Five Reasons I’m Done Watching the Walking Dead

I haven’t watched this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, and I have no plans to do so. I decided last week that our time together was done. Here are five reasons I’m handcuffing this show to a pipe and leaving it stranded on a roof.

 

1. This show has become the television equivalent of click bait.

 

If I read one more interview with one of the show’s creators saying “This episode will shock you!” I might start eating their brains. It has become a source of open embarrassment for me to be watching the show and be asking myself, “oh, is that the part that was supposed to surprise and shock me this week?”

Yup. It’s click bait.

“Five crazy catch phrases Rick might utter this week!”

“Which character from the comics will appear?”

“The Governor is in this episode! Yes, we know he’s dead!”

“We’ve thought of another disgusting zombie to show you!”

“Someone is in love with Daryl and now he is sad because they might get eaten!”

 

  1. The show might occasionally shock, but it never surprises.

The Walking Dead has two forces fighting against originality. One is the desire to largely follow the arc of the comic book. I understand that. But for those of us who read a decent number of the comics, this means rather than true surprises, we get “whoa that is slightly different from the comics” surprises. Frankly, a lot of the best things about the show come when it deviates from the comic.

Two, the underlying philosophy of the show is too certain of itself. A truly great show can involve itself in philosophical debate, with characters in deep disagreement and situations that argue for both sides before coming to a conclusion. The Walking Dead isn’t able to do this. The underlying theme of “Only the strong survive” and it’s accompanying “nice people won’t make it in this world” always win. If someone does something nice, you should expect that they are about to die. Probably in a gruesome way and most likely with a comment about how they deserved it because they couldn’t hack it here in this world.

 

  1. It’s afraid to make any real changes.

Despite constant assurances from the creators that “NO ONE IS SAFE! No, I mean it, no one! Anyone could die! Seriously, I mean it!” there are three people who are never in real danger: Rick, Michonne and Daryl. Carol is probably on the short list here despite the fact that (spoiler) she’s already well-dead in the comics by this point in the story. Why? Because it’s a more compelling story with them alive? Nope. It’s because the fans love them too much.

If an episode ended with Rick dead, I would know we were in for something amazing. If they had spun off a second series with the Governor as the main character, rebuilding some crazy weird suburban paradise, with him struggling between being a good man and complete psycho, I would watch that show. If Carl took over and moved them to an island off the east coast where they started training horses so they could ride across the land destroying zombies, I would be so in.

Nope. We’re going to follow Rick around and keep holding him up as the “perfect man.” He’s going to go to the Alexandria Free Zone and then…. Sigh. Anyway. Spoilers. It’s sad when you can give spoilers for a couple seasons of a television show before they’re even filmed.

 

  1. I’m so bored! Ugh.

 

In the last episode I watched (super minor spoilers) our gang ended up in a barn. Hiding in a barn. Zombies tried to break in the door and everyone had to push against the door to keep them from breaking through.

Because the zombies are becoming more intelligent and knew to come through the door?

No. Because the creators wanted some sort of symbolic moment of everyone coming together. Never mind that the zombies should have walked around the barn. Or that someone could have walked to another part of the barn and made noise and they should have moved toward it.

In the same episode Rick stated mournfully, “We are the walking dead.” REALLY, RICK? We didn’t figure that out yet? You might as well say, “We are pushing against this barn door to show our solidarity against the undead.”

The same show that lovingly shows people getting hacked up and eaten also needs to carefully disguise the action when they kill some stray dogs and eat them. Causing a crisis of faith for a priest, who seemed fine when they fought against some cannibals.

Whatever, Walking Dead.

Seriously, I’m bored. There are episodes you could skip and miss nothing. More and more of them lately. The show could be called The Drying Paint.

 

  1. Z-Nation is 500% more fun.

 

“SELFIE!”

Zombies should be fun. If not fun, then illuminating. If not illuminating, then frightening.

The Walking Dead has been all of those things at some point. It’s rarely any of them anymore.

Z-Nation has surprised me more than once. It’s nearly always fun. It’s occasionally illuminating about the human experience and yes, I’ve jumped out of my seat several times.

It’s also funny.

It has heroes. And while people are often “punished” for helping the good guys (who seem to be harbingers of bad luck), it’s all in the service of the greater good. The only thing to come out of the Walking Dead recently that has half the entertainment value is Bad Lip Reading.

All of which to say: I watch zombie shows by myself. My wife and kids don’t watch them. I have a limited amount of “watching by myself” time. There’s not room for The Walking Dead anymore.

Call me when Rick, Darryl or Michonne die. Let me know if something truly amazing happens on the show and I’ll give it another shot. Sure, I’ll try the spinoff, but for now it looks like I’m done with the Walking Dead.

Go ahead and fight me in the comments. I promise not to bite you.

Author: Matt Mikalatos

Matt Mikalatos is a writer not a fighter.

