Is The Walking Dead past its best or in its prime?

When TWD premiered on Halloween 2010 the show was up against some stiff competition, Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men to name but two. In the years to come many more would follow and with them they would bring established Hollywood actors seemingly taking a step down from the big screen. So it was imperative that TWD was unique, thoughtful, exciting and entertaining.
Now we are in season eight you would have thought that TWD was seen as master of its craft to all its fans; the answer is, if you read the fan sites and social media pages, no.
I'll hold my hand up here and admit freely that I have expressed disappointment in the series, but I will say before the die-hards attack me with verbal baseball bats wrapped in barbed wire, that there is a reason for it. But to answer for my betrayal I need to go back to season one, so bear with me.

The two most iconic scenes in TWD are in fact in that first magnificent season.
Scene #1 The Zombie Girl.
We the audience are thrust into this decaying new world without any knowledge of how or why everything has gone to hell. A lone police officer scavenges for fuel amongst the lines of abandoned cars, some that still contain the sad remains of their inhabitants. Then a pair of pink fluffy slippers shuffles along the road and we instantly know that this is a child, we hope that she is okay, that she is searching for her parents who we know without seeing them are dead. All hope is ripped away as the horror of her torn face is unveiled and in that horrific moment we know that whatever has brought civilisation to its knees does not discriminate, age, gender, colour, creed, nor it does not care.
Scene #2 Rick comes out of his coma.
The scene comes after a brief glimpse of the world before the apocalypse; Rick and Shane, two colleagues but best friends also. Rick wakes after snippets of consciousness reveal the visits of his friend, the flowers beside his bed are no longer fresh, they are as dead as the world he is about to discover. The lack of medical staff alerted to his calls panics him and he quickly finds the strength to exit his room. What he finds are corridors of dereliction and human remains, but nothing prepares him for what is undoubtedly THE most iconic scene in TWD history. Don't Open, Dead Inside.
What these two scenes offer is an unprepared drop into an apocalyptic world of walking corpses for both the viewer and Rick Grimes, that way we understand what 'Officer Friendly' is feeling and going through mentally. A masterpiece of sensory trickery.
In addition to that, to show a dead child, shambling along the highway with half her face missing is big gamble for television. The movies can easily get away with that kind of horror but for television you have a more critical audience.

However, if TWD began and ended with horror and survival then they would not be here today, the show had to have substance, the writers had to create characters that the viewers loved, rooted for, hated or just plain enjoyed for their comedic timing.
TWD brought us sensitive stories of racism and domestic abuse, T Dog suffering at the hands of Merle and Carol suffering the oafish husband, Ed. This was mesmerising television as there was now no outreach centres, no police and no one to help Carol. It seemed that she was doomed to her abusive husband, until Shane stepped in.
Speaking of which, the former officer had stepped into Rick's shoes. He was having an affair with Lori and become a step father of sorts to Carl, but with the arrival of Lori's husband that all changed. Shane was now out in the cold, second fiddle to Rick and nothing more than a cool Uncle to Carl creating a love triangle that would tear Shane apart and concluding in the season two shocker. However, in Season two is where some of the gripes begin, a heart pounding hundred miles an hour first season slowed to what many believe to be a crawl. But for me season two was fantastic. The previous season had introduced us to the group, gave us the aforementioned emotions and now the show had to tell us the many stories over the course of 19 episodes.
But to anyone who thinks that season two was of a lower quality to season one then I disagree, for a start there's the Sophia storyline. This is a parents worst nightmare, the disappearance of their child. For half a season we the audience pray for the safe return of Sophia, I mean surely they won't give us another zombie child. Would they? This one hurt more though, we had come to love her in season one, feel sorry for her as she watched Ed beat her mother. Then she shambles out of the barn at Hershel's farm and out hearts sink. That is magnificent writing.
Add to that Maggie and Glenn's blossoming love, Shane's departure and then the season finale.
What those early season's did was offer up a horror story beyond wandering ghouls, real life horrors such as abusive husbands, inner demons and missing children were what made TWD so watchable.

