Talk:The Walking Dead (TV series)

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Apocalyptic vs. post-apocalyptic[edit]

With this edit, PhiladelphiaInjustice changed "post-apocalyptic" to "apocalyptic", stating "the apocalypse is CURRENT, not post, as per Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction." I don't buy the change. Various sources describe The Walking Dead as post-apocalyptic. And the article that PhiladelphiaInjustice pointed to currently states, "Post-apocalyptic stories often take place in a non-technological future world, or a world where only scattered elements of society and technology remain." The characters being in an apocalypse doesn't mean that their world isn't post-apocalyptic. The apocalypse happened, and now they are dealing with the aftermath. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:56, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

I agree. Good catch. --GoneIn60 (talk) 01:57, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
I agree as well, it should be changed back. Drovethrughosts (talk) 12:42, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
So the apocalypse is no longer in progress?--PhiladelphiaInjustice (talk) 21:50, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
You misunderstand what "post-apocalyptic" can refer to, and are taking the "post" aspect of it too literally. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 00:15, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
It is you who misunderstands. "Post apocalyptic" using any definition obviously means a period following an apocalypse. TWD apocalypse is ongoing, as humans are still morphing into zombies. AMC's own website refers only to the "zombie apocalypse"; they mention nothing about "post" anywhere thereon. Example: (talk) 00:56, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
No, I don't misunderstand. And neither do WP:Reliable sources that refer to the show as being in a post-apocalyptic world. This edit by you where you added the aforementioned source noting that the characters are in a zombie apocalypse doesn't make you any more right. I already stated above, "The characters being in an apocalypse doesn't mean that their world isn't post-apocalyptic. The apocalypse happened, and now they are dealing with the aftermath." Two editors thus far have agreed. That's three editors disagreeing with you thus far. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:24, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
What reliable sources support your contention? AMC should trump all other sources because they actually make and broadcast the show. The other editors did not have all of the information when they posted their opinions. Even if they had had it, it would not make them right. There is no logic behind using "post" if the apocalypse is still occurring. Using any definition that I could find at the three leading dictionaries, "post" cannot apply to the current apocalypse. Merely because you disagree with facts does not make you right.--PhiladelphiaInjustice (talk) 01:45, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
I provided a Google link above to such sources, so your contention that "The other editors did not have all of the information when they posted their opinions." is a dubious assumption. The way you are distinguishing matters makes no sense to me, just as my rationale clearly makes no sense to you. But using the aforementioned source to argue that the characters' world is not post-apocalyptic because the source uses the words "zombie apocalypse" is not a valid argument. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:53, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Again, you are not in the right just because you claim to be. I have already stated my logical case, but you want to get your way by improperly rationalizing the definitions of post and apocalypse. Any source that uses "post apocalypse" is mistaken. Google "The Walking Dead apocalypse" for a huge number of reliable sources that so characterize it. And again, you cannot argue with a black-and-white interpretation of any dictionary's definitions.--PhiladelphiaInjustice (talk) 02:06, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
We go by what the WP:Reliable sources state at this site. I will list them here in this section with no problem if you or someone else wants. AMC's site has also referred to the world as post-apocalyptic. You are acting like the world is not apocalyptic because the characters are commonly stated to be in a zombie apocalypse by fans and the media; you are mistaken. Furthermore, the world has been called apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic by sources. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 02:15, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
I will also list book sources noting what post-apocalyptic means, if that will help. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 02:17, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── PhiladelphiaInjustice, here's the deal. The apocalypse is the collapse of society and technology, or civilization as we know it today. You seem to be arguing that this is still an ongoing process. However, the collapse itself has occurred. While some elements remain, the series has clearly entered a post-apocalyptic phase (starting with Season 2). Very little of what existed before is still intact. I find it ironic that an article you pointed to in an edit summary even states that post-apocalyptic applies to situations where "scattered elements of society and technology remain". The complete elimination of these elements is not required to enter this phase, as you seem to be suggesting.

