In this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, Hershel says to Glenn, “No man is good enough for your little girl… until one is.” A moment later, he bestows upon Glenn an old pocket watch that has been in the family for several generations. Obviously, this gesture is meant to demonstrate Hershel’s acceptance of Glenn as Maggie’s boyfriend, and potentially as his own future son in law. How nice.
I know the zombie apocalypse has created a world in which the initiation and development of relationships has changed, but isn’t that a bit hasty on Hershel’s part? Let’s listen to what Hershel said again: “No man is good enough for your little girl… until one is.” In a world in which eligible bachelors are few and far between, is that all Hershel is looking for, someone who is good enough? Did the zombie apocalypse create a sense of urgency that requires human beings to dispense with the casual formalities of their lost civilization, so that individuals could begin to repopulate the planet?
Glenn is not a bad guy. He’s sweet, honest, kind, responsible. He’s been shown to be a bit of a go-getter, volunteering to go into town to procure medicine and provisions. Yes, he even saved Maggie’s life once. But I honestly feel like the audience has not had the chance to see him really earn Hershel’s respect and admiration.
I guess what I was hoping for was more bravado on Glenn’s part, something characteristically masculine. I was hoping to see some swagger. He has done some bold and risky things for the sake of his group’s survival, but in contrast to Rick, Shane and Daryl, Glenn appears to be more of a boy than a man. I want to see Glenn take initiative with something that no one else can do, and I want to see him gloriously victorious. Perhaps he has done those things in the graphic novel upon which the television show is based. Perhaps those scenes were indeed shot, but ended up on the cutting room floor. And perhaps those scenes have yet to be seen. But I feel like we haven’t gotten enough screen time with Glenn to see him as the kind of guy who could earn the respect of his girlfriend’s father. So I feel Hershel’s acceptance of Glenn seems a tad premature, a little bit contrived.
Regardless, I think it’s great that Steven Yeun gets to be in a role like this, a role in which a simple guy who happens to be Asian American, is accepted by the father of a girl who isn’t. Maybe those of us who are anxious to see the advancement of the Asian American male in the media can be really nitpicky. Perhaps we’ll never be satisfied, because we have so very few chances to shine, and so everything must be perfect. But at the same time, what we’ve got here with The Walking Dead is light years ahead of where we were only a decade ago. And it is still a big step ahead.
Vote Positive by watching The Walking Dead: Judge Jury Executioner