First published in the December 2016 issue of VultureHound Magazine – click here to read
After the longest six months in televisual history; a summer spent frantically searching for clues in backgrounds, actors on sets and lack of smiles on Instagram pics, fans of The Walking Dead were rewarded last month with one of the most brutal double deaths the show has ever served us at the hands of long-prophesied new villain, Negan.
For the most part, we were not disappointed. Indeed, I myself shed a few tears over the course of those few minutes of unbridled savagery (though that’s not saying much; I cried as Scarlet Moffatt crossed the bridge in this year’s I’m a Celebrity… final), but since then, things have started to turn sour, and, listening to the voice of fandom, three things have become abundantly clear:
1. There is only so much of Jeffrey Dean Morgan hamming it up that we can take.
2. Nobody asked for a fucking Tara episode.
3. Season 7… well… kinda sucks…
Not much really happening in the wake of two of the biggest character deaths in TWD history, a bunch of mediocre bottle episodes, and an unbelievably cartoonish villain have all led to fans being not just disappointed, but outright angry at a show they had once held in such esteem.
But, then again, isn’t that what every season so far has been?
We seem to be looking at The Walking Dead through rose-tinted glasses. Don’t get me wrong; I freakin’ love this show, but in reality, there is a very simple formula:
Great season opening.
Small collection of sub-par, wandering, actually quite boring episodes with the possibility of a half-decent one should an interesting supporting character happen to die.
- Annoying cliff-hanger mid-season finale.
- Mid-season premiere which should have acted as the “finale”
- More mediocrity, usual even beiger than that of the first half.
- Massive, over-hyped finale.
- Rinse and repeat ad nauseum.
It’s a recipe that has kept the show at the top for the last seven years, and what it boils down to is the way we watch nowadays. The Walking Dead is not designed for weekly viewing; it’s written in a way that, should we sit down and watch an entire series in one go, makes for epic entertainment. Season six, for me, was dull as dishwater the first time round, but going through it again over three days it was awesome. It’s just that in our age of binge-watching, people are less accustomed to the slow build. So quit bitching, Cyberland. If you can’t deal with the build-up, wait for the fucking boxset.
Me? I’m just happy to get my weekly dose of Christian Serratos.