For 6 seasons I stuck with The Walking Dead TV show on AMC. Time after time, I defended the show, seeing that the writers were taking the characters to interesting places. The show had always had its dull moments but they were always paid off with a huge finale that made it all worth it.
There's a sort of push and pull when it comes to the audience and the writers. We as the audience want every episode to be exciting and intense. But the writers of the show can't seem to deliver that to us. So we trudge through the slow parts, knowing that the payoff will be completely worth it.
But this season, something was off.
The first half of season 6(AKA 6A) was disappointing. It wasted time on a full episode showing how Morgan came back from the brink of insanity. The problem with that was that they took him from one extreme, killing everything in sight, to the other extreme, sparing the lives of psycho killers. Then there was the multi-episode tease of whether or not Glenn is confirmed dead, only to have him come back and... do nothing. Finally, 6A ended in the middle of a tense scene where Rick and his people are surrounded by zombies, only to have the little kid freak out and start calling for his mom. It was set up so that we the audience could speculate on what will happen next. And although 6B retcon that ending, the payoff was still the same.
Now let's talk about 6B and why it lead to my decision for quitting the show. 6B started and pretended that the final scene for 6A didn't exist. Somehow, the kid never called for his mom outside of the house and the zombies weren't reaching for the group. Instead, Rick and his group made their way safely to an area where they were able to plan their moves and pass off Rick's baby. The decision to pretend the final scene of 6A didn't exist was baffling to me because the outcome was still the same. After they regrouped, the kid still freaked out, called for his mom and got a bunch of people killed.
Then there was the Negan tease. For the whole season, there was this lingering threat name Negan. Rick and his group kept running into groups of assholes who proclaimed their leader to be Negan. This gave us 2 amazing episodes where Rick and his group collides head first into Negan's group. Rick decides that the best course of action against a bunch of well-armed assholes was to take them out in their sleep. That episode and the episode after where Carol and Maggie took out a whole group of Negan's people by themselves were legitimately the best episodes this show has ever produced in any season. Of course, that lead to Negan stepping out of the shadow for the season finale. The tease was wonderful, but the payoff was bullshit.
For over an hour, Rick and his people kept running into Negan's group, each time their numbers got bigger and bigger. At one point, Negan's group had used large and heavy machinery to move logs onto the road in order to funnel Rick and his group down a certain path. Not only did Negan's group seemed to move around the woods by teleporting, but they were the quietest group of people with guns during a zombie apocalypse I've ever seen. And as it was written, Rick and his group got ambushed and outnumbered. Negan showed his face, monologued for what seemed like forever and picked out one person from Rick's group to kill.
Except we never saw who he killed.
An entire season of teasing and the show went out with a whimper. This was the final straw for me. This felt like a marketing decision to cut to black instead of an organic story process. A moment that could have been amazing instead left a sour taste in my mouth. The push and pull between the audience and the writer finally snapped.
I'm done with The Walking Dead.