Opinion: Why The Walking Dead TV Series Shouldn’t Just Get A Free Pass

I felt compelled to write this after watching the season 6 mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead. 6 seasons already? Doesn’t it feel so much longer?

I know that a lot of people are going to disagree with me here & that’s totally fine, This is just my opinion & I can’t stress this enough…I love this show, I really do but it is not above criticism.

On Monday the 15th February the mid-season premiere aired & social media exploded in a flurry of praise & adulation. Statements such as “wow, best episode yet”, “amazing, how do they keep doing it?” & “In tears, such a high for the show”.

Walking Dead Twitter

It seemed like a lot of people were happy but I was wary of this. You see a lot of people really enjoyed the mid-season finale, I personally thought it was boring & had little drama whereas the episode before would have made for a much better cliff-hanger.

I watched the episode & I liked it, I liked it a lot…so what exactly is my problem? The fake-out that ended the episode before, the mid-season finale. The events that took place in the closing scene did not happen in this episode. Now yes, I know that effectively the same result went down but what kind of bullshit is that?

I’m actually amazed more people haven’t picked up on this as it surely suggests that they don’t give two shits about their own continuity. What’s to stop them having a character in dire peril come the end of the season only to start the next one pretending that never happened?

Too much, maybe? But as we’ve seen the show is becoming obsessed with fake-out moments.

Spoilers follow – read at your own risk!

Glen’s miraculous survival by crawling under the bin a few episodes ago was praised for being inventive yet it goes against everything we’ve been taught about zombies. Think about it…as Glen is lying there with the dude’s body on top of him they start tearing into him while Glen screams as if it’s happening to him. That was the fake-out of Glen dying…how in the hell with that many zombies around him did none of them grab him, he was making enough noise & he was trapped under a body!?

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No, they wanted to grab your attention but didn’t have the guts to go through with it. The exact same thing happened in the latest episode where Glen attempts to distract the zombies so his wife can escape by behaving like an absolute idiot. How exactly was throwing this life away to help her do something she realistically could have done herself a good idea!? But of course it was just another fake-out…the music rose, the zombies closed in & just when you thought he was dead the zombies were gunned down by Abraham using a machine gun.

Amazingly every zombie was killed without Glen getting hit even though it was a machine gun from distance & half of those zombies were as dried out as a paper bag.

Also Maggie could have as easily done what the young girl did to get off the platform. Why she remained there I can’t understand, they suggested she was hurt but she was moving around plenty when Glen was being a hero/ass.

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The creators are scared senseless of killing off any major character anymore & this proved it. Yet this kind of ‘almost’ behaviour is just seen as ok, it loses any impact & the next time Glen is in peril who is going to believe that he will actually die? The same goes for many of the main cast with several over-staying their welcome (I’m looking at you Carol).

The bullshit about it having more impact when it does happen doesn’t fly, it just becomes unrealistic.

It’s like the creators are afraid of upsetting the fan-base but how brave & clever would it be to kill off someone like Daryl or Rick provided it was done it a sensible & story-enhancing way? The internet would lose their minds!

Instead all we get now are characters introduced just to be promptly killed off a few episodes later. You have no time to care for them & at this stage it’s not worth bothering because they are all just fodder. Look at the people of Alexandria, how many are still alive? Does it even matter? Those that are will be killed off in the near future. This constant need to live up to the violent nature of the show saw them kill of all 3 members of the same family including 2 kids.

Shocking…except we’ve seen this before with far more likable characters. Rick, a hardened survivor stares in horror as the woman he liked gets munched on as if it’s the first time he has ever seen it happen before. We see flashes of her happy & smiling as if she was anything but a minor distraction in the story before he takes action to save his bloody son!

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The very first thing I thought when Carl was shot was that he isn’t dead…and I haven’t even read the comics! Unsurprisingly he isn’t dead even though he appears to have been shot in the eye at point-blank range.

The shows obsession with bleakness is beginning to drag it down; character development has stalled for many with the same tired tropes & behaviours coming out. The highlight of this return was the slight glimmer of hope as the surviving characters fought back for once. I enjoyed seeing people finally having enough of being afraid & taking the fight to the walking dead.

However that in itself brings problems too…it blunts the threat of the zombies.

Walking Dead Zoms

The whole point of this rant is to point out how accepting fans are of these issues & how it doesn’t seem to matter because it’s the Walking Dead; it’s so good that it gets a free pass. Start criticising it & you’re shut down by either being told that you don’t like it because it’s popular or something like “well I think it’s great”. As if I’ve said anything different.

All I’m saying is that nothing is above criticism, no matter how good it has been or can be. Stop giving the Walking Dead a free pass because it’s a gory & violent show. What impressed people initially doesn’t impress anymore as many shows & movies are leaning towards a more adult-orientated audience. The Walking Dead isn’t so unique anymore & I’m beginning to wonder just how long it can sustain this same kind of story-telling.

Let’s be honest, will the Wolves storyline really differ that much to what we’ve seen before? It just means more death & probably more fake-outs.

I’ll still be watching though…


  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

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