The Walking Dead returns to our screens tonight. Sarah Millican is excited, especially since the female characters have stopped bickering about laundry and started kicking some zombie ass.
The Walking Dead is a show my husband and I enjoy equally. He loves the running and innards, I love the power swings between members of a new community forced together by apocalypse. I scream at the blood and biting; he screams at the complex human emotion. We love the show so much, we try to always watch it together and have this on the door when we do.
In the beginning, I was always narked at how pathetic the female characters seemed compared to their male counterparts. Strong women are everywhere (I’ve been one in Asda). Why would a zombie apocalypse have no examples?
Turns out they were taking a running jump because, during the last four series, we’ve seen some awesome women grow into warriors and heroes.
Here are my Top 5 (includes SPOILERS from the first four series)
5. Lori. Wet from the beginning and my least favourite non-zombie female. She was also very quick to move from her husband Rick, to his partner Shane when she thought he was dead. I’m quite judge-y, sorry. Now, I’ve never been in a zombie apocalypse, but I’m not convinced it would make me super horny. Especially when I can’t have a quick douche and spray around. She took Rick back full of “someone’s” baby and continued to float about looking worried while others were risking their lives to save hers. She died in series three giving birth to Judith AKA Li’l Asskicker. Annoyingly, Lori still pops up as a wishy-washy, namby-pamby ghost when Rick’s having a wobble.
4. Andrea. She started weak, but one day Andrea just asked if she could learn guns as she was sick of washing pots. This would be me. I hate washing up. Andrea became a good marksman and a valuable member of the killing team. She also had sex in a truck (not easy) and killed her sister, who’d been bitten by a walker. Proper balls. Then killed herself when bitten in series three.
3. Maggie. She’s has been through it. A farm girl who lived a sheltered life, Maggie is protective of her family and resourceful. I suppose if you’re used to getting your breakfast straight out of a chicken’s arsehole and killing your pets for tea, then zombie stuff is just further down the same line. Just the thought of no microwaves makes me feel sick. Maggie has to perform an impromptu caesarean in series three. My dad once asked me to shave the hard skin off his feet and I passed the job on to my rock-hard sister.
2. Michonne. She walked in as a warrior, complete with two pet zombies on leads. Awesome. She is also pretty handy with a massive sword. If you have to go to the pharmacy to pick up thrush cream, for example, Michonne is who you want watching your back. We are learning more about her character and what she’s been through, but from day one, she has been fearless and solid. I would make her my best friend if I was there. And yay for pets. They always make you happy, don’t they? Even if they’re a jawless undead on a string.
1. Carol. The female character, and perhaps the character, who has made the biggest transition. A mother and wife, Carol was saved by the apocalypse. In what remains one of the most powerful scenes in the show, her abusive husband’s behaviour comes to light very quickly when are were no walls or doors to hide behind. The community pulls together behind Carol and she is no longer alone dealing with a monster. She is the only female character to have appeared in all series and has faced some of the toughest challenges (daughter died; controversially killed ill members of the group who put the rest at risk; and one I can’t even describe in words). I have a small crush on Carol. So does Daryl, who we all love. She’s who I’d like to be, but I know I’d actually be Andrea with a hint of Michonne (it’s the pets). BUT NO LORI.
So thankfully, The Walking Dead, while still boasting a lot of intestines, nommy zombies and moral dilemmas, now has some pretty kick-ass women leading the way to survival. I feel safer knowing that.
Sarah Millican is a comedian, writer, reformed workaholic, feminist, cat and dog mam, wife and lover of food.