I generally steer clear of talking about The Walking Dead on this site, not because I don’t like it but because of how much ahead of the show I am. I’ve read up to #144 of the comic and it is already literal years of where this latest season finished. My critical thinking on this topic is usually tainted by what I’ve read but I couldn’t not review Season 7, there is a lot to talk about.
The first part of this review is going to mostly SPOILER FREE but some things might slip in there, so I apologise now.
Let’s get the good things out of the way.
The premiere was brilliant. The cliff hanger at the end of Season 6 was tortuous and the show did a really good job of keeping Lucille’s victim a secret until S7 Ep1 aired.
SPOILER FOR EPISODE 1 BELOW
Having read the comics I was confident that Glenn was not going to live another episode. I was surprised however that Abraham copped it too! I had predicted prior to the episode that Glenn or Abraham would get it but I didn’t think it would be both.
The way in which Glenn went out was great too. Basically it was Darryls fault! Credit to the make-up and prosthetics department, bashed head Glenn looked almost identical to how he does in the comic.
I don’t think a single episode of a show has brought me to the edge of my seat like that. I genuinely didn’t know who was going to make it out alive and it was astounding to see how broken Rick was by what was occurring. Incredible performance by Andrew Lincoln and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as well!
Talking non-specifics, most of the cast were great this season. Rick especially, his arc was fascinating and we really start to see by the end of the season the kick-ass Officer Grimes we knew in past seasons. Daryl (Norman Reedus) as always was brilliant, showing more vulnerability this season than ever before, quickly followed up with some heavy hitting scenes that remind you he is not to be messed with. Maggie and Michone have been consistently great and Jesus is a new favourite of mine! I quite liked Sasha as well although she did get a bit whiny in the middle of the season. Overall, the cast were good.
I loved how many almost shot-for-shot scenes there were this season, particularly those involving Negan. It’s always great seeing comics you love come to screen and play out before you, even if some of them are embellished and the violence of said scenes is overplayed. The walkers still look incredible and it was good to see a variation in the walkers depending what environment they were in, the Oceanside episode particularly had walkers with barnacles on! Brilliant.
And if you don’t like seeing a Tiger attack bad guys then you can leave now.
You might be able to tell that I am struggling for positives here. I used to love the Walking Dead. Season 1 to 3 were brilliant, Season 4 was a bit weak, 5 and 6 were all over the place. Season 7 has almost killed my interest in it. From now on expect heavy SPOILERS as we go on to discuss all the things I didn’t like, stay with me!
- The Dumpster people, their speech, apparent lack of social skills, and for a group who have survived by hiding they are very quick to jump into the fight!
- Negan’s RV drive with Rick – pointless scene.
- Teasing the amputation of Rick’s hands all the time!
- CGI Deer
- CGI Landfill
- Bladed walker
- Freeway clothesline scene
- Rick and Michonne’s romantic scavenging episode.
- Eugene and his stupid mullet (I’m aware his comic character has one but his accent grates on me!)
- How pregnant is Maggie? She still isn’t showing yet!
- The lack of Kung-fu Jesus action.
- Carol not being enough of a badass.
- The entire Oceanside episode.
- Not enough Negan.
- Sasha’s death. This was a comic change I wasn’t happy with. Having her sacrifice herself to provoke a fight instead of Negan having killed her to keep them in line.
- Rosita failing to kill Negan with a point black gunshot.
- Death over a melon.
- How far apart are these settlements? Travelling between them seems to take no time at all!
I realise some of these were very specific and you could pick holes in any TV show but these things jumped out at me. Some of my dislikes, like Sasha’s death, come from my love of the source material. Before you start I am well aware that changes have to be made for live-action adaptations but some of them I can’t work out why the change was made.
Going back to Season 6 I can’t understand why they replaced Abraham with Denise with the ‘Arrow through the he head’ death only to kill him off in the first episode of the new season. It was great TV but I don’t understand the desire to change it.
The middle of the season dipped to a new boring low than ever before. I think this is partially because the premiere was so incredible and shocking that there was no way they could keep the rest of the season at that standard. However, things like the Oceanside episode were pointless. I get that it was put in to provide another place for Alexandria to get some guns later in the season but the biggest mistake was having Tara as the sole familiar character of the episode. In my opinion she is not a likeable character, never has been and is not able to hold the viewers attention for an entire episode. Previously when she was a nervous wreck and unable to fight for herself she was much more engaging because you could relate to her in this horrible world, but being a strong character trying to bring another community into the fight isn’t something she can pull off.
The show is also plagued with convenience. In a dead world there are a surprising amount of supplied and weapons all over the place. Rick and Michone’s episode where they apparently had no care in the world and were quite happy having a romp while their friends were still in danger, magically provided a horde of weapons from a carnival where their just happened to be some abandoned military equipment. And what about the boat Rick and Eric find? There are so many unattended guns in America!
Before I go into full rant mode I’m going to sign off. The bookends to the season were good but when you have 16 episodes in a season you need more than a handful of great ones to keep me interested. What did you think of this season? Have I been too critical? Let us know in the comments below.