The Walking Dead was already beginning to show signs of decomposition before season seven so it really shouldn’t have been a surprise that the show pretty much fell apart. That said, it was a pretty damaging year for the show as viewers switched off in their hordes with each passing week. So here are six suggestions on how to fix The Walking Dead.
Get rid of Negan
Negan is a fairly iconic villain in the comics but something has clearly been lost in translation with his introduction to the show. Jeffrey Dean Morgan has been flailing as he tries as many character ticks as he can think of to imbue his performance with something resembling entertainment. He started off well, with a chilling introduction that went on a bit too long at the end of season six. Except that intro was all there was to Negan, making him a one note villain that the show is stuck with until the war plot is over.
Stop adapting the comics panel by panel
Part of what made the show popular, and have an identity of its very own, was original showrunner Frank Darabont’s willingness to go off book. The show was never supposed to be a straight adaptation of the comics, with earlier seasons benefiting from interesting characters created for the show (like Darryl and Merle), and an air of unpredictability. Since season four though, barring some characters switching places, the show has been at the mercy of its source material, meaning that for anyone who has read ahead, there is no element of surprise.
Stop repeating plots
This is a problem the show has had from the beginning. The basic story of The Walking Dead is: Rick and the group find a settlement and either get chased away by a bunch of walkers, or come up against another settlement with a megalomaniacal leader. Some new material would be much appreciated.
Change the structure
One of the biggest problems with the show is its predictable structure, that between the first episode, to the mid-season finale, to the season finale, the episodes in between don’t feel vital enough that some fans only watch those three episodes. Of course there are some exceptions, mainly episodes that are centred around great characters, usually Carol and Morgan, but not enough.
Start killing main characters again
Apart from Glen and Abraham, The Walking Dead has been hesitant about killing of its main characters. Sasha should have been a shock except Sonequa Martin Green already had a role in the new Star Trek show lined up so her death could be predicted ahead of time. Not to mention the fact that Carl has been at Negan’s mercy no less than three times and has barely had a scratch on him. Part of the shows early appeal was that anyone could die at any time, but now, if they’re in the main credits they are usually safe.
If there is a twist build it within the show rather than outside it.
The main problem with Glen and Abraham’s deaths at the hands of Negan was the huge amount of waiting the fans had to endure. So long did it take, with fans being encouraged to theorise who bit the dust, that any impact it should have had was lost as a result.
Cover image used on this article was created by Roy Pyper