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The Anderson Family...In Retrospect

Discussion in 'Alexandria Safe Zone' started by tuswig, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. JBody

    JBody Survivor of Many Disasters
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    Jessie was a convenient plot device, hence the all-over-the-map characterization by AB. And unfortunately, as @Appetence noted, she just didn't have the mad skillz to salvage that crap. The worst was all the dry crying. UGH. From what I've read, they would've saved themselves a world of hurt if they'd adapted the source material with more fidelity. This was a worse mess than the Grady arc, which up until that point was the all-time nadir for the show's direction. Of course, now they've sunk to a new low with the unnecessary and cheap finale cliffhanger (if it is revealed to be Darcille, ALL will be forgiven).

    Kind of thought the Sam and Carol relationship was a missed opportunity. But with how she terrorized him when he caught her in the pantry/armoury -- maybe not. Lots of Carol apologists defended that scene but it will always scare the bejeebus out of me in that MMB can realllllly sell psycho Carol when she needs to -- straight out of Grimm's fairy-tales -- the old creepy murderous versions, not the sanitized Disneyfied ones.

    The Ron thing was just so much post-zed apocalyptic Dawson's Creek but I did feel for him when the adults so callously dumped his Dad's body like a bunch of trash outside the city limits. Then we have stupid Rick (this was not the Rick I had known over the past 5 seasons) teaching him how to shoot. Yup. I guess the bottom line was this mess was a massive parenting fail for both kids.
     
  2. ReeciePiecey

    ReeciePiecey Nestled in Rick's Beard
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    I was writing a long ass post to say what you just said so eloquently lol. I think that AB was just poorly cast. They picked her because she was hot but she didn't have the acting chops to play a nuanced character. She played Jessie straight up like a love interest but failed to portray a mother, a domestic violence survivor, a woman raising kids in the ZA. AB was convincing as someone attracted to Rick but where was the married woman? The abused woman? The mother of two? her scenes with her kids rang false. She didn't seem like a mother. She frankly seemed frustrated that they were there (maybe AB was frustrated with that part of her story) She didn't seem afraid of her husband, she didn't seem anything she was just there and it fucked with the story.

    Andy is potraying all of the nuances of Rick. Which in a way made him seem worse because he is a real character with flaws interacting with this rote one. I wouldn't be surprised if there was more planned for The Andersons but after seeing AB's performance the producers cut it short. I think there is a reason that Ron got more screen time than she did in 6a
     
  3. Nicole

    Nicole Survivor of Many Disasters

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    When I was watching 601 I was like it feels like the writers changed her character because they probably got criticized with how they portrayed jessie in 5b. Suddenly she was like you can't be the one to help my kid and I'll learn from someone else which to me was the writers trying to backtrack with how morally wrong that situation was. The only time I liked her a bit was when she killed the she Wolf with her scissors because she was scared for Ron.

    When they kissed in 605 at first I was like WTH this is borderline random (I'm still like that) but then I was like they're rushing this probably for a reason. I didn't read comics and I wasn't a part of a forum but it just read so false as a moment that it had to be because they wanted to get past the two of the. When he made no mention to supercuts during the porch scene I knew I was right. Then when I found out about the chop during the break :rickgrin::chop::orly:
     
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  4. ReeciePiecey

    ReeciePiecey Nestled in Rick's Beard
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    Maybe, I dont know. I feel like they writers love to change up the characters from week to week its one of the signatures of this show. I think they lost so much of what they were trying to portray because AB could only acted out exactly what was on the page I think the writers get away with ambiguous stories on this show because the actors are so excellent. Perfect example was SWC as Lori. She was excellent at saying one thing while meaning something totally different and the audience could see that. No matter her actions you believed Lori and even if you hated her you felt like you understood what type of woman she was. I personally grew to appreciate Lori but I think the audiences strong reaction to her was because she was so believable.

    Most people just feel lukewarm about Jessie. Even the people who like her, seem to like what she looked like (hot blonde) or what she represented (damsel in need of rescue). I think we all were just confused by whatever was between her and Rick and then happy it was over.
     