Furthermore, you've harped on this before in a past discussion, but to refresh your memory, primary sources are less significant than secondary sources (see WP:PSTS). Descriptions and opinions from an author, producer, director, etc., are less relevant than what secondary sources say about the subject. This makes sense, because the way a particular work is received or classified can change over time and differ greatly from the intentions the creator had in mind. So how the TV series is described at AMC's website does not override more reliable, third-party analysis. This is a moot point anyway, because the absence of "post-apocalyptic" in that description at AMC does not mean that label is being refuted; it just means it isn't being used. Flyer22 also stated that AMC has used the term to describe the series elsewhere, so if true, that clearly removes AMC from the conversation. --GoneIn60 (talk) 12:22, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

This has morphed into a ridiculously overblown argument about an incredibly minor subject. Go for it; revert back to "post-apocalyptic", even though you are making vague statements without much evidence to back them up. It is curious that you have downplayed my point that a Google search reveals more verifiable sources that imply that the apocalypse is current by default of not using the adjectival modifier "post". Also, nowhere in any of the three leading dictionaries could I find a combination of definitions of the two words which would support describing TWD as "post apocalyptic". Then again, I am not going to research the term and other info for hours to prove my argument about such an insignificant matter. Further, the cause of the apocalypse -- the zombie pathogen -- is the key factor here, but there are still a large number of humans not affected by it, hence my reluctance to say "post". But again, this is an incredibly trivial matter to be arguing about, so feel free to revert away.--PhiladelphiaInjustice (talk) 13:55, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
OK, let's look at the Oxford Dictionary entry which states: "Denoting or relating to the time following a nuclear war or other catastrophic event". Another definition is given here from an author which states:

Post-apocalyptic fiction focuses on what happens after the apocalyptic event. It is concerned with how people survive in the new world when most people have been killed off, and all familiar infrastructure has been destroyed. It may be set immediately after, or many years after the apocalypse.

The key point is that the destruction of society is the apocalyptic event. Once it has been severely altered for its survivors, the event is over, and what follows is considered post-apocalyptic, even if the survivors are still experiencing harsh conditions.
As for your point about doing a Google search, you should realize that in general, the term "apocalypse" will generate more hits than the term "post-apocalyptic"; it's more prevalent in the English language. Because of this fact, comparing searches with these two terms will be misleading. Take the search "walking dead" apocalypse for example. It turns up 4 million hits. What is interesting, however, is that if you flip through to the last search page, Google stops you at page 37, citing the rest as duplicates or irrelevant. If you search for "walking dead" "post apocalyptic", you can actually get to page 38. Both searches of course include web hits that would not be considered reliable sources on Wikipedia. So if I repeat both searches on Google News, strangely I get similar results: "apocalypse" gets me to page 38, and "post apocalyptic" gets me to page 39. There is no clear-cut winner here. This article may help explain why search results can be so messed up and unpredictable on Google, so much so that we should be careful when using them to make a point. --GoneIn60 (talk) 15:33, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
You guys better be glad Randall didn't see this thread or you'd find yourselves in an XKCD comic like that other talk page :-)
I'd go for ZA and drop the "post", but the hell with it. Okay, there "is no clear winner." But that don't fed the bulldog. What should I call it if I edit the article? Is ZA okay, does it not matter, or what's the bottom line? Why do I care? Because I don't like getting my edits reverted and this place keeps count.
VerdanaBold 16:38, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
The consensus so far is to retain "post-apocalyptic", and the detailed explanation backing this term is above. If you believe there is a new argument as to why it should be changed or if you feel something was missed in the previous discussion, state your reasons here. We need more than "I prefer X over Y". --GoneIn60 (talk) 16:50, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
This section certainly convinced me of the validity of "post-apocalyptic" and I found it wonderfully illustrative of the spirited discussion process at Wikipedia.Reidgreg (talk) 13:58, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

"Walker" vs "Zombie"[edit]

Is there a consensus amongst editors whether the the term "walker" or "zombie" should be preferred in TWD (series) articles? I feel as though this must have been discussed already but the closest I found in the archive was this: The word "zombie". As I started editing on TWD, I shared the opinion stated in Barsoomian's leading sentence:

Since in the show the word "zombie" is never spoken, they should be referred to primarily as "walkers".

But I've come to see that while the in-universe term "walker" may be appealing to fans such as myself, that the articles should be written for a general audience and "zombie (fictional)" seems more generic and accessible. I applaud how the issue has been handled in this article by defining "walker" in prose

an apocalyptic world overrun by zombies, colloquially called "walkers" and "biters".

but I feel like this could get a bit tiresome to have to explain in every TWD (series) article. Thoughts? Reidgreg (talk) 13:54, 25 March 2016 (UTC)

