I wondered several times while watching season six of The Walking Dead how much longer it would go on. Not ‘is there going to be a season seven’, but rather to me, it’s clear that its days are numbered. That is, if its fans aren’t as stupid as AMC think they are. The sixth season is just an effort in giving old problems a new lick of paint, but I’m past the point of fatigue and now they’re beginning to insult me.
Much is made of the introduction of a big character, ‘Negan’, the entire series builds towards his cameo. But less is made of the fact that most of the people who will watch this show have no idea who Negan is, since most of them have not read the comic (count me as one of those people). Thus we’re essentially asked to ‘grind’ through in anticipation of something big, with no real direction – unless you’re one of the other unfortunate majority who do not partake in social media, then you just have to grind with no direction at all. I’d be willing to bet the majority of viewers could name neither a character called ‘Negan’ nor an actor known as Jeffrey Dean Morgan. To that end, I wonder what they made of the finale? It must have been baffling, it was surely terribly written even for those ‘in the know’.
The series still has a certain value to it. I mean, the post apocalypse is always cool and violent so-so soap opera is always better at the end of the world than in the present day. It still has nice aesthetics, it still has the best zombies I’ve ever seen – are they CGI? Prosthetics? Both? It’s good that I can’t tell. And I like Jeffrey Dean Morgan (especially playing a baddie) and Norman Reedus. I guess, if you liked the series ‘Jericho’ from ten years ago, some season six episodes are effective time killers.
However, the main problems are just too big to ignore.
Y’see, this series is jumping the shark now, multiple times. My main beef is still Rick Grimes and his little crew of invincible badasses. How many times were Rick Grimes’ people ambushed in this series, only to miraculously shoot their way out of a near-death jam, with someone showing up at the right time and the right place to bail them out? It’s ridiculous, it’s about as realistic as old Turtles cartoon episodes, where the heroes were tied up at before the adverts facing certain death, only to have the whole thing licked by the time the cartoon resumed. No-one ever doubted that Leonardo would get those ropes untied, somehow.
Even Rick Grimes’ son can be shot in the head, then just re-emerge an episode later with a bandage on his eye. I mean come the fuck on! If you don’t fear for characters’ well being in a show about a zombie apocalypse, you’ve fucked up.
I resent the central characters’ invulnerability. I now patently hate Glenn, and that stunt they pulled where he was killed, only to re-emerge later as a post apocalyptic J.R. Ewing like it was nothin’ was a watershed moment in crap screenwriting and outright contempt for an audience. And they did it again with Norman Reedus’ character, a blatant attempt to whip up some social media talk at the expense of decent writing. Next episode, oh, there he is. Another fleshwound, his head wasn’t blown off after all, guys. Imagine our surprise.
Also, whatever happened to this being a zombie show? Another watershed moment happens in this season. After a huge build up about creating a walled community with its own defences to stave off the undead hordes, eventually the masses break in. And what happens? Why, Rick the Terminator and his crew of ultimate badasses simply go onto the streets and own them all, rendering the whole genre moot, not to mention the idea of watchtowers just a little less important, if God himself is hanging out on the inside.
And just how bad was that finale? Most of it had RoboCop Rick driving around in an R.V. and running into roadblocks. I kept wondering, how are Negan’s men predicting where this fellow is about to drive next? And if they want him, why didn’t they just capture him at the first roadblock? It’s a small world in The Walking dead, especially when the entire show, all seasons, appear to have been filmed in the one area or district.
So am I looking forward to season seven? Obviously not. Who can honestly say that ‘Negan’ is not going to simply be another conquest of Rick Grimes’? That’s what happened with all of the other big villains. The producers have outright said that they are not killing off central characters because ‘they’ve been with us too long’, they’ve also responded to awful bait and switch cliffhanger fan criticism by saying “our fans are excited“. Really? That’s how you respond to negative comments, by saying “oh, you enjoyed it? Cool, that means we’re good at this, see you season seven”.