Why the Walking Dead Should End Already
AMC’s The Walking Dead has been in the news quiet frequently for all the wrong reasons recently. From speculations of the exit of its lead star Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes, in the show to maligning criticism of the show’s vacuously written dialogues, The Walking Dead has only repeatedly reminded its fans of creative exhaustion.
Ever since the show resorted to crave jigs during the show’s sixth installment 2 years ago, the show has witnessed precipitous decline in viewership. Despoiled of the certitude and trust of its formerly loyal audience, the show struggled to pick up fresh viewers with its 7th and 8th seasons by focusing more on the violence and less on the script. However the experiment turned out to be of no avail as the show ended up losing its already sinking fan-base. Substandard stratagems like faking Glenn’s death and leaving cliff hangers as to who Negan killed in the finale of the sixth season, reflected of how the show had run out of places to go and is merely girdling around loose slants that were not comprehensively addressed in the show’s earlier seasons.
When there is a lot of action going on on-screen audience are often compelled to ponder over the question ‘Why?’ a sound explanation to all such queries was well provided by the show’s core seasons. As for now, the show lacks reason. Rick’s battle for survival involved his hope to reunite with his family, Carol’s domestic struggles reasoned her breakthrough as a fighter, and Daryl’s relationship with his brother catalyzed the drama quotient of the show. Now with Rick’s wife and son dead, and all other family hitting the background, there is no love, warmth, or yearning left to fight for. For some characters death will render better results than a meaningless rampage for survival while for the others, they can survive with their refined skill, as walkers are not something that will startle them anymore.
The Walkers have already started to decay symbolically in terms of their importance to the audience or the plot of the series. They rarely are ever seen as real threats, and have rather become mundane elements of the post apocalyptic life; they are just regular hazards like bedbugs, bears or Taco Bell. The real threat is brought by the other humans, a dilemma not much different from our contemporary era, save for it by a dash of anarchic mayhem.
Every time a new haven is sought, a significant character is disposed of the drain. While such maneuvers, for The Games of Thrones, serve for cerebral narrative purposes; they greatly embarrass the contextual requirements of TWD’s deadly plot, contributing further to the show’s dismal ratings. Characters are exactly awfully written, and monologues mired into thin plot lines contribute to the lack of sense. When watching shows like The House, or The House of Cards, audience may pick-up dialogues or quotes that mirror the intellectual investment made to the show; such virtual colloquy is not only entertaining, but also makes the time spent watching such shows worth it. As for TWD, gunshots and growls do not really translate too much information.
Optimistic or cataclysmic, it is high time for show runner Angela Kang to pull curtains on TWD. A practical result can still be achieved if the creatives collaborate to recreate the magic of TWD’s core seasons in its finale season. Even if not with season 9, AMC can always use the opportunity to allow a short order season 10 to pull the plug off this stretched series. If the show is to; however, continue its run it will have to take a long, risky road back to where zombies were still scary, something which seems unlikely.