George Romero: 'The Walking Dead' Is A Soap Opera With Occasional Zombie

edited November 2013 in The Walking Dead

"They asked me to do a couple of episodes of 'The Walking Dead' but I didn't want to be a part of it," Romero told The Big Issue. “Basically it's just a soap opera with a zombie occasionally. I always used the zombie as a character for satire or a political criticism and I find that missing in what’s happening now."

In 2011, Romero said he loves "The Walking Dead" comics, but hadn't seen any of the episodes at the time. "Listen I love Frank [Darabont], I know he's done a good job. I love the books, I never watched any of the episodes because… my zombies are sort of my own. I didn't want to be part of it. Producers called and said, 'do you want to direct some of these,' and I said no. Because I just didn't think it was me," he told io9.

I can't say I disagree with George here. I know the 'soap opera' aspect is what makes the show appealing to many of its fans, but for me personally, I prefer my zombie stories to be under two hours. To each their own.



  • Too lazy to read all of that but if he's talking about the TV series, he's totally right! The game on the other hand is a masterpiece :)

  • I sadly have to agree with him on this. This whole franchise puts human drama above zombie hacking and slashing, whether it be TV show, comics, or even the game.

    Also, what's funny is that in the comments of the article, there's a bunch of immature WD fans bashing Romero's movies just because of this little comment. C'mon, guys.

  • edited November 2013

    That's the good thing about TWD. I never was a fan of the zombie-genre. I am not now. I only got into TWD because of Telltale. I bought the game because I owned many of their games before. I was reluctant to buy this "zombie-thing" because like I said, it's not my cup of tea. Well, I got a little money lying around, so I tried it. And it was awesome. Not because of zombie-slashing, but because of human interactions in this setting.

    If TWD was just "zombie-slashing" or the zombies were the main part at all, I wouldn't be a fan. But that's just me of course.

  • He is right, the show hardly has any real zombie action anymore. It's pretty boring.The acting is definitely "soap opera" level.

  • 16.1 Million viewers speaks for itself.. none of the general public care what he has to say - if it's a soap opera with a few zombies then who cares? People love it, and so do I.

  • edited November 2013

    The writing is why I left watching it a while ago. Sometimes, you have to just sit back and think, "Who the hell would say things like this in a zombie apocalypse?"

  • I'm sorry but his movies are sheer awful. The Walking Dead catches people - his films don't. They're just stupid.

  • edited November 2013

    That's a terrible argument. I guess you are going to tell us that Justin Bieber is a musical genius next?

  • He's not but MJ is a musical genius.

  • "none of the general public care what he has to say"
    you do realize that without Romero there wouldn't be TWD right?
    I'd say a fair few (including myself) care what the godfather of zombies has to say.

  • Let's just get this out of the way. Romero started this whole mess, and Night, Dawn, and Day were f***ing brilliant. I think once Land came out he lost his touch, but that's a different argument. His movies always have a ton of social commentary, and the first three were perfect in that way.
    Kirkman has said that he loves Romero, and if Romero hadn't done it first then TWD wouldn't be here. Simple.

    Now, for his comments. It's similar to King saying how much he hated the movie version of The Shining. Hooray. He doesn't like something someone else has created that was based on his original creation. The world still manages to turn.

    Look, zombie movies are about a certain time of the zombie apocalypse. The beginning (Night); the collapse (Dawn); the end of civilization (Day); etc. The TWD is about how people cope and deal with life after the world has essentially ended. Get that? How people deal with the end of the world. If that can somehow not be about people, I'd like for someone to tell me. Shooting zombies in the head for 60 minutes once a week would not have the same ratings and would not be the runaway hit TWD is now.

    Now, I've never been in a zom-poc, and I've never had to find a way to survive hiding out in a prison, surrounded by zombies, and struggling to find food, supplies, medicine, etc. BUT, I'd imagine I would try to find me a little sumpin'-sumpin' at least every now and then. You never know when it might be your last.

    Hell, yes, it's a soap opera. Real life is a frickin' soap opera.

  • The comic is just as much a soap opera. Did he not notice that when he read it?

  • I dont know where people get the idea that there's no zombie action. Someone is getting attacked by zombies in every episode. Its just not an hour long zombie killing fest like, some people want.

  • Greek and Shakespearian tragedies could easily be compared to soap operas as well.

  • That is kind of the point though. This is about emotional turmoil, not hacking through zombies. To each their own.

  • edited November 2013

    Romero's Night of the Living Dead only exist because of I am Legend. I liked his original films are great, but Day of the Dead doesn't have any likeable characters. He has wrotea lot of garbage and seems to be stuck with outdated views he formed in the 60's when he tries to create any social commentary.

  • I prefer the term "Drama".

  • UndeadEuanUndeadEuan Banned
    edited November 2013

    Prince_Charming, Justin Bieber's album sold to over a million people, in this case it's not as much. You may not like him, but that doesn't make your opinion correct.

    But the truth is nobody does care about what Romero has to say. Ask some of the general public who he his - no one will no.. or care.

