The Walking Dead Eats its Writing Staff

Yeah, so apparently, The Walking Dead showrunning Frank Darabont has canned the show’s entire writing staff. In season 2, any episodes not written by Darabont will be farmed out to freelance writers.

Listen, all I do is watch TV; I know next to nothing about how it’s produced and created. That being said, this sounds like a really stupid idea. Not all the writing in the show has been great; at times it’s been silly, cliched, and wooden. But the last couple of episodes have hit a stride, and I’m sure as the writing staff continued to work with each other, things would have continued to improve. Is it really a good idea to farm out scripts of a show (a show with a very particular theme and continuous story) to a group of disparate freelancers who may not be interacting or bouncing ideas off of each other? Unless Darabont is going to write the lionshare of episodes in season 2, this sounds like a recipe for inconsistency and disjointedness.

But what do I know?

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4 thoughts on “The Walking Dead Eats its Writing Staff

  1. I’d like to nominate this post for the best title we’ve ever come up with on this blog. 😀

    I agree, that sounds pretty drastic! Maybe he really does plan to write the whole second season by himself? The creator of Babylon 5 wrote two seasons of the show all on his own and they were the strongest of the whole series. That said (and I imagine Straczynski would agree), it still sounds like a crazy-making game plan.

  2. “…this sounds like a recipe for inconsistency and disjointedness.”

    Completely agreed. While, sure, writers change over time, it’s just that, over time. Would you really want to freelance a couple episodes here, a couple there? What an ego trip.

    It’s funny, though. This goes completely opposite to something I saw about The Vampire Diaries. The blogs are all excited because showrunner Kevin Williamson has just started developing a companion series. However, one blog got up in arms, saying this is the first nail in The Vampire Diaries coffin because when Williamson’s attention is divided, they expect the show to go downhill. Link here: http://www.thetvaddict.com/2010/11/30/this-just-in-the-cw-puts-the-first-of-many-nails-into-the-vampire-diaries-coffin/

    The irony is that in the case of TVD, they worry the show will go downhill because the guy’s not paying as much attention and in TWD, he’s relying only on himself. It’s true, I give more credit to the guy who has a writing staff to rely on when his attention is diverted, but it’s funny that either way, change causes worry for the viewers on two compelling series.

  3. This will be interesting. We should keep a close eye on both of these shows to see how they look next season. I wonder if these two different circumstances will change the quality of each show in the same (or different) ways.

  4. I don’t know. While I feel so bad for the writing staff (“We were picked up for a second season and you’re all fired!”), we don’t know what the dynamic was. It could be that he was writing them all and they were putting in thier two cents here and there. If they all were subpar writers and he was doing all the heavy lifting, then getting rid of them will only help. I guess only time will tell.

    September 2011, why are you so far away?

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