Then The Governor turned up and we began to see a shift away from all that we were used to and loved, the comfy pair of slippers were well and truly removed. What The Governor did was slowly elbow the dead to one side and pave the way for the living to be feared. Cheesy names for cheesy comic book villains (yes I know TWD is a comic as well).
Terminus looked to be a return to horror and in its fleeting appearance it was. But that journey to Terminus was like sitting next to the teacher on a coach to a school trip. I could understand why they brought in The Governor and his story but that 'road trip'? Does anyone want to switch?
And so it continued; the hospital with the hearse and the overbearing police woman, Merle and his new hand, Michonne and her gargling pals on chains, Sheba... TWD had truly gone all out comic book.
At least with Negan we were promised something different, season six finale unveiling a guy who was great as The Comedian in The Watchmen. Season seven opens with gory glory, TWD answering fans pleas to break the untouchables and kill off a big character. In true Game of Thrones style we lost Glen and Abe and the season looked set to be a rollercoaster. But the train barely left the station and I began to refer to TWD as The Walking Waltons such was the tepid nature of the season.
And finally we are in season eight and the prayers for action have been answered.

But why have I turned away from TWD, I obviously love(d) the show?
When I first saw the title I was excited by the prospect of a zombie television series with great actors and great writing. I wanted to be scared of the ghouls, to run away from them rather than fight, only retaliating if I had no other choice. That scene where Morgan and Rick are hiding in the house while the street is full of the dead, that's what I wanted.
And then they took it away. the storylines became less about human survival in a world without supermarkets and electricity, less about the dead, less about real world struggles in an apocalyptic world. Camping out and away from the comfortable surrounds of our homes. But does that mean it has lost its lustre? No. Far from it.
TWD has had to evolve, to keep moving. If it stayed where it was five, six years ago then without a doubt we would not be here in season eight and looking forward to a FTWD crossover.
I applaud the writers for changing direction, for taking risks and setting new boundaries. They may have their critics but TWD team are still here, still popular and still evolving. The world of the dead has changed, maybe we should too.

Watch: Trailer & Sneak Peek - Season 8 Episode 2

Check out the Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 2 Promo below...

Promo & Sneak Peek 1



Sneak Peek 2



Check out more videos and sneak peeks here...

Watch: The Opening 3 Minutes of Season 8

Watch the opening 3 minutes of the season 8 premiere below and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments section.



Not long to go now!

Watch: Sneak Peek at Season 8 Episode 1

Here's the 1st sneak peek for Season 8 of The Walking Dead. Check it out below, especially if you missed it on the Talking Dead chat show.

Season 8 Sneak Peek



- "I've been fighting since the farm, can't stop now." -

Man, I'm PUMPED for Season 8... bring on the war!

The BEST Walking Dead Halloween Costumes for 2017

Halloween is just around the corner, as is Season 8 of TWD, so I figured it would be a good idea to show you the best Walking Dead costumes for Halloween 2017!

Check them out below...

Little Girl Walker Costume

Lucille Halloween Bat

Negan Costume

Sheriff Rick Costume

Split Jaw Walker Costume

Check out more on Amazon here... TWD Costumes

Can we expect a crossover in the Apocalypse?

The Walking Dead Crossover
- Could we see a crossover between FTWD and TWD? -
Whispers among some of the devoted fans of The Walking Dead; is it possible in our near future that we will see a crossover in the zombie apocalypse?

Although the writers have stayed pretty on track with the original series and actually have had much more liberties with the spin-off series, one must  wonder if there is going to be a crossover between the two successful series.

Timeline and geographic positioning is important!  Obviously we know that when patient zero was discovered in California, that was during the time of Rick being in his coma at the hospital. Since then, Madison's group had moved south of the boarder and majority had returned.. However, back over to the East coast, Rick 's group had moved North.

I'm sure the writers would be able to be creative enough to make this work but from my perspective on this matter I cannot see how they would be able to successfully bring the two shows together for a crossover.

Rick's group is already years into the apocalypse where Madison's group is still in the infancy and trying to figure out what exactly is going on. So, there would be several years gaps between the two and with the distance being practically across the country, I find it hard to figure out how they could possibly pull this off.

Perhaps one or two that may have strayed from the groups during its time would make a way over to the East Coast? Then maybe- just maybe It would be a successful crossover.

Watch: The Walking Dead Season 8 Trailer

Here it is - The Walking Dead Season 8 Trailer



Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

#OldManRick

Lets Break Down TWD Ratings

Let's take a look at the current ratings for The Walking Dead.