  5. Lilly965

    Lilly965 Wig Shopping For Michonne
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    To sum up the Anderson's
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    #25 Lilly965, Apr 11, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
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  6. Jenna Alaki

    Jenna Alaki Saying "Yes"
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    Yes, I remember being confused at the time season 5B and 6A aired. The thing is, I never really thought deeply about TWD beyond the week to week watch; not enough to critiqued the show, actors or writers. So, your viewing experience is very much, "I don't understand how..", in relation to plot lines or character actions, and then you tend to just leave it at that. The way shows start to lose viewers from the GA are several runs of "I don't understand how..." and the person losing interest.
     
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  7. ReeciePiecey

    ReeciePiecey Nestled in Rick's Beard
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    That is an excellent point! I may need to take this over to the criticism thread but I think that is a Gimple show runner issue. If you just watch week to week for the story you miss half the story (symbolism, motivations etc) and what's left isn't always worth watching.

    I had to watch YouTube videos and listen to cast and inside TWD specials to understand this story arc and while I'm sure that adds to AMC's popularity, advertising dollars that's takes away from the merit of the show if it can't stand on its own.
     
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  8. Armte

    Armte Schadenfreude is my Aesthetic
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    In retrospect for me the Anderson family and their storyline still sucks. Especially after witnessing Richonne going canon. Jessie was placed in Rick's orbit for drama, chop and a Richonne cock block. Still bitter she took precious screen time from main characters and her only legacy to TWD is as the Richonne cock block and the arm that Rick had to chop off to save his son, nothing more. We can see her importance or lack of importance in the narrative. Has she been mentioned since 609....nope. Even Sam got a shout out by Carol with a strategically placed grave cookie. I still hate her and her storyline. Her kids got saddled with awful parents and they are not here because of the choices she made.
     
  9. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
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    In retrospect? Well, I don't foam at the mouth at the mention of Jessie or Jessick anymore, so there's been psychological healing. The best salve for mentally-scarring storytelling is "out of sight, out of mind."

    I understand what the writers were trying to accomplish with this arc, but it was poorly executed.

    Like, lemme break it down, here's all the things they tried to do:

    1. Pay homage to the comic. So, by golly, Jessie and her abusive husband were gonna be shoehorned in there.

    2. ... but not play it close enough to the comic that feminist critics would laser their sights onto Jessie. In the comic, Jessie was scared, meek, and dependent, which was completely understandable, but I can see why the writers would want to eschew a woman literally crawling into bed with a man right after her husband was killed (let alone the fact Rick protested Jessie kissing him).

    3. Give Rick a means by which to let go of Lori in the form of a "rebound", because Rick moving on from his dead wife is a pretty big dealio. Here's the definition of a rebound, which fits Jessie/Rick to a T:

    Someone who is "on the rebound," or recently out of a serious dating relationship, is popularly believed to be psychologically incapable of making reasonable decisions regarding suitable partners due to emotional neediness, lingering feelings towards the old partner, or unresolved problems from the previous relationship. Rebound relationships are believed to be short-lived due to one partner's emotional instability and desire to distract themselves from a painful break up, and those emerging from serious relationships are often advised to avoid serious dating until their tumultuous emotions have calmed.

    4. ... but they also wanted to keep Rick's dick clean. Gimple didn't want Rick having sex with Jessie (because Rick would be having sex with Michonne later that season, and Gimple is a prude), so they had to do something to show Rick at least had some connection/interest in Jessie. Hence his weird fascination.


    By trying to juggle all those points together, they created a mess. It didn't help that AB was portraying Jessie with a love interest angle in mind (the media pushed this with the "New Mrs. Grimes" nonsense). But having Rick show open lust/interest in Jessie prior to learning of the abuse made him look like a lech. Having Jessie appear more stoic and resolved than her comic counterpart actually made her leap to Rick look more callous -- especially in the wake of hearing her eldest son protest her interaction with Rick.