I completely agree. The encyclopedia is for the general public. Next we'll be writing the article on Klingons in the Klingon language.
BTW, Nicotero said that the concept of "zombies" never existed in that world before the ZA. No movies, no Romero, no walking dead bodies in any context. VerdanaBold 16:25, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
While the season summaries are being rewritten, would some of those editors care to weigh-in on this to possibly be added to the rewrites? Reidgreg (talk) 13:41, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
It's a very good question. Generally, each article on Wikipedia should be written on the basis that it may be the only article a reader comes across, so if it's necessary to define the term "walker" in one, then typically it should be defined in all related articles. But yes, this would become very tedious and repetitive for the vast majority of readers that visit more than one TWD article. I'm leaning in the direction of only defining it in the series and season 1 articles, and then use the term walker loosely in the remaining TWD articles. Let's see what other editors think. --GoneIn60 (talk) 13:59, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
I would stick with "Walker", assuming we give a brief intro that walkers are like zombies. Given that nearly all RSes that talk about the show talk about them as "walkers", that's a good reason for us to use that. --MASEM (t) 14:22, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
Regarding Reliable Sources (RS), I ran a quick search on some TWD-series articles I had saved for reference (mostly The Atlantic, The Harvard Crimson, The Guardian and Hollywood Reporter). Of 66 articles, 33 contained both "walker" and "zombie", 18 had "zombie" only, 5 had "walker" only, and 11 used neither term. Removing the neithers from this sample, walker-only is a 9% minority. Reidgreg (talk) 01:58, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Quick summary:

  • Accessibility - favours zombie - articles should be written for the general public, especially the main series article
  • Reliable sources - mixed, but seem to favour zombie - no definitive statistics but if you look at the article, 7 of the cited references (from 5 different publications) have "zombie" in the title and none have "walker". (also findings above)
  • Use in series - "walker" is not a universal term in the show, as characters have referred to the zombies as biters, roamers, coldbloods, the dead, and various other terms since they lack the word "zombie" in their vocabularies.

Is there something else to support "walker"? Because it seems like policy and brief scans of reliable sources favour "zombie". So far as I can tell, "zombie" is an improvement in all respects. - Reidgreg (talk) 16:58, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

