“The Walking Dead” Is The Worst Good Show Ever


AMC’s The Walking Dead may be the only quality show that has debuted this fall.  The first season is a six-episode miniseries that wraps up tomorrow, and ratings have been so good that a 13-episode second season has already been renewed.  The show features intense scares, brutal gore and violence, a compelling storyline, and a handful of decent actors.

It also features some of the dumbest acting and dialogue I’ve ever seen.

I find The Walking Dead to be downright infuriating.  The pilot is a good example:  It’s 90 minutes of tense horror and action, and is one of the finest pilots for any program ever made.  It also begins with a dumbass conversation between the two main protagonists about how women don’t like to turn out the lights.  It makes no sense, and is the first instance of many where the show does annoyingly dumb things. All of the characters are retarded cartoons, and the dialogue is constantly retarded and cartoony. Also, retard cartoon retard cartoon retard cartoon.

Strangely, these awful, dumb scenes build up to moments that are genuinely moving in spite of the retarded cartoonery the show engaged in to get to those points.  Last episode, the survivors left their camp to find the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta.  Epic music swelled, and in spite of the lousy character scenes that had taken place beforehand, I was truly engaged.  Then the music stopped and their RV broke down.  Then they had a bunch of exposition-sharing conversation (“I feel this way right now because of this”) and I rolled my eyes.  Then they left a dying man on the side of the road, the music swelled, and I was intrigued again. The whole show follows that pattern: Idiotic and cliched, with moments of absorbing pathos and moving tragedy.  The Walking Dead is dumb-sorbing.

I’ve read comments that try to dismiss the show’s stupidity, saying “It’s not The Wire, it’s a zombie show!  Just go with it, blahbity-blee!”  My thoughts on those comments:

  1. I don’t expect The Wire.  I expect competence.
  2. Fuck that “turn your brain off” bullshit.  I hate that fucking attitude. I LIKE THINKING. If you don’t, that’s your problem, you dumbass.  Ahem.  Sorry.
  3. When you’re on the same channel as Breaking Bad and Mad Men, I have certain expectations. Hell, even Rubicon, which bored me out of my mind, was attempting something unique and special.  The Walking Dead has that potential, but it’s not there yet. 

I’ll give The Walking Dead this: It’s better than most zombie movies.  To that I say:  Big damn deal.  The show is good, and with showrunner Frank Darabont firing his entire writing staff before the next season, things are bound to get better.  However, right now, I’m politely tolerating this show until things improve.

(Confession:  I feel the same way about Boardwalk Empire, too.)


10 thoughts on ““The Walking Dead” Is The Worst Good Show Ever

  1. why did you use retarded as in retarded cartoons? The last time I checked retarded means to slow down. Using the word retarded as an insult hurts people with special needs.

  2. Interesting point. Let me use your definition in a sentence:”Obsessing over politically correct language has retarded our ability to engage in open, honest, direct communication, and is slowly turning us all into dumb, frightened children.”Something like that?

  3. I lean toward it being plain bad. I found the storyline AND the dialogue pretty poor. There’s no focus and plenty of meandering moments. “Dad knew you had to keep the fish and I had to throw them back!” Sheesh!

  4. Upon reflection, by “compelling storyline” I’m pretty sure I meant “it has zombies in it and AMC already has 2 terrific shows so maybe this will be good, too. I hope.”Even the pilot, which was far and away the best episode, starts with a dumb conversation between the two main guys about how women never turn off the lights, a common trait I had no idea existed.Supposedly, the finale was the worst episode of them all. I haven’t watched it yet, and I’m in no hurry.

  5. I LOVED the first episode, but episode 2 was packed full of stupid. I wanted all the newly introduced cast members to die before the episode was over. My Lovely Wifera and I watched all 6 episodes back to back one weekend and were left wanting more, so I guess the STUPID was outweighed by the zombie awesomeness.

  6. Oh yeah, I’m definitely watching when it returns. That’s the weird thing about it: Some of it is SOOO bad, and the final episode of the season was probably the worst one yet, but I still think it could be good. If it doesn’t pick up the first couple of eps next season, though, I’m moving on with my life.

  7. I’m really trying to like it. I thought maybe I was just over-hating due to the original graphic novel series being top-notch. It’s validating to see that I wasn’t being overtly critical– the show is really not as amazing as everyone seems to think.I think our standards for good television is just too low. I don’t watch much TV because I find it mostly terrible– and any show that isn’t UTTER garbage gets a standing ovation. Regarding other AMC series, I haven’t seen Breaking Bad, and the first 4 episodes of Mad Men just left me open mouthed and drooling (in a bad way). The Wire, Pushing Daisies, Slings and Arrows, and 6 Feet Under were the last great shows I’ve seen (in that order). 30-Rock and Arrested Development are decent in a light snack sort of way. Deadwood, Weeds, and even the lauded Sopranos failed to do anything for me except make me feel isolated from a national culture that apparently I have little in common with in terms of taste.Sorry for the rant there. Anyway, I just finished episode 5 of Walking Dead, and I really hate the idea of subjecting myself to episode 6, seeing that people here are saying it’s the worst and I hated the previous 5 episodes.

  8. I love some of the shows you mentioned, but to each their own. At least we can come together and agree that The Walking Dead is poop.

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