Has The Walking Dead Died
What it is
You would have to be a zombie not to have at the very least taken notice of the growing popularity of the AMC hit TV show "The Walking Dead". The show has grown in leaps and bounds and has become a cult phenomena. Every week millions of viewers tune in to see the exploits of Officer Rick Grimes and his ragtag crew of survivors. people wear Walking dead clothing, iron on patches and even tattoos that mark them as a fan of the show. In many ways it is like Beatlemania.
Each week we see more of this post zombie apocalypse play out for one hour. We get a mix of hardcore action, bloody gore, and near soap opera drama all rolled into a 60 minute program worthy of Romero his self. Characters come and go. Each leaves a timely and memorable spot in our minds, just before leaving a timely and hard to clean spot in some random location. I admit in the beginning I was addicted. I was a dead head. Each Sunday I was glued by my TV awaiting the next chapter in this rather epic show. The Walking Dead had brought zombies to the TV, and what more could I have asked for.
Sadly I noticed each season seemed to get worse. The story started to drift and soon I was not even sure if this was a show about zombies or what. Now I, a dedicated fan of all things zombie have a hard time getting excited to watch the walking dead.
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In The Beginning
As many of you are well aware of the Walking Dead is actually taken from a comic book series of the same name. While the comic did form the foundation the show is built on the show is not following the comic story line, at least not to the last note. I feel to say loosely based on the comic may even be stretching the truth of The Walking Dead.
Our first encounter with the gloom and doom of The Walking Dead saw us following a cop as he searched for the people he loved most. His wife and son. That journey was one that had every viewer watching with anticipation not seen in a TV program since the early days of the X-Files. We started to develop a hatred for the zombie, almost a hatred the caliber of what the people of the show had. It was this association that spawned the gigantic fan following.
Each episode was more exciting than the last and as weeks passed new survivors would join the fray. of course where there is new the old must be done away with so death was one of those things that seemed to follow the crew of the Walking Dead. We set by mesmerized at the CDC when Rick learns that everyone is infected with the disease and will turn into a walker upon death.
We were in awe as we get to see the breaking down of the friendship between Rick and Shane that ultimately leads to Shane's death, none the less at the hands of Rick himself. As if the story could not get any better we meet Machone, the zombie hunter and of course the evil maniacal Governor.
But then we start to see this decline in the story. For the most part we see stale scenes that try to play off this all encompassing silence to spark some erratic emotion within us, the viewer. But we sit idly thinking we have been had. Where are our heated arguments, our heroic savior of the zombie revolt and of course the zombies themselves? Where did our favorite TV show go and why are we left with it's reanimated corpse?
The Governor and Rick
As with any program shown on television the anticipation of next's week's episode keeps viewers tuned in. The Walking Dead realized the effect the introduction of Woodburry and the Governor had on viewers and wanted to capitalize on that. sadly instead of giving us a weekly episodic show with great plots and stories we got three weeks of rambling and storyboard filler.
The governor story is a great one and should be ideally made bigger and better but at the same time one episode was about as climatic as paint drying on some grass that is growing. Their eye to eyes meeting should have been energetic and filled with subtle nuances of their distrust for each other. Instead we get more of the silence. When the silence does break it breaks like a rotted egg falling from the hands of a slightly dim witted cook who just huffed Pam cooking spray.
We get none of the excitement we came to expect from this type of series. In fact it almost seems as if the show has drifted from this epic zombie tale to the story of Governor and Andrea. As we see this unfolding Rick and the prison crew seem to take a back seat in the story. I can not even imagine the survivors being cast in the backdrop but lately that is what we have encountered
Fix this mess.
To really get this show back on it's good legs the producers need to end the Governor story and start focusing on the main characters again. The prison has somewhat grown a bit less dangerous despite the fact the governor is on the prowl.
I hate to nitpick a show of this caliber but seeing the conflict with the governor week after week as me not even wanting to tune in anymore. I admit the first few seasons had it's share of bad episodes but each had some point we could reflect on and be satisfied with. Now The Walking Dead is parading a storyline that while good, is not great week after week and it has lost a great deal of it's rating power because of it.
I would love to see the conflict with the Governor either come to an end or start getting exciting again. Make the encounters more than just two men torn from the world they once knew eyeing each other with an occasional smirk. In the discussion scene we see the flash of the gun taped to the table on the Governor's side so we are ready. We know we will see some exceptional conflict here. Go Rick Go! But what we get is more story board filler.
I realize a show of this caliber following this genre heavy topic, zombies, is not going to have the staying power of shows like Friends or The Simpsons, but at the same time it has a fan bas that demands to see certain things. Why not give us a Machone battle with Merle, or even let us see a walker infestation in the prison that causes the survivors to rethink everything? In the comics Carl gets shot in the eye. Let's see that. create conflict that has resolutions we can expect but not foresee.
Surely we can also expect to see some more zombies. The Walking Dead has done a great job in the past with it's zombies but now when we see them it is a bulk conglomerate of them in one place and than we see them no more. Let's spread that out over the episode guys. I hope we see the action packed plot twisting story we have all grown to love from the Walking Dead in upcoming episodes. I would love to hear from my readers on their take of the show.
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