Are You Falling Out of Love With 'The Walking Dead'?
"The Walking Dead" remains the most successful cable drama currently, and ever, on TV. The series continues to add new characters from the comic book, to develop the characters we've followed through the zombie apocalypse for three and a half seasons now, and to be willing to kill off even a major, beloved character every once in a while.
Still, there have been some grumblings …
From complaints that the show is moving character and plot developments along too slowly and showing too much of a certain teenage survivor, to suggestions that characters are making too many foolish choices, and that characters outside the core group are introduced only to be killed off, here are a few trending "TWD" Season 4 criticisms … and why we disagree with most of them.
I don't like episodes that focus on just one or two characters, instead of the group. Why did we need more than one Governor episode in the first half of the season?
Ah yes, "Live Bait" and "Dead Weight," aka the Governor episodes. While it's true that not every character warrants his or her own episode(s), or even significant portions of multiple episodes (raise your hand if you thought Andrea's story dragged on for far too long in Season 3), we'd argue the Governor eps from the first half of Season 4 are examples of "Walking Dead" character development at its very best.
He had become a villain of almost cartoon proportions, but he was also too deliciously evil to simply kill off without wringing every layer of apocalypse-driven crazy out of him beforehand. Hence these installments, which saw the Gov/"Brian" take another shot at building a family he could protect and love, only to realize, straight from the midseason finale's title, he was too far gone.
[Related: Take a Bite Out of Our 'Walking Dead' Recaps]
The episodes, like Season 3's "Clear" (aka the Morgan episode) and the recent midseason premiere, "After" (aka the Rick and Michonne smile episode), were powerful glimpses into characters we're already invested in. They provided follow-up (in Morgan's case), much-anticipated backstory (on Michonne in "After"), and a deeper portrait of how "the turn" has affected the one person from the core group who's maneuvering walker world without the perspective of having experienced adulthood (aka Carl and his teen angst in "After").
The run-and-gun adventures are great, too, but we need to care about these characters to care about their survival. And the fact that 15.8 million viewers (viewership for last week's episode) are hanging on in Season 4 to learn even more about the humans we've already spent three-and-a-half years with proves those character development episodes continue to resonate.