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Kierstyn

Endless Supplies of Gas and Other Nitpicks: It Doesn't Make Sense

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So... I don't want to sound like a horrible person, but I seriously think that someone on the Walking Dead needs to be shown with food poisoning, or maybe even die from it.

Hear me out, please.  We're like 18 - 24 months after the zombie apocalypse, right?  I would imagine that, massive pudding cans aside - the scavenging is probably getting a bit tougher, and all the processed food that is out there is rapidly approaching its expiration date.

This is a show that prides itself on its realism.  I mean, we've seen near-death by manmade booby-traps, a weather-weakened collapsing roof, and epidemic.  The show isn't squeamish.  Don't we think by this point someone has scarfed down a bad can of baked beans?  And being incapacitated in the zombie apocalypse is a prescription for an unpleasant death.

Maybe I've been too influenced by those chapters of Stephen King's "the Stand" where we read about all the people dying by random mischance.  But, I still think that I am not a crackpot.

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Thanks, guys. It really does seem like it would make for some compelling tv.  Imagine a situation where someone in one of the sub-groups (say someone like Bob, who people know and was being developed, but with whom there isn't a super-major bond yet) eats something that someone else scrounged, and gets really sick. Someone wants to leave him, someone else doesn't.  Maybe they are in a situation where they need to hide and be quiet, and he can't.  Maybe the person who gave him the food feels guilty... there are all kind of notes that could be played.

It would be better than last night, anyway - I'm still feeling sore about that dumb "I never" scene.

Edited by Kierstyn

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I agree with you completely except for how it would give the show an excuse to show several vomiting scenes. I can handle zombie carnage. I can't handle vomiting scenes. On a related note (speaking of disgusting), they could also stand to acknowledge the obvious sewage and waste problem this new apocalyptic world must have.

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The canned goods don't bother me as much as the cigarettes and ammunition. They also have a limited shelf life. Especially shotgun shells. Remember the great bit in The Road Warrior when Mad Max pulls the trigger on his shotgun and it just fizzles? That is the likely result of using two year old shotgun shells. Moisture will seep in. 

Back when I was a smoker, I found an open pack of cigarettes on top of the boiler in the basement. It had to have been there for a year at least. I tried to smoke one and it was absolutely vile. 

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I'd think someone would get sick from some of the wild meat they are eating. Processed food I think could last longer than 2 - 3 years due to all the preservatives, but for city folks not used to wild game or things like squirrel meat, should somebody get sick?

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I agree with you completely except for how it would give the show an excuse to show several vomiting scenes. I can handle zombie carnage. I can't handle vomiting scenes. On a related note (speaking of disgusting), they could also stand to acknowledge the obvious sewage and waste problem this new apocalyptic world must have.

LOL, every time I see a freshly mowed lawn I roll my eyes, but it has never ever occurred to me to wonder where everyone's pooping.  And now that strikes me as hilarious.  Thank you?

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When they go out scavenging for supplies, I always thing if it was me, I'd bring home some toilet paper.    

When they went through the Terminus gates, my first thought was..."oh it is so clean....I wonder if they could take a hot bath?"

Two years in the same basic clothes and with hit or miss food and comfort.   I'd have thrown myself to the walkers by now.   

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I always wanted them to pick up some bleach or something on their supply runs. I was so happy to see Michonne and Beth pick up some clean clothes I didn't know what to do.

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Oh, let's just say it...they should have pimples on their face, boils on their ass, and bug bites everywhere else. They should look like pink-spotted leopards by now.

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I don't know...Tyreese looks mighty hefty to me! I don't think Eugene has missed any meals either. Nobody on Hurley's level (what were they thinking with that) but I did notice enough to appreciate Scott Wilson losing weight so that Herschel looked so different at the beginning of season 3.

Too bad nobody else made the effort of a little method acting prep. Maggie looks as hearty as she did on the farm. (Although I do remember someone saying that if Lori stuck her tongue out she'd look like a zipper.)

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Oh, let's just say it...they should have pimples on their face

The teens in particular would be an ol' greasy mess. At least Andrea is gone now; Andrea was never less than 100% luminous. I always imagined her raiding high-end cosmetic counters and beauty colleges.

The hair probably bothers me more than anything else. I can forgive them living in a world where it doesn't seem to grow, but I can't make myself overlook the obviously curled or straightened hair, the clearly professional haircuts, and the dreadlocks, which I'm told would be impossible to maintain. My former hairdresser (who ruined my life by moving away) was a huge TWD fan who loved to rant about the hair.

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Andrea was never less than 100% luminous. I always imagined her raiding high-end cosmetic counters and beauty colleges.

 

Am envisioning Andrea at the Clinique counter, stuffing her pockets. 

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Am envisioning Andrea at the Clinique counter, stuffing her pockets. 

I sure as hell would.  Free Clinique for the rest of my probably very short life.  No reason you couldn't fight zombies with some lip gloss in your pocket.  Rosita's hoop earrings are pretty stupid, though.

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the dreadlocks, which I'm told would be impossible to maintain.

