If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead — which I wager you are if you’re here reading this article — I don’t need to remind you that Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and several members of his OG crew were left in a precarious position at the close of Season 6.
And by precarious position, I clearly mean in danger of being on the receiving end of a barbwire-covered baseball bat wielded by the nefarious new villain on the block, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
Naturally, we’re all waiting with bated breath in dreaded anticipation of what is to come when the zombpocalyptic AMC series returns in October. Actually, if you’re anything like me, you’re kind of looking forward to finding out whose skull was being crushed in those final few moments of the season finale. Knowing who dies — as unfortunate as it would be to lose a beloved survivor — is better than being in the dark.
You know what I’m talking about… It’s the sense that if we can just get over this hurdle and go ahead and mourn the loss, things will start to get better again for our favorite walker-slayers. According to Morgan, though, fans may as well put a pin in that thought.
“It’s a reset on The Walking Dead world,” the actor divulged to EW. “It’s fucking Negan’s world now.”
Yikes. That doesn’t bode well for Rick’s gang, does it? “It’s going to be a whole new beginning for The Walking Dead. Really, we’ve taken the show and just flipped it upside down. It’s a different show now. It’s going to have a different feeling. You’re going to see your favorite characters in a position that they’ve never been in before, which is super vulnerable and victimized.”
Not only does Morgan condone this dark twist in the show’s history, but he’s prepared to weather the onslaught of fan backlash that could very well ensue, having told E! News, “Bring on the hate mail — I’m ready.”
At first, Morgan’s words struck me as particularly portentous. And, to be frank, there’s no doubt the upcoming season is going to rip some guts out (both metaphorically and, well, likely literally too). The more I think about the actor’s ominous promise, though, the more I think it’s actually a good thing.
Hear me out.
I don’t want to lose any of the characters we’ve come to know and love over the years any more than you do. However, we are now moving into the popular series’ seventh season. I’ve been covering the show for a few years now, and the one complaint I see pop up with more frequency every day is that it is starting to feel slightly formulaic.
The kind of change Morgan is alluding to is precisely what the show needs, to ensure its longevity. We need to shake things up a bit. I, for one, thought AMC did a bang-up job of that last season (remember the lake of fire?!).
Unfortunately, some fans felt the show lost some of the momentum it gained in Season 6 by closing with such a huge cliff-hanger. Ratings ploy, they cried! Which, I mean, c’mon, of course the show is going to go for a ratings spike when and if the opportunity presents.
Although I understand that point of view, I also feel that this cliff-hanger was different than ones the series relied on in the past, because it was meant as a true turning point. When we pick things up in the fall, we won’t be returning to the same show.
Per Morgan’s words, it will be entirely different. A whole new world, and one even more terrifying than the already horrific reality we’ve become accustomed to for the survivors.
It’ll be gritty. It’ll be heartbreaking. It will probably haunt our dreams. But it will be foreign territory, which will inject enough new life into the series to hopefully create the kind of goodwill among fans to buy it several more seasons.
If losing a couple of core survivors means we get to keep tuning into the show for the foreseeable future, well, sign me up.
Do you agree? Or do you think TWD should stick with the status quo?
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