Tuesday, October 25, 2016

EDITORIAL: 'The Walking Dead' Season 7 Premiere And Why I WONT Be Dropping The Series

So, ever since the amazingly brutal season 7 opener for The Walking Dead, I've seen several articles written about how the writer is no longer going to watch the show because it was "too much" or "went too far".  Well, in my opinion, this is a bulls*** excuse. 

The episode in question, titled "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be", encapsulated everything that is The Walking Dead.  This isn't the first time the show has gotten brutal.  Perhaps it's the first time it's shown this much, but I'd argue even that.  I've seen characters stomp a walker head into mush, and no one complained about that.  Yes, walkers are dead, and the characters killed in the episode in question were not, but why should that matter?  Gore is gore.  Brutal is brutal. No matter who it's happening to.

This was one of the absolute best episodes ever aired of this series, and if anything, has solidified my fandom for seasons to come.  The performances were spectacular, from Rick and Negan who dominated the episode, Glenn and Abraham who lost their lives, but not before giving one final line that encompassed their characters, and even all the other characters who pretty much sat there in silence with nothing but fear, pain, and anguish on their faces. 

Ever since the first season, this show has never been afraid to push the limits and this episode is no different.  We've seen children murdered on screen, right in front of us, and fans didn't get this much in an uproar.  

So, what makes this time different?  I think it was the sheer shock factor of the intense brutality of Negan's actions, mixed with the amazingly gory makeup effects, and the death of one of the show's best and most beloved characters.  People couldn't process what had happened, so instead of sticking with the series and dealing with these feelings, they chose to leave.

And I say good riddance.

You don't need to have been a fan of the comics to enjoy this series, but what you do need is to understand that this is a zombie apocalypse, and people die.  Sometimes in brutal ways.  Acting like this is any different from that is naive and shows, to me, that these people aren't true fans of the show.  However, it's those who are also fans of the comics that can tell you that this is EXACTLY how Glenn's death played out, and even the actor, Steven Yeun, said that there is no other way he would have wanted to go out.  He actually pushed to have this death be exactly as it was in the comics and it was a fantastic, emotional choice for the showrunners, and I applaud it.

People praise shows like Game of Thrones for their brutality in killing characters, but vilify The Walking Dead? This makes no sense to me.  This is a show about death.  There are literally only 5 characters from the first season still alive (if you count Morgan, which I am).  So many people have died or been maimed.  We've seen limbs chopped off, an eyeball shot out, fish tanks filled with severed heads, throats slashed, cannibalism, and not to mention all of the gruesome ways walkers have been killed throughout the past 6 seasons.  But apparently this was "too much"? 

I love when shows choose to push the limits and take their characters to places the audience never thought they'd go.  Some non-comics readers say this was an unnecessary way to go.  Really?  These are the same types of people who get pissed when their favorite book gets adapted and isn't done properly, yet when the showrunners of The Walking Dead do an almost shot for shot reproduction from comic to screen, they say it's unnecessary.  It's hypocritical and shows, to me, that they aren't true fans.  True fans know what this series is, even without ever reading an issue.  They know that brutality comes hand-in-hand with the zombie apocalypse, and to complain about it just proves that you can't handle the genre. This isn't a soap opera.  Blood will spill, brains will be smashed, get used to it or get out.  But don't pretend you didn't know what you were getting into.

I, for one, am excited for what's to come and I know that these events will impact the series for several seasons to come.  Bring it on, I'm ready.

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1 comment:

  1. The whole isn't he or is he dead' thing with Glen in season 6 set some viewers on edge and they felt that instead of the series sticking to just doing things to the characters, they were playing mind games with their audience. Then came the whole 'who did Negan kill' cliffhanger and once more they played mind games with their audience for the whole hiatus break. Then the big reveal comes and yet it is brutal, but the very reaction you are responding to is the EXACT reaction the series creators wanted. It shows them that their audience has been paying attention and feel real emotion about the characters. Their deaths left some viewers reeling with loss and the kneejerk reaction that they feel it went too far or they aren't coming back. It's that kind of powerful audience reaction that drives the ratings up and makes people tune in out of curiosity at what all the fuss is about. Those viewers who felt and reacted are real fans of the show, fans of the characters and they have the right to their feelings, angers and outrage. It's how they express their love for this show. They will grieve, a few really won't come back but many will because they want to see what happens next. Me, I was just wondering if Negan was EVER going to shut up. Also so far, he's too 'cartonie' for my tastes. I don't see the threat in him so to me the deaths that could have been as powerful as those in the past were wasted on trying to shove this character at us. I usually like Jeffrey Dean Morgan as an actor, but his take on Negan is just too much like 'The Joker' from the 60's Batman series. Andrew Lincoln gave his all as Rick, but even that couldn't make Negan any better or scarier.