Season six had some great moments, but unfortunately they’ve vanished in the latter parts of this half of the season. Last night, the show decided to extend two big middle fingers to the fans by painfully drawing out and tediously explaining that “someone’s going to have the hell beaten out of them”, and then cut to black. So far, the reactions and comments I’ve seen online seem to have settled on “lame” as the most common response. And it is. For so many reasons.
We already had a huge over reliance on that laziest and most annoying of story crutches; “let’s capture the main characters so our villains can strut and monologue about how awesome they are for capturing and having the main characters at their mercy.” Yeah, because it’s great fun to have to see the characters you like on their knees, held prisoner, threatened with death or horrible maiming. Over and over and over. And it’s happened a lot in Season 6. A whole lot.
Any super fans who’ve read the comics, or who discuss the show in depth with those who have, know that Negan is an evil guy who is only interested in putting his boot on everyone’s neck. Fans have been excited in his introduction. It’s been teased all season. And as episode after episode rolled out, no Negan. Finally I opinioned a few days ago we might just get a single shot of him, perhaps not even a line.
Well, he only showed up in the last scene, but he did have lines. But those lines were only “I’m awesome, I’m great, I’m in charge, you suck, you’re weak, you’re at my mercy, I rule, you work for me, blah blah blah.”
This is nothing on Jeffery Dean Morgan; he is a fantastic actor. Fans are pissed at the writers and the showrunners, for having no imagination in how to more creatively use such an interesting character. Monologuing. Really?
Quite a bit of it. And then, after all the monologuing, it gets dragged out and out and out and out. Who’s going to be beaten with the barbed wire bat? He struts back and forth. He points the bat. He, literally, plays eenie-meenie-minie-moe. Literally. And not a quick version either, Nope, we get the methodical, deliberate, slowed-down fuck you version. Then they play camera angle games to hide who gets picked, and cut to black. A big fuck you to fans. Have fun suckers, tune in this fall.
Lame is the right word. Why?
For starters, and most obviously, It Will Leak. If they kill someone off between the seasons, the missing actor will be noticed and reported. If an actor is going around on set in horrible “has been beaten within an inch of their lives” makeup, and it will be reported. If a character is on their sick/death bed, it will be noticed and reported. So there’s no chance it’ll be some “big reveal” to build interest in the fall premiere of season 7. Anyone who thinks otherwise is living in dreamland. This is the world where set photos of Force Awakens were all over the Internet, for example.
The big one though, is it’s completely disrespectful to the fans. Nothing much of substance happened for season 6.2. Talk a little, then the MCs are captured and threatened. Next week, talk a little, then captured and threatened again. Repeat. Repeat. Over and over. They even had a sort of trial run of how the fans are going to react with what they did with Glenn earlier, when they played camera games with the dumpster-surrounded-by-zombies ‘death’, then cut away for several episodes before finally coming back to show “no, he’s fine; see; we waved the plot wand and he’s okay.”
Disrespect. Complete disrespect. And disappointing. Modern audiences aren’t into being yanked around like this. Come fall, I think AMC and TWD’s showrunners will see just what kind of mistake they’ve made.