The Walking Dead – Why It’s Not As Good As Everyone Says

In the past 5 years there’s been a surge of great television shows that have come on air.  These shows are generally enjoyed by everyone and are epic in storytelling, have great acting, and ridiculous production value.  Breaking Bad, BoardWalk Empire, The Walking Dead, Game Of Thrones.  But one of these doesn’t belong.  While I admit it’s not the worst show in the world Walking Dead is easily the most overrated show I’ve ever seen.

It’s only mildly irritating that the show is #1 in America or close because certain dumbasses act will give that as a reason that it’s a good show.  American Idol was #1 for years that’s clearly the best show in television history according to these Walking Dead enthusiasts.  I like to think Walking Dead is considered great for two main reasons.  One, it’s about zombies.  It’s pretty hard to fuck up a show about zombies, and they’ve come close several times, they bring in their own audience and tension.  The next is admittedly the first episode.  The first episode is fantastic.  It’s so good the rest of the season, which was solid at best, got excused.  Now people can like anything.  I used to tune into Jersey Shore.  My problem is when somebody uses “best” as opposed to “favorite”.  When you say best that means that you’re putting it up for debate.  People are so hyperbolic about it and i don’t understand it.  I’m going to tear the walking Dead a new asshole and hopefully open some eyes.

The major problem overall is the writing.  The direction of the shows is usually pretty decent, the cinematography is great and very atmospheric , once again very hard to fuck up a post apocalyptic zombie show.  The acting is pretty good, not on par with Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones but still just one notch below except.. The writing.  I’m convince the people who write this show are complete and total idiots.  The dialogue sucks, the arcs suck, the pacing sucks.  Now I’m going to be clear.  The third season of the walking dead is actually pretty decent and is definitely on it’s way to becoming a good show.  It’s so close, I it mine as well be that show.  But that’s one good season one mediocre first season and the second season is the worst season of television I’ve seen since the 5th season of Dexter, also ruined by bad writing.

The Characters

Now zombies aren’t the most interesting thing about a zombie movie or tv show.  The most important things are the characters, and the location of where they’re holed up.  Zombies aren’t an immediate threat. They’re are a gradual threat.  They’re an impending reminder of doom.  So while Zombies are cool, what makes a good zombie story are the people that are trapped and their dynamics.

First let’s talk about the characters that are underwritten.  A good show knows how to focus on it’s minor characters and make them interesting while not giving them a lot of screen time.  T-Dog is completely and utterly useless throughout the series. He doesn’t contribute much other then diversity.  The other characters I can’t remember their names which only proves my point that the characters are boring as shit. What’s worse is that certain characters are only as interesting as their weapon.  Everybody loves Daryl, but he’s given next to nothing to do and like most characters is completely worthless in the second season.  Daryl is the guy with the crossbow and Michonne is the chick with the sword.

Characters that are overwritten.  Now there is a such thing as overly developing characters.  That means a character is given so much to do it contradicts their other traits or stretches them out too far.  This is when characters become overly dramatic, have too much to do, and approach being annoying.  Lori comes to mind as begin pregnant, having a subplot with Shane, having a sub plot with Rick, being the mediator of the group, and being the damsel in distress.

And the characters that are annoying as fuck.  The thing that makes a good horror movie is when people are driven to make tough decisions similar to what the audience will do.  This make the audience worry and adds more tension.  The opposite is when characters constantly do dumb shit the audience wouldn’t do.  I have more main examples. Lori, Carl, Michonne, and Andrea.   Now Carl was annoying because the kid couldn’t act and was constantly in trouble.  I wished for him to die every time Lori’s ho ass asked “WHERE’S CARL”.  Lori on the other hand was a complete and total bitch.  She’s manipulative, stupid , not helpful, sexist, ineffectual, indecisive, etc.  She tells Rick to kill Shane and then is surprised when he actually does it.  Now a good tv show would have had her say ” I didn’t think you’d actually go through with it” But no this bitch starts acting like Rick is the worst guy in the world.  She’s the one thing pretty much everybody agrees was the worst thing about the entire show.

Next is season three, which almost immediately tried to fix the holes it dug in the first season.  CArl is now an effective member of the team, and Lori is hated by Rick and hates herself as much as we do.  Now enter in Andrea, and Michonne.  Now in the second season Andrea was on her way to becoming an effective character taking care of her self and becoming ” a baddass”, but at the start of the season she’s completely as she started in season 2.  All the training in season 2 doesn’t pay off, because now she’s the ditzy blonde.  She mine as well tie her hair into ponytails. Her character is so annoying fans of the show are sending her death threats.  Fans of the show are the biggest dickriders of any other property I can think of and they hate her so bad they’re willing to kill the actress. Point Proven.

Michonne has to be my least favorite character on the show. ” >:(” that’s her expression the ENTIRE SHOW.  That bitch can’t act. I’m sorry when you make one face an entire season then you’re a bitch.  Now I know she’s harden and she survived on her own and she don’t need no man, but I’ll give a prime example of why she’s an idiot and not a strong character AT ALL.  And for all you aforementioned dumb asses strong as in balanced and proactive, not physically strong..

