Let's discuss The Walking Dead
“You try and you try and you try, and you hope and you hope and you hope”
Ok let me start by saying if you enjoy TWD for what it is and are not bothered by what it was or more accurately what it could be. Then I’m happy you're happy HAVE A GREAT DAY!!
For everyone else still here, let's talk! What was once a show about fear and survival has now become akin to a soap opera. TWD still has moments of visual brilliance and their practical effects are second to none and very very welcome in this age of CGI. But that's the thing, when you look at the bigger picture, zoom out if you will. Suddenly we see terrible CGI, planes flying in the background and brand new car models.
This was not always the case, the first season was tight, well organized and gave us a glimpse of something special. A show about a small group surviving the unknown. Isn't that just life?
I’m not going to pull apart each season as there's not enough time in the day. But when a show has had nearly as many showrunners as seasons, that's not usually a good sign. Unsurprisingly, the message of the show has become jumbled everytime a new captain has taken the helm.
TWD shines brightest when the focus is on the smaller episodes, which in recent years has been hard to do due to the ever-expanding cast. Not to draw a comparison to Breaking Bad, but Breaking Bad was a slow burn until the final season when it just went all out. This is something TWD has never tried, every season has had pacing issues and burns itself out with the finale. Almost as if they don’t believe they will be renewed, which in turns shows they don’t believe in their product.
In my humble opinion, Morgan is the best character. His struggles relative to overall story seem to always be moving forward and he’s unpredictable, unlike every other male character in the show. Any episode where Morgan stalks an enemy is cinematic and beautiful.
It should have been the same with Negan, instead, we got an all you can eat buffet of over the top leaning and shouting. Negan was and still is on paper a tour de force. Instead, we have a “villain” who is a mirror image of Rick. Oh no, you need to kill him…..Blah blah reasons, disrespect blah blah.
The tired plot devices do not push the story forward, rather they hinder it, while proving the folks at AMC do not value our intelligence as an audience. If a background stands up to Rick, they will die that episode. If a principle character decides there's another way to do things, they'll die within three episodes. This is basic and frankly disappointing paint by numbers writing. And don’t get me started on the needless publicity stunts within the show:
The Glen dumpster fake out, the Negan finale, the Rick flash forward, Carl getting bitten as a midseason finale. Those are just the recent ones!
Outside of premier or final episodes, TWD still occasionally offers up what it was. A close-knit show about survival. Bigger is not always better, so I’d argue you should dial back some of the explosions and cut the cast in half, which would ironically be helped along by one last large explosion.
Following that, use the start of season nine to start clean. Develop new threats to our survivors but don’t rush to defeat them. Spend a few episodes with them, show me why I should root against them and then maybe I’ll back Rick and his merry group. But until then I will continue to watch while I play on my phone or better yet, I’ll watch it on my phone. My TV should be saved for meaningful entertainment.