Sunday, October 25, 2015

Okay, so here's my problem with The Walking Dead...


So, I watched tonight's episode, I watched Talking Dead to work through it, I ate half a pint of icecream, and now I think I can put into words what my biggest problem with this show is.

I've been watching this show a long time. I'm aware that they're going to kill people. But that's also the problem. See, one of the major reasons I gave up on Game of Thrones was that it didn't matter who you loved, they were going to die, and by the second or so season, I just found it very hard to even care--and if you don't care, what's the point of watching.

The Walking Dead has been on for six years now, and my original favs are few and far between, and they aren't really being replaced, lately, by people who are as cool, as likable, or as interesting as the ones they're killing. And every time there's an episode like this one, it brings it up again: if they're just going to kill everyone, why do I bother investing? They feel like they're killing them off more quickly in the second half of last season and into this one, so if I keep investing, it's a form of self torture.

And that brings up a related issue that I've talked about before: if there's no hope ever, if nothing they do gets them anywhere, if there's no chance of setting up a new sort of life, and if every single other community they meet is made of psychopaths and cannibals, what is even the point? What's the point of their struggle and all the deaths and losses they suffer and survive? What's the point of them fighting so hard to establish something useful and maintain any humanity and civilization at all? And, most importantly, what's the point of tuning in? If they're all just going to die anyway, every new baddie is going to be worse and more perverse than the last, and nothing is ever going to get better, then there isn't a point.

If that's all I have to look forward to, as a fan of this show for more than half a decade now, I'm just going to call it quits.

I don't want to do that. I want to watch a show where I care about the characters and they have some chance of doing something that matters and continues and living long enough to enjoy that it matters. I don't want to watch a show where the nature of the show makes it impossible to keep caring. I also don't want to watch a show where the new characters are too idiotic or weak or indecisive or bland to care about.

Will The Walking Dead manage to avoid that hole? I don't know. In this moment, I'm close to calling quits. I was close after Beth, too, and it took a month to convince me otherwise. If anything happens to Rick, Daryl, Carol, or Michonne? On top of all the losses I've already taken? I don't know if it can. Every time it happens, no matter how artistically or how meaningfully, that thread tying me to the show frays a little more, and there's eventually going to be a point where the ends are too frayed to tie together again.

Guys, I'm very upset now.

What did you think? Can you talk me out of this? Do you have a point of view I didn't consider? Share in the comments.
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