The arrival of Negan was supposed to bring a strong and bloody new period for one of Walking Dead. But, instead of that, ratings went down and fans are not happy.
So what turned out badly? What’s more, what would be an ideal next step?
1. Settle the Negan issue
Don’t misunderstand us, we believe Negan’s an incredible character and Jeffrey Dean Morgan is doing an amazing job of playing him.
Be that as it may, he is somewhat one-note, and his consistent touting of bloodthirsty Lucille as a danger isn’t helping the show.
Obviously, there’s a simple approach to add a little subtlety to Negan and open the character up to new potential outcomes. This is something the fans have been calling for in any case: his background story.
We’ve been guaranteed that Negan’s backstory will develop eventually later on. However to what extent can The Walking Dead manage a character as relentlessly fierce as Negan is at this moment? For us, it can’t come soon enough.
2. Don’t bank on enormous events
The Walking Dead had already got into tendency, pre-Negan, of delivering a couple of incidents per season and expecting these to carry on the show.
The unstable nature of Negan’s character just makes the show feel even more inconsistent. Whenever he’s around, there’s certain to be mayhem. But whenever he’s not, you can expect a whole lot of nothing: supply runs, long conversations about diminishing resources or – worst of all – tired insights on how a zombie apocalypse can change a person for the worse. No kidding.
But, hey, wasn’t it awesome when those characters got their heads bashed in, like, three weeks ago?
Right now, The Walking Dead only seems to know how to play on two levels – quiet and incredibly loud – and it badly needs to rediscover different moods and different ways of telling a story. It shouldn’t take a massacre to get us contributed.
3. No more isolated episodes
You can understand the thinking. In the past, some of the show’s very best episodes have put the focus squarely on just one character, or set of characters. Look at ‘Clear’ from season 3, or last year’s ‘Here’s Not Here’.
But while you can debate the merit of individual episodes, it’s clear that telling isolated stories every single week just hasn’t worked this season. The storytelling felt sluggish, the fates of major characters were left hanging for a long time. Also, we spent entire episodes in the company of characters who just didn’t merit it.
Surely the team behind The Walking Dead are vigilant enough to know that we’d rather catch up with Carol and Morgan – and learn more about intriguing newbies like Ezekiel – than watch the not-very-exciting antics of Heath and Tara?
Which leads us on our next point…
4. Cull some characters
Twenty regulars on a TV show are too much. There’s no reasonable way for any TV show to arrange that many characters at once.
The Walking Dead should be merciless and cut back on the dead wood. We’re not requesting more executions. We simply want less new faces and a recharged concentrate on the characters we’ve invested in.
Dedicating a lot of the previous eight scenes to second-level characters (like Olivia and Spencer) implied that fan top choices Carol, Daryl, Michonne) have blurred away from plain sight, while underserved characters with genuine potential – Aaron, Father Gabriel – were additionally denied the opportunity to rise.
5. Forget the comics
Once in a while, it’s conceivable to adequately adjust source material with no huge changes. But sometimes it requires significant deviation.
In the earlier days, The Walking Dead wasn’t reluctant to split far from Robert Kirkman’s comics if it implied recounting more qualified story for the show. Shane might’ve initially gone on for a couple of issues of the comic. On the other hand, the force of Jon Bernthal’s execution appropriately earned the character a more extended life expectancy on television.
However, under the lead of current showrunner Scott Gimple, the show is by all accounts absolutely in thrall to Kirkman’s work – even reproducing sequences like Carl’s experience with Negan in ‘Sing Me a Song’ essentially outline for-edge.
Not just does that make the entire experience of watching the show somewhat sad for fans who’ve officially encountered this story in another medium, however it likewise implies that a few parts of the funnies which essentially don’t deal with TV are as a rule straightforwardly persisted, unchanged.
6. Try not to depend on the uber-fans
Progressively, The Walking Dead is for the uber-fans who watch each scene more than once. They also read all the most recent fan hypotheses on Reddit, and are at any rate comprehensively acquainted with the source material.
Do not to trust us? Here’s a prime illustration: this present season’s ‘Go Getters’ had Maggie declare her control over Gregory by letting him know: “You’ll figure out how to begin to call me by my name. Not ‘Marsha’, not ‘dear’, not ‘honey’… it’s Maggie. Maggie Rhee!”
The main issue with this touching tribute to Maggie’s most recent spouse? Glenn’s surname was never expressed on-screen. So you’d just know it was “Rhee” on the off chance that you’d perused the comic books, or seen it on Wikipedia.
The Walking Dead anticipates that you understand this without giving you the required context. It’s a little example of how the show’s inexorably becoming tied up with its own mythology, at the expense of accessibility.
See likewise Richard – one of Ezekiel’s fighters from the Kingdom – who initially showed up in ‘The Well’ this season, then showed up following a six-week gap in ‘Hearts Still Beating’.
We should remember Richard is, as well as care about him. There’s even a drawn out scene where we watch him have a breakdown. Obviously, this pleased some uber-fans. However, not every fan invests so much in this show.