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  • Matt, you know could always hate watch TWD, right? Might make it more fun for you. πŸ™‚

    • mattmikalatos

      Man, I’ve been hate watching for a season and a half. But it’s the same old things to hate each week.

  • allandthompson

    I agree completely. I watched the latest episode last night and I have to say that I am freaking ready for Rick to die. His character is just awful and cant support the weight of the show anymore. I am over the Daryl storyline of him being a badass loner who struggles to be part of any group which we have to go through every time one of his love interestests dies. They go to one place, the people bad, everything is ruined, we spend 3/4 of a season walking around. Yep, that shark we jumped in season 3 is getting pretty small in the rear view mirror of our broken down RV.

    • mattmikalatos

      Ha ha ha! You sound as bitter as me. πŸ™‚

      • allandthompson

        Only because I keep waiting to be “shocked” like you said but it just never happens. What I love the most, in season 1, “Dont touch the blood or get it any where near you.” Season 4, “I filled a pool with walker blood, want to go for a swim?”

  • Mikey Fissel

    Besides not being able to get into some of the bad writing in Z Nation, I am 100% with you.

    • They beat TWD to the “Z-nado” also.

    • mattmikalatos

      They beat TWD to the “Z-nado” also.

  • It’s unfortunate. I loved season 1, and enjoyed season 2, though it was at least 2 episodes too long. I liked season 3 ok, but again it felt dragged out too long. I bought season 4 super cheap on black Friday and have yet to watch it. This happens to lots of innovative shows – they just can’t seem to maintain the freshness. It can certainly be done; I’m just sad that TWD hasn’t. It started spinning it’s wheels pretty quickly.

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  • DonewithTWD

    Spoiler alert to this rant. You’ve been warned! I’m with you Matt… whole heartingly. I was a die hard fan up until the last 3 episodes of season 6. None of the characters are behaving like a rational group. Like they use to in the past seasons. Carol all of a sudden is done with the group and leaves…and pretty much wants to die, Carl wants his friend to not come but instead wants her to defend Alexanderia but locks her in a closet and Neegan monologues for 15 minutes about who is going to die after trapping the one group in the zombie apocalypse that has survived the worst. Really?! Sorry but I’m not buying it. You don’t go from being the best damn company in a war to being trapped so easily by having your every move predicted that leads you all into a trap. Have the writers really run out of stuff to write about to keep the suspense up? I guess so. Screw you AMC…I’m out.

    • sexnando

      and we don’t know who died… just finished watching… cuz yesterday i fell asleep (in TWD defense, it was very late 2 am and i only sleep 5 hours the night before lol). Why didn’t the showed who died. season 7 clickbait lol.

  • llLeoll

    Brilliant. I loved “The Walking Dead” early on, but I’m done.

    I slogged through this year, watched Rick plot that stupidest plan ever — marching thousands of zombies past Alexandria;s gates — just to advance the plot. Watched characters act out of character — just to advance a plot. Suffered through 4 cheese-ball cliff-hangers and a handful of “knew that would happen” deaths.

    And, yes “Z Nation” is brilliant. They’ve got a real story-line to plot around. I mean, how cool is it that the guy you hate, Murphy, is the one they gotta keep alive? And it does keep you guessing… from Murphy’s kid to the Mexican gang-bangers to the submarine mutiny…

    That I’ll watch. Pure pulp fictional joy. TWD, not so much.

  • Nocturne

    SPOILERS AND OCCASIONAL CUSSING AHEAD
    Yes! Finally someone gets it! TWD completely went to shit. The show started out great, the first two seasons were very entertaining. Then it slowly started going downhill. Walking walking walking, killing a walker, walking walking, talking, walking, killing a human, walking, talking, walking, some unimportant character nobody cares about dies, walking, walking walking… Nothing interesting happened for a while. Potentially great arcs lasted for no more than 3 episodes and then they returned to that walking walking walking bullshit until another arc starts, and then it went in circles until Alexandia. Like fuck, why did Terminus end so quickly when it was probably one of the most interesting arcs?! Wtf was the point of that Grady Memorial Hospital, just to kill off a character in the most ridiculous and embarrassing way possible?? Wtf was with The Wolves? And I find it ridiculous when people tell me about the “amazing” characters development in this show, like… what development?? Every character who had a good personality and great potential turned stale af! A bunch of emotionless killing machines! All characters are basically the same now in terms of personality. All the ones that actually had a development — learned to fight yet still possessed a different personality which separated them from the rest of the ruthless fuckers — got fucking killed off. Speaking about killed, like none of the main characters died lately! At first the show was trying to tell you how nobody is safe, that no matter how loved the character is by the fans – they are not invincible. Then it degraded into some dumb fanservice piece of crap where no popular character dies. COMIC SPOILERS AHEAD Seriously, Carol should have died long ago, she was a clingy wreck and she committed suicide, she wasn’t suppose to become a badass. Judith was suppose to die long ago too, she was crushed under Lori’s weight when Lori was running away carrying Judith and was shot by the Governor. Now Glenn is suppose to die, this is EXACTLY how he was killed in the comics, but they decided to end it in cliffhanger and I have a bad feeling that they’ll kill someone else, like probably Abraham, because Glenn is too loved by the damn fans! Daryl isn’t even suppose to be in the comics, how come he survived so many near death situations (eg: in season 1 when he was looking for Sophia, he got thrown off his horse, pierced by one of his bolts after the fall, got so bad he started hallucinating Merle, almost eaten by a walker in that weakened state, survived a shot to the head by Andrea. Then in season 5 when looking for Beth, he and Carol drive a fucking truck off a bridge with them in it and survived that! SEASON 6 SPOILERS AHEAD Then this season survives yet ANOTHER gunshot to the head!! Come fucking on!!)?? Hm, well he IS a fan favorite after all. Oh and look, Rick and Michonne got together out of the blue? Fan favorite couple, last I checked. I can now describe this dhow with one word – fanservice.