Just as a random thought, though this might be taken as original research, there's a seemingly throwaway line in the show that alludes to the survivors being the "walking dead", which might suggest to avoid using "walkers" in the text of plots in favor of zombies , and only making sure that in the popular media about the show, that we note "zombies" and "walkers" are often used interchangibly. --MASEM (t) 17:34, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Let's break down the usage in this article. In the lead, the term walker is defined in relation to the term zombie, and then once again in the body. The plot summaries use "walker" every time after the first occurrence. The rest of the article uses a mixture of both, but "zombie" appears more often.
In my opinion, "walker" should remain dominant in the plot summaries, because typically that's how it is in episode critic reviews and AMC's episode recaps. I'm in the camp that believes the plot summary is in a different realm in which plot elements and characters may be described in the same fashion as they are within the show (same goes for film). This would explain the discrepancy between an article that covers generalizations about concepts like the "zombie apocalypse", and another article that focuses on specific episodic details, in which "walker" is more likely to appear. I have no doubt that there are more articles that cover generalizations than there are those that cover specific episode reviews, at least among those that are cited in the main TV series article. Therefore, any statistical analysis should take this into account. Failing to do so will always produce an outcome that favors "zombie" over "walker" – more weight should be given to reviews and recaps.
I'm not entirely against the proposal of using "zombie" over "walker" in most instances, as the arguments presented are well-intended and make sense. However, I caution that it's unnecessary for plot summaries. Let's not lose sight of the fact that other sections within the article already favor "zombie". My 2¢ --GoneIn60 (talk) 19:13, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
I checked on that "we are the walking dead" line. It was from Them (The Walking Dead) where the group are demoralized and Rick essentially says they have to earn the right to live again, until which they are the walking dead.
The plot summaries use walker exclusively because they were all changed from zombie and they were all zombie before because I wrote it that way when I updated them. I can see these are good faith edits. BTW, since you brought it up, could you please tell me where to find the "past discussions [which] have generally agreed that [walker] is the accepted terminology most commonly found in sources"? Thanks.
I acknowledge that I had a small sample of reliable sources (what I had on hand), and it could be non-representative as the articles were not randomly selected but were those I thought interesting enough to keep for citations. About 80% were episode or season reviews, with the rest being interviews, and examination of Glenn's death, Negan's appearance, and who Negan might kill. (There were no "general zombie apocalypse" articles in the sample.) I acknowledge that the analysis from the sample is not statistically conclusive though I feel it is enough to give a general indication of use, and have tried to express it as such. Narrowing my sample to episode reviews, of 49 articles: 26 used both terms, 12 used zombie only, 4 used walker only, and 7 used neither. That leaves walker only occurring 3 times less frequently than zombie only in the sample (and using neither term is roughly twice as popular as using walker only). - Reidgreg (talk) 18:10, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
As for past discussions, I overstepped there a bit, as I believe the discussion I was recalling was this one when I made that comment. I thought there were others I came across, but now I realize that was a mistake on my part. Though my recollection was off, I went ahead and searched for additional discussions. This seems to be the only other:
  • Talk:What Lies Ahead/GA1 – The GA reviewer suggested that the term "walker" needed to be defined, but agreed with its use throughout the article. The discussion raised the same concerns you did but reached a different conclusion.
So no, a strong consensus from past discussions doesn't appear to exist. We should attempt to form one here.
Your efforts of combing through sources you had saved is appreciated, but since we don't have a list of the sources you looked at, it would be difficult to say with confidence whether or not they are a good representation. A better approach (probably) would be to search through sources already cited in each season article. This would allow us to base our decision off of sources that are already present on Wikipedia. Sure, there are other related articles (dealing with episodes, characters, etc.), but I think only looking at the season articles would give us a good enough sample. Also, we should keep in mind that "walker" is more likely to appear in articles written during and after the second season, as the term became more prevalent over time, so we should probably apply less weight to sources cited in the first season article as well as the main TV series article. If we had a breakdown by season, that would help. Sounds like a lot of work, but I'd be willing to pitch in.
