I’ve loved The Walking Dead since Glenn first called Rick a dumbass, and I unflinchingly purchase every episode because it is (and will always be) one of my favorites. A bad chapter doesn’t make a for a bad novel, so sub-par episodes never really bother me. After all, my favorite show of all time is Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and I’d be dead wrong to believe that every episode/season is anywhere near as good as the best episodes/seasons.
Kirkman’s Negan is a compelling character, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan is a magnificent actor. But I have genuinely hated the storyline since Negan joined the show, and not just because I’m supposed to hate him. The show just hasn’t been the same since. Honestly, I think it’s because the characters behave more like they were fictional beings than actual humans. They behave in the most deus ex machina way instead of behaving like normal people.
The whole appeal of TWD is that you get to see people dealing with unprecedented situations and imagining the way you’d act in that situation. Do you cover yourself in the intestines of dead people so you can escape? Can you kill your mother before she becomes a zombie? Do you shoot your beloved wife’s undead body even while her eyes stare in your direction? Should you really have to suppress your feelings for your best friend’s wife after the world has ended and he’s probably dead in a hospital somewhere? These are the questions that made this show so magnificent.
But a band of silent, complicit, and pathetic betas that submit to the whims of a sociopathic and inconsistently murderous jackass with a spikey bat? What kind of shit is that? The show is now basically saying that we’re all lemmings who need people like Negan and Rick to give our lives direction. Fuck that. I wouldn’t want to live in a world where so many people would allow our leaders to behave that way. I’d rather be one of the walking dead than the living dead.
This show used to be excellent. It used to be so full of heart, the characters were relatively reasonable, and it had just the right amount of hope. Now it’s just angsty, apoplectic bullshit. The show’s producers are so bogged down in recreating (and intentionally obfuscating) the source material that the story has become artificial and unrealistic. It lacks the element that has set this series apart from the very opening scene: humanity.