  • Romero did not create zombies, he only changed them slightly. But, if nobody knows who the man is, they sure as well won't give a damn about what he says about one of the best shows on U.S TV! He comes off as a little jealous in that interview.

    1939: The White Zombie.

  • Exactly. I watch the show, too, but that doesn't mean I like it, frankly I think it's poorly written compared to many other shows. I keep watching it in a way like others watch youtube fail videos or memes. What a pity, the TWD trademark really has potential for being a great show. You just need the right people to master it (e.g. survival instinct - what a catastrophe). Rougly said both the TT game and the show have drama and zombies. The difference is that the first one digs deeper, the other just scratches skin-deep when it comes to emotions, thanks to bad writing and mediocre cast. My opinion.

  • Romero created the brain-eating zombies as we know them now, and he has said about the same thing about the zombies in films like 28 Days Later and others, since he thinks zombies should be slow shambling monsters (which I happen to agree with).

  • edited November 2013

    Why bring up MJ? JB isn't fit to lick dirt off his boots.

  • The point is that numbers lie, and people like generic BS.

    Well that's pretty ridiculous to say. I dunno how you can be a fan of the zombie genera and disrespect Romero like that. You must be a 14 year old who has no idea of the man's accomplishments. Stick to bumping your Justin Bieber kid.

  • I watched seasons 1,2 and 3 and the zombie action was falling each season. Don't even get me started on how terrible the finale for season 3 was...

  • Wow...probably the most ignorant comment I have read in awhile. Congratz!

  • The comic is written a lot better than the show....

  • lol, no...Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Homeland are dramas. The Walking Dead is a poorly written and acted soap opera. There is a huge difference.

  • TWD has always been about the humans first, zombies second. Thats the way it's been and it's gonna stay that way. Why? Why do you think? It's supposed to be realistic, imagine watching Rick, Michonne, Maggie, Hershel, Carol and Daryl all turning into zombie killing ninjas. Though some of them already are!

    Still I highly enjoy Romero's films and I still like him as a director and respect his opinion. Also I respect him for staying true to himself instead of cashing in for something he doesn't believe in. As for TWD, If it ain't broke don't fix it!

  • So what? Because he "created" zombies, his opinion (which I actually agree with here, though thinking that "soap-opera" is not a bad thing) is somehow more important? If people like something they do, whether or not the "godfather of zombies" endorses that.

    It's a matter of where your focus is. If you wanna be scared by zombies and slash them, maybe TWD is not the right thing. If you wanna explore human relationships (relationships="soap opera") in a really shitty situation (in this case the zombie-apocalypse, but actually it could be any kind of apocalypse), than TWD is for you.

  • That is a matter of opinion.

  • edited November 2013

    That makes no sense. Because you dont like it, its not a drama? Seriously, you're using Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad as examples of two shows that arent soap operas? Slower paced, character driven shows full of relationship drama. There is no difference between those shows and this one except for the subject matter. BTW, what is your definition of a soap opera? People throw that phrase around and Im half convinced that no one really knows what they mean by it.

  • edited November 2013

    Soap Opera Definition: "A television or radio serial daytime television drama dealing with the daily lives of the same group of people.
    Examples: Coronation Street, Days of our Lives, East Enders.

    Your're wrong, TWD is not a soap opera. It's an awesome show! btw I'm not saying that soap operas are bad just that TWD doesn't fall into that category

  • His opinion carries more weight simply because he's been doing this for almost 50 years. That kind of experience comes with a certain amount of respect, not to mention a dedicated fan base. Like I said "Night of the Living Dead" was what started the zombie craze that is being painfully overused today. I'm personally not a fan of TWD (Tv show or Comics, I love the game though) as many have said the TV is a bit like a soap opera with better acting, but a soap opera nonetheless, and it seems to me Kirkman writes the comic explicitly for the sake of being explicit.

    Anyways, just my opinion. Not to be taken as fact.
    Rant over.

  • Oh Prince_Charming, you never cease to cause annoyance.

    My opinion is not ' ignorant ' at all. Having seen the films, I can honestly say how awful they are.

  • The numbers never lie, Charming. People are watching the show, and are continuing to watch The Walking Dead because they like it. If somebody doesn't like a show.. 9/10 times they won't watch it.

    Yet again, you make stupid comments about me personally. I am allowed an opinion, whether you like it or not. So I don't like Romero- so what? You're no one to call me ' ignorant ' or ' ridiculous '.

  • Apart from the ' zombies ' in 28 days later aren't zombies - they're infected.

  • Romero's Night of the Living Dead only exist because of I am Legend.

    That's debatable. Romero has gone on record stating NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD had a number of different influences, and I AM LEGEND was only one of them.

  • That's not a bad thing, I AM LEGEND (The book ) was a fantastic read, and one I would highly recommend.
    And the collapse of society seems like the only thing he took from the book, besides supernatural beings, but I could be wrong.

  • Actually soap operas are dramas as well, just a different type of drama. Li-Lee kind of hits the nail on the the head but I would consider the term "opera" to be inaccurate. Usually operas consist of singing and musical numbers so when you take away the whole "soap opera" thing what are you left with? Drama.

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