Sun
Mar 17 2013 11:00am

Think with Your Ovaries: A Defense of The Walking Dead’s Andrea

The Walking DeadYou'd have to be a member of the Walking Dead not to be aware of Sunday evening's required viewing—and the show's fans are very lively when it comes to who they want to make it, and who could just go die.

There is a scary amount of Andrea hatred out there. People want that woman dead, now. I won’t go into the misogyny of the hatred, nope. You can’t make me—unless you ask my opinion and then I have trouble shutting up. Please, don’t even get me started on the One African American at a Time rule on that show. Please, don’t.

But listen, about Andrea: I don’t get why everyone’s knickers get twisted by the woman. I agree, she’s not the most observant person out there, which can be an issue in the world of zombies. But she has a good heart and a compassionate brand of intelligence needed to keep that world civilized. She’s strong and tough and thinks well in a crisis. I agree, she’s a dope when it comes to trusting the Governor. But if a guy had that kind of Achilles heel, a soft spot for a woman, we’d think of the weakness as his sign of humanity, not utter idiocy.

The other day I got into a bitter twitter fight (it wasn’t actually that bitter, but I like the rhythm of that phrase) with a person who does not like Andrea. We went back and forth about whether or not Andrea is a terrible person. She ended up convincing me that yes, Andrea probably did tell the Governor about Rick’s family secret. I’m still thinking it might have been Merle because I’m willing to blame anything bad on him. But even if Andrea did tell the Gov the truth, she doesn’t deserve to the loathing and booing and hissing she gets.

Since I’m going out on a pro-Andrea limb here: I think she’s the perfect mate for Rick. Actually that should be put that the other way around. He’s a good mate for her. Let her take the lead for god’s sake, be the alpha in the relationship. She’ll have learned from her time with the Governor to be less trusting, but she’ll still have a human heart. And at least she doesn’t see her dead sister wandering around or get phone calls from the other side. She’ll be smart enough to listen to Rick and the others after this upcoming war is over.

Come on, she’s leadership material even for the new age of kill-first, don’t-bother-to-ask-questions-later. She’s smart, she’s not scared of killing (even you most anti-Andreans out there must have loved that moment when she rolled her eyes, marched past the two macho posing Daryl and Woodbury guy and stabbed the walker). Yet Andrea still has the urge to make peace, to create some form of society.

And about her wicked stupidity when it comes to the governor—let’s keep in mind she hasn’t been privy to the same information Rick has. He’s talked to Michonne, Glen, Maggie and the others. Andrea’s been holed up with the grand master of propaganda. Here’s a guy who’s got dimples, is apparently hot stuff in bed, and has the actor’s ability to tell his backstory in a manner that almost caught Rick. She’s questioning all she’s seeing in Woodbury so she’s not as stupid as she could be. And wanting to save human lives is a worthwhile cause, even if it does make for somewhat boring television on occasion.

I hope they spare Andrea and she gets to kick ass and then become the boss-lady. She has what it takes. And because she apparently has a thing for sleeping with insane, she might as well get Rick. He’s crazy and cute, her main needs in a man, but he has a good heart (I think…who knows? It might change any minute).

I can’t think of another character as strong and loyal and smart and calm as her…except wait a minute. Michonne.

Forget Andrea as leader.

I’m now boarding the Michonne bandwagon. She’s like Andrea, but with better instincts about people. Add Andrea and now we have a real team. Forget matching Andrea with a guy. I’d rather have those two women in the lead. Since Andrea thinks with her ovaries, maybe she can keep a boy-toy on the side if she insists on remaining a straight. What do we call a bromance with women?

First Michonne has to learn to talk more so she can actually tell people what to do. But once she does that, with an entirely-loyal-unblinded-by-sexual-attraction Andrea at her side….Zombies and the Governor wouldn’t have a chance.

 


Kate Rothwell set out to write a natural-born do-gooder in her historical Somebody Wonderful. She writes romance using her own name and the pseudonym Summer Devon. Kate lives in Connecticut with four men (three of whom are her sons). You can out more about her at KateRothwell.com and SummerDevon.com.

