I have had to resort to watching The Walking Dead on Netflix a year later than anyone with TV and cable, so I’m writing from the perspective of someone who is still gagging from the finale of Season 6.
Although I would like to find out who so brutally went down in the last episode (Internet articles are still super hush-hush), my stomach is only just recovering two months later–which is saying something, since I’ve seen a lot of shit in my life.
Since the fundamental shift in conflict from man versus zombie to man versus man, I shudder at the thought of rekindling my emotional investment in TWD. The show suddenly encompasses all I once sought respite from. Surviving the elements, whether they be the forces of nature or a zombie apocalypse (and zombie horror), is one thing; dealing with the brutalities of man on an organized scale is entirely another.
“You are going down a path I can’t follow,” Padme said to Anakin in Star Wars III when she learned of the unspeakable, soul-torturing evils he had committed.
TWD, you are now going down a path I can’t follow.
It appears I’m not the only one affected. The show’s ratings have been plummeting in Season 7:
Like me, some people I know are done with the show for good. Others state they may give Season 7 a try to see where it goes, but if it disappoints them, it will be the end for them as well. [Possible spoiler alert] I’ve heard rumours that the writers had to set the stage to justify where they’re taking Rick’s character later in the season–that viewers have to understand what broke him.
All the more, I’ll pass, thanks.
Fun fact: My son was in the Atlanta area in November and drove past one of the sets used for TWD, probably the farm house in Season 1.
There may be only one way to save the show for viewers like me, but I don’t see how that’s possible now that the greater dynamics of other human groups have entered the scenario. It’s not the brutality alone that is the problem–there was a lot of that in previous episodes–it’s that the source of conflict, motives, and outcomes have changed.
Perhaps in the future, for the sake of closure, I will seek the answer to the burning question: Who was struck down in the finale of Season 6? But for now, I’m setting the whole nauseating mess aside.
The decision to give up the show has been a little like experiencing a death–something I have grieved. Perhaps the important thing is TWD was there for me when I needed it. But now my life has changed and so has the show, and the two have diverged.
Mostly, though, it’s the change in the show.
Friend: Hah, you’ll be on Netflix watching Season 7 as soon as it comes out.
Me: Actually . . . I won’t. I’m done.