First Impressions: Chad Coleman As Tyreese In AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD (SPOILERS)

Tyreese/chad coleman -The Walking Dead
Posted on: December 4th, 2012
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Tyreese finally made his first appearance in AMC’s The Walking Dead during the mid-season finale ‘Made to Suffer’. It’s been a long time coming and (as with alot of characters on the show) wasn’t quite what I was expecting. In a change from the comics, rather than set him up as a family man (with a daughter who meets an unfortunate end) who is only too happy to find a group to tag along with, it seems that he’s the leader of of his own group of survivors.

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Comic To Screen

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the walking dead - tyreese hammer

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I’m not entirely against this idea, in Robert Kirkman’s comic I felt that Tyreese filled a void in the group (mainly in a Shane shaped hole were Rick was concerned) and I enjoyed watching the friendship they developed and the tensions that arose between the two.  However, with Shane living as long as he did (and Daryl being Rick’s right hand man) on AMC’s show that dynamic wouldn’t have worked.

Having Tyreese already established as a leader of his own group allows them to bond over their experiences but also means there will already be tension between the two if it ever looks like one group is taking advantage or being unfair to the other (which has already happened now that Carl has locked them up as a precautionary measure).

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Chad Coleman Is Tyreese

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The Walking Dead-Tyreese/Chad-Coleman

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I think Chad Coleman (who was brilliant as Cutty in The Wire) is a good casting choice. From the moment he appeared (with Tyreese’s trademark hammer) he looked the part and he has the physical presence (and acting chops) to hold his own against Andrew Lincoln’s Rick. I’m not sure how Tyreese’s story will play out in the show but I’m looking forward to seeing what is to come in the second half of season 3.

Here’s what Coleman had to say about the character:

“I can’t say anything. Slowdown, be easy, you’re going to be incredibly proud. All of these folks have the highest integrity [for storytelling] and character so you’re going to see that played out on the show. Don’t think there’s any agenda, it’s how storytelling unfolds sometimes. You’re going to be so proud of Michonne and Tyreese and Sasha, what’s coming you’re going to be so shocked by. I’ve been lucky to have been involved in shows that are absolutely amazing. I say no worries, fasten your seatbelts.”

Doesn’t give too much away but he did go on to say how many episodes he’d be appearing in:
“I think that’s okay to say, I’m in five of the last eight [episodes].”
I’m not sure whether this means he’ll be killed off in the second half or if it just means we won’t see him in all the episodes. It’s also unclear if he’ll meet the same end as he did in the comics (Lori’s ‘death’ proved they aren’t sticking too closely to the source material) though with it looking like the Governor is going to be coming for the prison sometime soon it’s a possibility I can’t rule out.
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One African American Male At A Time

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walking dead - t dog- oscar - tyreese

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Now maybe I’m looking at this in a weird way but does it not seem like the show only really seems to have one African American male character at a time (and that thus far, they haven’t really done anything of note). We had the background character T-Dog (who at least got to go out with a bang) until the convict, Oscar, came on the scene. Now there were two other African Americans (Big Tiny and Andrew) in the prison with Oscar but they got sorted out pretty quick.
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Then finally Tyreese arrives and who is the only character who doesn’t make it back from Woodbury, Oscar. I’m pretty sure this is all just circumstantial and is unintentional but it kind of makes you think. If I was Tyreese, I’ll be worried if another African American character arrived anytime soon. In fact, I’d have that hammer ready!
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What did you think of Tyreese’s introduction to the show? Think Coleman is a good choice for the role or would you have gone for someone else? Let us know in the comments section.

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Dan is just a guy who worked in a video store and took the compliment/insult that he was like “Randal” from “Clerks” a little too literally. Thankfully Bad Haven has given him the chance to blurt out his internal monologues on nerd culture. Proclaiming his love for the things he likes (which include books, movies, games, comics) and utterly destroying the things he doesn’t (pretty much everything else). Dan is an editor, reviewer and feature writer for Bad Haven.

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