walking Dead on AMC TV, and each episode still makes me CARE. Like the 2004 version of Battlestar Galactica it has the same kind of serious DRAMA that is well acted. Even though it is in part about and involves zombies – “walkers” – the walking dead of a zombie apocalypse, the stories are really about how human survivors cope with the disaster – brutal suffering – and with each other. It brings out the best in some, and the worst imagined evil in others. So it is not just humans vs. zombies. It is also good vs. evil – good humans vs. bad humans. So it’s not just physical – although there is plenty of bloody violence gore. It is intensely emotional with some mental depth…

Observations by Jim Lantern in the Zombie Zone of Norman Oklahoma

Sunday evening 12 March 2017

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