I wasn’t planning on writing anything tonight but I’m so pissed off and disappointed that I needed to get this out before bed.
Not sure if I’ve mentioned it here but I’m a big fan of The Walking Dead. It’s literally the only show I watch on TV each week. Or, at least it was.
**Spoilers ahead, kind of**
This last season has been a fucking circus of shitty writing, bad directing, and idiotic characters.
What drew me to the show in the first place was the quality of the writing. They didn’t play to the lowest common denominator, it was dramatic but also thematic and smart. You cared for the characters, which was why you tuned in every week to see what happened to them. And the characters were consistent. They might make dumb choices sometimes but they made sense in that moment.
But this season they traded all the quality and smarts for bigger explosions and gimmicks. Rather than the plot being driven by necessity (as it has been for much of the story, based around surviving), it’s being carried by supposedly smart survivors making stupid decisions and getting themselves into deep shit. Over and over.
(A couple examples real quick. Rick outsmarts and traps the Terminus gang that’s stalking them a couple seasons ago, fucking clever and unexpected. But this episode walks over and over into a massive trap set up by Negan? Or Daryl being stupid and suddenly losing all his ninja skills in the woods, getting caught by Dwight… twice. How many times have these ‘badass survivors’ been trapped or captured this season?)
As fans, we already care about the characters. That’s why we watch and why the show has been #1 for so long.
So, why have the producers and writers stooped to idiocy and cheap tricks? Because the writing has gone so far down hill. Good writing hooks an audience into the story and the characters, no tricks needed.
It reminds me of Jurassic World, which is really fucking sad (wrote a scathing review here). If you take away the dumb decisions and you don’t have a story then your writing is crap. Anything else is just excuses. Sorry Gimple and Kirkman, but your explanations on The Talking Dead rang hollow and LAME.
Shit was bad enough with Glenn’s “death”, leaving all of us hanging for a month without knowing what happened. Blatant emotional manipulation, intentionally bad camera angles and a poor explanation.
But this? The end of this season? This is fucking bullshit. It’s gimmicky, cheap, manipulative bullshit. There were two soft, fluffy, wussy episodes leading up to… what? A mystery ending that won’t be resolving for six fucking months? We deserve better. This is not the show that most of us fell in love with. They took a quality show with good writing, good ratings and reduced it some soap opera style, cliffhanger, #WhoIsIt bullshit.
If some other show did this than they’d have a massive, furious audience that would be leaving in droves, but because this show is already a behemoth they’ll probably get away with it. That’s sad. I really hope that enough fans are pissed that this cheap shit will stop… but it probably won’t. Just like Jurassic World.
If this is what we have to look ‘forward’ to in Season 7 then I’m done. There’s enough crappy programming on TV already, I don’t need this. I never thought I would say it about TWD, but it’s rapidly joining the ranks of average, shitty shows… that I don’t watch. It’s saddening, depressing and frustrating to see something so loved fall so far.