The Walking Dead to The Walking Dud?

Staffers discuss their different opinions of the popular television show, The Walking Dead.


Photo Via AMC

Sam Boyd

The Walking Dead is at times scary, funny, and entertaining. And that is to say that I love the show. Yes, some people say that they focus too much on dialogue and ignore what got them famous in the first place, but I think the series is doing what they need to advance the plot and the character arcs. I do read the comics and am constantly impressed with the writing and I do wish the show stayed more reliable to the comics, but that is one thing that makes the show cool:  you never know what is going to happen.

I personally see nothing wrong with the choice of actors, aside from the fact that they are not critically acclaimed, Academy Award-nominated, Noble Prize winning actors. It is just one of those shows where I could care less who the actors are as long as I am entertained. And entertained I am. I think the characters are emotional, violent, ugly, and most importantly human. That is what a good character is. When I look at the Governor and begin to hiss at his sight, I am drawn in. The Walking Dead has immersed me greater than any other show. I root for Rick then I root against him, a range of fan emotion that is seldom touched upon besides other great shows like Dexter or Breaking Bad.

In addition, the Walking Dead franchise has spawned a very successful video game series that is as emotional and gut-wrenching as the TV show, if not more so. If the relationship between Lee and Clementine did not touch your heart then you must be made of stone. Speaking of immersed, the time sensitive dialogue choices and actions you take really draw you into this world and make you think about how you would act if the world was suddenly overrun by zombies. Or walkers depending on whom you ask.

Some think that the series is a sell out now, but I do not care. I watch TV for the purpose of enjoyment and my “tiny” brain, as opponents to the show might say, finds all sorts of enjoyment in the Walking Dead. I can safely say I love the Walking Dead. I love the fans. I love the make-up (shout out to Greg Nicotero). Whether you like Daryl Dixon or Glenn doesn’t matter because we all love the show. I just want to sit down and enjoy my show, not throw myself into a war I don’t care about. While the first season of Walking Dead was something admirable, the seasons to follow were nothing short of atrocious.

After the forced departure of Frank Darabont, the show lost a lot of the vision and direction to where it was going. Instead of looking forward to a segmented movie that was season 1, viewers came back to a prolonged mess of campy television. Darabont mastery of adapting existing materials can be noticed missing from the show. The magic and charm from the first season was replaced with a sort of industrial touch, pumping out quantity instead of focusing on quality.

AMC, the production company that owns the Walking Dead, then chose to replace Darabont with Glen Mazzara. Not to speak ill of Mazzara, but he doesn’t fill Darabont’s spot in the slightest. The show thematically and story wise take a turn for the worst, replacing a solid adaptation with something gaudy and that appeals solely to make more money off the cash cow that is the Walking Dead. The first season followed Kirkman’s original graphic novel to a tee, deviating majorly only at the season finale. But with AMC pushing for more and more episodes on a smaller budget, the show pushed on, but the quality would take a hit again.

Focusing on the show specifically, the acting is pretty good, but the show itself does nothing really new or interesting with its premise or story. The zombies are something particularly interesting to talk about because they are uninteresting. They don’t do anything interesting at all. Slow, dumb, and cliché the show could have made amends to expand what zombies could be considered. These are smaller, less detrimental when considered in a spectrum, but they can definitely take you out of the universe of the Walking Dead and remind you it is just a show.

I guess the point really to be made is that it isn’t inherently the Walking Dead or the cast’s fault, but more so AMC interfering with what was an excellent show that had promise. Too many stories end like this, the production company wanting to make a return and profit on the money rather than keep the integrity and quality of the show up.