The Walking Dead’s first few seasons were real, gritty, intense. They were what we feared the apocalypse may be. Barbarism. Cannibalism. Dominant personalities given free reign with guns to back them up.
But then, this season, and a few episodes of meh.
The Walking Dead misses a very important point: to survive the zombie apocalypse, you need to learn.
These characters aren’t learning. Every apocalypse weirdo knows you need to few things to survive. You need food. You need water. You need shelter.
Our heroes can’t seem to figure this out. The season starts with the group wondering what to do for a few episodes. The best plans they can come up with: go somewhere else.
Rick has taken his hope and turned it into stupidity.
Michonne has taken her “rebel with a plan” persona and abandoned it for stupidity.
Even beloved Darryl seems to be taking stupid pills. "I'm getting tired of smelling horse manure." Seriously, he said that, indicating his vote for “go with the guy who has told us nothing and we don’t know f-all about.”
Why aren’t questions being asked of the new character who shows up and invites them back to Alexandria? How many are at their home? What’s the governance like? Are you ruled by owls? Is this group run by prepper cult weirdos?
Do you eat people?
None of these questions are asked. Not ONE.
Michonne has to remind Rick - “Did you ask him the questions?”
(Oh, and by the way, this character hasn’t been out of anyone’s sight, so she knows full well the answer, but let’s put a pin in that.)
It’s not that the characters of TWD aren’t struggling with their identities – I get that. It’s that suddenly they forgot that survival means you need to figure out where your next meal will come from. It means that you need to be aware of water. But somehow, our heroes have forgotten about basic necessities, because they’ve only lived through months and months of the apocalypse, so you could see how you might forget how the basics are necessary.
The show violates the third wall of the apocalypse: Thou shall not look into the audience and say “I have to eat. I have to drink water.” If you violate this wall, it’s like making eye contact with the audience in an aside – you have to show that stuff.
In doing so, TWD has to justify where it’s at. Why is this the first time we’re hearing about water? Why is this the first time everyone is acting like their IQ has dipped below 50?
Show us the toilet paper or stop wasting our time. And please, someone remember that you need water and food to live, and you can ask questions of a prisoner if you want to. FFS, LEARN.
I loved TWD because the characters were smart and had to make difficult decisions. This season they can’t even make simple decisions. Unless that changes, I’m not sure I’ll be able to make the simple decision to keep watching it every week.