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27 comments
Dr. Opossum
1. Dr. Opossum
I agree with a lot of what you say, though I don't see Rick and Andrea as a couple. So far, tonight's episode is doing a lot to make Andrea likable and I hope viewers warm up to her so she doesn't go the way of Lori.
Kate Rothwell
2. KateRothwell
No, I don't really see them together either. I mostly wrote this to bait Andrea-haters who ignored my trap.

In fact I can't seem to pair either of those two with anyone--except maybe Andrea with Michonne.
Tatiana deCarillion
3. decarillion
It's a trap! :P

Andrea reminds me of the little kid who jumps up and down, yelling, "Pick me! Pick me," trying to get the big kids to pay attention to her. That's what I dislike intensely about her.

She has never been content to be one of the survivors. She always wants to be one of what she perceives to be the 'important' survivors: wants to shoot a gun instead of doing mundane chores; wants to make decisions instead of following someone else's; thinks only she can save the day. That bee in her bonnet is blinding her to seeing what the truth of things is. It takes people to fill all those roles, to make this group function, though.

That discontent will fracture a group and giving into it is not usually the best thing for the group. In the series, she has proven time and time again that she always thinks she can do better than she actually does.

If I give her the benefit of any doubt I may have, then maybe she does mean well--but her good intentions keep backfiring.
Christopher Morgan
4. cmorgan
I kind of agree with Decarillion, I mean Andrea is willfully ignorant of the Governors evil, just for the sake of the semblance of normality. You can always count on Merle to be Merle, Daryl to be Daryl, etc. Andrea is always a wild card. You never know if you are going to get the Andrea that is More Dale or More Shane. The past few episodes she has been channeling more Dale, but if she hooks back up with the group who knows. I mean the girl was ok with Shane at his craziest and she is ok with the Gov even though she has seen every ounce of his crazy. Granted, this could be just a product of the meh writing of the show, much like Lori was, but lets not forget that Andrea once shot Daryl in her eagerness to prove just how great a zombie killer she was.

I figure it's all going to play out with her being in charge of the survivors of Woodbury, leaving Rick's group for good as they move on. She may also take Judith aka Lil Ass-Kicker. Because I REALLY don't think they are going to go back to the comics in regards to the fate of that particular new-born.
Regina Thorne
5. reginathorn
I cut Andrea a LOT of slack in regards to wanting to stay in Woodbury (and Michonne should have been a lot more specific of what she suspected the Governor was up to if she wanted Andrea to follow her into the wild unknown.) But the part where my own liking for Andrea faltered was that she seemed OK with: The Governor keeping his zombie daughter (when she'd been an entirely willing participant in the Shane-led killing of all of Herschel's zombie relatives); the heads in aquariums - which surely might have given her pause in regards to the Governor's sanity, even if in the intensity of the moment, she didn't recognize that the helicopter pilot (NOT a zombie) was also one of the heads; the Governor putting her friend Daryl into a zombie fight to the death with his brother Merle. It took so long for her to figure out that something was hinky with the Governor that I grew increasingly irritated with her (although last night's episode worked insofar as my rooting for Andrea is concerned. I still wish she'd been more specific about the "awful" things the Governor did with Tyreese and Sasha, maybe they would have left WITH her.)
Dr. Opossum
6. Cindys
I think it's the complete lack of comunication that riles me up about certain characters. The characters don't seem to want to explain themselves to others. Maybe Michone doesn't know how to express herself but you would think after spending a winter with the woman you would respect her instincts to run. The moment when Andrea doesn't leave after the zombie daughter and the heads was definitely when I decided she had made her own bed.

All that said, this last episode had me feeling horrible for her. What a price to pay for not knowing more soon enough and I do blame those who call her a friend for not telling her more about the situation.

In defense of her wanting to be more than a person who does chores, or just survive - why can't she be more to the group? I'm sorry but I think any woman who isn't working hard to be self sufficient during this time is making a huge mistake. It's why I'm much happier with Carol this season - how long can you just do chores or follow along before you realize you have to pick up a gun or knife or pipe and know how to defend yourself and those with you. Blind followers seem to die awfully fast in a zombie apocolypse.

