The much-awaited premiere of The Walking Dead's seventh season finally aired last week, and just like Negan's baseball bat, it bludgeoned to death everything else that was on American TV that night with an estimated 17 million viewers tuning in to the show. With ratings like that, it's indubitably one of the hottest properties on television, and sadly, validates the showrunners' decision to end Season 6 with a cliffhanger—that truth be told—even the most ardent fans of the show hated.
You might remember that last season ended with the show's new baddie whacking to death a then yet to be determined member of Rick's group with a barbed baseball bat. A lot of viewers didn't like that move, with quite a handful of readers accusing the show of baiting for the sake of viewership.
Despite the ratings, it might be high time for The Walking Dead to wind the story down and say goodbye.
Here are a few reasons why it should:
1) The Walking Dead has trouble with writing characters that are actually likeable
Well, we finally found out who was on the receiving end of Negan's bat and the lucky guy happens to be...Abraham. And Glenn. GLENN! The last remaining Asian in the zombie apocalypse show is gone! The show tried to keep it under wraps, but readers of the comics were already aware that it was Glenn who got the bat, so it really didn't come as a surprise. But in terms of the show's narrative moving forward, do we think it will even matter? Will anyone even miss Abraham? One of the show's problems is that they hardly write any characters that are likeable. We're supposed to root for Rick, but he's hardly a likeable person. Daryl might be the closest thing to a fan-favorite the show has. Are you really going to cry if Eugene dies? Who actually gives a shit, right? His friends probably wouldn't care either.
2) The storyline is stuck in a loop and is becoming repetitive
Stop me if you've heard this one before: group finds shelter, someone/something forces them to move out, group finds new shelter. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. The show has actually been following the same formula for six seasons. Most movies about a zombie apocalypse focus on finding a cure for the disease. The Walking Dead doesn't bother with a solution, but instead focuses on telling a story of survival and what humans are willing to do to each other in order to live. That in itself is fine, but sooner or later you have to shake things up or the story becomes stale. Theoretically, the show can go on forever. Even if Rick, who is by and large the main character of the show dies, someone can take his place as the new de facto leader of the group. You can throw in a new villain every couple of seasons just to make the show fresh, but it's ultimately telling the same story it has been telling since the first season.
3) The 'Walkers' are becoming less and less frightening
When The Walking Dead was launched, the appeal was that it played out like a zombie movie stretched out into multiple episodes. The pilot, where Rick wakes up from a coma to find out that the whole world has gone the proverbial drain, was one of the most compelling first episodes in television history. But like Rick and the rest of the characters on TWD, we've become so used to zombies that they have long ceased to be scary. Rick and company have shown how easy it is for them to hack away at these "monsters" that it gives audiences the impression that, as long as they don't come at you in groups, you'll most likely be fine. It also doesn't help that the nature of these "walkers" is that they decompose as time goes on. So you might notice that zombies in the first season are much more difficult to kill than the ones you now see in the show. There's an episode in Season 6 where Eugene hoses down a herd of walkers with water and effectively kills them. Apparently all you need to exterminate zombies nowadays is a high pressure showerhead that you can get from O Shopping.
4) Villains are becoming more and more cartoonish
Negan issupposed to come off as a homicidal psychopath, but Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays him so charismatically that it's really hard to find him scary. That's probably not what the writers intended for the character. Since the walkers rarely pose a threat to Rick's group, they have to up the ante and make the villains more menacing than their predecessors. Sometimes it works, but most times they come off as cartoonish villains. The people of Alexandria are now forced to give their rations to Negan's group when he comes back after a couple of weeks, so basically the latest season of TWD now has the same the plot as Pixar's A Bug's Life.
5) The show is scared to kill off major characters
Unlike Game of Thrones, the show is scared of killing off important characters. Aside from Glenn, it has been awhile seen major character on the show got killed off. In fact, the effect of Glenn's death itself was somehow diminished by the decision to not show it in last season's finale. It feels like that moment had lost its emotional momentum since quite a few people had already read about it on the Internet. What makes deaths on GoT so great is that for those who have never read the books, these deaths come unexpectedly and to the characters you least expect it to happen to. In TWD, you get the feeling that the untouchables are Rick, Daryl, and Maggie. In Game of Thrones, no one is untouchable. Hey, even Jon Snow was dead, albeit temporarily.
When it's good, TWD is one of the most compelling shows on television. But the story is starting to stagnate, and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. For great shows like GoT, you get the feeling that you are nearing an end. And though you hate to see it go, there's a fulfillment to seeing that the story has progressed. You don't get that with The Walking Dead. Like the zombies that the show has ebcome so famous for, it seems like the show will just go on forever...until someone finally plants the fatal bullet.