Like many of you, I was an avid fan of The Walking Dead. Sunday night was always something to look forward to with the latest episode. Over the past two years, however, I've become increasingly disenchanted with the series. In retrospect, the killing of Glenn was probably the death knell for me.
My decision to give a future pass to The Walking Dead, however, is based on various elements besides the death of one of its most interesting characters. The main difference between a graphic novel and a television series is that the latter has a real opportunity to flesh out characters rather than rely on the formulaic hero versus villain theme. But in Negan, the latest villain, we see not a flesh-and-blood human being, but a caricature of evil--a bit like a leering bad-guy wrestler playing to script. How many times is it necessary to show someone beaten to death, branded with an iron or, in one case, thrown into a fire? And do we really need to see the main characters, Rick and Daryl, repeatedly emasculated? Granted they are fighting back at the end of Season 7, but for me it's like a wearisome cycle that never ends. Add to this a cast of ineffectual "supporting" characters. Am I the only one who finds Gabriel, Tara, and Rosita, to name a few examples, more annoying than effective? The Walking Dead has the dubious distinction of ending the performance of many strong actors while relying on inferior acting skills to keep the series running.
As reported by Wikipedia, "executive producer David Alpert said in 2014 that the original comics have given them enough ideas for Rick Grimes and company over the next seven years. 'I happen to love working from source material, specifically because we have a pretty good idea of what Season 10 is gonna be', Alpert said. 'We know where seasons 11 and 12 [will be].... [W]e have benchmarks and milestones for those seasons if we're lucky enough to get there.'"
There is a difference between "having material" and maintaining the freshness of that material.
In my mind, what started off as a thoughtful and exciting new series has taken an abrupt right turn.