Also when it comes to statistics, there is often more than one way to evaluate the results. In your most recent example, you are comparing the likelihood of one term to appear exclusively in a source. I'm not advocating that we exclusively use one term or the other; a mixture of both is fine. So revisiting your findings, 30 out of 49 articles used the term "walker", or 61%, whereas 38 used the term "zombie", or 77%. Looking at things from a different perspective shows that interchanging the two terms should be acceptable. Presently in the article, there are 13 instances of "walker" and 20 instances of "zombie" (not including the plot summaries, which I feel should be handled separately). Their usage is 40% and 60%, respectively. I believe this is a fair representation based on the data you've presented, but it remains to be seen if these numbers agree with a larger sample. Do we want to take the next step? I admit, I'm a bit curious to see what we'd find. --GoneIn60 (talk) 22:45, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
Ah, you're killing me. It seems as if every time I provide some data you put forward new criteria in order to reject findings contrary to your viewpoint. (I did note the four major sources.) I was focusing on walker only because I don't especially agree with that policy for the plot summaries, and I was trying to counter your arguments with actual data fitting your stated parameters rather than opinions or beliefs. BTW, I took a look at What Lies Ahead and it seems someone had edited-out the definition of walker, threatening the article's GA status (I have corrected this), and we should be clear that's always a danger. You earlier suggested that episode articles could be "looser" than this one with terminology, so does it not then follow that we should be especially clear here? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Reidgreg (talkcontribs) 16:14, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
"It seems as if every time I provide some data you put forward new criteria in order to reject findings contrary to your viewpoint."
Well, we are coming from two different perspectives, so it's quite natural for some bias to leak into any evaluation of the facts. For the record, I'm not doing this intentionally! Also, I wasn't rejecting your findings per se. Your point that "walker" is three times less likely to appear on its own is still a valid one.
"I was focusing on walker only because I don't especially agree with that policy for the plot summaries"
Plot summaries, in general, are a separate beast in my opinion. In some film summaries I've collaborated on with other editors, a fictional term that isn't prominently used in the real world is typically fine to use throughout the plot summary, the catch being that it is properly defined in real-world terms on first use. Of course, this is usually dependent on it being used in the source material. I haven't read the comics, so if this isn't the case, then we should definitely take that into consideration.
"You earlier suggested that episode articles could be "looser" than this one with terminology, so does it not then follow that we should be especially clear here?"
What I was suggesting was that the first season article and the main TV series article should define the term "walker", and that afterwards, we could be a bit "looser" with the term in remaining seasons. That discussion was about trying to avoid the need to redefine it in every single article. --GoneIn60 (talk) 11:16, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
One question: does the comic use either word, give that it is the definitive source material?
If that doesn't answer the question, I would think going with "zombie" is the right step (making a note in the appropriate articles they are called "walkers" in some sources), since "zombie" should be considered a well-understood word. --MASEM (t) 16:22, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
After checking a fan site and verifying in the issues, the comic does use zombie a few times in issues 13-14 when they find the prison (and explain things to the prisoners), but they have a difficult time using the term seriously. I'm not sure it's relevant what the primary source, the AMC website, or reliable sources say (I only bring them up to refute earlier claims that walker is more prevalent). My primary concerns are readability and having a Good Article. - Reidgreg (talk) 18:10, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
For plot summaries, I think its use in the source material is very relevant to this discussion. While its presence wouldn't necessarily "seal the deal", it's absence probably would in favor of "zombie". As for readability and getting to Good Article status, I share those concerns. We've already seen one good article review decide that using the term was acceptable. I'm not going to strongly champion its use. I've made my case, and if both of you are still leaning in favor of "zombie" (and no one else chimes in here), then I'll concede. --GoneIn60 (talk) 11:23, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
I feel there's something awfully funny about this discussion reaching the point of WP:DEADHORSE. Well, the walkers and/or zombies seem indifferent to what they're called so I guess we should be as well. Let us celebrate the richness of language in using both terms, and get ready for the new season(s) to start. Cheers! - Reidgreg (talk) 21:48, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
Not sure how we ever reached the point of "beating a dead horse", considering there are very few replies in this discussion and no one is trying to carry on their argument when others have moved on. If you've decided to move on, great, fantastic. I will do the same. I honestly didn't expect to see another reply in this thread. --GoneIn60 (talk) 17:14, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Viewer Numbers Graph[edit]

