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Sole Black Cast Member Of "The Walking Dead" Worries About What His Blackness Could Mean For Him...

by Tambay A. Obenson
October 18, 2011 5:58 AM
18 Comments
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Last night, I caught up with episode 1 of season 2 of AMC's hit zombie drama The Walking Dead; one of the very few TV shows I actually watch - and I mean very, very few. I had a lot of fun with season 1; usually I'm disappointed by successive seasons of new shows I initially enjoy, with expectations being quite high after being romanced and falling for them during their debut seasons.

One episode into its second season, it's too early for me to say whether that trend will continue with The Walking Dead; but I enjoyed episode 1 of season 2.

Here's a preview of episode 2, scheduled to air next Sunday night. I single out this particular clip for obvious reasons. There's the running joke - although it's based on fact - we call the "brotha rule" in horror movies (or, in this case, TV shows); and that is, to put it simply, they (brothas) tend to get killed off early in the film or series.

T-Dog, played by IronE Singleton, is currently the lone brotha in the Walking Dead starring cast, and even though he suffered what could have been a fatal injury in episode 1, season 2, he has, thus far, not succumbed to the "brotha rule." He was first introduced in episode 2 of season 1, and actually made it all the way through the end of that successful inaugural season. Yes, he really did! Unbelievable, right? A number of white cast members even checked out before T-Dog.

Maybe someone on the series' production team is well-aware of said "brotha rule," and is intent on keeping T-Dog alive and kicking, by any means necessary... or, maybe I'm speaking too soon, and T-Dog will become zombie breakfast in episode 2 :)

Anyway, T-Dog doesn't quite address the "brotha rule" in the episode 2 preview below, but he does express his concerns, as the only black member of the team, and what that could mean for him and the others; I'd say it's rare that shows like this so overtly bring up race matters:

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18 Comments

  • Kyle | March 5, 2012 12:23 AMReply

    Its Hollywood, many of the writers are Liberal; most liberals (especially in Hollywood)- have certain views of blacks. Which is why, he seems pretty stereotypical and useless lol

  • Jug | October 19, 2011 6:35 AMReply

    Great interview with Gale Anne Hurd, prolific producer of TERMINATOR & ALIENS, who illustrates that they are making their own show from original source material with Robert Kirkman all in the mix.

    So please forgive me talking out of my ass earlier & enjoy the article :-D

    http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/archives/gale_anne_hurd_talks_the_walking_dead_roger_corman_and_the_hulk_and_termina/

  • cruz777 | October 19, 2011 4:53 AMReply

    T-Dogg, isn't the main Black male from the comic, he was supposed to be just a placeholder. Trust, the dude from the comics is 10 X better than t-Dogg and is one of the best characters in the book...just not anywhere near as good as Michonne. Glenn should get more screen time now that they've reached the farm



    spoiler alert *************************


    As far as Lennie James Character, he doesn't show up until much later

    *****************************************

    all that being said, the show isn't following the comic faithfully, which at times is good and leaves those of us that have read it on our toes. there have been some weak moments in new material/characterizations i.e. the cdc shit was weak sauce, every single part of it and Andrea's current characterization. (except for her telling Dale off for taking away her choice of how she wanted to die, which was good tv) here's hoping they don't screw with Michonne too much when she finally does show up

  • Micah | October 19, 2011 4:22 AMReply

    I'm another one that wishes Lennie James's character would return. I'd be happy with the exit of "T-Dog".

    Even though "T-Dog" has survived thus far, he's the most ineffectual character on the show. He's barely likable and when he puts all his problems on race it makes him look even worst. I could see his concern about the racist brothers but not with he police officers that have been good to him over all. It seems to play into every stereotype about black people being unable to do a quality work and then blaming there problems on racism.

    Overall I think the show is compelling and have enjoyed it. It wouldn't surprise me if the comic book is more progressive as Accidental Visitor has said. Comics can be much more progressive than major films and TV when it comes to race.

  • Afrostyling | October 19, 2011 4:08 AMReply

    Shane is dead by now too. Obviously they are taking writing liberties with the show.

  • Sugah Hill | October 19, 2011 3:11 AMReply

    Why wouldn't they allow T-Dog to hook up with Michonne?