Source

Looking at the numbers alone on average viewership, we see good numbers thru season 1, & 2.  Then we jump into almost 11 million viewers on average for season 3, it continues to grow to exceed 13 million for season 4, and 14 million for season 5.  We see a small decline in season 6 with numbers returning to 13 million viewers.  Season 7, we have approximately 12 million average viewers right now.

If you just look at these numbers alone, we are looking at viewership a decline of millions of viewers.

Now that's a scary number.  Millions of anything is a lot of anything.  No matter how you look at it, millions is a big number.

However, lets compare these numbers to a few others.  This way we can get a base for comparison.

Supernatural



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Other Syfy TV Shows




Source

The numbers, in my opinion speak for themselves.  With a simple Google Search, I found shows that were similar to TWD.  None of these shows compared, in viewerships to The Walking Dead.  Keep in mind, I am not talking about how one show is better than the other.

Lets check out some other AMC shows



Source


Now that we have a few things in perspective, lets go back to the current season 7 of TWD 12 million viewers.  Compared to both similar shows and other shows on the same AMC network, TWD is ahead in view by leaps and bounds.

However, we all know that the true bottom line for a show is money.  Does it produce more than it costs?

Back in 2013 WetPaint released a few specifics about the profit AMC makes from TWD.  Basically, the cost of the show then ran about $2.75million per episode, however the profits from the commercials after costs, AMC still made approximately $8million per episode.

I know that I get annoyed with all the commercials that AMC stuffs into a show, but if it keeps my beloved TWD alive, AMC keep packing them in.

It is just my opinion, but it seems to me that TWD has a long way to fall before AMC considers cutting the show off.

Would love to hear your opinions and comments!


The Walking Dead Pop Up Book

Not sure how many fans are aware of this, so figured I would do a quick post to let you all know.

The people behind The Walking Dead have released a Walking Dead Pop-Up Book and it's awesome! Check out some of the pictures below, and make sure to play the video to get an even closer look.

The Walking Dead Pop Up Book
- Makes for a great Xmas present -

The book features many of the most iconic walkers from the TV Series such as Bicycle Girl and the Well Walker (remember that scene with Glenn on the farm?)

The Walking Dead Pop Up Book - Great Detail
The amount of detail is amazing!
The Walking Dead Pop Up Book - Gruesome
Gruesomely beautiful

Check out the video below to get an even closer look at the book. You will see just how much they have managed to cram in, and thankfully at no loss of quality.


This Pop-Up Book is available on both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

Let us know what you think of this in the comments section below. Are you going to be buying this for a Walking Dead fanatic this Christmas?

Rick's Revelation that he's not baby Judith's Father

There was a beautifully refreshing, yet totally unexpected moment in the most recent episode of The Walking Dead. Rick is at his house in Alexandria setting up makeshift beds on the floor (thanks to Negan and The Saviours for stealing their mattresses, only to go and burn them afterwards. Yes, this is what Michonne saw at the end of the episode for those who didn't catch it) when Michonne walks in to talk to him. 

Michonne begins to question Rick, in order to gauge where he's mentally at. Does he want to fight Negan? Is there a plan lurking somewhere in the back of Rick's head? What's the next step? Sadly, much to Michonne's frustration, there doesn't seem to be one. Rick has ultimately admitted defeat. Negan has won. "they've got the numbers" exclaims Rick. "what about The Hilltop!?" asks Michonne, Rick fires back - "but they've still got the numbers!"

Michonne looks totally crushed, as does Rick. She now realises that this is the way it is. The man she used to look up to has thrown in the towel. He's waving the white flag.

Rick reveals to Michonne he's not Judith's father
"I had to accept that"
Rick then proceeds to tell Michonne of his former best friend and partner, Shane Walsh. Just to make it clear, I personally love when a TV Series makes a meaningful callback to past characters and events - it's something I think they should do more of in The Walking Dead. It just helps everything connect together and carries on the flow of storytelling - something that a lot of people criticise this show for - much more thoroughly.

Michonne never met Shane as she wasn't around at the time when he was alive, this explains why she looks so shocked as Rick is telling the story of his past relationship and most importantly the love triangle that existed between Lori, Rick and Shane. The love triangle that is responsible for baby Judith, who Rick now admits for the first time is not "really" his own. 