The graph being used on The Walking Dead page is getting a tad hard to read. The Game of Thrones page has a much better viewer number graph. Perhaps we could use it on The Walking Dead page going forward. -- (talk) 06:21, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

I can change that when I have the time, if no one objects that is. Hzh (talk) 18:56, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
No objections. Make it so. -- (talk) 23:51, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

Article needs serious trimming[edit]

This article is far too bloated with excessive details that should not be in there. Where there is a sub-topic that has its own separate article, the practice is to use a summary style per WP:SUMMARY. It is getting ridiculous that the synopsis of each season in the main article is as long, and some even longer than the synopsis of the articles for individual seasons. There is also no need for such extended lists of the cast and characters when there is a separate article for characters in the show. Please note that one of the criteria for Good Article per WP:GACR is that it should focus on the topic without going into unnecessary detail, and I don't think the article as it is it qualifies as a Good Article. The article has ballooned out of shape since it was awarded the Good Article status, and it may be necessary to reassess its status if this is not fixed. Hzh (talk) 21:49, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

I agree. The season synopsis' need to be trimmed to the most bare essentials as there are season and episode articles that have more expanded summaries. The cast table needs to be converted to a prose list where information about the character can actually be listed. I know certain people love their cast tables where they can fixate on minutiae regarding type of billing (main, recurring, guest, etc.) and what colors to be used, but the section should actually provide information on the characters. A cast table is more appropriate for the list of characters article. The list of recurring characters also needs to be trimmed to the most notable – the ones that appear in multiple seasons or have significant impact on storylines (not just a few episodes in a single season). I'm gonna try to get the ball rolling on these changes over the next few days when I have time. Drovethrughosts (talk) 22:31, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
I'll third that opinion. I noticed some of the season summaries here were copy & pastes from the individual season articles (which isn't a bad place to start, but they definitely need to be made more concise). I also tend to agree regarding the cast section, that it should provide some bare amount of information on the characters (and possibly their plot arcs) which might help make the plot summaries (and other sections) more understandable. (Those tables are nice, but maybe they'd better belong in the article on TWD characters?) Reidgreg (talk) 13:52, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
I just trimmed the season 6 summary by about 250 words (it's 753 words right now). I'm just now sure how long is appropriate for a season summary in the main article, as there's not really a guideline for that, as MOS:TV just states 100–200 words for summaries in episode lists and 200–500 words for summaries in episode articles. I'm thinking maybe around 700 is okay for season summaries in the main article? Thoughts? And yes, the cast tables are also used on List of The Walking Dead (TV series) characters, so it's not as if they're being completed deleted. I just converted to main cast table to a prose list (with character info to be added later). I left in character duration by season, but left out minutiae regarding actor billing (main cast, also starring, recurring, guest, etc.) as it would just cause too much clutter. Drovethrughosts (talk) 14:23, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for starting the edit. I would say it needs to be much more concise than that, it should be more of a broad outline, the details can be given in the individual season article. I think trimming each season down to around a third or less would be preferred. For the cast section, I think the article on Game of Thrones (which has an enormous cast) has it about right, doing it entirely prose-style. Most of recurring character (I'd also say a few of the ones currently in the "main cast") do not need to be mentioned except those who are important plot wise. Hzh (talk) 18:54, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
I've trimmed the season 6 summary even further. It's now 519 words, which I find to be quite reasonable, unless you still have some objections. Yes, the way the Game of Thrones article does it is great, but list-prose is also acceptable per WP:TVCAST. I say we start there, because it's a bit easier. I'm gonna ping Masem, who did a trim of the episode summaries in the season articles a few months back, maybe he's willing to help in the trimming of the summaries here. Drovethrughosts (talk) 12:25, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
I can help once S6 hits Netflix. --MASEM (t) 13:46, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── In the spirit of being more concise, I trimmed the S01 and S02 summaries as well. I'm sure more is needed per the comments above, but the only way I see that happening is to leave the summaries as open-ended introductions to how each season begins. We would have to throw out the middle and end in order to cut it down further. If that's how we want to proceed, it can certainly be done. --GoneIn60 (talk) 16:33, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

