Why “The Walking Dead” is stumbling

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THE eighth series of AMC’s show “The Walking Dead” ended on Sunday April 15th, with the franchise slumping faster than a decapitated zombie. The season averaged 7.8m viewers, a long way down from the peak of 14.4m in Season 5 and over 17m for a couple of season premieres.

The episode demonstrated the show’s recent weaknesses (spoiler alert: do not read on if you have not watched the finale). More than two series had been devoted to the battle between the group of survivors led by Rick Grimes (pictured, right) and a rival band led by the baseball bat-wielding Negan (centre). Patient viewers were entitled to a climactic send-off. They saw one satisfying twist; Eugene, the eccentric mullet-haired boffin, turned out to be on the side of the angels after all, having sabotaged Negan’s ammunition. But the final battle saw Rick slash Negan’s throat, only to spare him in the memory of his dead son, Carl (pictured left). This left many viewers unsatisfied.

This behaviour reflected the see-saw mentality of Rick, who has switched from…Continue reading

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