And…..I’m Done…Walking Dead Season 9- Premiere- “A New Beginning”

Posted: 10/09/2018 in Uncategorized

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This is essentially a reboot. If someone had told me 9 years ago that this show would have fallen into such a state of un-watchable television viewing,  I would have laughed. I am not laughing now. The ‘rise’ of civilization, charters, brokered arrangements with groups that are simply not sustainable with even the most cursory of glances…and at the heart of it…the one event which makes the least sense but informs the fragmenting of the main groups, the Kingdom, Alexandria, Hilltop and now Sanctuary- the survival of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Morgan’s ascension as the main villain of WD was supposed to be a good thing. It has instead become both the show’s alpha and omega as his entry allowed for some of the most polarizing moments of the show’s history and current declined state.

The drama behind the scenes has regrettably proven as interesting if not more so than the actual series. Chandler Riggs’ character ,Carl’s, death and the machinations behind the scenes involving wage parity with Lauren Cohan have tarnished the series heavily. Considering that Carl’s character trajectory connected with both Negan and Rick for a number of years, the decision to frag his character was at the very least short sighted. Regarding Maggie…so much time and effort was spent on elevating her character to a position of leadership. Cohan’s Maggie Greene is a study in loss and growth. This latest run pushes the notion of her as a potential villain. Through her understandable, bitter perspective and a near miss involving her and Enid (Katelyn Nacon),  she adopts a practice that quite frankly was necessary…and long overdue as regards one truly heinous character.

Established, seasoned characters behave foolishly. Any real traction the series has had is mired in this new attempt at world building or at the very least redefining.  Characters like Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) gain some measure of deserved happiness…but the end of last season cannot be undone. Rick’s legacy will not remain and his “famous Rick Grimes” term plays strictly for laughs now. Daryl Dixon (Norm Reedus) does put things keenly in perspective during a conversation with Rick when he refers to their former single, roving/roaming group as better and “able to do anything”. He isn’t wrong and moments like this remind the viewer what has been lost. Some might stick around to see what direction this season will take but with the announcement of Andrew Lincoln’s and Lauren Cohan’s departures, I am not willing to continue the investment I happily made for 8 years.

This season premier played like an aftermath/revival movie and maybe that is how it should stay. I might linger on to see Rick’s departure….but I won’t linger regarding reviewing this series which seems damaged beyond repair.

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