Thursday, November 17, 2016

No Longer Interested in The Walking Dead

My wife is absolutely shocked that this season I have no real interest in continuing with AMC’s The Walking Dead. We’ve been watching it for a good five years now (had to watch Season One on DVD since we were a little late to the party), and I used to look forward to a riveting Sunday night. But not anymore.

I think it started two years ago, that episode where Carol decided to kill the two little girls. That hit me hard. But I still watched, although I didn’t like myself for doing so. Then I started noticing things about the show, things that annoyed me, and these things and their annoyance factor grew.

Now, I still think the first four or so seasons are excellent. The first, A-plus. It then lagged a bit with Herschel’s farm and the prison, but the Governor was a good bad guy. I enjoyed all that. Poor old Herschel’s death was probably the apex of the series for me. After that, all downhill.

Off the top of my head, for the benefit of friends and family, here are some reasons why I’ve decided to give it up –

1. To me the show is just too damn dreary, depressing, degrading, and despairing.

Like a soap opera set in a concentration camp – the best metaphor I can come up with.

2. Conversely, there’s no real hope, no truly good characters left to root for (Glenn was probably the last, unless you kinda sort of include Morgan), no big ideas or big men to inspire what’s left of humanity.

Feeds my pet theory that The Walking Dead is not Earth after the zombie apocalypse, but Purgatory, if not Hell itself. It’s just dog-eat-dog, man’s inhumanity to man.

3. The show is in a repetitious holding pattern.

Good survivors regroup, find safe sanctuary, said safe sanctuary threatened by a bad guy, good survivors get crap beaten out of them, good survivors eventually rise up, bad guy gets comeuppance, good survivors scatter. Lather, rinse, repeat.

4. I’ve really had my share of zombie heads being shot, hacked, stabbed, split open, and / or separated from their bodies.

Desensitization is not necessarily a good thing.

5. I’m not too keen on watching physical and psychological torture. In fact, I try to avoid it.

I think with each consecutive season, in order to present us with a really badder bad guy, the writers have to up the ante and try to outdo themselves amplifying the general on-screen depravity.

6. Rick is a really bad leader.

There’s stuff written about this angle out there. Whatever he touches eventually goes to hell. They could put him solely in charge of a simple well, and six hours later it’d be ablaze with zombies crawling out of it, raging flames and floodwaters, existentially threatening the entire community. He’s overly emotional, small-picture, short-range, mentally imbalanced. Yet the good survivors trust him and allow him to be default leader; those who don’t are often made to look like fringe wackos. I don’t quite understand it.

7. The show revels in basic bad horror movie decisions / clichés.

Let’s search this abandoned warehouse, but let’s break up into small groups to do it. Let’s keep it dark, and let’s back up into things. Let’s not follow previously agreed-upon directions, and when things go wrong, let’s allow panic to immediately overwhelm us.

A pet peeve: Where do all the guns and ammo come from?

Is rural Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia that armed to the teeth? It’s like three years into the zombie apocalypse …

Corollary: And where do they get their gas to drive all the cars and trucks?

Well, that’s my take on the matter. YMMV, as they say.

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