Saturday, December 16, 2017

Dead To Me

The Walking Dead just took its mid-season break.  The ratings are down, but the show is still a phenomenon.  Though how much longer?

I kinda sorta watch the show.  Sometimes I have it on in the background, and if I miss it, no big deal.  I didn't watch it for the first two seasons.  I disliked the whole concept.  I like zombie movies, because they're great monsters--for a couple of hours.  They're relentless and you can't afford to take it easy for a second. But then the movie ends, and either you've defeated the zombies or they've defeated you.  The idea of zombies chasing after people week in week out seemed exhausting, not entertaining.

But the show was such a big hit I decided to check it out to see what the big deal was.  What I discovered was a poorly-written, poorly plotted show, though it did have nice, gruesome violence and a few characters who were worth rooting for.

Since then, the show has only gotten worse.  Or maybe it's just stayed the same, which isn't good enough.  It's based on a comic which I don't read, but even if I did, I'd have to judge the show on its own merits.  For the last couple of seasons, the main villain has been Negan, and there's a huge war going on among a number of post-apocalyptic human communities.

However, the action is ungainly, the logistics are impossible, most characters are just annoying and their motivations make no sense.  I realize it's tough to pull off this sort of massive project, though other shows have done a far better job of maneuvering around a giant cast (such as Game Of Thrones or Lost, though those shows also have or had serious flaws).

The big news for the mid-season finale was a major character is getting killed off.  Fine with me.  I would have liked to see this character die a long time ago. Of course, that's how I feel about most of the characters.

So perhaps the real question is why do I watch this show at all?

10 Comments:

Anonymous Lawrence King said...

I watch it only when I'm at the house of a friend who's a fan. Negan is a good villain (likeable/hateable in the right mix). His people are divided into the slave laborers and the rulers.

Three weeks ago, the rulers were clearly a tiny caste, nervous about a mob consisting of at most one dozen slaves.

In the finale, the rulers were capable of simultaneously assaulting three different good-guy groups (Alexandria with Rick's son leading, the Kingdom with the crazy king, and a convoy on the highway). All three assaults were conducted with overwhelming force -- forces so strong that they easily conquered all three places, even though two of them were walled and well-defended towns. I'd estimate that this required the bad-guy ruling caste to multiply by at least a factor of ten, and that doesn't even take into account the fact that they must have left some of the ruling caste behind at their headquarters to watch their slave laborers.

I don't care for any zombie fiction. The only reason I find WD is interesting at all is the intra-human conflict. But any long-arc show must keep its rules consistent, or there's no point in watching at all.

6:01 PM, December 16, 2017  
Blogger LAGuy said...

And let's not forget the good guys' special plan. They released a bunch of zombies to surround the main Negan compound and...that was it. They'd come back a few days later and accept the surrender. Even if there were a thousand zombies surrounding the place (and there weren't), all you need to do is calmly kill them, one by one. It should take a day or two at most.

11:28 PM, December 16, 2017  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't that always the question with zombie shows? "How much longer?"?

11:23 AM, December 17, 2017  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

Well, I won't join the condemnation - I'm a regular fan. I agree with LAG that I'm not heartbroken over the reveal of a new major character biting the big one (or being bitten as the case may be). I also get tired of some of the inter-personal relationships. I think in a post-apocalypse world, dating would become a pretty minor priority.

But I think the introduction of Negen has been great. He is a complicated villain, worthy of a long stay (before he is presumably defeated). I think LK misapprehended the Saviors' counterattack in the mid-season finale. A strong force attacked Rick's stronghold, but found it largely abandoned, which was a tactical move. The Convoy was met by a relatively small group, and our side (led by Maggie) was allowed to leave on their own to their Hill Top community, where it is clear they will resist the Saviors. As for the Kingdom, they suffered the most losses in the initial attack, but even there, it looks like everyone but King Ezekiel escaped (mostly women and children). And I think he'll be rescued, since Morgan is lurking about and the Savior in charge there doesn't have his heart in being evil.

Meanwhile, Rick and Tara are off getting more allies, which shapes up for a good second half of the season. I just hope it resolves by season end. The gap between season for TWD is too long for massive cliff-hangers.

3:29 PM, December 17, 2017  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Even if they had the people (and the amount of people they have is quite elastic), how would they know when and where to attack the convoy?

And speaking of Rick, his "plan" was to go to a bunch of lunatics, alone, with no weapons, and convince them to join his side. They immediately decide to kill him, of course. Good pan, Rick. With leadership like that, how can they lose?

10:16 PM, December 17, 2017  
Blogger New England Guy said...

What major character dies in the mid season finale? I honestly could not remember. I looked it up on Wikipedia and that didn't help though I don't really recall what all the redshirt's names are. This year has contained a lot of action signifying not much.

I will continue to watch although I really hate Negan not so much because he is heartless violent character as much as he cloying- a stupid person's idea of an evil genius. The Governor was a much better villain. Of course the good guys' meaningful glares and grunts are often worse

2:08 PM, December 18, 2017  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Okay, SPOILER ALERT, though I doubt too many will follow us down this far.

At the end of the mid-season finale for season 8, it's discovered that Carl, though still alive, has been bitten by a zombie.

3:59 PM, December 18, 2017  
Blogger New England Guy said...

I was only paying half attention I guess- I thought it was a gunshot wound and that he wasn't necessarily a goner yet

6:16 AM, December 19, 2017  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TWD jumped the shark years ago. The zombies stopped being fun.

4:38 PM, December 21, 2017  
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