If I can learn about character development, then I am there. Even if there are zombies. (Okay, especially if there are zombies.) I am a huge fan of the TV show, "The Walking Dead." Partly because I love a good zombie show/movie/book, but mostly because I'm intrigued by how these complex characters survive in a world where right and wrong is no longer black and white.
Take the character of Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus.) Daryl is a cranky, racist redneck who struggles between being a loner and being a part of the group. In one scene, he's wearing a necklace of zombie ears. In another, he's risking his life to save an African-American member of their group. In a recent online article, Reedus says, "Daryl is this guy who needs a hug, but if you try to hug him, he'll try to stab you. He doesn't want to talk about his feelings, but you can tell there's a lot of feelings bottled up."
Former small town sheriff, Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln,) is the "everyman" who struggles with doing the "right" thing in this new world where doing the right thing could get himself, and everyone he cares about, killed. How do you justify that? How do you choose? His best friend and former partner, Shane Walsh (played by Jon Bernthal,) believes there is no longer a choice: you do what you need to do to survive and you take care of your own. That's it. And yet, you can see the struggle, see a little bit of who Shane used to be die each time he goes down that road.
Look at the "walkers" (zombies) themselves. They were once people - neighbors, friends, family. Early in the first season, a man points a gun at what used to be his wife. He knows he should pull the trigger, put her - and himself - out of their misery. But he can't. He still sees his wife in the zombie lurching in front of him.
Excellent characters can be found anywhere and everywhere. In this case, it's a testament to the writers and the actors: they've created living, breathing people in a made-up world full of the undead.
Are you a fan of the show? Who's your favorite character and why? Who are some of your favorite characters from books/TV/movies? What makes them so vivid, so real to you?