Shane Walsh and Lori Grimes before the apocalypse
Shane and Lori before the apocalypse
"I know Judith isn't mine, I know it."

Wow, this shocking revelation is one that many fans of The Walking Dead - including myself - never figured would get brought up again, hence why I found it so refreshing. 

Here we have Rick at quite possibly one of his lowest moments (to be fair, there have been a lot!) and yet he still finds it in himself to push on, put his own beliefs to one side - in this case the belief that Judith is not really his daughter - and survive. 

"I know Judith isn't mine," he said. "I know it. I love her. She's my daughter. But she isn't mine. I had to accept that. I did. So I could keep her alive. I'll die before she does, and I hope that's a long time from now so I can raise her, protect her, and teach her how to survive. This is how we live now. I had to accept that too, so I could keep everyone else alive."

Reading into this tells us a couple of key things:

  1. Rick says he "had to accept that" likely meaning that he's known for a long time that Judith isn't really his own flesh and blood, even if he didn't admit this to anyone else. The fact that he's known this for a while, and still risked his life countless times to protect her shows us that deep down he truly is a decent, caring man. Some men of this world wouldn't raise a child as their own as it is, so adding a zombie apocalypse to the table really shows us those who do, and don't ultimately care.
  2. Rick telling Michonne that "this is how we live now" shows us that Rick is no longer willing to take risks. He's seen the consequences of that first hand with the horrific deaths of Abraham and Glenn. All he wants to do now is survive and keep everyone else alive, most importantly Carl and Judith. This was emphasised furthermore in the episode when he had an emotional crack in his voice whilst explaining to Michonne that he simply can't, and won't lose anyone else!
I think the writers created this scene so that we can see clearly the state of mind that Rick is currently in, and who can really blame him? He feels the guilt for everyone's deaths weighing heavily upon his shoulders. His whole emphasis on the fact that Negan is in charge, no matter how much he hates to admit that, tells us he's willing to do whatever is required to prevent anyone else from dying. 

The question now is what will Rick do going forwards - especially when it seems not everyone is as willing to get on board the 'Negan train'. Leave your thoughts and comments below or discuss on our Walking Dead Forum.

Entertainment Weekly's Interview with Andrew Lincoln - Rick's Revelation

The following interview is taken from Entertainment Weekly. They had the chance to sit down and chat with Andrew Lincoln himself in regards to the most recent episode of The Walking Dead. Andrew discusses his own personal thoughts and feelings he had whilst filming, as well as giving us a deeper glimpse into the character of Rick Grimes, and the state of mind he's currently in.

I thought this interview was too good not to share, but please know that I am taking absolutely no credit for it. This is all thanks to EW.

Read on below...

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ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Obviously what happened in the premiere was all kinds of horrific, but is there something even more humiliating in a way of Negan coming into Rick’s community and just taking whatever he wants, threatening whomever he wants, and Rick having to just sit there and take it? What was that like for you having to play that?

ANDREW LINCOLN: It was work. Everything was all about the return that first episode, and everybody was nervous about getting it right and getting back to where we left it, so there was a lot of focus on that on that episode. I thought, foolishly, that it was going to be a kind of cakewalk for the rest of the season, and then this episode shows up and you realize that all of it is reactive. It’s all about sucking it up. It’s easier to kind of transmit a thought if you’ve got words, but if you don’t have words, you have to really feel it, otherwise it’s not going to transmit. So it was unbearable.

Jeffrey [Dean Morgan] always said that he could tell that it was working when I started getting agitated on set. I think that it was an astonishing kind of abuse. You know, you wait a few episodes and you think, “Oh, maybe there’s going to be Rick’s return,” and actually, he’s not. He’s acquiesced. He’s done. He’s like, “No. No, no, no, no.” But then you have the reveal at the end, which is key, I think, as to what he’s doing about Judith.

Yeah, I definitely want to get to that in a minute, but first off, I’ve got to know what it was like having to carry Lucille around for the entire episode. I remember being there on set and the first thing I saw when I got there was you carrying Lucille. I was like, “Oh, that can’t be good.”

Yeah, it just sucks. I mean, it’s been a great acting opportunity, but I wouldn’t say it’s been fun. It’s been emasculating the leader and having to be publicly humiliated and taunted and tormented and all those kind of things, and it sucks. I’m not going to lie to you, it’s been pretty bad.

