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I became an avid fan of the Walking Dead last semester. I normally try to avoid TV shows when people tell me they are addicting when I am really busy (I’ve missed a lot of good stuff in grad school.) I have a long list of really good series to go back and watch when I graduate. However, I couldn’t resist watching the Walking Dead though. I love zombie movies. I think of all the dystopian narrative genres, I find it the most appealing. It might be the drama of watching someone’s friend turn against them right in front of their eyes and defend themselves. Whatever it is, it can be thrilling when it is done right. For the first two seasons, the Walking Dead was one of the best undead narratives I have seen.

The reason I am posting this on the blog is that lately I have been extremely disappointed in what they have done. In the first season, they kept it short and they had plenty of stuff going on the whole time. You didn’t know what was going to happen from episode to episode. At the end of every episode, you were dying to see what was next! Now, I am just wanting this season to be over. They are breaking all the standard rules of a true zombie thriller story, which they used to follow.

  1. None of the main cast members have died in some time. Knowing that anyone can go keeps you on edge throughout the episode. Game of Thrones is very successful at this. When there is no scare whatsoever of anyone dying, it becomes a soap opera and not a zombie apocalypse. I don’t find myself wondering who is going to die next. There hasn’t been any harsh reality faced in some time.
  2. A ridiculous rivalry which has lasted way too long! There has not been a large plot shift for some time. We’ve known that the Governor (Phillip) is the bad guy from the early impressions we got on him (he is the one on the left in the top photo.) He is the leader of a city called Woodbury. He has committed several nefarious acts in front of us the viewer and masked it from most of the cast for a majority of the season, however, in recent episodes he has shown his true colors for all to see. In the last episode, Rick (main character and the one on the right in the top photo) had the perfect opportunity to pull the trigger and end this. The Governor sat unarmed in front of Rick and he didn’t shoot him even when the Governor promised to bring vengeance upon his whole group with every person who follows him. This is really dragging on and is completely unrealistic at this point. Rick had already crossed the line of making quick decisions to kill people for the sake of his group spontaneously earlier this season against a couple inmates from that prison who tried to kill him. Shoot the guy and protect all you care about; or don’t shoot him and elect to go to a war where you’re heavily outnumbered. Tough choice for a man who is used to making tough decisions to save the people he has protected for almost a year now.
  3. Lame zombies. This past few episodes were laughable. The zombies this episode were nothing like the ones from the first two seasons. Andrea escapes from the captivity of the Governor. There was a moment where the Andrea was pinned to the tree by a zombie holding her there while hugging around the tree. That zombie apparently isn’t going to try to maneuver around the tree for the upcoming 30 seconds she has to fight for her life. Two other zombies are approaching her very slowly from the front as that zombie which refuses to walk around the tree holds her there. She can’t move her arm, but she is fortunate to have the first zombie from the front walk straight into a 5 inch knife with his eye socket. That zombie falls back on the other zombie allowing her to fight free so she can slowly walk up to each of them and stab them in the face. Later on, Andrea is cornered by the Governor who is chasing her. In a last ditch effort, she releases thirty zombies on the Governor!!! The Governor doesn’t appear to be all that worried. In fact, he is more annoyed that she did that as he slowly begins to walk backwards and kill zombie after zombie. What a joke? How the hell did these zombies overtake the human race if one person can fight off dozens of zombies, especially with all the gun nuts in this country. I didn’t see a man fighting for his life. He was trying to fight through a crowd of zombies to get to Andrea. This is no longer a zombie apocalypse. The zombies are more of a nuisance or pest than an impending extinction event of the human race.
  4. Main characters, no face time. I don’t know about you, but I consider Andrea to be a pretty weak, annoying main character. She isn’t likable. Her character is predictable, unchanging, gullible, and she generally finds a way to screw things up for anyone she might call a friend. The entire episode this week only showed Rick once the entire episode. Everyone in the prison is on borrowed time and may likely be killed (if that happens anymore in this series), but we don’t get to hear any dialogue from them. What are they thinking about? Are they nervous still? Anxious to fight? Do they want to run? Why am I going an entire episode without seeing all of the characters I care about. They developed this characters and made me like them. In season 3, they have repeatedly underutilized a majority of the main cast. It would be like watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy and you don’t hear about Frodo carrying the ring for a two hour movie. You spent all of this effort developing these characters. Use them!

I don’t normally feel this cynical this quickly, but I used to love this series. What happened to it? Are there any other fans out there who feel my frustrations?

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