Words Not Deeds
   On Steven Yeun's "Glen" in "THE WALKING DEAD"

Lots of chatter on Facebook and Twitter about the death of fave character Glen on AMC's stellar show, "The Walking Dead." Some long-time viewers feel betrayed (SPOILER ALERT: Glen's NOT dead.) and are outraged at the show's manipulation of their feelings; others took the episode in which Glen ostensibly died after falling off a garbage dumpster into a hoard of zombies in end their stride, seeing the scene as a ratcheting up the spectacular suspense the six-season show is famous for.

When I saw the episode, I was shocked. I truly bought that Glen was dead. I mourned. I grieved. Glen, the embodiment of compassion and rationality's delicate balance was killed off. Never for one second did I think there was trickery involved -- not until the chatter and criticism began on social media.

Come on folks. I was fooled. And I'll bet many of you were too.

And isn't that the highest compliment a viewer can give the show?

I'm a savvy viewer. I've assiduously watched every single episode and followed Chris Hardwick's "The Talking Dead" show afterward. I've analyzed, dissected, and considered the episodes, not from a millennium's thrill-seeking, not from the love of zombie movies -- although there's that too -- but as a long-time teacher of English literature.

I view the show as a massive visually literary work of cleverness, sophistication, and epic themes.

Yeah, yeah, if you wanna watch for chills and thrills, go for it, but the advanced placement teacher in me can't help tearing the text apart, looking for the magic in the character, action, pacing, and visuals of a brilliant modern-day television program.

If "The Walking Dead" were a novel, yes, my friends, we'd be studying this in literature classes a hundred years from now.

That is, if we survive the zombie apocalypse.

Jo Robertson, 18 February 2016

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