AMC’s The Walking Dead has grimly graced our screens since 2010. Blood, guts and gore are around every corner as our intrepid survivors from Atlanta travel across the former United States of America, running from the reanimated dead, as well as the tormented and twisted living. But after 7 seasons and rumours that the show could go on forever, does The Walking Dead Suck?
The show has captured our zombie loving hearts and has kept the over cumbered undead genre in its stratospheric level of love for 7 seasons now. We’ve had many memorable moments like Rick shooting his first walker, the group attempting to put down the walker in the well, the governor’s attacks on the prison and Karl having to double tap his mother who died in child-birth. But there have been more moments to forget. The endless amounts of actual walking – yes we get that the show is called the Walking Dead but come on! The fact that the show started out as any main character could die, which has now become any supporting character can now die. Or perhaps the fact that the entire cast seem to fire improbable headshot after improbable headshot? With characters like Rick, Michonne, Daryl and Carl becoming pretty much untouchable due to fan support, it just makes the show boring. When your show’s premise is that anyone can die – except from him, her and him – then it just becomes stale as you know that these characters are going to escape any situation and thus the tension in scenes becomes void.
One thing the show does brilliantly though, is the make-up. The walkers look fantastic. The way that the artists remove water vapour from undead actors breathing in shoots on cold days, just shows the dedication that they have for the show. The physical decay of the Walkers can be seen in the amazing make-up, as the zombies edge their way to black putrefaction – the third stage of decay after death which will eventually kill all Walkers.
Let us touch on that for a second – Black putrefaction means that the body’s internal organs begin to liquefy. This means that the only organ the Walkers use, their brains, will liquify. This stage takes a while, and yet it is affected by temperature and exposure to air. The Walkers being above ground and exposed to the warm climate of the Americas. Surely this means that all the Walkers will soon die off? And with that, doesn’t that mean that the show will soon end? Well, no. The show could continue focusing on the characters fighting different groups as they always have done, but without the previous threat of the undead. The threat would still be there, however, it would only come from recently killed survivors who hadn’t been double tapped.
The reason why the show is perfectly set in the US is the amount of guns. The Second Amendment is the shows godsend excuse for the amount of weapons littered across the land. If there was a spin-off set in the UK or France, it wouldn’t work as our survivors wouldn’t have the arsenals that their American counterparts own. This is a positive for the show, and yet, surely soon they will run out of guns to find? The show have already addressed the ammunition problem by having Eugene work out how to make his own bullets (spoilers). This was again clever, but it highlights how the show is becoming stale as it has to create new ideas to solve the massive problems that it has created.
The show has the luxury of having 150 comic books and counting to pick story ideas from. And yes, many ideas like Rick’s hand being cut off, Rick hooking up with Andrea or Sophia not being shot by Rick and instead being adopted by Glenn and Maggie, don’t feature in the show but do in the comic books. But, there is still a wealth of things to adapt to the small screen. Moving away from the source material was a nice idea, it changes things up and makes those smug comic readers look like fools when they think they know what is going to happen next (I.E. Me). One thing I will say though, is that the show has completely wasted the Wolves. Cannibalism is a sure-as-hell thing to feature in this universe due to the world being over and there is only so much tinned fruit one can eat. But by having them in for a few episodes, only to gloss over them and then killing them off just ruins their appeal. Surely there are other cannibal groups you can make?
One of the main issues with the show is that it is simply boring. Seasons are split with 2 amazing episodes, 2 good-ish episodes and the rest is just filler. It’s lovely to see a show that spends so much time developing each character – we even have two episodes dedicated to showing us the back-story to the governor. But the show is horribly boring at times and, despite some of the most amazing television performances from the likes of Jeffery Dean Morgan or Norman Reedus, the show is littered with one-dimensional characters and more filler than a box of Twinkies.
Did I mention that they use the same tactic of covering themselves in Walker innards to get out of every situation? No? Well, they do. It is such a repetitive show. One season about finding answers about the virus – which is still massively ambiguous, then every other season is: find a safe place, deal with locals, get settled down, get attacked, regroup and repeat. It really highlights how dull the show can be.
So what will season 8 bring? New characters, new deaths, more walking, more zombies and more of Andrew Lincoln’s awful accent. The Walking Dead will continue to bring us amazing zombies with more life in them than most of our cast, but the question is – Does the show suck?
No. Aspects of the show suck, but in its entirety, no. There are elements that need change and season 7 has mostly addressed this. We have a badass antagonist, intriguing allies and more questions about morality than you can bash Lucille at. Yes, the untouchable characters, boring walking and filler scenes and the same repetitive scenarios do make the show feel stale at times – but ultimately this show is the reason why the massive zombie fad is somehow still going. The Walking Dead will continue for many more seasons, but only some of it sucks.