Cindy
Kate Rothwell
7. KateRothwell
Thanks for stopping by you guys.

What I love about this thread (and a lot of walking dead chatter I see) is that the people who watch the show seem to put more thought into the character development/flaws and plot than the people who write it. Sometimes talking about it is more gratifying than watching it.
Christopher Morgan
8. cmorgan
Kate I think you hit it on the head about what makes the show as big a success as it is. Barring a couple of exceptions, most recently the AWESOME "Clear", a lot of the episodes have just been lacking. The Governor isn't all that menacing, the Jail isn't anything special, and Rick is just annoying as Sheriff Crazy Pants, but people love talking about this show. They have in their heads who certain characters should be, show writers be damned.
Tatiana deCarillion
9. decarillion
@Cindy, even doing chores is contributing to the group, but Andrea thought it was beneath her. Yet, she didn't have the skills at that time to do much more than that. (as an aside-do we know what she did for a living in life before zombies, btw?)

She may have improved her killing skills to this point--and you're right, everyone who is able, should be taught how to defend him/herself, but Andrea's decision-making skills have not improved, and that will (should) always keep her from being the hero that she wants to be.

Regarding communication: if we've learned nothing from years of watching TV, we should know by now that some of the best shows thrive because of the secrets their characters keep. We love being privy to them, when the other characters aren't!
Dr. Opossum
10. Lucy D
@decarillion Dale last season said to Andrea "You used to be a lawyer."

And for a smart woman, Andrea is a character that thinks a lot with her ovaries. She jumps the men of power, i.e. Governor, Shane. Usually that's a character that just wants to gain power by association.

FYI, Kate. Don't think you can blame Meryl for telling secrets. Meryl only met Rick and then was locked on a rooftop. He would have had no idea that Rick was married to Lori, let alone about the baby. I doubt Glen would have told those tales even after the beating he got. Sorry. Had to be Andrea telling tales.
Dr. Opossum
11. DianeN
What I like best about Walking Dead is that all of the characters have flaws. I'm comfortable with people making bad decisions as long as they learn from them, and I think Andrea, while taking way too long to get there, finally had realized just how depraved the Governor really is before she left Woodbury. I never hated her, just often felt annoyed that she was a really smart woman doing really dumb things! I don't mind a show that offers up hints of real life in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. It just helps me relate more to the characters if they don't automatically do everything right...

C'mon, how many of us can honestly say we haven't been willfully blind to someone else's flaws because we had the hots for him/her?
Dr. Opossum
12. Jackie U
We started watching season 1 out of nostalgia, and I remember how much I despised Andrea's character even then. Most of it is Laurie Holden's fault. Her portrayal of the character is horrific. The pursed lips, the head tilt, the way she moves - every minute of it makes me grind my teeth. And, yes, she is an idiot. An utter moron who, on more than one occassion, has either hurt a fellow member of their party due to her stupidity or has caused someone to be hurt.

