Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Why I'm Probably Through With 'The Walking Dead'

March 2016 update at the bottom! 
Season Three cast of The Walking Dead

Watching it LIVE throughout the season that is. I watched Season Three of The Walking Dead in binges. I watched each Premiere and Finale (Season and Mid-Season) LIVE, but the other episodes I watched maybe two to three at a time and I’m glad I did because the season wasn’t that great.

Michonne (left) and The Governor (right)
The first half of the season the two big main characters The Governor and Michonne were a yawn. The Mid-Season Finale brought out the best of both characters and both got better in the second half of the season. Especially Michonne. The Governor was crazy, but not as menacing as I thought he would be. In the second half of the season Michonne finally got some character development and did more than scowl. In fact I agree with this quote below.
The fleeting glimpse of Michonne in the Season 2 finale had longtime TWD fans (myself included) thrilled that everyone's favorite katana-wielding badass would finally make her entrance onto the show. Though the television Michonne is everything we would expect on the surface -- she is a master chef with the katanas and looks pretty much the same as she did in the comics -- her character has been woefully underwritten. Though Danai Gurira has mastered the art of the silent scowl, Michonne's lack of personality beyond "I'm a loner and could stab you at any moment" has held us back from truly caring about her long-term safety. In the comics, we were treated to a world of backstory. We knew about Michonne's 'pets'. She revealed gradually herself -- though perhaps sparingly -- so that she was more than simply a one-woman terminator, but a character whose past drove her, with deep sorrow that made us root for her as a person, not just a human ginsu. It's one thing to slowly dole out a character's motivations in order to heighten tension and keep things a mystery, but too often Michonne acts like a dope in order to preserve this 'mystique' (like following Merle into a Walker-infested part of the prison just a few episodes after he led a band of governor-appointed redshirts to murder her in the woods, then making no attempt whatsoever to escape). Jason Pinter, The Huffington Post
The Governor? The whole season Merle was more menacing to me than The Governor.

Crazy Rick was Boring Rick. They went a little too long with that storyline. To me these lulls in the storylines are directly attributable to the behind the scenes shuffle.

The first season writing staff consisted of series developer and executive producer Frank Darabont, who wrote/co-wrote four of the six episodes; executive producer Charles H. Eglee; executive producer and creator of the comic book, Robert Kirkman; co-executive producer Jack LoGiudice; consulting producer Adam Fierro; and Glen Mazzara; who all contributed to one episode each.

In July 2011, series developer and showrunner Frank Darabont stepped down from his position as showrunner for the series.It was believed that he was unable to adjust to the schedule of running a television series. However, The Hollywood Reporter reported he had been fired over disputes over planned budget cuts and executive meddling. Executive producer Glen Mazzara was then appointed the new showrunner.

After the conclusion of the third season, Glen Mazzara will step down from his position as showrunner and executive producer for the series, in a mutual agreement by both Mazzara and AMC. The press release read, "Both parties acknowledge that there is a difference of opinion about where the show should go moving forward, and conclude that it is best to part ways."Scott Gimple will succeed Mazzara as showrunner for season four,with new writers joining the writing staff, such as Curtis Gwinn, Channing Powell, and Matt Negrete.

So the scorecard is 
Frank Darabont left after Season One during the development of Season Two

Glen Mazzara was then appointed the new showrunner during Season Two and did so all of Season Three then stepped down.

Season Four will have Scott Gimple as the showrunner.

I got Season One for Christmas and rewatched it. At only six episodes and under the direction of Frank Darabont the first season was great!

Season Two, after Darabont left, was mostly a snooze (I went into more detail here) and only seem to gain traction in the very last episodes (I surmise after the new showrunner Glen Mazzara finally gained traction himself)

Season Three had the addition of great characters, but took way too long to develop them. Speculation is that the network (AMC) recognized this and forced Glen Mazzara out. That’s only speculation though.

Season Four we haven’t seen yet, but the show has been all over the place because the people who control it have been all over the place.

Unless this new showrunner Scott Gimple is some outstanding wunderkind I don’t see how the show can possibly get better. I think it will continue to be ok and for that I can watch in a season long binge like I have watched other series like Dexter and Homeland in season binges and I hold them in much higher regard than The Walking Dead.

Not a knock on Gimple's abilities, but for such a popular show to be on its third showrunner in four years makes you wonder about its long-term stewardship.
Jason Pinter, The Huffington Post

Some info from Wikipedia.


The Huffington Post
The Walking Dead Season 3 Finale: 5 Reasons Why It Fell Flat With Fans

MARCH 31, 2016
As we are approaching the Season Six Finale in three days (April 3, 2016) I have to say much credit to Executive Producer Scott Gimple who took over in Season Four (S4) and despite the torrid "super flu" storyline that inhabited the first half of S4 where it seemed like Gimple was trying to gain his footing, the show FINALLY got into its groove near the end of Season 4. 

While like every television show there are some "filler" episodes that are a yawn, Seasons Five and Six show that Gimple and the rest of the writers have finally caught their groove and I'm reall looking forward to the Season Six Finale.

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