After putting more thought into this, perhaps there are other ways to make each summary a lot shorter. Here's one suggestion:
If the proposed section looks acceptable, I can roll this into the article and make similar changes to the other 5 summaries. --GoneIn60 (talk) 18:22, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
Having trimmed these before, I think I agree that GoneIn60's proposed changes may be better. Outside of S2, TWD tends to be memorialable for specific episodes rather than season-running plots, so a brief intro to the season with ~200-300 words per episode on the season pages would help the reader looking for a specific episode most. Ideally, if the short episode summaries are consistent, the reader will learn of season-long plots through those summaries, avoiding the wordiness of a larger season summary section. --MASEM (t) 22:07, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
I also like the idea of the more condensed summaries as well. My only suggestion would be to mention more character names in the summaries. Also, what are your thoughts on this? I intentionally left that type of information when converting the table to a list, and instead used simplified "seasons 2–5" for example to reduce clutter. I feel the section should be about the characters (character info to be added soon), and not focus on minutiae such as what type of credit an actor receives for a specific season (that information is still present and is more suitable in the list of characters article). Drovethrughosts (talk) 12:41, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
I think that edit has good intentions, but when I look at the charts in List of The Walking Dead (TV series) characters, it seems this information is much more clear and easier to look at. Perhaps instead of duplicating the list on this page with similar info, we remove it altogether and try to write a brief summary of the main cast members (or if it's too POV to narrow down who we talk about, then just leave the {{Main article}} link there with a few details about casting in general). Just a thought.
Back to the season summaries for a moment, are we in agreement then that a short paragraph is all that's needed on this page? I understand the "~200-300 words per episode on the season pages" comment, but before I made any changes on the series article, I wanted to make sure we were fine with this proposal. Obviously, feel free to piggyback on the changes I make to further improve them, should we decide to venture down that road. --GoneIn60 (talk) 13:29, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
Enough to understand the flavor of a season so that a reader with a broad idea of the series' plot can figure out where an episode of a season likely is, and for the most part focusing the narrative as being around Rick Grimes, avoiding a list of main characters that have died unless they affect the main plot (eg: Lori), all which I think can be done in 200 words on this page for each season. --MASEM (t) 13:48, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
In the season articles, as much as I'd like to avoid redundancy, I feel they're better with both the season plot summary and short episode plot summaries (ep summaries recommended 100-200 words though I aim for < 100 words). The multi-episode plot arcs get a much better treatment in a single piece of prose that can tackle one subject at a time without episode breaks, whereas the episode summaries almost become point-form as they cram in details and memorable B and C plots. Besides, the season article is the one place there should be a good season plot summary, and every episode already gets a 200-500 word (recommended) plot summary on its own article. I know some of the season article season summaries needed to be trimmed, but I don't feel 700 words is excessive considering the complexity of the season plot arcs. For this article, Gonein60's < 100 word S1 summary is a little short for my taste (but I'll support it if there's a consensus). Both it and the current S1 summary give a lot of weight to the first and last episodes, and don't mention the camp at the quarry (and the attack on it which was arguably S1's climax). I feel that could be shifted to better represent the season, if the intention is to summarize the season rather than bookending it. Here is my attempt at a rewrite < 200 words. (BTW, if you haven't already, please comment on Walker vs Zombie, above. Thanks.) Reidgreg (talk) 16:23, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
For myself, here's how I see it:
  • Show page (this one) : Season summaries at a very high level, aiming for no more than 200 words to identify the broad arcing plot.
  • Season page: 700-900 word summary of the season, specifically aimed to keep episode-spanning plots in their entirety. Individual episode summaries at 100-200 words at most to emphasis key points of an episode (similar to what you'd see in a TV guide)
  • Episode page (recognizing that practically all eps of TWD are notable for a WP article): 500-700 word episode summary, recognizing that repeating elements from previous episodes is unnecessary unless they are core plot points (like S2's finale with Rick telling everyone what he learned from Dr. Jenner from S1 finale).
This approach provides a good map for a reader, trying to locate a specific episode but unable to by title or season, should be able to quickly come to it. --MASEM (t) 16:42, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
General layout comment – I'm on board with that. I agree that the series article should use season summary descriptions of less than 200 words. For the other points, I would suggest maybe only slight changes:
  • Season page: 400–900 words for the plot summary (lower the starting range from 700 to 400 for situations where content is limited), and less than 200 words for episode summaries
  • Episode page: 300–600 words (I suggest lowering the range a bit, as most TV episodes are only an hour or less. In comparison, film plot summaries can be 400–700 words)
These are really minor changes to Masem's suggestion, which I think overall hits the nail on the head. --GoneIn60 (talk) 17:07, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
Disclaimer: I was thinking about TV shows in general that span more than one season, and not necessarily just TWD when I modified those numbers above. --GoneIn60 (talk) 17:16, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
The TV project does need to have a good manner to deal with a highly covered show (like TWD, Game of Thrones, etc.), in dealing with plot between series, season, episode, and character articles to avoid excessive duplication, which unfortunately happens a lot. It might be good to start here with TWD to present the approach to the project at large. --MASEM (t) 21:10, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
Feedback for Reidgreg – I like your take better than mine, actually! I made a few slight changes to it, which you can view here. The word count went from 186 to 176. Thoughts? --GoneIn60 (talk) 17:11, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
As an update, I inserted that proposal into the season 1 summary and went ahead with modifying season 2's, which was a lot more difficult than I anticipated. Please don't hesitate to further modify them as needed, especially if you notice an important detail that was left out (assuming we can still keep it under 200 words). I'll begin working on season 3, but I'm not sure when I'll have time to do the rest. --GoneIn60 (talk) 10:05, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Well apparently there's just too much content to trim in the remaining summaries. We need to consider a new approach that only introduces the primary plot elements and doesn't attempt to explain how they are resolved (much like a book cover that entices readers with a short synopsis without spoilers). Also, trying to name the characters crucial to the plot isn't going to work either; there are too many of them. I propose we leave them out as much as possible. --GoneIn60 (talk) 16:02, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
OK, I tried again in my sandbox. I've got S1-2 at < 200 words but S3-6 were more complex and I only managed to get them down to 250-300 words. GoneIn60, sorry I don't remember your changes but I remember I liked them. Hopefully I incorporated them. I tried adding a little to suggest the group conflict of the many B and C plots which can't be mentioned. Reidgreg (talk) 01:58, 3 June 2016 (UTC)


