Five seasons into the series that has become America’s sickly obsession, and I can’t help but wonder where our gory group of friends will head next. One thing is for sure; they can’t possibly continue the ping ponging between rural roads and gated communities. (I’d bet you never thought of a prison as a gated community). That formula has already gotten stale, and if the audience is forced to watch another season of “in a safe place, herd of zombies comes, out on the road again,” The Walking Dead might finally start its real life death march. It won’t matter how many governors, or cannibals, or tribal wackos they throw into the mix, it’s time for the show to grow.
The first two episodes of the sixth season have hinted that the world of The Walking Dead might be ready to get a little bigger, and that those who have “Just Survived Somehow” might finally be ready to go on the offensive. I mean, isn’t that the arc of most storylines? You beautifully built your characters, your audience is invested, and now the adventure really begins. Your audience is ready to see their favorite protagonists grow beyond what they know of them, for better or for worse. I think The Walking Dead has reached that point. I’m tired of Rick’s authority being challenged. I’m tired of watching Glen’s talents wasted on supply runs. I’m tired of Daryl’s silent brooding. (Is it merely irony that he has wings on the back of his vest, or foreshadowing? I hope for the latter). It’s time for the core characters of the show to take Carol’s lead, put a cape on, paint a W on their foreheads, and save the world. Or at least die trying.
If we see the demise of our survivors while they’re huddled behind a wall and scared it’s just going to feel so empty. Are the showrunners really doing all of this character building to emphasize the existential? Life is just a series of character building plot lines eventually snuffed out like barely burning flames–c’est la vie. I hope not.
Here are five things I’d like to see the show try.
Disagree with any of my ideas? Have any of your own to add? I’d love to see them in the comments.