The Walking Dead is still going in its eighth season. The group is once again going to battle, which might put our favorite characters in danger. It seems like a lot of fans are sticking with the hit show, but there have been reports of some fans trailing off as the show goes on.
So why is the show losing interest among some after all these seasons? Is it a sign that it should be canceled soon? Our answer is yes, and here are some key reasons why it should be canceled.
1. As more time goes on, the stakes get lower and lower
It only makes sense, but the shock of the walkers is not really existent anymore by Season 8. The show starts off with us finding out about how the world has changed along with Rick Grimes when he wakes up in the hospital. Back then, this was all shocking because it was new, and our unskilled characters were messily killing the walkers.
Later, the show grows in scale with bigger venues, like farms and prisons, getting overrun with walkers. This makes sense since the walkers are always moving, but also because the show has to amp up the danger factor for the walkers to continue to look like a real threat.
However, because the main characters have gotten so skilled — especially Rick, Darryl, and Carol — the stakes have gotten much lower — so low that it’s almost unbelievable that they will actually die by walkers. The risk moreso comes from other humans, and the human enemies have been lacking on the show lately.
Next: Negan should’ve been so much better.
2. Negan is horribly written
The Walking Dead villain Negan was introduced to the show at the end of Season 6. Since then, he has been terrorizing the main characters in revenge for what they did to his people. The fact that the group is confronted with killing people in cold blood is interesting, but it’s almost entirely ruined by how terribly written Negan is. Case in point: lines like, “I hope you got your sh*ttin’ pants on because you are about to sh*t your pants.”
Negan doesn’t just have terrible threats in his arsenal. He also doesn’t have any compelling motivation. In the past, The Governor at least was capable of love and we saw that with his dead daughter and Andrea. That made him complicated and a well-rounded character. We understand what motivates him, yet also realize why he needs to be taken down.
Negan doesn’t care about his own people, so what could possibly be seen as the rightful revenge of his dead followers comes up empty. He is cruel just because he can be, and his unwarranted actions kind of make his whole story come off as gratuitous.
Next: Character conflicts are making less sense.
3. Lack of characters we care about
Season 7 was a real blow to the character dynamics we all loved. In one season, we lost Abraham, Glenn, and Sasha. While we still have some major characters, like Rick, Daryl, and Maggie, the sense of unity has been lost and now we are seeing character conflicts merely for the sake of conflict, like the issues recently shown between Jesus and Morgan.
Next: What ever happened to this important ingredient?
4. Family is almost nonexistent on the show
In the beginning of the show, family was a huge part of everyone’s storyline. Rick was searching for his family, then struggling to keep them after the threat of Shane replacing him. Carol was trying to protect her daughter under the thumb of an abusive father. Daryl had to confront the fact that he and his brother were heading in different directions.
Now the show often keeps the group, which has very much become a family, apart. The children in the group are hardly ever seen, and this might be the biggest unsaid weakness of the show. If there is no heart to the action series, the stakes are once again lowered because we forget how much these characters care for each other. We aren’t reminded enough what they are really fighting for.
Next: “Bury your gays”
5. The show has repeatedly resorted to terrible tropes
The series has been repeatedly called out for the “bury your gays” trope, and rightfully so. Sure, a lot of minor characters die, no matter their sexual orientation, but it says something when almost all of your LGBT characters lose their partners at some point.
This is why there was outrage when Denise died, leaving her partner Tara behind. It also shocked fans because the character lasted longer in the comics. In Season 8, we see another gay couple torn apart, with Eric dying and Aaron having to grieve him.
It should be noted that there are LGBT characters still alive, including Aaron, Tara, and Jesus. But they are also single, and given the show’s history, that might actually be what keeps them safe from the recurring trope.
Next: The cheap tricks are stacking up.
6. The show has become an unreliable narrator through cheap tricks
No one likes to be toyed with, so it’s better for a show not to play dirty tricks on its audience. But The Walking Dead has been doing that for a while now. The Season 6 ending had an infamous cliffhanger, leaving fans to wonder for months who Negan killed. In the same season, it also faked out Glenn’s death.
The show didn’t use to resort to weird tricks like this. It makes sense that once viewers start losing interest, you might want to throw something in to win them back. But once people can no longer rely on you to play fair, then it might be the beginning of the end.
Next: Rick’s death is already dragging on.
7. The promise of Rick’s death needs to come much sooner
Robert Kirkman has been dangling the carrot that Rick will die on the show for a while now, but it really should happen sooner than later. It wouldn’t exactly be unrealistic, given all of the dangerous situations he has led the group in. His death would also force the show to revitalize itself and change the dynamic. What would the group act like without Rick as their leader? Will someone step up to the plate?
But it’s doubtful that the show’s hero will die long before the show will end, and it will suffer for it. Rick has been stuck in the same dilemma of whether he and his group are good people or just monsters. He never seems to learn from his past on how to live differently, and it makes the show feel tired and repetitive.
Next: Bullets, bullets everywhere!
8. Bullets replace dialogue
One thing is clear in Season 8: Bullets are replacing dialogue, smart plots, and character development at a blazing pace. Remember when ammo was actually hard to come by and some viewers theorized that guns would become less of a storyline? Remember when instead of having a sniper to take out Negan on that balcony, we got the great war of bullets hitting metal shields instead?
Remember when we had flashbacks to reveal more about the characters we grew to love?
Next: Whatever happened to a plot about humanity?
9. The show no longer offers revelations about humanity
It’s no secret the zombie show is supposed to be about humanity and the efforts to keep it in dark times. But the series hasn’t actually made any new points about humanity for a while now because it seems to have forgotten what it was originally about.
Again, the lack of connection between characters, and the inability to give a more human aspect to the show’s villain, means the show is just full of monsters — and that’s a hard thing to stay invested in.
Next: Where’s my favorite character?
10. Where’s my favorite character?
How long has it been since you’ve seen your favorite character get significant screen time? With all of the fractured storylines, viewers have to sometimes go weeks without seeing their favorite character get any screen time, let alone do something significant.
For example, Michonne appeared in the season 8 opener and went several episodes without any screen time. By the time some characters reappear, we forgot what they were doing or why we cared.
Next: How many people are still watching?
11. The ratings get lower and lower
The Walking Dead is still a monster hit, but there is a noticeable downtrend in the ratings. As the chart above shows, Season 8 is one of the lowest performing seasons in show history.
The season premiere brought in 11.44 million viewers, which was the lowest since Season 3’s 10.97 million viewers.
Follow Nicole Weaver on Twitter @nikkibernice.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!