Well, it looks like Masem gave it a go on S03, S04 and S05. It is no doubt an improvement over the bloat that was there before, so thank you for that. While the goal of staying under 200 words worked fine for the shorter seasons (1 and 2), I think the difficulty in doing so is really manifesting itself on the remaining, full-length seasons. In season 3, for example, I think the reunification of Daryl and Merle, as well as Merle's switching of sides during the meeting between Rick and The Governor are essential to any summary covering this season. Same goes for Carol's banishment in season 4 and triumphant return in season 5.

I realize we can't have it all, but cutting some of these seems somewhat counterproductive in order to meet the <200 word goal. There are two possible compromises here:

  1. We relax the restriction to 300 words and incorporate something similar to Reidgreg's proposals which address most of these concerns.
  2. We consider the "book cover" analogy I made above and only tease the crucial elements of the plot without saying how they're resolved.

I'm fine with either, though I think avoiding the impossible task of describing how all the loose ends are tied up seems like an interesting approach worth pursuing. Not trying to create additional waves here, as the worst case scenario is we leave these changes alone and we're better off than we were before. I can live with that too. --GoneIn60 (talk) 04:20, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

See, that's part of the problem with S3 and onward. The show starts having lots of sequential plot lines, and while I would fully agree that the Daryl/Meryl reunion is important, it's also the fact that S1 can be covered without mentioning Meryl that suggests we can avoid it - a lot of similar threads have to be kept out of this to keep them concise (like for example Carol's exile in S4) I tried to write 3-5 from the standpoint of if someone is trying to locate an episode only by the plot they remember, the summaries would reasonably guide them. --MASEM (t) 04:30, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
OK, no worries. I truly appreciate your efforts and didn't mean to sound like I was nit-picking. We can certainly leave out those plot lines for now and see how it holds up. --GoneIn60 (talk) 05:07, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
I just trimmed the season 6 summary. After looking at Reidgreg's summaries in his sandbox, I think that's the best way to go. 300 words per season summary is perfectly reasonable, especially when they're a better attempt at summarizing the events, rather then just the "book cover" idea. However, not mentioning Morgan's return in the season 5 and 6 summaries is a bit of an oversight. Great job all around guys, it's looking great now! Drovethrughosts (talk) 13:46, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
I'm fine with extending it to 300 words and blending Reidgreg's proposals with Masem's for seasons 3 through 5. For seasons 1 and 2, they are probably fine for the most part already, with the exception that a reference to Merle may need to be added to season 1 per Masem's suggestion. --GoneIn60 (talk) 14:13, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
I'd rather cover all the major plot points than the bookjacket sneak-peek (or what I called the "bookend" focusing on first and last episodes). I feel 300 words is OK if that's what it takes to do the job, though S1-2 seem sufficient at 200 words. My S5-6 were close to 250 words so there's some leeway if it's felt they need to be longer. (I would have liked to keep the S6 Morgan/Carol arc.) Frankly, I'd rather use what's in my sandbox2 as a base, incorporating some of the changes from the current article. I don't want to be presumptuous but that sounds like the way things are leaning. I don't mind if others want to work in my sandbox. I feel sandboxing is probably a good idea to (a) avoid edit warring and (b) have someplace else to discuss specific changes (as this discussion is getting long). BTW, I feel it's fine in this sort of summary to not mention characters until they become important to the plot (like Carol who is very minor in S1). BTW2, in my S1, Merle was mentioned peripherally as "a man left behind". (I didn't feel it was right to name him then without also naming Daryl, and if you do that it snowballs.) Reidgreg (talk) 23:50, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
Good points to consider. I won't be on much over the next few days (currently in the process of trying to get my house ready for sale!), but messing around in the sandbox may be a good option if we suspect there may be some disagreements. Explaining the edits here, however, would still be helpful to add context to some of the proposed changes. --GoneIn60 (talk) 22:14, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I went ahead and made changes to User:Reidgreg/sandbox2. Many of those involved merging details from the article – contributions from Masem and Drovethrughosts. Hopefully these are acceptable. If there are no objections (aside from minor changes to the sandbox), then I look forward to incorporating these proposals into the article. --GoneIn60 (talk) 13:34, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

I appreciate your work as a third (fourth?) party to merge two versions together. But I found I had more than a few issues, including 15 things I found to be misleading or factually wrong, and when I finished making notes it came to over 1200 words. I'm loathe to post that much here. I was trying to put my notes on User:Reidgreg/sandbox2 with additional revisions for S3-6 (keeping GoneIn60's merged versions) but ran into some edit conflicts. Will re-read and try again. - Reidgreg (talk) 00:12, 9 June 2016 (UTC). OK, done. Reidgreg (talk) 00:23, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
I addressed your notes with a response in each section. You've identified quite a few incorrect statements, so thanks for that. I haven't yet attempted to rewrite anything at this point. Looking at your notes, we are not that far off in some areas, but in others, we seem to be worlds apart. I don't think some of the minor details are worth fussing over, but if you continue to insist on your version, then I will likely concede out of disinterest in arguing moot points. Please keep in mind that some of the content is not mine. I simply did the best I could to blend previous versions with the content I wanted to add or change. I realize from your most recent reversions, you've done the same. I'll have a hard look at your updated proposals and provide some feedback in the next day or so. --GoneIn60 (talk) 11:43, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for your patience, I know that was a lot. I was trying to explain the reasons for some of my choices. I think we're fairly close on content, the remaining issues seem to be whether to mention the prisoners in S2 and how much emphasis The Governor should have for S4. Otherwise it's mostly phrasing and how to begin and conclude each season's summary. Reidgreg (talk) 18:52, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Hey Reidgreg and GoneIn60, have we made progress regarding the summaries? I'd love to see these expanded summaries in the article. Mentioning the prisoners in season 3 seems unnecessary as it's basically just one episode, and the only surviving prisoners are Axel and Oscar, who are both minor characters. As for the Governor in season 4, I would use the more condensed version. Drovethrughosts (talk) 12:53, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

Sorry for leaving it so long. I took another run at the few unresolved issues and updated the article. Could probably use a fresh set of eyes for copyedit. - Reidgreg (talk) 22:56, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
Same here. Life away from Wikipedia became extremely busy. Thanks Reidgreg for your diligence and contributions. I'm sure it's complete enough to make a huge improvement on what was previously in the article. We should be able to put the finishing touches on it over the next few days/weeks, and now that we have several editors watching the article, hopefully the time spent will be protected from vandalism. Drovethrughosts and Masem, your efforts are appreciated as well. Nice work everyone! --GoneIn60 (talk) 03:03, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

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