    The arc could've been improved massively in various ways. They could've either...
    1. Said "Fuck the critics, we're playing this straight." You know, did the whole "Jessie is a scared, meek woman in need of a big strong man." Had her be the aggressor in their weird psuedo-relationship. Had Jessie crawl into Rick's bed and force herself onto him. It would've gotten the point across and been a panel-to-panel translation.

    So what if it would've looked anti-feminist? Some women are like that. Plus -- it would've been more realistic than what we got instead (Jessie the weird hybrid super mom who actually doesn't give a shit about her kids when it comes down to it.)

    2. Had Jessie be a single mom with a stalker. Her leap from Pete to Rick wouldn't have been weird at all, it would've eliminated the concern of Ron, and overall made Rick's pursuit of Jessie more understandable.

    Both of those options would've kept Rick from looking like a sleaze, would've made Jessie more sympathetic, and also been more accurate to the spirit of the comic.


    Ultimately, Jessie was just a learning experience for Rick that got overblown in importance due to the casting of an actress who's known for playing a sex kitten. Also, Gimple did his typical thing of bigging her up and toying with the audience ("Oh, is she Rick's new lover?") so that the chop would be all the more "O.M.G. whaaat" to the general audience.


    Some say they did a disservice to Rick's future relationship with Michonne by not portraying the immediate fallout of NWO, and to a certain extent, I agree; but I think by this point the writers knew they had fucked up the Jessick thing so much anyway they wanted to just steamroll past it.

    I think Gimple also loved the "surprise" element of Rick and Michonne getting together -- much like how Andrea and Rick just started macking on the couch -- so having some "build up" (that made Richonne more obvious than it already was) would've sapped the potency out of that zinger.
     
  10. Denie39

    Denie39 Awaiting Job from Deanna

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    Yes, this!! I think this may have been the driving force in why they portrayed her on the show they way they did. From what I know, most of the female characters in TWD comic are poorly written. The show has actually been an improvement for just about every female character. But I think in Jessie's case, playing it straight like it was in the comics made more sense and would have avoided having Rick seem like a creepy stalker weirdo and Jessie like a bad mom who didn't care much about her kids.
     
  11. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
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    Completely agreed. They were trying to be less offensive in the portrayal of a DA survivor by making Jessie "strong", but it ended up damaging Rick's character since they had to then mold him into the pursuer (going so far as to hint he had murderous intent towards Pete prior to learning he was beating Jessie).
     
  12. JBody

    JBody Survivor of Many Disasters
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    And that's another thing: audience shouldn't have to rely on all this peripheral crap --Talking Dead included-- to umderstand what's going on in the show. That is a bad thing IMO, not innovative storytelling or however they're trying to sell it.
     
  13. Armte

    Armte Schadenfreude is my Aesthetic
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    They also made the character of Jessie still come off as offensive with the rewrite. She technically went after a man right after her husband died. I know at one point she told Rick to stay away but then she was back in his orbit asking him to "tell her there is more and calling Rick her friend". Also she came off as the worse mother ever. She was tone deaf when it came to her kids (with a total lack of regard for their health and well being) and still making owl sculptures while one kid is up in his room playing with ants and the other is plotting murder. I had a visceral reaction when she turned on Ron and asked him nastily to lift up his arm that is father had messed up. I was like ho where were you when his father was doing this to him, she didn't protect him but she threw that incident in Ron's face like its a weapon. That Ron scene will forever stick with me.

    Damn I just realized time has not healed me. Jessie has to go down as one of the worse characters TWD has ever introduced.
     
  14. ReeciePiecey

    ReeciePiecey Nestled in Rick's Beard
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    Maybe I'm just a weirdo but I would have loved to see Jesse take advantage of Rick. I also think that would have been some groundbreaking feminist shit because it would essentially explore the nature of consent. I think that would have been interesting television and it would have really helped him confront his feelings about Lori's death and what relationships and love and intimacy meant to him in a more compelling fashion.
     
