October 31, 2010. I remember it like it was just yesterday. Okay, not really but I assume it was a Sunday night. Halloween had to be moved to Saturday.
AMC premiered The Walking Dead and the first scene was eerie and extremely memorable.
What went from there was nearly eight whole seasons of shocking deaths and incredible make-up effects. But what happened? Did the show get too wrapped up in its source content, the graphic novels? Or did it just try to top itself by pulling too much away from the original narrative?
I have to be honest. The show I’ve loved from that Halloween night in 2010 has started to lose me. Well, it’s lost me in frustration for the past two seasons. I still watch it on account it’s appointment television, but I question whether I really should invest in the stories anymore. And boy are there way too many stories!
Any story, bad or good, has to have a conflict or an obstacle that pushes its protagonists to overcome the bad and it hopefully pushes them to move forward. I’m not sure how forward the show has moved in the past few years. I think a lot of the exhaustion has to do with how many seasons we’ve come. After the fifth season, a show really needs something more than stunts to keep its avid audience coming back.
Here’s my complaint, Carl has not died yet in the graphic novels, yet the show took another route to shock viewers (by the way, why wait until the second half of the season’s first episode to have the death finally happen???) and frustrate comic fans. Simply put, actor Chandler Riggs is 18 and he’s ready to move on to maybe college and perhaps establish an identity and a career outside of Carl.
And I hate to be heartless, but Carl’s death didn’t really hit me in the feels. It should have been more devastating because he’s been there from the start. Is it because he got older? Is it because he became the voice of reason? Then the tired “no one is safe” trope creeps in and I have to sigh. Of course no one is safe, it’s a zombie apocalypse!
Another thing, so with Carl’s vision, is the show supposed to have a happy ending? It wouldn’t be the worst thing but it also would never really resolve the never ending hordes of zombies issue. Were we just manipulated into thinking the show will end with Negan working in harmony with Rick?!? <sigh>