UPDATE 12/01/2017: Still grinding along... Did they fire all the good writers and directors here, or what? Are these newest episodes also of shorter duration, or does it just seem that way? None of these Season 8 Episodes so far, are worth a re-watch, and that's a first for this series! It pains me to say this!
I've enjoyed "The Walking Dead" since its inception on DVD, and that's unusual for me, as zombies aren't my thing. Still, the conclusion of Season One, Episode 06: TS-19, locked me into watching Season Two, where my total frustration with Hershel, Shane and Rick had me talking to myself! From there on out I've been a fan, purchasing every season on DVD, as soon as it comes out. And fans will forgive a few things, but those things do not generally include an absurd absence of logic.
SPOILER: The scene in Season 8 where Rick and his people have penetrated Negan's compound, armed to the teeth, protected behind a staggered vehicular shield-wall, yet close enough to have a shouting conversation with the grandstanding Negan (as out in the open as you could hope to get him), and nobody thinks to take a single shot at the SOB?! WTF?! A well-placed bolt (arrow) from Daryl's compound crossbow would've ended Negan right there, and surely one of the rifles could've taken him out. Hell, just wounding the SOB is a worthy achievement! But no, they palaver on instead, ignoring the opportunity and allowing Negan to strut his fast-growing-tiresome stuff. It's absurd!
We all saw the train come off the rails with "Dexter", when they got rid of all the talented writers and began pursuing absurd story lines; I didn't even finish the series... Any more mindless scenes like the one described above, and I'll likely walk away from this one too.
Sagas go Through Three Basic Stages (a little like careers do): Stage One: A Challenge Stage Two: An Adventure Stage Three: A Grind
So far, the first two episodes of "Season 8 of The Walking Dead" swing between motivational speeches and protracted scenes of ultra violence. It's becoming a grind. This current season is at a pivotal node now. Perhaps, they should take a lesson from their own episodes, which successfully detoured from the main storyline, and fleshed out an important character--the outstanding "Episode 4 from Season Six: Here's Not Here", shines as a prime example of how to artfully execute this; "The Grove" is another. Or perhaps, they should take a lesson from "Breaking Bad", which ended masterfully, poetically, and as it should have...
I find myself wishing that Shiva had taken out Negan at the climax of "Season 7", and that we'd be moving on to a new story line now, or wrapping it up. Endings--at least proper endings--matter.
"The X-Files" serves as an example of an excellent series that ran too long. Here is one that should've ended with "Season 7".
This season about tops it in AMC's rather silly advertising and promotion techniques. This season is all about: WAR! Rick is ready for WAR! Carl is ready for WAR! Maggie is ready for WAR! Guess what Rosita is doing this season? You guessed it, WAR! In every interview with the actors and actresses, the one consistent theme is WAR!
I thought this season was about WAR! But episode one was like, "Okay this might be interesting." Constant gun noises and people yelling the end. Episode 2, gun shots all over, people running around shooting, no story. Episode 3, everyone shooting and running around screaming and yelling, and nothing. Episode 4 is sort of better than the rest only because they have Carol in it, but overall again, shooting all over, gun sounds, and just overall horrible.
They also promised this season that they were going to progress the story more per episode. Up to this point, I have no seen a single inch of the story moving. We don't even get a back story. Just people running around shooting and blasting people. Per episode you get maybe 1-2 minutes of story then the rest is just running around shooting or making speeches.
The show seriously slacked their reliance on CGI. If you watch closely, many people aren't actually shooting. If you thought Hershel's unlimited shotgun was horrible in season 2, this season got it worse. I see people sitting there just pulling the trigger and sitting in one spot shooting seemingly endless supply of bullets. Then the tiger CGI is pretty bad as well and on top of that the explosions and special effects are noticeably slacking this season.
The viewer count is going down pretty badly over the season. Season 7 was pretty harsh in terms of Rick and his group winning. It wasn't until the last episode and they promised there wouldn't be any cliffhangers like they did in Season 6. Then during the interim before season 8 to start, Walking Dead promoters were promising heavily that there would be more story, more action, and more everything. They promised they listened to the audience and this time the would deliver something better.
I don't see that. Unless the mid season has something great in it, I really can't see anything. Even then they broke their promise because they said per episode there would be more story and more progression. Instead we're almost halfway point to when the mid season, and yet the story hasn't progressed a single point. We still don't know what happened to Negan, we don't know what happened to a lot of things. This Negan story is just dragging on too much, and the writers are trying to focus on too many characters. We barely saw Rick and the gang this season.
I'm not sure what is going to happen. On one hand it is exciting but on another the show is dragging on the story too long. I don't mind a long dragging but the problem is per episode we rarely see anything related to the overall story. Just boring action scenes and grand standing speeches that don't mean a thing.
The story is ok I don't have any real complaints on that part, zombie show is as a zombie show does. But the believe-ability has gone from acceptable to: tin roofing stopping bullets, 50 cal that penetrates like a 9mm, and a tiger that gets taken out like a sick dog. They went from minor dumb stuff to full retard, "and you never go full retard".
Gone are the days of ammunition conservation as the characters seem to be drawing from a limitless munitions factory as they are using ammunition like it's milk that expires tomorrow. All tactical choreography has gone down the tubes in favor of spray-and-pray techniques better suited to a drive-by in downtown Atlanta. But amidst the chaos they still find time for torturous and touching moments as their comrades die. It will all be worth it though if the show's creators can find it in their hearts to abandon the psychopathic villain cliche and move on to the POST part of post-apocalyptic. Infrastructure, logistics and communication are the real challenges facing the group-you really gotta wonder how long they are going to be able to find food, gasoline or such mundane things as car batteries that still hold a charge. And don't even get me going about why the hell no one has fired up a two-way shortwave radio to see what the hell else is going on it the world!