I wouldn’t call Show!Carl exactly stupid. For his age, he’s pretty capable and able to grip the situation better than some adults. But he’s still a child. That’s his big flaw. Just because zombies are roaming the streets, doesn’t mean your mentality automatically matures to a thirty year old man. HIs actions reflect his naivety as a child. He throws rocks at a zombie, like a kid throws rocks at a stray cat (I hate kids who do this, you little shits).
The problem with Show!Carl is that, just like ever freakin’ other character at one point, he’s used as a scapegoat one way or another. The writers think by creating a controversial situation (aka the hero’s son getting a man killed—involuntary manslaughter) will stir the audience, that it will force people to bicker and pick sides. They think it will make things interesting, when realistically, it just gets people angry. After Dale’s death, nobody takes Carl seriously. Even after talking with Shane and that great father/son moment sitting the barn, doesn’t draw any sympathy. Every word the kid speaks, every action comes off as stupid, mainly because the audience lost their trust and faith in Show!Carl Till this day, I’ve met like one other person in real life who is okay with Carl. They don’t love him, but they get that he’s a kid even if the world is fallin’ apart. Literally, it’s thanks to lazy writing, that Carl is one of the most hated characters on the show currently.
So now, two seasons later, people still hate Carl. It’s so sad because in the comics, Carl becomes a center figure. For the comics and for Rick. So far, the most “hated” characters on the show have been killed off [Lori, Andrea, and Dale]. I think the only reason Carl is still even on the show has to do with Rick. I mean, what would keep Rick from suiciding with the death of his final family member? And there is the fact that Carl’s character arc is one of the most interesting in the series. Taking that away from the show is just cruel. By the end of this season, Carl is going to do something truly controversial and worrying—hopefully the writing will redeem him and take him out of that hateful light.
Comic!Carl is similar to Show!Carl, but they feel like entirely different beings because they develop differently. Maybe by the end of season four, Show!Carl will align more with Comic!Carl (well, he SHOULD and if he doesn’t I’ll be extremely disappointed), but at the moment Show!Carl feels so backward. Comic!Carl’s character arc is sort of like stairs. After the prison arc, Carl literally races down the steps straight into the dark. Post prison is when Comic!Carl truly finds his place in the comics. Show!Carl is all over the place. His character is so off and on thanks to the rearrangement of certain events (god the writing on this show is so inconsistent and all over the place. Please try and stick with a head writer for more than two seasons).
As for Comic!Carl being cool—he’s so fuckin’ cool. He’s a total headcase, thank goodness he’s a good guy. He’s a kid, so he still says stupid and does gutsy shit, but he doesn’t get anyone killed. You watch him as he follows after his father’s footsteps and how he grows into this soldier. You know shit is real when Rick threatens a man’s life by using his son.
okay idk if you’ve noticed but i’ve gone completely carl grimes up in here. I’m talking about comic carl grimes, fyi. Show Carl ain’t bad, but the show itself is not the reason why I’m HOOKED. The comics are fantastic and are everything the show constantly tries to be and fails.
fyi this is pretty spoiler free (if you haven’t seen the show or read the comics then you might want to stay away). Also, fuck grammar.