The Walking Dead Losing Its Showrunner: Does It Matter?

By Luke Y. Thompson in TV, zombies
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 5:45 pm

bicyclegirl.jpg
"Gleeennnnn...Don't gooooooo..."

The Hollywood Reporter today - and many of you readers subsequent to it - called my attention to the fact that The Walking Dead showrunner Glenn Mazzara is leaving. Considering he's not the first to go - Frank Darabont left after season 1 - this has fans nervous. But should it? Everybody feared the sky would fall (and not in the cool James Bond-ish way) when Darabont left, but Mazzara did fine in taking over. And now people are afraid again.

I think perhaps it's this line in the official statement that bugs many of you: AMC noting that "Both parties acknowledge that there is a difference of opinion about where the show should go moving forward and conclude that it is best to part ways." It smacks of executives possibly thinking the show has gone too far and wanting to tone things down. But so did Darabont's departure, and none of the gore or ickiness or amorality disappeared after he left.

Were the top suits freaked after an episode where a baby is cut out of its mother's womb in front of her preteen child, who must then promptly shoot her in the head? I'm amazed anyone ever got that on basic cable, but you have to figure that that's the kind of plot point you only get to do once anyhow.

The bottom line is that despite a number of significant plot differences, the comic book is a roadmap of sorts, and Robert Kirkman is still there. Regardless of showrunner, we were always going to get to the farmhouse, the prison and the Governor, because they were already established as key storylines in the original source material. Alexandria is a safe bet no matter who's in charge.

If they get rid of Kirkman, worry. Until then, I'm not sure why I should.

Also noted in the article: Chris Hardwick's post-show discussion, Talking Dead, is going to expand to an hour. I've enjoyed it at times, but isn't making a discussion show the same length as the show it's discussing...a bit like making a movie that takes about as long to watch as the book does to read?


[also: have a great holiday weekend, everyone. Posting will be a tiny bit lighter Monday, super-light Christmas day, then back in full Wednesday.]


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