Is The Walking Dead the best cast of characters since the original Star Trek?

Is The Walking Dead the best cast of characters since the original Star Trek?

I was recently at an event with a bunch of strangers, and we were having a conversation.

Not surprisingly, I got involved in a pretty geeky one.

At one point, I made that statement: “I think The Walking Dead is the best cast of characters since the original Star Trek.”

My conversational partner said, “That’s a bold statement.”

It is.

I’ve thought about it more, and haven’t changed my mind.

Let’s start out with defining it a bit.

By “cast of characters”, I don’t mean the actors…I mean the roles they play.

Just like with ST:ToS, I feel like I know each of the characters. They are distinct, and true to themselves. If somebody acted out of character, we’d know it.

That doesn’t mean that they are wholly predictable, or that they’ve stayed the same the entire series. I didn’t even really get into the series in the beginning, because I thought Rick was cartoonishly good. Without spoilers, let’s just say there has been real character development with several of the main characters…but they’ve always still been themselves.

This really came home to me in a scene where almost no one was saying anything. Most of them were just listening…but they were still completely individuals…and interesting individuals.

Well, in challenging myself on this, I quickly came up with other shows where that was true…Seinfeld, Friends, Cheers, but they were all sitcoms.

Sitcom characters are different and almost by definition have an  exaggeration to them. That’s going to tend to make them more distinct.

If we eliminate sitcoms, I’m going to challenge you to come up with other shows with casts of characters as good as The Walking Dead or Star Trek: The Original Series. I can think of a few contenders, but I’m interested to hear what you think.

Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the  The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

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