    And WHAT THE UFCK is up with these dag on names???????? Sh*t. They act like a regular named black person couldn't survive the zombie apocalypse.

  • Sugah Hill | October 19, 2011 3:07 AMReply

    etomi, I was wondering the SAME exact thing!! Lennie James should have made it back. I keep hoping that Rick's group will meet back up with them at some point this season. Maybe at Ft. Benning, if they actually make it there.

    I must say though...I am extremely happy for Walking Dead to be back on air. Not because I get to see shots of my hometown (Atlanta) like last season, but because it's truly a well written show. At the end of episode 1 season 2, I HAD to say "Oh Snap!!" aloud. Sooo excited for the rest of this season, one of the best things on tv right now.

  • etomi | October 19, 2011 1:06 AMReply

    But what happened to the Lennie James character and his son? They were in several episodes and then -- gone... BTW, Lennie James can be seen in this season's episodes of "HUNG".

  • cc | October 18, 2011 12:18 PMReply

    Okay, when zombies are taking over the world and you are constantly having to RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, you should probably go ahead and quit smoking. It's the ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, you need to be in peak physical condition. Get it together!!! Also, he tends to panic and screw up in stressful situations, which is also not good for a zombie apocalypse.

    Soooooo basically, he's probably going to die.

  • BluTopaz | October 18, 2011 12:14 PMReply

    In season one I thought about T-Dog's role as the one Black guy and how he often seemed like muscle filler. Rick, Shane and Glenn did all the strategizing while T-Dog often just did as he was told. Here he does seem to be going off the deep end though, and the dialogue is so realistic.

    This is the one show that makes me want cable, and I like how race is acknowledged without being didactic-when you're being chased by the undead who has time to be preachy-lol. When the one Black woman last season (did she even have a name?) asked 'how did we get Hattie McDaniel status' when the women were left to wash clothes, and when Glenn first met Rick he greeted him with 'nice going clint eastwood, did you come to clean up the town'--a very funny moment

    Also Ernest Dickerson directed one of the first season episodes and a few more for season 2-i was very happy to see that

  • Jug | October 18, 2011 10:25 AMReply

    AV, touche, good point LOL

    But if they're worth their salt, they'll pull a page from the OZ playbook & nobody is safe. Errybody gone die & not let it become a soap opera like LOST.

  • AccidentalVisitor | October 18, 2011 10:17 AMReply

    {{{ Maybe he shoulda done his research and read the comics, cuz then he would know he DOES die. C’mon son, get together LOL }}}


    Well, Shane should have been dead long ago. But he's still kicking and there is no guarantee that Shane will be written off the series at all.

  • AccidentalVisitor | October 18, 2011 10:15 AMReply

    {{{ They will probably kill off his character during this season to make way for Michonne. There’s other characters of color in the series so it’s not a complete shocker. }}}

    Forget Michonne replacing him. Tyreese needs to replace him.

    T-Dog needs to go because TPTB don't give him anything to do. Once again he panics in a tense situation and isn't able to retain full body control. So he has to be saved by a redneck character. This show is not as progressive as the comic book.

  • Adrian Horrocks | October 18, 2011 8:27 AMReply

    I have mused at great length about the role of black characters in post-Romero zombie product, given that Romero usually foregrounds African American characters, and Hollywood clearly....doesn;t.

    Feel free to have a read


    http://lightonlightthrough.blogspot.com/2011/04/walking-dead-season-one-epsiode-2.html

  • Jug | October 18, 2011 7:17 AMReply

    Maybe he shoulda done his research and read the comics, cuz then he would know he DOES die. C'mon son, get together LOL

  • Karina Garcia | October 18, 2011 7:17 AMReply

    the walking dead.

  • Steven | October 18, 2011 6:39 AMReply

    They will probably kill off his character during this season to make way for Michonne. There's other characters of color in the series so it's not a complete shocker.

  • reg | October 18, 2011 6:29 AMReply

    i know: crazy, desperate situation and all, but still, the old guy's got it right: brutha's gone off the deep end here. frankly, i'd be more interested if he started worrying about his lack of likely mates among this group.

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