  • that_was_random كافر

    I was on the fence when they started displaying the icon for production company “Idiot Box” at the end of every episode, like I was being insulted for watching the show…
    Then after the whole Negan “clifhanger” I was just done.
    The show shit on the fans one too many times. F em.

  • Laurie Rhodes Maloy

    Just watched Season 7 episode 1. I’m done. I’ve been hanging on for Daryl and only Daryl for three seasons. But this is just too much. I’ll watch when he dies. That’s it. I mean, if someone could just condense all his scenes into an after show Daryl piece on YouTube and tag me, that’d be great.

    • mattmikalatos

      That’s hilarious. I bet someone out there will make it happen. πŸ™‚

  • Lana Aprill-Rush

    I finally joined you. Not because Glenn died. No, that I can handle. Abraham too. But why didn’t Maggie die? I can’t stand another year of Maggie moping about in her grief. It’s dull not drama. Each year goes like this: Bad guy is encountered and our group flips him off or steals something or someone from him or her. Bad guy kidnaps one or more of our group. The group defeats the bad guy and his people losing one of the group that is closest to Maggie and possible more in the fray and possibly picking up one of theirs to our side. Group moans and groans about the moral compass of life and what kind of a “decent” future they can now magically see a glimmer of light for. Every dang year. Same story. I was a loyal TWD fan, sat there every Sunday Night. My husband died this year the Sunday before the mid-season start and my daughter and I cried as we watched it for him. I simply cannot watch the increasing gore and violence on people instead of zombies. It passed good story telling and fell into torture porn.

    • Lilith Grace

      +1, Mrs. Aprill-Rush: my TWD affinity has followed the same trajectory, ending with the narrative regurgitation and giddy nihilism of last night’s episode.

      Also, condolences to you and your daughter for the loss of your husband last year.

    • mattmikalatos

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Lana, and can only wholeheartedly encourage you that you won’t miss the show much. πŸ™

    • Gazoo

      So sorry to hear. It must be incredibly hard to lose ur husband. God Bless.

  • RCB

    Since Glenn is gone, I’m also gone.

    • Erin

      Ditto. That premiere made me angry. F- this show and it’s gleeful torture porn. Glenn was the only one I was interested in. Still mad at the showrunners because now I don’t get any more shower scenes with him BOOOOOOO *throws popcorn*

      • RCB

        LOL! That’s funny.

  • cerberus108

    The last point made me laugh out loud, because it’s so true. I hope TWD diehard fans don’t rip you apart for enjoying a show that dares to have fun with its zombie apocalypse.

  • nomar zepol

    After tonights show….I’m done. Really stretching it out ….beating the dead horse …this is just doubling the pain during this election year. Don’t need it. as Dr. McCoy used to say, “He’s dead Jim.”

  • SMB

    Last night was a snooze fest. Honestly, who cares about who fathered Judith anymore. The one scene I was looking forward to was, after he fat shamed Olivia in the comics, she smacked him across the face. Negan awkwardly apologized (by offering to sleep with her) to show her he did not mind. It was a great scene in the comics. Instead, he just terrorized her. Yup, this show is just boring torture porn now.

    • Gazoo

      That would have been great if she slapped him!

      • SMB

        It is such a well known scene. It showed he has some sense of going overboard when it is not needed. He is a far more interesting character in the comic books.

  • md65000

    Little did you all know how BORING it would get in season 7!!! I think the real problem is the writers think that since they are the “great super successful walking dead” they don’t have to follow the rules anymore for telling an interesting story. Each episode is just a slow monotonous nothing plodding along with no real story to watch unfold. I started watching this show the 2nd half of season 6 because my girlfriend absolutely loves the show. Those episodes were reasonably entertaining but these new s7 episodes are boring beyond belief. The are so friggin’ boring that even she fell asleep in the middle of episode 6–first time that’s ever happened.

  • Issabella Flower

    I’m with you on this one.
    1 I’ve never liked Rick
    2 the others act like that idiots and can’t think for themselves
    3 Every season to has that one bully that everybody follows and the rest can’t think for themselves

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