 

Loc wearer here. The dreadlocks are the only realistic look. You don't have to maintain them. There is such a thing as free formed locks. Locks aren't like braids, they won't unravel. If you look at her flashback episode Michonne's locks were maintained. They were shiny and she wore hair jewelry. That said, all you need to maintain locks is water. Sure people use gels, shea butters and various oils, but honestly all you truly need is water.

Now Andrea with her perfectly golden hair. *That* was unrealistic.

Edited by Milaxx
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I agree with you completely except for how it would give the show an excuse to show several vomiting scenes. I can handle zombie carnage. I can't handle vomiting scenes. On a related note (speaking of disgusting), they could also stand to acknowledge the obvious sewage and waste problem this new apocalyptic world must have.

I'd also like to skip the food poisoning storyline due to all the vomiting and other things that would need to be shown.  They haven't completely not mentioned the waste problem.  Remember when they discovered the inmates and then found their toilet?  However it should play a slightly bigger role if nothing else than being happy to find some toilet paper when scavenging.

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I sure as hell would.  Free Clinique for the rest of my probably very short life.  No reason you couldn't fight zombies with some lip gloss in your pocket.  Rosita's hoop earrings are pretty stupid, though.

I would hit the MAC counter myself, but yes, I would likely be one of those people grabbing as much of that stuff as I could - particularly the lip conditioner/gloss and skin care products (moisturizer and sun screen in particular - hey, if you can get it for free you might as well stock up on the best if you can) as those could be kind of legitimate/useful... and maybe a pair or two of fake lashes just because I probably couldn't help myself. ;-)

I completely agree that Rosita's mega hoop earrings are ridiculous - I can't believe she still has earlobes left as those things could catch on anything and be ripped right out. She also has longish hair and it looks to be in pretty good shape. I have very long hair (hence my user ID) that is pretty thick and all real. It's not particularly hard to maintain, but I spend a small fortune on good shampoo/conditioner and a couple of products. In the ZA I have a feeling my hair would end up being a matted mess after a few weeks. I would probably chop it off at the first opportunity since its just not practical.

Edited by Rapunzel
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Back when I was a smoker, I found an open pack of cigarettes on top of the boiler in the basement. It had to have been there for a year at least. I tried to smoke one and it was absolutely vile.

 

Fucking lightweight.  I would have hacked out a lung and still finished the pack.  :-)

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Food poisoning shouldn't be an issue, most canned food is often good long after the "best by" dates. Those dates are actually more for inventory and tracking.  (Food storage and preparedness is a hobby of mine). Also, eating things like squirrel won't upset your stomach. It's meat, and meat that, since municipalities aren't doing lawn care anymore, missing pesticides, antibiotics and hormones. If you can cook raw chicken for a meal you can cook squirrel. My former MIL, a nice southern woman, actually made us squirrel gravy over biscuits one time and it tastes fine.

What I think would be a bigger problem is athletes foot and funguses like that. They don't have baths or showers and it wouldn't take long for those to kick up, especially in that Georgia heat. Those can cause some serious problems, ask any soldier.

Edited by caseylane
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I don't really expect realism from a show about Zombies. I don't have any desire to watch people die a vomit & poo related death. Contaminated water and lack of hygiene would probably be a larger threat than eating processed food or wild game. Canned food has a long shelf life, unless the seal is damaged. Many boxed foods are good for years and expiration has more to do with how long it will taste ok, versus safety. People usually get food poisoning from cooked foods that weren't cooked or stored properly. Most contamination in commercial meats is from the processing, so wild game would likely be more of a parasite risk than salmonella etc.

If you've ever seen how nasty the people on Survivor look after a few days, it should be pretty obvious they aren't going for realism here. They probably should have all died from infections, flu or dysentery by now if they were.

P.S. I love that episode of Family Guy, primarily because I did have food poisoning once and their reactions are pretty much exactly how I felt after hours of vomiting & other unpleasantness.

Edited by Joystickenvy
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it should be pretty obvious they aren't going for realism here. They probably should have all died from infections, flu or dysentery by now if they were.

I dunno.  This country was founded by people who starved for decades before they figured out how to feed and shelter themselves properly.  They made it, though.  And without randomly hidden giant cans of pudding.  :)  I kind of think the show is going for realism, despite the zombie apocalypse.  It otherwise intends, I think, to adhere to the rules of our world.  And since it's decided to be all dour about it [instead of fun and irreverent like my preferred takes Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead], I take that as license to bust their balls on details a little bit.  If they'd lighten up, I'd go easier on them, tit for tat.

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A lot of those people did die from dysentery, infectious disease, etc and they weren't also contending with Zombies. If they were in a situation where it was near impossible to reproduce and keep their kids alive, they'd have died out. For me, the people on TWD are far too clean, survive running around with open wounds that should be getting infected, get shot by guns and are fine as long as it "goes straight through" , manage to maintain the exact same hairstyle while on the run from zombies etc to make any claims on realism and I'm fine with that, because you know....zombies.

