The Walking Dead Season 7 Premiere broke the show for me

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Sunday’s season premier of The Walking Dead had me pretty excited. Most exciting for me was the fact that I could watch it and not worry about the Cubs game. Since the Cubs won the pennant last night, that left tonight for me and Rick and Michonne and crew. But a few things became clear to me as I watched this episode that honestly turns me off to this whole show.

First, let’s be clear about something – it’s not who died. Just on the off chance you haven’t watched, yet still care, I won’t name names. What I will do is give away one minor spoiler. If you’re concerned, skip point number 1. But I was expecting that whoever died, it was going to be a character I cared about. So, the who isn’t as important at all. It was going to suck no matter what. But there was more here that is just pushing buttons that the producers don’t have to push. Here are my thoughts – again, skip point #1 if you haven’t watched yet.

 

  1. The fact that Negan killed two characters in his little pissing contest at the beginning of the episode makes the fact that the writers held back the identity of the first victim for so long goddamn insufferable. There was absolutely no reason to hold back that information for eight months. Killing the second person – the one that will surprise no one – was the real shocker. That could have been viewer candy. But instead the producers had to be complete pricks about the whole situation, just to give the audience a big middle finger by whacking two characters.
  2. After not showing us who died in the first three minutes, the producers continue to screw with us by implying that everyone died. This further muddying of the waters did nothing except further twist the audience’s minds, seemingly for their own bemusement. Seriously, cut the BS.
  3. The episode has made it increasingly clear that the producers of TWD want this show to be as gory as humanly possible. The death of Noah at the revolving door was gory enough, and probably the goriest thing I’ve seen on TV. But today’s episode has made it clear that TWD intends to take it to 11. But that’s not the point of TWD. This is not a B-Movie that needs to shock people for ratings. It already has great ratings and a captive audience that tunes in week after week. Turning the whole show on its head this (and subsequent) seasons is enough to keep viewer interest alive. Unless of course, TWD wants to interest the 12-15 year old market with some kind of gore fest that would appeal to the likes of Chainsaw and Dave. Enough already.
  4. Talking Dead, the just-as-successful follow up to TWD held its premiere episode in a cemetery. Now, granted this is Hollywood, and maybe this kind of thing is normal in the Forever Cemetery in Hollywood. Maybe it’s a cultural thing. But it’s in extreme poor taste. This is a show about zombies – about dead people – and you’re having a viewing party literally on top of the people that built your industry. I’m at a loss for words as to how disgusting this is.
Chris Hardwick; Yvette Nicole Brown; Gregory Raiewski - Talking Dead - Season 7, Episode 1 Photo Credit: AMC

Chris Hardwick; Yvette Nicole Brown; Gregory Raiewski – Talking Dead – Season 7, Episode 1 Photo Credit: AMC

All that being said, I have not fully decided whether or not I’ll continue watching this show. I have shed a lot of shows from my life recently and TWD might just be the next casualty. I didn’t even watch Talking Dead after FTWD because I couldn’t bring myself to give a crap about any of those characters. I’m also not sure how I feel about watching the Castrated Rick hour for the next 13 weeks.

I only ask the producers to rethink some strategic decisions. Dial down the gore factor and swap cheap yucky moments for real drama, plot twists, and character development. If I want splatter house effects, I have plenty of crappy YouTube videos I can watch. I want real entertainment, not tasteless “look what I can do with latex” garbage.

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