I find it odd that you consider this hatred for a character who is begging for death to be misogynistic. I despised Daryl in the first season, two. He was annoying and I wouldn't have minded one bit if he'd been killed off. I adore him now because he's grown as a character and learned from his mistakes. Andrea hasn't. She's become a better shot, but she's still making the exact same mistakes as always. That's not an indictment of her being a woman - it's just that she's an idiot.
Dr. Opossum
13. SassyT
I'm sorry but I find Andrea too stupid to live. If they had to kill off one character this season I'd want it to be her. Not because she's a woman. Shoot, I'm a woman and I like strong female characters. Andrea isn't it. She has to be the most clueless character on the show. That's what annoys me. She's pick a man over a friend who's looked out for her over the last nine months. Yeah, Michonne could have been more forthcoming but I would have taken her at her word that something was up even if I didn't see it at that moment. So, no misogyny here. I just don't like characters who are supposed to be smart to act like complete and utter idiots. She sort of redeemed herself (but not enough) this episode. Why didn't she take the Governor's truck? Or any car on the side of the road for that matter. Shane showed her how to hotwire a car on a past season. I'm pretty sure some of the cars had keys still in them. She just does very illogical things that no supposed smart person would do. That's why I don't like her. Don't get me wrong. Rick's hallucinating annoyed me too (you've got two kids....toughen up, Chief). That should have lasted one or two episodes max and then he should have gotten his stuff together. But Andrea just takes the cake. After seeing all the proof of the Governor's craziness (hearing that he did something to Maggie, the heads in the fish tanks, his zombie daughter, trying to kill Michonne, etc.), she still sleeps with him and doesn't kill him. No sex is that awesome. She's stupid because the writer's wrote a stupid character....not because she's a woman.
Dr. Opossum
14. SassyT
@LucyD: I agree. Andrea was the only person who knew about Shane, Rick and Lori that could have told the Governor the details. And Laurie Holden (on The Talking Dead) trying to weasel Andrea's way out of being the one who told the Governor was just lame. No one else that has been in the group (not Maggie and Glenn) would have told the Governor anything. Hell, Glenn got beat down for not wanting to reveal the prison's location. Of course he didn't tell about the Lori-Shane-Rick Triangle. And remember Rick and Merle only met one time before Merle got left on the roof. Glenn found Rick while he, Andrea, Merle, and T-Dog were looking for supplies. So, no Merle didn't know the details either. ANDREA told the Governor about them. She couldn't keep her big mouth shut.
Tatiana deCarillion
15. decarillion
"ANDREA told the Governor about them. She couldn't keep her big mouth shut."

Damn right. All because she wants to be one of the big kids, wants to be important, wants attention; whatever her reasons, none of them were altruistic. She needs one of those, "It's All About ME!" tshirts....
Kate Rothwell
16. KateRothwell
Jackie, I keep trying to put a male into the type of situations she's been in and I just don't see a guy getting the same hatred--and that includes Dale. Okay maybe she'd be neck and neck with Dale for pure fan loathing.

I do think that in the first season the women were either zombies or unpleasant, one-dimensional whiners (Andrea too. She was really a whiner then)

My theory is that a male writer on the team was going through a divorce but he eventually got over the anti-xx thing.

Shows like WD are supposed to have people we want killed. For purely enjoyable loathing, I enjoy Merle. He's a fun, over-the-top kind of extreme character and Rooker seems to have a great time playing him. I hope they don't turn Merle too complex or conflicted or good--and I hope he doesn't turn into zombie food. The governor can get bitten any time.
Dr. Opossum
17. Jackie U
Did my comment yesterday get deleted?
Kate Rothwell
18. KateRothwell
Your comment #12? I didn't see any others or get an alert any others were posted. Try again!
Christopher Morgan
19. cmorgan
@Jackie U, we haven't removed any comments. Normally we only do so in pretty extreme situations, and even then we will post following your comment explaining why. I'll check through the system to see if it has been auto-flagged. Sorry about that.
Dr. Opossum
20. Jackie U
No worries. Technology tends to fry itself in my presence. I tried twice to comment and they both disappeared, lol.

In a nutshell - audiences reacted the same way with Shane when he went batshit. He basically raped Lori, sacrificed the large guy from Identity, and become a Neo-Nazi looking version of himself. Screams for his blood were heard throughout the interwebs. I think they were even louder than those for Andrea.

Which, by the way, I am very disappointed she wasn't tortured in the last episode. That girl has it coming!
Christopher Morgan
21. cmorgan
Wait...are you a Wizard?

I love that you were disappointed that she WASN'T tortured. I've been pretty let down on a whole when it comes to The Gov's lack of menace. The comic version is pretty terrifying person that releishes torture. And is pretty much just a sadist. I don't get the same menace from the Show's version.

