Call me a glutton for punishment.
I’m still watching The Walking Dead every Sunday evening.
Once I get involved in a show, I don’t give up on it. I’m stubborn that way.
That first season of The Walking Dead drew me in hard. Those first season episodes were so good. So intense.
Then we got to the farm, those began well. Sophia walking out of the barn – whoa. And Shane’s deterioration and demise. Again, intense.
In season 3 we got to the prison. The prison led to some good episodes and a story that made sense, for a while.
But things began to turn downhill… for our heroes, the storyline, and the shows ratings.
I think the turning point for The Walking Dead (the tv show) came when the first major villain was introduced – the Governor.
The Governor’s storyline wasn’t bad in and of itself. But it began a years long trend away from zombie fighting and toward fighting outrageously evil comic-book-like villains (yeh, I know!).
The Walking Dead went from feeling very realistic and scary, to something more along the lines of a good guys vs bad guys show.
And then began the moral decay of our heroes. Okay, that started on a limited scale early on. Hard choices had to be made. But over time they became the bad guys.
Initiating a first strike against another group, murdering their members in their sleep, based on the word of another group?
It just seemed out of character… and, of course, it led to… the Negan storyline.
As the infamous season 7 got started, Negan did his thing, and many TWD fans tuned out.
A good number that kept watching eventually quit TWD as the Alexandria/Saviors war storyline went on and on and on.
Then we had the Whisperers… which included a few interesting episodes, and many forgettable ones. Maybe forgettable because I was half-watching while doing something else.
TWD had become boring.
We’re deep into the Commonwealth storyline now. It’s been mostly boring… until midway through season 11, part 2. Starting with episode 163, “New Haunts.”
It was subtle at first. But as season 11, part 2, has progressed, the episodes have gotten better and better.
They are more intense. There are scary parts. There’s a gruesomeness that harkens back to the early days of The Walking Dead, somehow different from the gruesomeness of the last few years.
And the biggest change? Our heroes have begun acting like heroes.
Our favorite characters have found courage. They’re standing up for the right things. They’re strong.
When it comes to fun-to-watch episodes, it’s made all the difference in the world.
They’re still fighting villains. But after a long side-trip, it feels like TWD is finding its way again.
Perhaps the moral decay of our group, and them returning to find themselves again at the end, is the overall arc. But unfun-to-watch stories and turning off viewers was not the way to go about it.
Here’s hoping that this final season continues to pick up steam and is both intense and enjoyable.
It would be great for The Walking Dead to go out on a high note.
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