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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Why the writers of ‘The Walking Dead’ are more brain dead than the zombies themselves

    Gene Page
    Tyler James Williams gets attacked by walkers in season five of “The Walking Dead.” The AMC show premieres Sunday nights.

    Horror-drama series “The Walking Dead” is now in its sixth season and continues to attract viewers who never seem to get sick of watching zombies get their heads bashed in.

    This show runs rampant with the undead. While zombies roam the world and feast on the flesh of whatever they can find, the truly brain dead here are those responsible for the terrible quality of the show. These mindless flesh eaters have taken “The Walking Dead,” a once intelligent, well-written series, and turned it into the worst show on TV.

    It started off so strong. You could flip through the channels on your TV and exclaim, “Ooh, zombies!” Viewers could sit back and watch them eat some brains while also getting a slice of well-made entertainment with interesting characters fighting for survival.

    Then, slowly but surely, the interesting characters started to die and the writing went downhill, resulting in the god-awful mess that now airs in “The Walking Dead” time slot on Sunday nights.

    The show can still bring on that same “Ooh, zombies!” feeling that it used to, but it can’t do anything else. It has lost all of its interesting qualities, yet it remains one of the most popular series on television—my god, we have really bad taste.

    The show’s first two seasons started off strong, then began the shit show that is seasons three through six. Yeah, it’s a show about zombies, but that gets old real quick. Yet, people continue to tune in every week just to find out what creative, new way the geniuses at “Walking Dead” headquarters thought up to kill a zombie that week. It’s people, actual characters, that make a show interesting—not just zombies, which is something the writers don’t seem to realize.

    The tension between Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Shane (Jon Bernthal) made the first two seasons so good. Shane was a particularly compelling character, whose haunting change from good-natured man to complete psychopath stole the show. But, at the end of season two, what happens? Shane dies, of course, along with the show’s glory days.

    From there, it just got worse and worse. The show cast aside character, plot and all those other apparently useless elements in favor of what fans really wanted: zombies. It seems as if the show has no plot structure at all. It sometimes goes on random, one or two episode tangents completely unrelated to the actual plot. Sometimes, they stick with a character or two for an entire episode for no apparent reason. None of it makes sense, until eventually, you just have to get up and turn off the TV. The series is based on a series of comics, and one can only hope the comics outdo the show.

    But, it has lasted until season six, with season seven set to premiere later this year. It even has its own spinoff series, “Fear The Walking Dead”—my goodness, what a clever name.

    Season six has not shown any signs of improvement, with zombie violence and random bursts of anger taking precedent over a well-thought out plot or any real character development. Highlights of the new season include Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira) finally hooking up, and Rick’s son, Carl (Chandler Riggs), getting his eye shot out-—oh, joy.

    There’s also a new character. It’s Jesus, the almighty lord and savior himself. That’s right, Jesus now has a role on “The Walking Dead.” OK, maybe it’s not actually Jesus, but he looks just like him, refers to himself as such and does not at all fit in with the tone of the show.

    Furthermore, the writers have completely missed a somewhat interesting angle here. The show’s title obviously refers to the zombies, but if you read into it a little bit more, you could argue that it also refers to the survivors in this zombie-infested world, individuals basically dead as well who lose all of their hope and humanity.

    The title works like a metaphor, and the writers need to find some sort of way to better incorporate that idea into the show. Right now, the characters just take part in brutally violent acts every episode. It has to stop.

    “The Walking Dead” airs Sunday nights on AMC, but hopefully not for too much longer.

    Follow Alec Kuehnle on Twitter.

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