That being said, I can not imagine someone better than Rooker and Reedus, they slowly became one of the main reasons I watch. ***Highlight for spoilers*** I'm sad to see him go, but man, what a way to go? I could really just do with a prequel series that follows Merle and Daryl's adventures through North Georgia. At least, Rooker plays the most convincing Southern redneck I've seen on TV. Not over the top, and the racisim is casual enough to not feel forced.
Dr. Opossum
22. Dancetoforget
I never thought of Rick and Andrea as much of a match. Sure, he's leadership material but I don't know if he's high-testosterone enough for her preferences. Yes, he's a loving, sweet man and a good leader and I always root for him (as one always roots for the main protagonist), but it's hard to explain but he doesn't have the respect of his own son (who told him he should stop trying to lead). I don't think Carl was right about that, but I think Carl smelled some of his father's own weakness and despite loving his old man, I doubt he respects him all that much. I think the only reason Andrea went for bad guys is because the good guys are often lacking in cold personal strength. Then again, Shane died due to his own weakness and inability to let go of wanting Lori. I don't know what i'm saying. It's hard to explain but I feel like Rick and Andrea would be a somewhat androgenous couple.
Dr. Opossum
23. Dancetoforget
By the way, you had a lot of good points. I don't mind when people call Andrea stupid and critically think about her decisions, but all I see on the internet is her being called a whore. Of course, she's not called that purely because of sleeping with two guys but the sexual judgment somehow always comes packaged with the criticism of female decisions if she has slept with anyone who isn't already a spouse or significant other. So yes, she may have made stupid decisions, but a bunch of people make stupid decisions on the daily due to a fondness for the opposite (or same) sex. It doesn't help that she spent her whole winter with a woman. There were no sexually tense shooting lessons during that time and probably no one to glance at with sexual admiration. Obviously that doesn't excuse her turning a blind eye to the Governor's evil, but I don't think she should get the hate she gets, since her blindness was all too human. Personally, I found Lori much more annoying. "Shane is dangerous!" "OMG how could u kill Shane, you monster?!". And then there's not wanting Carl to learn to shoot. I mean, come on. And belittling Andrea's newfound shooting skills to "working on her tan with a shotgun in her lap". Hey Lori, the 50's called! They want you back!
Dr. Opossum
24. speham
Wierd of me to comment on this, I usually don't. I'm a guy, don't know if I should point that out, but there you go. This is a subject I've been thinking about alot lately. Andrea in The Walking Dead. I don't care for her. She does stupid things, is whiny, and never does anything that benefits anyone just so she can show off what an immense fail she is about being "an independent woman" because she constantly needs other people to take care of her or else she just does something stupid like *SPOILERS* shoot Daryl or blow herself up with the CDC. *SPOILER OVER*

I absolutely hate this character, this was a perfect chance to make a really kick-ass girl character, like Michonne (minus the "ooh, I'm mysterious and edgy" factor), able to handle everything in a zombie-apocalypse.

Now, if you want a good Andrea, I suggest you all read the comics. Andrea is the most awesome character in there. Strong, independent and she actually has a girly side to her too, but they don't put too much focus on it, and that is good. Because by showing that she is still a girl, but has just so much power in the group, they were able to make a real 3dimensional character. She seems like a real threat to anyone with her crazy sniper skill, that's also good! Give her a hidden talent that she can improve on by herself by showing she's responsible. She also takes the initiative to learn to sow new clothes for everyone, showing that she can take actions herself that benefits the group.
I really love Andrea in the comic, but in the TV-show, she's as weak as a character can get.
Dr. Opossum
25. Danger
Can anyone name one smart choise Andrea has ever made in the history of the show?
Kate Rothwell
26. KateRothwell
Now, now--let us not speak ill of the dead, walking or otherwise. A moment of silence, please! (so I can come up with an answer to the question.)

Erm...

She did manage to stay alive for quite a while so she must have made some good choices, like teaming up with Michonne.

Sad thing, I can barely remember her anymore!
Kate Rothwell
27. KateRothwell
speaking of walking dead:
http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2014/02/27/norman-reedus-previews-big-things-ahead-for-daryl-dixon-on-the-walking-dead/
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