October 12, 2012
Dead Man Walking: Five Simple Steps To Make The Walking Dead Less Terrible
For me at least, The Walking Dead is one of the most frustrating shows on television. At its core, The Walking Dead has the perfect formula for a great genre TV show. But we’re on the third season now and, so far, The Walking Dead has been more mediocre than anything. It could be a great show if it wanted to be, but there’s a few factors truly holding it back. So in honor of the show returning this Sunday on AMC, here are the five steps The Walking Dead needs to take if it wants to truly become an excellent show.
Expand the Scope
Now of course the show will never be able to travel cross country over the entirety of a season. That’s simply an impossible goal for a TV show to attain (damn limited budgets!) That said, do we have to stay in one place the entire freaking season? We were at the Hershal Farm for 13 episodes and, by the end of it, I was glad to see the place burn to the ground. Very often do I get stir crazy while watching a TV show, but hanging out at a farm for an entire season was a bad move on the show’s part. Hopefully we won’t be at the Prison nearly as long.
Make the Characters Likeable
Ah, this is a biggie. Characters are arguably the most important part of a TV show. I mean, you’re going to be experiencing their adventures for (assumingly) years to come—they better be likeable, or at the very least interesting. The characters in The Walking Dead are none of those things. Darryl aside (who, surprisingly, is the most likeable character of the bunch), there’s not a single character on The Walking Dead that I actually like. They border from hardly even a presence (oh hello Carol) and simply insufferable (Lori and Andrea might be the two most annoying characters currently on television). The ones in the middle are simply boring, with not enough being given to their characters to make them seem like actual entities. When I’m actively cheering for more than half of these characters to be eaten by a zombie, you know you have a problem.
I guess this goes hand in hand with the above point, but here’s the thing; at this point, I’m not sure if some of the characters on The Walking Dead are even salvageable. Andrea and Lori in particular won’t just become good characters over the course of an episode. So in that case, it’s pretty simple what to do; just kill em. Kill the characters that don’t mean a lot to the show, and only keep the ones who do. Hey, it worked for Shane and Dale, it will work for all the other characters too. And having these deaths made via zombie would only feed into my next point…
Embrace the Genre
I don’t mind the fact that The Walking Dead operates as a drama; that doesn’t bother me. But c’mon, this is a TV show with freaking zombies; UTILIZE them in cool and interesting ways. The show is capable of doing this, as we saw in the Season 2 finale and with the opening of the barn earlier in the season. Zombies are terrifying, exciting, and action packed. Then why the hell does it always feel so simple and boring when we’re around them? The show needs to use its unique setting more, because if it does, it will surely…
This is probably the biggest problem I have with The Walking Dead; it’s just not exciting enough. The show can be action packed at times (like once again in the Season 2 finale) or slow as hell (like in “Judge, Jury, and Executioner). But the problem is, The Walking Dead doesn’t know how to strike a balance between the two. So instead of having quality episodes throughout, you get one or two exciting episodes intermixed with episodes in which almost nothing even happens. Once again, this goes back to the whole “limited scope” thing from the first suggestion, but keep things moving at a steady pace. It doesn’t have to be fast…but it shouldn’t be slow either.
And those are our suggestions. As I imagine, some of you probably disagree heavily with a lot of them. But that’s fine! Tell us why we are horribly, horribly wrong down in the comment section. And don’t forget to check out Geek Binge again on Sunday night for our review of The Walking Dead’s Season 3 premiere! With luck, we’ll already see some improvement.