A Cinecle View – The Walking Dad

Tony Marion

Tony Marion

SPOILER ALERT. If you have yet to see the midseason finale of THE WALKING DEAD and wish to remain unsullied, go watch it first and come back here when you’re caught up.

This is your final warning. Here be spoilers …

So, yeah, that happened. The cycloptic kid with the floppy hair and Hazzard County deputy hat revealed that he’s been bitten by one of the undead, and, unlike Hershel before him, there’s no hope of saving him through an amputation because EVERYONE NEEDS A TORSO.

Fandom is largely divided on this development, with some fans of the show and the comics irritated by what is a MAJOR SWERVE from the plot of the book as Carl has large storylines that will now never be realized (at least by him) in the television adaptation. While others, like me, think that variation will provide last remaining original character, Rick Grimes, with the motivation needed to evolve past the warrior/general he’s become.

(The Walking Dead showrunner) Scott (Gimple) was trying to figure out why there was a hole between Rick slitting Negan’s throat at the end of the ‘All-Out War’ arc and then there’s the time jump and Negan is alive and in prison (in the comic) and Rick didn’t kill Negan. Scott was trying to figure out how to bridge the gap between Rick not wanting to kill Negan and Rick also really wanting to kill Negan, which he does right now [in the show’s story]. Scott’s way to get around that was to make Carl this really humanitarian figure and person who could see the good in people and see that people can change and not everyone out there is bad. That’s what Carl’s talk to Rick was in this episode: There’s no way that they can kill every one of the Saviors and not everyone is a bad person and there has to be some (other) way forward than just killing people.

– Chandler Riggs to The Hollywood Reporter

Surpisingly, the person who should be the most bummed, teenaged actor Chandler Riggs, who has spent nearly half of his life in the role, is actually the most centered …

It was devastating for me and my family because the show has been such a huge part of my life for so long. For a few days, we didn’t know what to do; I just bought a house in Senoia [near where the show films in Georgia]. That was a big deal that I wouldn’t be on anymore. I decided that I wanted to not go to college for at least a year and move to L.A. and focus on acting and music. It ended up being a great thing because now I get to do all kinds of other stuff that I haven’t been able to do in the last eight years.

It’s awesome that a 17 year old kid, who grew up on this show, with this cast and crew, and is now having his life (college and home ownership) turned upside down by a creative choice for the longevity of the program,could be so mature and centered in the face of such life changing

If only his 54 year old father, William Riggs, could have been so chill.


WHOA, TRIGGER! Easy, fella!

Sure, parents can be overprotective sometimes …

… but the Riggs social media tantrum transforms from Richard Williams-esque obsession to drive his daughter to G.O.A.T. status, to LaVar Ball-style child-parasitism when you see this …


By using his son’s fame and hard work to charge fans of a television show with which he’s only tangentially involved $29.99 a pop to show them where hundreds of other people actually work on said show, he’s reinvented himself as some sort of gross Kris Jenner/Kenny Kramer hybrid and added his name to the list of the worst Hollywood parents ever.

Sure, the tour Facebook page is filled with great reviews of the service, but whether these people had a good time or not is irrelevant when viewed in the context that William Riggs’ business model is based entirely off of being able to exploit his son’s accomplishments, as I imagine the lack thereof being the real impetus for lashing out The Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple and AMC.

Cause let’s face it; Chandler Riggs is going to be fine. He’s had other acting credits before and since dad’s gravy train pulled into the station … I mean, before he joined the cast of The Walking Dead, plus his music … the kid’s star is on the rise.

As for dad? Well, he’ll just have to wait for Chandler’s next full time TV gig so he can resume his career by pulling a bus up alongside it and pointing out to hardcore fans where his son achieved things.

That is, unless he can find a way to Kit Culkin his younger son, Grayson, onto a hit genre show first.


Tony Marion is a writer and filmmaker who splits time between Lancaster, PA and Baltimore, MD. He lives for the work of Descendents (the band), Chuck Palahniuk and Rian Johnson. Check out the digital embodiment of procrastination he calls his website here.

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