The Walking Lifeless was the largest present on TV. On the peak of its reputation, the present drew over 22 million viewers throughout an age of cable cutters and streaming providers. However as seasons glided by, increasingly more followers left. Whereas the precise second of its decline is as much as debate (some say season 5, others recommend the beginning of the Negan arc), the present hit an all-time ratings low at the end of season seven. It actually did really feel like The Walking Lifeless was decomposing like its titular creatures.
So should you determined to tune out, we will not actually blame you. However followers who saved watching have been rewarded by a brand new showrunner and a distinct storytelling strategy. After Angela Kang took over in season 9, issues have been steadily getting higher and higher. And this is why. (Spoilers forward for season 9 and 10!)
1. New Villains and A Totally different Kind of Battle
Though Negan as a personality was an ideal addition to the present, Rick’s warfare towards him wasn’t precisely new territory. The Whisperers, alternatively, have shaken the core battle of the present. Their unusual, creepy capability to manage hordes of walkers has thrown the group for a loop, forcing them to adapt rapidly or die. And their chief, Alpha, is unpredictable and brutally environment friendly in her techniques. For the primary time within the present, the menace cannot be resolved with direct battle. Followers have in contrast The Whispers arc with the Chilly Struggle, and it is not for nothing. Alpha would not want to make use of violence when psychological warfare is way more practical.
2. Dying Has That means Once more
It is true The Walking Lifeless has by no means shied away from ugly deaths or had bother killing its fundamental characters, however the penalties of those deaths began to really feel hole. Season 9 modified this. Properly, Kang has allowed characters to grieve and the toll of every loss lingers with out paralyzing the plot. Rick’s loss of life, for instance, nonetheless impacts the forged in small, however important methods. Henry’s brutal demise was an important piece for the emotional journey of a number of characters as properly the escalation of the battle with The Whispers. Stunning deaths nonetheless occur, however they really feel earned. And with information of Ezekiel’s most cancers, it appears the present will hold exploring mortality with out resorting to melodrama.
3. Fascinating Character Dynamics Are Back
Maybe it is a signal of Kang’s openness to the cast’s input, maybe it is only a new strategy to dialogue, both method, it is a pleasure to see what’s left of the unique forged interacting in significant methods once more. Whereas Rick’s departure will all the time be felt, Kang has let the remainder of the forged shine by giving them nice storylines. New dynamics have taken form whereas previous ones have been revisited, making them deeper. An instance is the return of Daryl and Carol’s friendship, the brand new group of survivors, and Michonne’s rising into her management position (We won’t neglect, in fact, the addition of Canine, Daryl’s cute companion). Characters speak about their emotions, categorical their ache, and make plans as a gaggle. Their motivations are clear and every motion taken has logical penalties, even when they’re emotionally painful in the long term. Massive or small, everybody within the forged has a singular storyline this season.
When the characters we all know and love are those driving the battle and the story ahead, it is simple to really feel invested of their destiny. Creatively, it looks like The Walking Lifeless has come again from the useless to thrill audiences once more.
Picture Supply: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC