The Walking Dead (2010-2021) has been the most successful TV series based on the zombie apocalypse. That is the reason behind the continuation of its production for more than a decade.
The plot and the way characters developed in the first six seasons of The Walking Dead are almost flawless and some little mistakes in the script can be ignored. Most episodes are narrating an engaging story of survival in a tense, horrific, and suspenseful atmosphere. Almost all events are necessary and each of them plays a role in developing the story.
The connections and relationships between characters create a new community. Rick becomes an accepted leader after his deadly conflict with Shane. Hershel plays the role of doctor and wise man of the new community. Maggie and Glen fall in love and become an attractive couple in the story.
The Walking Dead uses the cliché of most apocalypse movies and series. Under the significant threat against the human race, the parallel threat is created by humans against each other.
While zombies are walking everywhere as an existing threat, brutal and violent survivors look more dangerous than zombies. Actually, after awhile their actions are so horrific that zombies look like harmless creatures.
Even though the resources are limited as well as the number of survivors, people are still destructive. It seems that nobody is comprehending the new situation. The battle of survival easily merges with fighting for power, and revenge is still the strongest motivation of survivors.
The Walking Dead is still brilliant until the end of the sixth season when Negan entraps Rick’s group. At that point, Besides the impressive performance of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, the full episode 16 of season 6 is a failure. The performance of actors and the role of each character in the scene are opposite what we expected. Rick who has been a strong leader even in the worst situations, acts like a stupid coward who lost his ability to talk or react. He only shivers and sweats when Negan kills Abraham and Glen.
This is not limited to Rick. Maggie doesn’t show an expected reaction when Negan hits Glen with the bat. She sits and cries without any action. And Rozita who loves Abraham doesn’t make a move when Negan smashes his head.
What happened to these characters and actors? Who directed this scene so unnatural? Why all reactions are opposite the characters developed during the six seasons?
Seasons 7 to 9 are the worst seasons of The Walking Dead. Negan and his group named saviors could make a few attractive episodes. They show how violent groups can get control of communities in a power vacuum caused by a disaster.
They could continue their ruling for a long time in reality but knowing Rick and his group, the audience expects them to fight back and as usual, get revenge. Instead, they obey saviors and waste several episodes and postpone their rebel to season 9.
Creators of The Walking Dead try to drag viewers to two more seasons before ending Saviors. They add several side-stories and unnecessary events to fill the time and create more episodes. As a result, we see most of the characters are not playing their accepted roles. Once in a while, one of them shows crazy or stupid reactions. Some others disappear for a while and come back without any explanation.
Maggie without any reason becomes the leader of Hilltop but suddenly disappears, and no one gives any answer where she is or why she left. Then she comes back in season 10 as a surprise. Morgan who saves Rick in season 1, tries to kill anyone who enters his territory in season 5. Then he changes again and stops himself to kill anyone. These changes don’t end there and he shifts to a killer again.
Some other illogical changes in characters happen for Carol, Gabriel, Rick, Carl, etc. These inconsistencies continue until season 9 when another threat appears. Whisperers overpower all the communities and plan to destroy all. Negan who is a useless character in seasons 8 and 9, finally finds a way to get back to the action by joining Whisperers as a double agent.
It seems the creators of The Walking Dead couldn’t get rid of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan. Maybe because of his performance and Negan’s character, other characters couldn’t get equal attention from the audience. Negan is the only stable and attractive character in the last seasons. His sarcastic monologues are brilliant and his grey unpredictable character creates more suspense than the main story.
After all, even season 10 still can’t help the whole series to recover from the downfall in seasons 8 and 9. Many viewers feel that something happened to the writers and directors of The Walking Dead. Otherwise how they could create such messy seasons and waste the amazing story developed in the first 7 seasons!