The Walking Dead is a show that will be a part of our lives for many years to come. It’s turned into an unsuspecting hit for AMC, and a hit for the audiences. Audiences consumed AMC zombie apocalypse drama like a drug because there aren’t many dramas out there that create the kind of television ratings that The Walking Dead has. This drama series is truly remarkable and to think that a drama set in a post-apocalyptic landscape generating this much buzz is a marvellous feat. With shows like Game Of Thrones out there, The Walking Dead seems to be losing out on the limelight. And in my opinion, The Walking Dead’s gore factor makes Game Of Thrones look like a Sunday stroll in the park.
The Walking Dead has slowly taken over our lives by sending its gore factor through the roof. It doesn’t shy away from killing characters at will and its fourth season is an absolute corker. Its main criticism has always been that the pacing is a little off, there’s too many action scenes or not enough character development. When the writers give us more or less of these things, critics complain. They cannot be pleased all the time and as long as the fans like it, that’s fine by me. I’ve enjoyed every season so far. The second half only seemed slow because we’re not being given the Netflix treatment. Having to wait weekly for episodes changes the way we feel. When you binge after the whole season is out, it tells a different story and it’s for the better.
Many call the second half of season four: boring, deadweight and unwatchable. This is people being very hyperbolic because it’s very story driven. But there’s plenty of textbook Walking Dead gore, especially in episode fifteen “Us” with the very memorable barbed wire scene. From the sickness in the prison to the prison break and the serial killer story arc, season four is packed to the brim of greatness to sink to our teeth in your into. In the season premiere, aptly named “30 Days Without An Incident”, our heroes looked too comfortable and a little too happy, so something needed to be done about that. Alas, the shit hit the fan and our protagonists were thrown head first into walker mayhem. They can’t catch a break.
Another grand moment was the smouldered corpses which led to a classic case of “who dunnit?” where Rick (Lincoln) had to go back to his former self of scouting out the guilty with his powers of deduction. It turned out to be Carol (Melissa McBride). She’d done a bad thing to do good, and it sucks that not everyone could see that. I think that by sending her away, Rick let his emotions cloud his judgement. You need people Carol to make the hard decisions. And democracy in instances like that is profusely overrated. Sometimes, you can’t wait for permission and you have to make the hard call. Especially, when you have saps like Tyreese in the thick of it.
The Walking Dead is a horror series that I feel is holding back. There are some lines that it simply can’t crossed. Rick chewing out someone neck seems to be acceptable but not one fuck is said in this series. An infant being killed can’t be tolerated but Carol kills a child’s after the said child kills her sister, so all’s hunky dory. I do wish The Walking Dead would show us more and break more boundaries, much alike what HBO’s Game Of Thrones have done. “The Grove” was a great episode but Lizzie leaving Judith in the woods to the walkers would have been doubly potent if Judith actually got killed.
Somehow, I feel the creatives are holding back in this series. It’s as if they’re consistently looking over their shoulders to check they haven’t offended anyone and I often feel played it safe during this season. The Walking Dead shows us what we are willing to do when we’re pushed to the very edge. It’s a dark look under the microscope at the horrors of human nature. It shoves us to the precipice of the mind and then pulls back in thinking, “people won’t like this, and will rub people up the wrong way.” What’s the point of making a show like this, if you don’t take a few risks in the process?
The Walking Dead delivers great season after great season, whilst systematically avoiding boredom-provoking traps that many shows fall into (repetition). It continues to develop characters and turn thought-minor characters (Carol) into badasses. But most importantly, the cast’s performances improve with each season. The acting, writing and SFX go from strength to strength and AMC have concocted yet again, another sensational season.