Okay. So it had to happen sooner or later. Pop culture and the moustache twirling bean counters at the steering wheel just have to overkill everything — that is, they beat you over the head with a stick until it’s popsicle sticks and then flip the popsicle sticks at you until they are splinters. Ten million super hero flicks attest to this fact and not to mention that we will soon be favored with yet another reboot of Spider-Man.
But it ain’t the spandex crowd that has my entertainment meter frazzled and in need of rewiring. It’s the hordes of ravenous undead and the human bozos they feast upon that has me tired and taking a vacation. For Will is fickle and doth not like that which sucks even unto the end of time. Yes, I am disgruntled. I’m old and have credit cards and will take my frustrations out by not buying any of your fancy tie-in merch. Go ahead, make my day.
I am one of the generations for whom a zombie flick was a pretty rare thing, a good one even rarer than that. I recall watching Day of the Dead one rainy afternoon long ago (1990, boys and gals) and wondering if there would ever be a little more decent and steady influx of zombie goodies. Years older and six seasons into The Walking Dead I cry enough already! Please stop! No more!
See, I’ve figured something out.I don’t think the producers of The Walking Dead want you to know this but whatever story they started out telling has taken a long vacation. Is there a story? I guess it depends on what you would call a story. Personally, I don’t call an endless nihilistic parade of human suffering and bouncing from one safe place to another and discovering that it’s not-such-a-safe-place a story.
I know that a tale of a zombie apocalypse is not supposed to be puppies and kittens. There is supposed to be blood, suffering, death, fire and brimstone. But The walking dead is really laying it on pretty thick. darkness does not necessarily equate substance and darkness is not necessarily a story arc. Worse, it’s all dreadfully self-serious. Kids, it’s okay to have a laugh or two. It’s even okay to have a little fun. The Walking Dead is not actually a documentary of dire real world events.
We all love Carol, Daryl and Rick. However, they are not so far along as they were a couple of seasons past. Carol has become a badass warrior chick (kinda hot too). Darrel scowls at stuff, shoots arrows and eats gophers. Rick Grimes just wants to keep you alive, and that has something to do with doing anything Rick Grimes says. Everything has been variations on those themes, that is, when they bother to vary.
I would have mentioned Glen in all of that. He is one of the originals who has made it along this far, however, Glen may have caught a slight case of death. Which brings me to another thing… the show has offed so many characters at this point that the only real way to slam something home is to wrap it up in some kind of lameass mystery.
I think my problem with the show now stems from a format that was limited in the first place. You can keep it all an endless survival tale on the road, or you can make it an endless survival tale behind the walls of a not-so-safe place. The living is worse than the dead , so you toss a few human antagonists at the characters, each one worse than the last. You can examine character psychology all day and all night. If there is a question then the question is “when does a story end?”
In the case of a show like The Walking Dead, which generates the big bucks for its network, the answer is not bloody soon. Expect more walls, more zombies, more bad guys and more characters getting offed…except maybe not.
I’ll tell you what not to expect…don’t expect it to really go anywhere. Maybe eventually they’ll do something completely surprising and kill off Daryl. Fan girls will riot in the streets and burn the producers’ summer homes the ground. I will laugh maniacally and solve the energy crisis by harnessing the power of their sorrow.
Remember, the living is worse than the dead after all.
And I have credit cards.