I know. This is going to be a tough journey for some people, myself included. I honestly never thought way back 7 years ago, when AMC’s hit tv show The Walking Dead started, I would be sitting here writing about how it needs to end. The first episodes were raw, gritty, filled with blood and guts and I was happy that zombies and the horror genre was getting some attention. Flash forward through messy writing, terrible CGI, and bad acting, and we have what The Walking Dead has become. Creator Robert Kirkman has said in the past that he could see The Walking Dead going well over 12 seasons if AMC would let him. (Which by the way, PLEASE AMC DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN). For a show about zombies and killing, the narrative is no longer captivating nor shocking. Even with the gore fest that was the beginning of season 7, we find ourselves a week out from the finale and honestly, I could not care less. The show that used to be a must watch for me, has now become a maybe I’ll catch it on DVR. I opted to watch the Academy Awards when they were on, over The Walking Dead. That speaks for itself. Let me take you through some issues I have with the show and how they would be better off not renewing for season 9 or 10 or 12 for that matter.
I know, this is a show about zombies. That’s not incredibly believable however, the limitations of people and the expectations that this show has had a timeframe of about 2 years is getting hard to believe. This season introduced a group of strange dance goths who captured Father Gabriel and forced Rick’s group provide guns for them and also threw Rick into the Thunderdome with a spiky zombie. That sounds cool, however, the group was incredibly strange, to the point that they had a choreographed circle movement when strangers showed up to surround them. Like did they practice this perfect circle? Were there X’s on their marks? Now the group themselves seemed strange, maybe it was because they now live in a trash heap, but regardless of that, the way these people speak and act is that of an apocalyptic group of mentally insane humanoids, which maybe they are. The leader talks in caveman speak and when Rick offers them something good, the group’s leader was intrigued. Then Rick is instructed to be taken to the “up up up”, which is a tall trash heap, where they eventually push Rick into a pit to fight a zombie. The dialog in this scene is really stupid and incredibly hard to not laugh at. It’s just hard to watch. Along with that, the zombies have become almost too easy, as people are rarely in danger from walkers anymore and they take care of hundreds of them with ease. I know that this might be a result of the amount of zombies they have killed in the past, however, when Rick was caught in the carnival, he gets taken out by like 2 of them. Then the writers did that thing again where they had an annoying fake out and made it seem like Rick was being eaten. And he wasn’t. So once again, not even close to believable. The writers and producers need to stop trying to play the audience for dumb and make some tough choices. Glenn and Abraham were a long time ago and Spencer had it coming anyway, maybe it’s time we lose another meaningful character. I mean, Game of Thrones killed half of their cast!
- Exhausted Writing
When the dialog is so bad sometimes that you laugh, that’s a sign that the writers have just given up. Last week, Tara, who is not the strongest written character, actually said “Thanks for saving my life before. And the other time. Oh, and the other time. Maybe today. Thanks.” It was as awkward as it reads. A lot of the back and forth feels forced and unbalanced. The only character I enjoy watching is Negan. That is it. And that is mainly because they stick close to his comic book persona, minus the incredible use of the F word. Now this could be because the writers are bad or one of the most glaring reasons for this might be season length. The Walking Dead is forced to create filler episodes in between meaningful ones and it takes away from impactful moments. Also, this forces them to deviate away from the comic more, and to be honest, the episodes that stick closer to the comics are much, MUCH better. And at the same time, the writers have also turned characters one dimensional, when they have so much more to offer. I have issues when the writers pigeonhole characters to one mood or style. For example, Rosita, post Abraham death, is now an angry, fireball of hate, who somehow now knows how to do everything ever. Why can she do so much? Well, the writers explain this by her saying she’s dated a lot of different guys who have taught her things, like disarming a bomb. That’s either bad writing or an incredibly coincidental skill to have in a faction war, during the apocalypse, against murderers and psychos. I am going to lean on bad writing.
- Stop trying to sell me “The Walking Dead”
The Walking Dead became incredibly popular over the past couple of years, becoming one of the most watched shows on cable television. Rick and the gang have become staple names in many households and due to that success, there is now Walking Dead everything. We have: Walking Dead spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, mobile games, video games, tee shirts, Universal Studios attractions, novels, mini series, halloween costumes, a talk show/recap show, magazines, Walking Dead conventions, and many more examples of how The Walking Dead has become a brand versus a TV show. Enough is enough, stop trying to sell me the Walking Dead. I like the show, put more effort into building a show that is stronger than a zombie soap opera. 7 seasons of a show builds a fan base and AMC has pushed Robert Kirkman to sell his soul to the advertisements. When watching an hour long tv show, there is about 40 minutes of show, meaning we sit through 20 minutes of mind numbing ads. I like when a show knows it’s limits. Yes, Breaking Bad had a similar formula, a ton of merch and even a spin off, however, Breaking Bad is one of the best television shows ever. It is universally met with positive reviews and is damn good writing. So please Kirkman, your pockets have got to be pretty fat as is; stop trying to get me to buy this terrible merch.
Now you might be asking yourself, “Ken, what can AMC and Robert Kirkman do to make you happy?” It’s pretty simple. Stick to the comic books and actually put effort into the show. It’s okay to stick to the source material. It’s actually good! It’s okay to have seasons that don’t span for 6 months. Leave us wanting more! Game of Thrones does 10 episodes a season, and even less for its final two seasons, and Game of Thrones is the best, if not one of the best TV shows out there. They stick to the story and skip the filler. You don’t need the filler. More isn’t always better! I want to love this show and I think it has the characters and the story to be a good show. The special effects are killer and the actors love doing the show. Stop trying to make money and produce a good show, for the sake of your name and the legacy that The Walking Dead could leave. I really did love this show. Season 6 had great promise and they really dropped the ball with the finale. Now people have lost faith in you. They watched the premiere of season 7 to see who died and viewers dropped off by the millions. That’s a sign that you did not make a good choice. Do the fans a solid Kirkman, and do a better show. Make the poor dialog better, make the seasons shorter and for god’s sake, please don’t try to sell me any more Walking Dead. I’m trying to get rid of the one I have now. You want to tease an all out war, make me want to go to war with you, not against you.