For fans of AMC’s zombie drama: I’m sorry. Even if you consider yourself a loyal supporter of the show, there is no denying that it hasn’t been the same groundbreaking show it once was.
The midseason premiere aired on Sunday, February 27th with a rating of 3.6 in adults 18-49 according to Nielsen Live+Same Day data and recorded 8 million viewers. This is the lowest rating for a midseason premiere right behind the season 2 premiere. What could be the cause of this?
Well for starters, as Dennis Tzeng from Collider pointed out, the synopsis given for the midseason premiere titled “Honor” is very generic. I could name a dozen episodes right off the bat that would fit that description. These consistent themes and tropes are overused and overdone to the point of exhaustion. No one wants to watch a show that isn’t pushing the boundaries of their network limitations, that’s recycling the same plot points, and that’s not moving the characters forward in interesting ways after 8 seasons.
[MAJOR SPOILERS FOR “HONOR” AHEAD]
On Sunday, fans learned the fate of a truly beloved comic book character. We had to come to grips with the fact that sometimes the TV adaptation strays from traditional comic book storylines; and that’s okay. It’s actually refreshing for a show to take so many risks. But they need to be meaningful.
Do you really think the showrunner knew what to do with Carl? The majority of fans didn’t like him. And that was mostly due to the writing, by the way. What I’ve noticed about “Honor”, and other episodes alike, is that the show has a decent writing team and yet they continually write characters lazily. Because, for once, I actually liked Carl when watching the newest episode. I feel bad for Chandler Riggs. Like really, really bad. I’m not saying he was the greatest actor but he could have been utilized way more. The same can be said for other characters like Daryl, Michonne, and Morgan. When the team gets bored or can’t figure out where to take a character in the story, they just kill them off; much like they did to Carl.
What else does The Walking Dead need to change? I truly believe that in order to focus on quality they need to slash the episode order down from 16 to 8-10 per season. This would allow for bigger budget episodes and more streamlined storytelling. Not everyone wants to remember 50 different plot lines at once unless they feel that remembering those will be meaningful. For instance: where is Heath? I know that Corey Hawkins moved on to the 24 reboot but that went nowhere. It’s important to note that in the past we have had characters disappear for large amounts of time (Morgan). He came back, though, slightly supplementing the storytelling in order to show a key change in morality between Rick and Morgan after similar events.
It’s imperative that The Walking Dead focus on creating quality TV over quantity. Otherwise, we are going to continue to see a drop in ratings and viewership. What suggestions do you have for making a change to the show? Let us know in the comments below!