It’s so bad that I don’t even know why I watch it anymore. Of course I have been a fan of the Detroit Lions for 30 some years so I guess I am a glutton for punishment. If it was just little old me saying it was bad I would just write it off as me not getting what this show is laying down. However, when my favorite TV podcasters (the boys over at baldmove.com) have a weekly podcast where essentially they make fun of what this show has become, I start to think that there is a large problem with this show.
It comes down to two main themes. 1. Art verses commerce, which has been a main topic on this blog since day one. 2. The lack of true character arcs, and story development. It seems very clear to me since around season 2 AMC has laid down an edict to stretch out this show. On top of that I think since season 5 not one person involved in this show is there because this is their passion project. To be fair maybe the writing staff is burnt out. Maybe it’s time to hire a new batch of writers to see what they can do with source material.
Throughout season 6 and 7 it appears that this is a show that only exits to hit the big story beats from the comics. That means the premiere and mid season premiere along with the mid season finale and season finale are the only episodes that are can’t miss TV. The rest is just filler, and not even entertaining filler. The best example of that was the episode with the pack of garbage pickers who in less than three years of actual story time have forgotten how to speak english.
Let us not forget the fan outrage at the way the season 6 cliffhanger was handled…and how dumb it was to end the scene the way they did instead of with the death of Abraham. Especially if the death of Glenn is to follow. More to the point every first grader on the planet should know the drama stems from the reaction of the survivors to the death…not the death itself. Of course all of those problems are piled up on top of the Glenn death swerve the show did earlier in season 6.
Personally for me this show has been going down hill since the episode when Tyreese died. that episode bothered me and it made me stay away from the rest of that half season. I eventually found the show again on Netflix and got back into it. However, that was not a great episode, and not being a comic reader and only hearing about how awesome Tyreese was in the comics I was very disappointed we didn’t get to see that play out on the screen.
I think TWD has the same problem with the Game of Thrones HBO show. Certain parts of the plot are boiled down and simplified for the small screen. However, the overall story demands certain plot beats, and the writers and producers are left to shoe horn those beats onto certain characters regardless of how that fits together with that certain characters arc.
When I ask people why they still watch the most common answer I get is “I have to see what happens.” I am not so sure that is the standard we want from a show that should have a rightful place amongst the Golden Era of basic cable TV shows.
Ever since TWD season 2 when the original show runner was shown the door it feels like the pacing of this show has been jacked up. It also feels like instead of genuine plot development we just get the same beats over and over again. Think about it, is there anything they have done on this show just once? Is there any moralizing speech we have heard just once? What we have here is the producers stretching out the source material as far as they can.
I am starting to think the ill advised season 6 cliff hanger was this show’s Jump the Shark moment. It really is too bad, because this show had all the potential to be something very special. While most TV shows do not go out on top it really seems like TWD could have been one of those shows (I.E. The Shield or The Wire) that is remembered fondly. It now looks like this show will be remembered for its potential and for however long AMC can justify keeping it on the air.
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McFarlane Toys The Walking Dead TV Daryl Dixon 7″ Collectible Action Figure
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