In today’s Show Time we’re taking a look at one of the biggest waves to sweep not only comic books, but also television. Fans have swarmed in hordes to comic conventions to shake hands with the likes of Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, and Robert Kirkman. Folks like these are part of the reason the Walking Dead has managed to get as big as it has. With excellent acting and a cast that attempts to bring their best to the table, TWD’s TV series is definitely something worth tuning into…at first. With writing that can bounce between genius and borderline terrible, TWD is somewhat of a mixed bag. Don’t worry, we’re avoiding spoilers for the duration of this article, so you can read through without any fear of plot reveals.
To start, I should mention that I am a fan of The Walking Dead. I was a fan of the comics, and I was a fan of the show when it began. The show has definitely taken its liberties with the source material. Key characters are often swapped for different plot points, and traded out for one another. This is a good tactic, for the first few seasons. Unfortunately, what ends up happening is that tropes overtake the show’s scripts continuously. You can only see fake out deaths so many times. You can only experience so many cuts to black before you ultimately end up sighing and realizing that exactly what you expect to happen is going to happen.
Initially, The Walking Dead was so awe inspiring because it had done something never before attempted on television. It was gory, it was shocking when a main character died. We were terrified of the zombie threat because it felt real. It brought the apocalypse right into our living room with characters that we loved. What changed was the introduction of shows like Game of Thrones, who started doing the same things. Suddenly, we were desensitized to the idea of main characters getting killed. What was initially shocking and interesting suddenly pushed out all chance for story to be truly developed.
The Walking Dead has tried its best. It’s had its moments within the last few seasons of genuine shock, surprise, and endearment. The show that began all those years ago has evolved into a great tale of survival. When they stick close to the source material, the show is brilliant. Seeing all of the best scenes played out through the excellent directing styles of Greg Nicotero is wonderful. However, it’s when the show tries to blaze its own trail, and create new characters and plots that it falls flat. I won’t even begin to mention the massive and well deserved backlash they suffered over the view baiting season six finale. To it’s credit, the show is wonderfully cast. I always squeal with glee when a favorite character from the comics appears in the show.
The unfortunate part of this is that so much time has been spent on filler, and moments that don’t matter that characters have become underdeveloped. The fear of killing off too many main characters at once, and the stipulations regarding real life contracts and obligations between actors has caused a lot of liberties and freedoms of writers to be stripped. When characters can’t be killed off due to contract obligations or fan backlash it detracts from the tension of the show. When you lose the tension in a show that’s supposed to be as thrilling and horrifying as TWD, you lose the magic involved.
Don’t get me wrong, the show is still worth watching. Although the fourth and fifth seasons were extremely dry, they had their moments. Seasons one through three had genuine suspense, intrigue, an fascination with the zombie apocalypse’s middle days playing out right in front of our faces. The show is definitely worth a watch, and with one as divisive and intriguing as this, it’s worth drawing your own conclusions.
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