Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Zombies and Infinite Shotguns

I love to complain about The Walking Dead TV show. I really want to love it - I've read the first 48 issues of the comic book (as conveniently collected in TWD: Compendium One) and I think it's fantastic* - but it drives me nuts, what with the stupidity of the characters and predictability of the plotting. (Clearly, the screenwriters have never met a horror cliché that they didn't like.) The season finale was just as groan-inducing as the rest of the episodes, though I want to write really quickly about one particular element - Hershel's shotgun.

[* this isn't just one of those knee-jerk "the comic book is always better" reactions, either. because i've gone on record, elsewhere on this blog, as saying that the Scott Pilgrim movie was a huge improvement over the comic. just so you know.]

The joke surrounding Hershel's shotgun is that, like the magical shotgun that you can acquire after beating a Resident Evil game, it's an Infinite Shotgun. Hershel blasts away with that thing for at least a minute, never once stopping to reload. And this is obviously annoying.

For some of us, anyway. The first comment I found online about the shotgun was actually in defense of it, and it went something like this: "It's a show about zombies. Why are you complaining about an Infinite Shotgun in a show about zombies?"

Well, because the only spectacular thing about this show - the only thing that requires you to suspend what you know to be true about the laws of science - is the fact that zombies exist. That's it. We're supposed to believe that everything that does not have to do with the zombie plague should behave just like it would in real life. Cars still need gas. People still need food. And shotguns still have to be reloaded. Just show Hershel reloading the damn thing - zombies are slow, he'd have the time. I didn't write these rules, I didn't decide that the world of The Walking Dead is just like the real world, but with the exception of the whole zombie-thing. The producers did. So just stick to your own rules.

And relatedly - would it kill them (the producers) to show that bullets sometimes (often!) miss their target? Not only have we been told that most of these characters are inexperienced shots, but they're using imprecise weapons - shotguns, especially, aren't particularly accurate - and managing to hit zombies in the head every time. And, in the season finale, they're hitting moving zombies while firing from moving vehicles. You know who's able to do that in real life? No one.


Jen said...

Can't we assume Hershel is loading and reloading, without having to see it? That's what I assumed. Not that the gun was magical. Also, maybe I'm wrong, but don't they show him reloading in the moment when Rick saves him from behind?

Jen said...

P.S. I agree about the shooting/targets though. That's pretty unbelievable. And it WAS distracting.

neilshyminsky said...

Maybe? I suppose it's possible, but unlikely... In any case, I am totally going to rewatch that scene, for the sole reason of determining whether Hershel *could* have possibly reloaded.