HAS THE WALKING DEAD KILLED THEIR FANS?
According to The Verge, and several Twitter fans of The Walking Dead, many die-hards are leaving the show this season after the opening episode of Season 7 where we lost Glenn and Abraham. They’re also leaving in troves as the ratings have dropped to an all time low since Season 3.
Rest assured: these numbers DO predict the future of the shows that run on TV. With the recent backlash of gore, Walking Dead even had to cut back the blood in Fat Joey’s death.
They are listening to the fans, but some have gone completely rogue and are boycotting the show at every turn.
The main reason people are leaving isn’t just because two leads were killed, where only one was expected to die. If that were the case, there wouldn’t be anyone left to watch Game of Thrones, where leads die off in packs.
Game of Thrones | Photo Credit HBO
The reason people are leaving is that they feel the creators are more about the shock value of the show than the story. Essentially, the series has gotten to a point where it’s more into manipulating its audience than being faithful.
Obviously, this is somewhat of a double-edged sword. While it can’t be denied, why would fans want everything exactly like the comic series? Have we not developed a degree of trust in a show so powerful? Is it possible that these thoughts are just from fair-weather fans?
Blaming Showrunner Scott Gimple
Some fans blame new showrunner, Scott Gimble, saying he took an emotionally charged show that involved zombie deaths and character growth and turned it into torture porn, rather than a network drama.
The evidence for this idea started in Season 6 when we went down the rabbit hole as the gang was trying to escape. Again, this can be argued both ways. Were we manipulated or were we given a chance to feel scared for our heroes?
Other points of manipulation include Glenn’s dumpster death (which even involved removing his name from the credits). They leaked bashed-in-head photos online. And yes, they filmed everyone to avoid actual leaks, but this seems no different than Christopher Nolan keeping his work private. They kept Negan’s identity secret. But again, this is somewhat of a stretch and is more about storytelling. Consider the opening of The Departed where we don’t see Nicholson’s face, but merely a silhouette for the first few scenes to add drama.
Negan in The Walking Dead | Photo Credit ComicBook.com
Will Negan Make Rick Stronger?
Whatever your opinion, this all lead up to the premiere where Glenn and Abraham were killed by the hands of Negan in a horrific manner involving Lucille, Negan’s trustworthy baseball bat.
Later, when Negan was attempting to force Rick to cut off his son’s arm, some refer to this as cruel and violent, as well as cheap tension. Again, this feels like something necessary to change Carl and Rick’s relationship within the story. To a degree, whatever Negan does will make Rick stronger.
While it would appear to be best to defend the series, those who are leaving seem to have their minds set. They feel that the show has left its roots of character development, which could tie in with the fact that we already know King Ezekiel’s background, something that may have been kept secret longer before.
Whatever these quitters feel about this new fork in the road, one can’t help but think of a favorite team’s losing season after a big win. Fewer jerseys line the store windows, and ticket prices are lower, but maybe it’s because the fans just haven’t screamed loud enough.
We’ll find out soon enough.