I fucking hate The Walking Dead. I hate it but for the life of me I can’t seem to stop watching. I actually did stop mid season four and that’s the biggest piss off. I quit and had no intention of starting again until one of my co-workers started verbalizing her excitement and now I’m relapsing hard.
It’s not even that it’s a terrible show. If it was than I wouldn’t have a problem. It’s that it’s a show with so much squandered potential. It could be so much better if the writers would just decide were they want to go with this fucking show and get there in a timely manner instead of aimlessly wandering from season to season. I can forgive annoying characters and the improbability of a guy surviving two months as a sitting duck in a hospital bed with no one there to change his IV, but I can’t forgive the god awful pacing that plagues this show.
Every season has a good half dozen filler episodes and that filler isn’t a basket of buttery oven fresh rolls it’s a bowl of stale bar peanuts. The formula for a season of The Walking Dead is two hefty helpings of badass bookending a drawn out affair that’s been sprinkled with the occasional plot points. If The Walking Dead was a five course meal, 3 of those courses would be soup.
After what was an engaging, action packed season premier, this past Sunday’s episode has already managed to bring all that momentum back down to he usual crawl and things don’t look good. It’s absolutely maddening. We’re only two episodes into the season and they’ve already watered down the series arch. Don’t believe me? Here’s everything that happened last episode (spoilers obviously):
-The group saves a priest.
-The priest takes them to his church.
-Terminus survivors eat Bob’s leg.
That’s it. That’s all they managed to fit into a 40min long episode. Maybe I’ve been spoiled from binge watching American Horror Story but damn it I need something more substantial to tide me over week to week and I’m not fool enough to think that there’s a chance in fuck of them leaving the church anytime soon. It’s a pattern. The location scouts finds a place and everyone camps out until they wear out their welcome.
Even knowing this, I know I’ll still be tuning in come Sunday because as much as I hate it a part of me needs to know what happens and needs to hope that the show will get better.
Watching The Walking Dead is like being in an abusive relationship. At first it was new and exciting. A television show about a man trying to survive and find his family in a world over run by zombies, what a great idea. It wasn’t long before you became emotionally invested and starting to image your future together.
Then after six wonderful episodes things started to change. They found the farm and suddenly the pacing wasn’t what it used to be, character’s actions started to get on your nerves in ways you never noticed before. But you told yourself it was just a rough patch. Lots of shows experience some dips in quality while they try to find their footing, especially going into their second season. You just needed to be patient with the writers. So you waited for things to get back to normal. You hung in there if not for yourself then for Daryl and Michonne.
Episode after episode things just seemed to disintegrate and more often than not you’d find yourself enveloped in disappointment when the ending credits started to roll. What happened to the show you used to know? The show you fell in love with? Plot developments became few and you hardly ever saw any walkers anymore. You started to doubt your viewership as you were dealt one boring slap to the face after another. You thought about stopping. It would be easy. You could just change the channel and delete the series recording you had set on your PVR but every time you do decide to get out The Walking Dead gives you glimpses of the show you fell in love with. A small promise that it can change and be the show you always new it could be. The show you always wanted it to be. Then a few episodes later there you are again; sitting alone on the couch a little more bitter and resentful each time.
I promised myself I’d never go back. I said I was done with Rick Grimes and his rag tag band of unlikely idiots and I meant it. After spending the beginning of the second half of season four I was done. Being stuck with Rick acting like a little bitch and Carl being a pain in the ass for a whole episode was the last straw. I was out. I felt good. It was like a weight was lifted. I’d be lying if I said that every once and a while I didn’t have that little voice in the back of my mind that said “I wonder what’s happening on the Walking Dead this week”. Eventually that voice subsided and I even forgot about that zombie show on AMC. I even started watching new shows. I was happy.
Jump forward seven months later and here I am watching season five. All it took was a few friends reminding me of the good times and a few trailers for the new season to get me back. For that I’ll never forgive myself.