TV & Movies

The Walking Dead Problem

After masterpiece seasons for the first couple of years, The Walking Dead has been plagued with too many characters and too much soapy drama.

I started watching The Walking Dead in 2014, and was heavily invested in the show. I remember telling myself, I have never seen a show so intense and interesting. This was the first program I had ever binge-watched. But then it got boring.

The show’s 1st and 2nd seasons were unbelievable masterpieces, like nothing I had seen before, with a surplus of characters to get into. In the beginning of the show, the protagonist, a police officer named Rick Grimes, awakens from a coma to find a zombie apocalypse in full swing. He was one of the few survivors, and sets out to find his loved ones. This was a relatable feeling to many: to fear the unknown. Along his journey, Rick runs into an abundance of clues about his family’s whereabouts, and also runs into other survivors, while defending against hordes of “walkers.” He eventually finds his loved ones, just to discover that his former partner and best friend is now dating his wife. Anyone in his own shoes would feel betrayed, and he did.

The show started to get super intense at that point, with a ton of jealousy. Major characters started to go missing, and there was a lot of bickering between Rick and Shane over Lori. Before long, Shane had been killed off, due to an antagonistic act towards Rick. That was the shocking finale of season 2. After that, the show started going downhill.

By the 3rd and 4th seasons, a lot of the important characters had died, and more and more new characters took their places. The character population rose dramatically with a lot of random people suddenly appearing out of nowhere. At this point I began to lose interest in them because there were just too many to remember. The show still had the same flavour to it with all drama and whatnot, but it wasn’t the same.

Season 5 continued the downward trend. I had to force myself to push through Seasons 6, 7, and 8 which I felt were major disappointments. The show had just turned into a huge, boring waste of time. What had once been an intense show about zombies and a small group struggling to survive the apocalypse, became an over-populated character show, with tons of unnecessary scenes that taxed your attention. And the plot got slow. Most of the scenes in recent seasons were just a couple characters sitting and talking about personal drama. The creators of the show are asking us to care about many characters, but all we really want to know is what will happen to the core characters of Rick, Daryl, and Carol.

After season 8, there were a ton of complaints on the web about how the season finale was a major disappointment. Therefore, AMC made some changes and season 9 has shown some modest improvements. After the rough reviews of the previous season, the show has put more emphasis on the scary visuals, making the walkers look even more disturbing and intense. They have also worked on character development with Daryl becoming very angry, and making the others believe that Rick has died due to an explosion. The show even skips a few years forward, showing life without Rick, leaving us to wonder where he has really gone.

The show has really picked up now. We’re only left to wonder what the gang will think when they see Rick alive after a few years of being gone, just like the series beginning, with Rick surprising his family, coming back from a coma in the middle of the apocalypse.

If AMC keeps up their recent good work on the show, it could come back from the dead, too.

Image: AMC

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