After a Six-Month Wait, The Walking Dead Premiere Was Painfully Terrible

Sunday, 23 October 2016 - 10:00PM
Zombies
The Walking Dead
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Sunday, 23 October 2016 - 10:00PM
After a Six-Month Wait, The Walking Dead Premiere Was Painfully Terrible
Well, you all know what I'm going to say. After a six-month wait, we finally got our answer as to which character Negan killed, and it was—not at all worth it. Not only did we (and anyone else following set spoilers) guess exactly what was going to happen months ago, the execution was godawful. Melodramatic, manipulative, and, yes, anticlimactic, they somehow managed to make a gruesome, brain-spilling death boring.

Huge spoilers follow!


Make that *deaths because, as we predicted again this week, Negan killed Abraham and then Glenn, in an effort to both surprise and satisfy fans of the comics. That would be a sound theory, except the execution was completely botched from the start. It's already been well-documented that it was a mistake not to show the death in the season finale, but we hoped that at the very least, they would have learned their lesson. After all of that fan outrage, the only acceptable opening to the episode would have been to hit the ground running, and immediately show the fans the character death they were promised ad nauseam.

But instead, they treated us to yet more bullshit delay tactics, complete with maudlin black-and-white montages, for half of the fucking episode. And even worse, they managed to telegraph every twist along the way, first by giving a eulogy to every character except for Abraham, and then having Negan very pointedly face away from Glenn. Anyone who's seen a horror movie or two could have guessed that Negan would have (gasp!) turned around and killed Glenn, giving comic book fans that iconic, graphic image from the comics.


And then, of course, we get another fake-out with Negan *almost* forcing Rick to cut off Carl's hand - but honestly, I don't even care anymore. The Walking Dead is almost beyond criticism now; that's how far it's committed to being a straight-up guilty pleasure. TWD has always straddled the line between prestige and pulp, and now it's gone past pulp and into the "I'm embarrassed I watch this show" category. It will continue to do well in the ratings for at least a couple of years, I'm sure, but it has officially squandered its chance to become a modern classic. Pity.
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