I have MAYBE 25% as much interest as I once did in the Walking Dead, and it kind of saddens me. The first two seasons were as great as almost any in the history of television, heel Negan may be the greatest villain in the annals of TV, yet it almost feels like a responsibility to finish the last few episodes. Unfortunately, I think a few things hurt the once-great program badly over the years.
1. First and foremost, the Zombies/Walkers became more of an annoyance than something fierce and deadly. During those first few seasons, the tension was palpable any time the Walkers showed up. ANY of the main characters could and did die. Now it’s like, “Oh, Darryl and Carol have a spinoff coming up. No danger here…” Plus, they only eat the secondary characters. “Maggie will be just fine,” you think to yourself as a zillion Walkers hungrily approach her.
2. The commercials are overkill and oppressive. They take you out of the show again and again and again. Greed isn’t good.
3. Long season breaks aren’t ideal, either. Sometimes I barely even remember a lesser character or a particular storyline. Months have gone by, sometimes into a new year.
4. The sheer repetition of it all. “Hey, here’s a new society. Only it’s not what it seems.”
5. You can’t top Negan and the Governor as heels. Nobody came close. The psycho Mom with the Whisperers is a distant third. The bureaucrat Roddy McDowell-looking guy now is fine but just nowhere as good. They are not in the same league. That I can’t even remember the characters’ names are not a good sign.
6. Talking Dead and the fan base also take it all too seriously. Do we need a one-hour post-show therapy session to mourn the death of fictional characters? And that swerve where everybody thought Rick died, only he didn’t, was pretty cheesy and downright playing with fans’ emotions. If the show ever jumped the shark, that was the moment.
Thoughts? Many people say they gave up on it years ago, as I did with Fear the Walking Dead. Still struggling to get through Tales of the Walking Dead, too. And there are more spinoffs on the horizon- will they be worth our time? Part of me will miss TWD, but simply put, it just isn’t what it once was.
Evan Ginzburg is the Senior Editor for Pro Wrestling Stories (www.prowrestlingstories.com) and a contributing writer since 2017. He’s a published author and was an Associate Producer on the Oscar-nominated movie “The Wrestler” and acclaimed wrestling documentary “350 Days.” In addition, he is a 30-plus-year film, radio, and TV veteran and a voice-over actor on the radio drama Kings of the Ring. He can be reached on Twitter @evan_ginzburg or by e-mail at [email protected].