Hey, you got your great TV in my barely passable TV!

TV's The Walking Dead has played very fast and loose with its source material; in the original comics, for instance, Shane died much earlier. There is no Daryl in the comics. The Governor is very different in the comics. And so far the TV series has not featured one of the comics' most popular characters - Tyreese (yeah, that's how Robert Kirkman spells it). For a while people thought T-Dog might be Tyreese, but fans were relieved to discover that character had no relation.

In the comic Tyreese joins the group fairly early on, and he's got a good attitude and helpful nature that makes him one of the more likable folks around. He's an ex-NFL player, probably because he's black and that's just how this shit goes in popular culture, and he has a daughter. There's a lot of stuff that happens to Tyreese in the prison that has, obviously, not occured in the show. Since he's not in the show.

Until now! The next major character added to The Walking Dead is Tyreese, bringing the show back up to three black characters - surely some kind of genre program record. And unlike previous casting on The Walking Dead, this one fills me with hope: Chad Coleman is playing the role. The Wire fans know Coleman as Cutty, the ex-con boxer trying to live straight in the latter half of the series. Cutty is one of the most human, decent and lovable characters in the series. A lot of that comes from Coleman, who has a soft center underneath his impressive physical exterior. Perfect for Tyreese, in my opinion. 

If the show is smart they'll keep Tyreese around for a while. They can still do some of his more interesting storylines, but I think Coleman is too good an actor to just shuffle out of the story after a handful of episodes. Here's hoping.


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