AMC revealed today that the upcoming eleventh season of The Walking Dead will be its last . However, while the body of AMC’s flagship is still warm, a spin-off series has already been announced for series favorites, Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier.
This is a show that could have wrapped up successfully several times but instead chose to create more characters for you to love, just to throw them in the meat grinder.
Much like the ‘walkers,’ the now unrecognizable cast continues to fight. But the only thing they’re feasting on is our valuable time. The final season is here, but is it too late?
There are only two cast members from the original cast returning to the show’s final season, Daryl and Carol. Everyone else has been either killed off or have disappeared into the Atlanta brush to hibernate while they wait for the upcoming film trilogy.
Imagine starting Seinfeld at season one, and then by season nine, only Newman is alive. That’s essentially what The Walking Dead has done with its cast.
Rick Grimes, the central character of the show for nine seasons, has disappeared, and his family has been wiped out. Even Game of Thrones kept four of the seven Starks alive. The show was built around a character that no longer exists. Why is it still on the air?
All the best series are leading toward something. In Breaking Bad, a man slowly morally degrades over the series, and the viewer gets to watch how his decisions play out for his family and the people around him. It’s called a story arc.
Most of The Walking Dead’s story arcs now just kind of end in the brutal death of a person you like. When Glenn brutally met his demise via baseball bat a couple of seasons ago, I couldn’t help asking myself, ‘Okay. Well, what was the point of Glenn then?’ Was the point to spend eight seasons getting me to like somebody just so you could destroy them? Show producer Greg Nicotero even struggled with the senselessness of the death:
I mean, it was rough emotionally for me because I remember reading the comic book and seeing Glenn killed in the comic book, and I was really disturbed by how senseless it felt in the comic book.
As more or less every character is killed off, it begins to feel less like the show is going somewhere and more like the show is trying to punish you.
If showrunners had planned an ending seasons ago, maybe characters that have been just kind of tossed aside could have had satisfying arcs that gave reason for them to exist in the first place.
The final season might be here, but with two more spin-offs and a movie trilogy in the mix, ‘final’ seems like a pretty loose word.
Knowing what content is on the horizon sucks the life from the final season of the show. The characters who are left will all conclude their stories AFTER this supersized 24-episode season. It feels a lot like a money grab instead of compelling storytelling.
The Walking Dead should have been put down while there was still some soul left to save.