Walking Dead, Ya Lost Me

6 04 2016

(Hordes and hordes of spoilers)

Okay, not lost. I will be tuning in for season 7. But I hated the finale of season 6.

I get it, The Walking Dead. You are a show about brutal circumstances, heartbreaking losses, intolerable pressures, and you have a high stakes, no-one-is-safe attitude. I like those things about you. What I like even more is when you depict the struggle to remain human and decent under such horrendous conditions. During season 6, you actually caused me to re-examine my own real life attitudes toward my political opposites (and there are some doozies out there right now, you know). But then you threw all that away in favor of nihilistic torture porn.

I get it, Negan is some ultra-villain from the comics, which I have not read. Having no previous investment in Negan, I was not impressed. He’s just another asshole sociopath, only more cartoonish than the Governor or the people of Terminus. I liked the misdirect better, when one of his people a couple episodes ago said “we’re all Negan.” A leaderless yet organized mob would have been an interesting twist.

I don’t object to landing in a desperate and despairing situation. I stuck with you through the death of Beth, and that was hard, but it had a kind of integrity. Not like the unearned menace in the season 6 finale; that felt like a D&D session where the DM has a specific, unpleasant outcome in mind, and no amount of inventive role playing or ingenious problem solving will sway him (we’ve all been there, right?). Suddenly Negan and his group can just do anything. Negan and his “awesome” baseball bat lording it over the characters we care about was excruciating and it went on way too long. I really wanted to shut it off, but I was hoping there would be some twist or glimmer of hope worth hanging in there for at the end. Instead there was just withholding of information. The event happened, but we don’t get to know who died. That is some arbitrary, American Idol-style dead air phony suspense bullshit.

Honestly though, I don’t even care about the cliffhanger. I felt like the episode left the realm of smart, powerful drama and just gloried in pain and misery, Saw style. I know you love your overblown head splatter sound effects, Walking Dead, and I generally find that little affectation amusing. But if you really wanted to be dramatic instead of gratuitously grotesque, you would have ended that final shot with one blow, maaaaybe two. Not half a dozen head splatter sounds playing over a black screen.

Come on.

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2 responses

6 04 2016
Walking Dead, Ya Lost Me – Colecty.com

[…] Source: Walking Dead, Ya Lost Me […]

25 10 2016
Tim Kimber

Completely agree with this analysis, specifically the “dead air phony suspense bullshit”. My take here, if you’re interested: https://rightplacerighttim.com/2016/10/24/how-the-walking-dead-finally-lost-me/

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