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But you wouldn't be fine if there suddenly ceased to be gravity, would you?  I still sort of feel like even on fantasy and sci fi shows where there are a few giant departures from reality, the rest of the rules are understood to be more or less the same.  I can accept the existence of zombies for this show, but, like, if Herschel could cure cancer by the laying of hands, or if someone had the power of telepathy, or if water started flowing up instead of down, I'd feel like they'd broken a kind of understood contract that fantasy shows have with their viewers:  "X is different in this world, but otherwise the same rules apply."

But, obviously, mileage varies and different viewers come in with different tolerances for how much leeway they are prepared to give.  For me, I make no bones about the fact that I think this show is super-overrated but fun to talk about.  So that's where I'm coming from.  I'm not nailing my 95 grievances to the door or anything, or expect the show to ever address any of this stuff.  But a good portion of the pleasure I derive from TWD is in pointing out all its flaws.  :)  

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Sci-fi needs the rules to be believable or it's not sci-fi, which is why the vast majority of tv shows labeled sci-fi are really just fantasy with sci-fi themes IMO. For fantasy, as long as it's consistent within the universe, I don't think it needs to be believable.

Where it becomes problematic for me is when the rules change to fit the plot or it's impossible to tell what the rules actually are....but on certain types of shows, if it remains entertaining I don't much care.

TWD is almost a live action cartoon to me and thus as long as I'm entertained, I don't much care if the universe makes sense. Zombies that feel compelled to eat humans, but apparently don't actually need to eat for example makes little sense, but I just go with it. If the focus was more on the survival aspects and less on the characters and zombie chow, I'd need a higher level of realism. It's the difference between playing a sim and an arcade game with the same subject matter.

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Some canned foods and processed foods are good up to 10 years, which is when you'd really have to worry about botulism. I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm just saying maybe they're reading the labels?\

And they're not forgetting to floss after eating fruit so the fruit leather doesn't stay in their teeth. Right, Rick? ;)

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My bigger problem is their clothes, especially pants/ jeans.  I've lived in the south, and any long pants that you sweat in every day, all year long, are going to wear out in the crotch/ legs/ knees in less than 18 months.  Especially with the amount of walking these people do.  And don't even get me started on the zippers and buttons.  Or their shoes!

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Some canned foods and processed foods are good up to 10 years, which is when you'd really have to worry about botulism. I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm just saying maybe they're reading the labels?

You are so right, fall out shelters were equipped with very long lasting food items. The only way to survive a nuclear war.

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This discussion keeps reminding me of this piece NPR did last year:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/12/26/167819082/dont-fear-that-expired-food

About how we've kind of lost our ability to determine when food is edible because we think the expiration dates mean it's "gone bad," when that is generally not the case.  It's a really interesting story, and they talk about how as long as the can is intact some outliers can last decades.

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This discussion keeps reminding me of this piece NPR did last year:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/12/26/167819082/dont-fear-that-expired-food

About how we've kind of lost our ability to determine when food is edible because we think the expiration dates mean it's "gone bad," when that is generally not the case. It's a really interesting story, and they talk about how as long as the can is intact some outliers can last decades.

Yeah that article is very correct. The truth is with all the dried pastas and smoked meats in this country there is no way these people should be starving at the 5 year mark that alone the 2 year mark. Plus Georgia is in a hurricane prone area. There should be enough can goods in that state for a couple of decades.

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I could not start eating people until the very last Vienna Sausage on earth was gone.  And I think that would take a long time.

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I don't like the taste of gamey flesh, which I'm assuming includes humans.  I also have a hard time killing animals, so pescatarian with a shitload of vegetarian and edible urban flora cookbooks and egg laying chickens would be my first instinct.

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I don't think humans would be gamey.  Doesn't that flavor come from eating acorns and stuff?  Even in the zombie apocalypse a lot of what people are eating seems to be canned and boxed food they've scavenged, so still very processed with the occasional wild game thrown in.

And I have officially spent way too much time pondering whether humans would taste "gamey."  Though I have no doubt they're all smelling pretty gamey.

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And I have officially spent way too much time pondering whether humans would taste "gamey."

 

And so my corruption of your soul begins, blt ...  mwaaahaha!

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And so my corruption of your soul begins, blt ... mwaaahaha!

My first thought when I saw "blt" was, "Beth, lettuce & tomato sandwich." I imagine it would taste vaguely annoying.

What animals are fed does change the flavor of the meat, so given that the human diet is pretty varied compared to most animals, I wonder if there would be significant differences from one person to the next. Though, should the ZA ever come, I hope I have a stockpile of giant pudding cans......

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If there were any food poisoning associated with this show it would be from Andrew Lincoln nibbling on the raw chicken prosthetic he bit into for the bite the guy's throat out scene. Salmonella anyone?  I'm sure it was perfectly safe but I think raw chicken is what he said on Talking Dead. It grossed me out.

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If there were any food poisoning associated with this show it would be from Andrew Lincoln nibbling on the raw chicken prosthetic he bit into for the bite the guy's throat out scene. Salmonella anyone?  I'm sure it was perfectly safe but I think raw chicken is what he said on Talking Dead. It grossed me out.

That is what he said, and I don't see how that could possibly be safe. Yuck!

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I could not eat Vienna Sausage until the very last person on earth was gone. And that person better not contain MSG.

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