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  15. JBody

    JBody Survivor of Many Disasters
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    Yes, that was truly horrifying and disgusting all at the same time. If they wanted me to truly loathe her and have not a shred of sympathy left for her, they won that reaction after that hideous scene with Ron. I am a Mum and that was truly mind-boggling; can't imagine being such a mean-spirited bitch to my own flesh and blood.
     
  16. JBody

    JBody Survivor of Many Disasters
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    Hmmm. Maybe AB did a better job of it than I gave her credit for. She did treat her children like an after-thought most of the time.

    And now I'm reminded of that silly, kinda desperate email she sent to Gimple about letting her character live (sans kids). I think that was how she was playing it, to eventually become that Mum who lost all her kids, went off crazy in the woods a la Morgan, and comes back a hardened zed killing machine. Nice try lady.
     
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  17. Tori

    Tori The New Mrs. Grimes

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    I hated how she was trying to force him to accept Rick by using that incident with his father. She was coming across as one of those woman who will put a man ahead of her child. She didn't seem to care how he felt at all. Between that incident, and when she asked if Rick would do this for anyone else I was done with that character. These are some of the reasons she wasn't well liked. The entire arc just made her look bad, and it made Rick look even worse.
     
    #37 Tori, Apr 12, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  18. Lyra_Nation

    Lyra_Nation Young, scrappy, and hungry
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    They should've made Jessie their aunt. Saddled with her sister or brother's kids after he/she died. Then her portrayal towards them would have been more believable.
     
  19. Lyra_Nation

    Lyra_Nation Young, scrappy, and hungry
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    I agree.
     
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  20. Jenna Alaki

    Jenna Alaki Saying "Yes"
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    The way you describe it, it does sound like it would have been more believable for Jessie to be vulnerable and loving to her children. It would have been seen as Rick being her knight in shining armour, and endearing him to Jessie, which is a realistic response from someone in her position.

    I actually did think Rick had murderous intent towards Pete before he learnt about the abuse because of something he did in 5B.

    He was clearly attracted to Jessie, hence the weird kiss on the cheek at the party. Then, in "Forget", on the day after the party, Rick is patrolling through Alexandria, crosses paths with Jessie and Pete, they're all jovial and smile at each other. As Jessie and Pete continue in the distance, Rick is looking on at them and then places his hand on the gun hidden at his back. The camera does a close up of this and his facial expression also knots up. I remember my reaction to that scene. I was thinking, "Woah, Rick, what are you doing? Are you telling me that you just met this woman, she's married, and now you want to kill her husband?" It was a small instance but I took it as a fleeting thought through his mind, a brief temptation if you will.

    Then in "Spend", Pete visits Rick at home saying 'Let's be friends'. When he leaves, Rick is by the door and becomes aware of his wedding band - another hint that he still has feelings towards a married woman. But then at the end of that episode, Carol acts as a major catalyst. She tells Rick about the abuse (and rightly so) and then drops the: "You're going to have to kill him" line. I remember my reaction: "Woah! Slow your roll. Why has it got to be so extreme?"

    Through that 5B plot, I saw Carol as being like the analogy of the voice of a devil on Rick's left shoulder that he shouldn't listen to, telling him to do bad things. And then Michonne, Glenna and Carl as the voice of the angel that he should listen to. Even Daryl who was one of the last of TF to adjust, found a reason to make it work. And I didn't like that she tried to insinuate that Michonne would not be loyal to Rick. I was wondering where they were trying to go with that hook.

    Anyway, there was a lot of build up to the point where Rick executes Pete but when he pulled that trigger, I felt like he had just released something that had reached a climax, like *pop*. He lacked hesitation because: 1) He already had the seeds of that thought in his mind and now the harvest had come 2) Pete was a violent man with a temper, beat his wife and children, and had now killed an innocent man. Rick is about Justice 3) Deanna, who had previously told him No, the leader of Alexandria, gave him the all clear to execute him. As an officer of the law, Grimes understands authority and her command was as good as passing it as a Law 4) Rick was still on high alert, unhinged mode.