Michonne and Andrea both go into camp and in true Walking Dead fashion they both take different extremes.  Michonne is completely untrusting even though there’s nothing menacing or even suspect about the place, and Andrea just makes herself at home.  Now if Michonne maybe considered staying and then realized eventually it was unsafe or Andrea was nervous at first and then was persuaded by the governor to stay it’d make sense, but no Andrea can’t entertain the idea that the place has sinister motives and Michonne is already suspicious.  I wouldn’t mind Michonne not trusting except she acts like it.. She makes it so clear she doesn’t trust the governor there’s no mistaking it.  If she was smart she would’ve pretended to trust them and go around inconspicuously finding clues. Not antagonizing the governor and walking around with this face “>:(“, which immediately drew attention to her.

Alli in all the characters are just okay. Rick is great, Hershel is good, i’m sure there are a few others, but I shouldn’t be pointing out so many flaws in the character motivations for the best show on television

The Zombie Infection

I’m going to go back to basic screenwriting 101.  For something to happen it needs a pay off.  If a character is shown having a gun, they’re going to use it later.  If somebody points out a puddle on the floor that’s the set up, and if somebody comes in slips that’s the payoff.  Set up – Pay off is the most basic formula, and is essential especially for a tv show.  To give an example, tensions is mounted.  Rick, Hershel, and Shane are all bumping heads, and the group still hasn’t found the little girl.  Everything has built up to the moment before the hiatus of the second season.  Shane opens the barn filled with zombies and several things are happening.  It’s no longer Hershel’s barn anymore, The little girl is found and is killed, Rick and Shane have more unfinished business, and everybody who fights the zombies are the proactive characters and everybody who doesn’t are the more defensive and withdrawn members.  This finale is so brilliant and built up to so well, I question if it was taken from the comic books, because no other moment in the entire series matches this moment.

Now the problem is the rest of the show stuff is either set up , with no pay off or things haven’t been set up.  Daryl mentions a chapucabra.  Which is never explained or brought up ever again. Apperantly when humans are killed they come back as zombies and are already infected.  This should’ve been set up over the course of the entire second season , but only during the first episode of the first season and during the finale.

A major thing that happened that completely through me off was Hershel getting his leg cut off. Now unfortunately , there was no memory i recall of somebody being bitten on screen and transforming on screen.  I could be wrong, but I don’t’ think so.  The problem is that out of nowhere, Rick says ” We got to cut off his leg to get rid of the virus” and cuts of Hershel’s foot.  This is utterly ridicicolous, and once again needed to be explained in a previous scene.  The reason it’s important for someone to get transformed is because as an audience we can see how long it takes to change into an infected.  Shane does in a matter of minutes.  Every zombie we see is transformed when they find them.  Sloppy.

Forced Questioning of Morals

Morals are an important theme in a zombie piece.  As humanity goes on it gets less and less like humane.  It’s all about surviving.  Now, the problem is that once again characters in a horror movie need to react realistically.  There’s need to be some desensitization to match how the audience feels.  We’ve seen lots of zombie movies and horror movies , so we know when something is a bad idea or a good idea.  So When the entire group acts like Rick is an asshole for not telling them they’re infected it makes absolutely no sense.  First off Rick wasn’t entirely sure they were infected or not.  Second it doesn’t really make a difference, clearly since it really only affects the person if they’re dead, therefor rendering it not a big deal.  The group should’ve been more worried then angry at Rick.   But no everybody acts like they betrayed him, trying to make him out to be edgy.  It made no sense.   Also Dale should’ve been toned down.  Once again morality will get you killed in this world, so he should’ve been more understanding, but no this guy wouldn’t shut the fuck up about what’s right and what’s wrong yadiyada .

Logic and Other Stupid Shit

This is the stuff that just doesn’t make sense or is dumb as fuck, that the fans realize is bad, but don’t really admit it.  Like the whole there can only be one black guy on the show at a time. The Fact that the group sense Glenn down a waterhole to pull out a zombie even though the water is clearly useless. The fact that Michonne is attacked by zombies after giving Rick the puppy dog eyes and then immediately says ” I didn’t need your help”.  How come rationing bullets isn’t a big concern.  How can Hershel in the finale of the second season shoot so many bullets without loading nearly everybody made jokes that he used an infinite ammo cheat.

I could go further and further, but of course that’d be nitpicking.  But once again this goes to show how un thought out this entire show is.  I can take dumb moments like this every once in a while, but once an episode is really a bit much.  This is whole heartly the problem and until they stop doing dumb shit this will forever be a series stuck in limbo, unable to develop because people are going to like the show regardless of the actual quality because it has zombies.  And of course you can argue all day long about how i’m wrong about a particular thing or make excuses, but when I’m watching Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad i don’t have those moments.  Everything is consistent and seamless and all pretty much makes sense inside of it’s universe.  And of course not all shows aren’t going to be Breaking Bad, but then these stupid fanboys need to stop calling it the best show ever.

Solution

At this point they’re on the right track.  Except for a few bumps the third season is more or less what I hope.  The team is more intelligent there’s less dead weight Carl is more effective Lori is Dead There’s a villain adding to the threat Lori is Dead There’s a new location, they episodes have better pacing and most importantly Lori is no longer breathing.  They could also go ahead and get better dialogue and hire hire better writers, but let’s be honest people love the show regardless so why bother

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