Previously on AMC's The Walking Dead
Stupid Cold Open
Right. So, The Walking Dead television show. It sucks donkey balls. I, and a healthy number of people have been inclined to agree. It seems like more people nowadays are coming to the side of reason, and it pleases me to see this happening.
To the people who still disagree, here are the reasons why you're wrong.
When you want to present an idea, you have to make certain adjustments based on your medium. For T.V. shows, one needs to form a pace that accommodates the run time, including season breaks and program running time. The Walking Dead manages to fuck up every single one of these things, and for no good reason.
Longer Isn't Always Better
Lemme ask you something. Can you justify the Season 6 finale's runtime? Because I can't. Having extra time shouldn't be about stretching something on as long as it can go. Those added minutes should carry meaning in and of themselves and, by the time the final moments arrive, the episode has already defined itself well and doesn't need those final moments to do so, but once they've come and gone, you think to yourself, "wow...that was a bombshell." Instead, I was thinking, "wow...that was a ripoff," as Negan smashed his baseball bat into an unknown character's head. We were left with a cheap cliffhanger, which the show has utilized many times before. Viewers could have gotten the tension and fear of the situation and returned to watch *without* the stupid ploy, but that would take good writing.
It's been true in every single episode that's been longer than normal length. No additional information was conveyed that couldn't have been in the standard hour time slot. It's really just AMC flexing its muscles and sucking its own ego.
Seen Two, Seen 'Em All
A lot of people have already started taking note of this lately: if you watch the first episode (season/mid-season premier) and the last episode (season/mid-season finale), you'll be completely caught up. The only reason the episodes in-between exist are to make the final "big moments" in the finale seem bigger. Meanwhile, the B-plots are generally vapid dialogues between characters about "hope" and "who we are," coming full-circle at the end of either the episode or the next set of episodes, in some cases only to unravel again in what people pretend to call "character development." If you just watch the first and the last, the blanks will completely fill themselves in, even if you'll be wondering "who's X character and Y are they doing Z?"
Let's take Breaking Bad's final run as a good example of how one steers away from this. In the beginning of that Season, Walt is trying to lead a normal life, but Hank's recent revelation has him hunting him down. From that, it's reasonable to imagine the rest of this season will be Walt and Hank playing cat-and-mouse. Then, the show throws you in a different direction and, although the ending is kind of what one would expect from those events, it's still not the A-B we expected.
This isn't to say every show needs to subvert our expectations, but if you're going to play it more-or-less straight, you need to do it well, instead of doing what TWD has always done: introduced potentially interesting plot points only to toss them away for the main event, which is more of a let-down than the first time I ate Cap'n Crunch and was not crunchetized.
It's Just So...Cheesy
If you've read any of my shit before, you'll know where I stand on the show's preachiness, speeches, etc. I don't really need to speak more to this, but I will anyway, because I like to write about trashing this terrible show. Here's what really bugs me about it. The show assumes you're an idiot and smacks you over the head with its cheesy message.
While watching this latest episode, Say Yes, I actually burst into laughter during that deer scene. We get it, Rick and Michonne are a thing. Then, during Thank You, Michonne gives Heath a speech about "you don't know shit until you've been covered in blood, and it could be your friend's, blah, blah..." Later that episode, Heath is covered in blood and he's not sure whose. The camera lingers on the shot of him looking in his reflection until the fans get "oh, he's thinking about the thing Michonne said! Clever, writers!" Cool, but could you get back to your friend Scott, who's bleeding out from the knee and whose water-submerged knee might be made worse?
I used to enjoy watching the show to make fun of it. I always knew there would be multiple nuggets of humor. Lately, it's just been so bad it's boring.
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