I love that one scene, though, at the end where Negan kills the walker with the candlestick and we see you sort of tighten your grip on Lucille a little bit, and Rick’s fighting every urge in his body to just take a swing right there.

Yeah, because he knows what the net result is. It’s everybody dies if he takes that swing. He’s being educated by this guy, and it was about holding my breath, really, that whole episode and him pushing and prodding and needling this guy as much as he can, because he’s checking to see if this guy is really kneeling before him, you know? Rick’s smart enough to realize that if he does take that swing, everybody dies.

It’s interesting how you described it as him holding his breath through the whole episode because then there’s that moment at the end right after Negan leaves where Spencer basically calls Rick out.

Not a good time. Not the best timing.

I couldn’t help but wonder: What do you think happens there if Rick is one foot away from Spencer instead of about 30 feet away?
It was neat to be able to have that little bit of the bite, the old Rick, for the audience to know, “Okay, he’s sucked it all up, but he’s still a powder keg. He’s not done.” I think that, yeah, Spencer is difficult to love. He’s hard to love, Spencer.

Okay, let’s talk about that huge scene between Rick and Michonne, which marks the first time we’ve heard him openly admit that he knows Judith is not his biological child. Is that something he’s finally admitting to himself, or just voicing aloud for the first time?
I think voicing it aloud. It’s one of those watershed moments that happens, certainly between the two lovers, between Michonne and Rick, that brings them together. It’s a very important moment in understanding his psyche and going, “This is what I’ve been doing for the last two years. I’ve accepted the situation and I will accept the situation if it’s going to save lives and if it’s going to protect the people I love. I will take it.” It’s another perfect kind of quiet heroism. You know, he’s a stepdad and it doesn’t stop him loving his child, but he kind of has accepted that it’s not his.

I told Jon Bernthal [who played Shane] that, in the pool with his kids — I hadn’t seen him for a while — I said, “Dude, you’re never going to believe this,” and he was like, “Oh, my God, no. What?” It was hilarious because he was like, “No. What… you… really? Really?” And he took it all so perfect. It was so Jon. It was beautiful because it was almost like he wanted to replay his scene again. He wanted to go back and reshoot the thing and I was like, “Dude, I know. Come on… they… you know.” But it was a very, very key point that [shworunner Scott M. Gimple] told me before I even got script 1 [this season]. We talked about it in the hiatus because it is very, very key.

It’s a huge revelation for the audience.

Well, it is, but it’s also a great secret. It’s a great, great secret that he’s been holding on to for a long, long time. It’s also a very smart way of understanding why he’s behaving in this way, because he’s been behaving that way with regards to his child since the outbreak, since he got the news. There’s a scene with Lori where it’s almost touched upon — outside on the farm, there’s a scene where he makes peace with whatever’s gone down and that’s, I think, a key moment. He doesn’t voice it, but it’s there. It’s in the air.

Well, it’s fascinating, because it’s the type of thing where it’s always out there in the show, but as a viewer, you sort of you move past it because there’s other things to think and worry about. So you sort of forget that this is always there and always in Rick’s mind because maybe you haven’t thought about since season 2 or 3.

Right! That’s right, and that’s the cool thing about long-form TV is the middle of this crazy ass episode that is about bringing people into line and continuing to test a leader of another community that Negan’s taken over, you have this revelation that is almost like a sideswipe. It’s very small and it’s great storytelling, I think, from Scott.

It was funny because I knew it affected people because [cinematographer Michael E. Satrazemis] just came and everybody kind of gave me a hug after. I think everybody really was hurting for Rick because it’s just like a great heroic act for the sake of the community, for his people, and for this child. He’s just done it, and for his son. He hasn’t told anybody that, you know? We’re asking a lot of people to sit through, to have their family smashed apart and this new guy on the block, but believe me, it’s moving to a very exciting place.


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What did you think of the above interview?

Is Maggie Dead?

Is Maggie Dead on The Walking Dead
Is Maggie Dead?
So, one of the questions on many people's minds after last night's episode of The Walking Dead - is Maggie dead? 

Father Gabriel and Rick certainly claimed this was the case to Negan as he was touring Alexandria.

Well, in short... no. She's not dead.

Thankfully father Gabriel once again redeemed himself with some quick thinking when he overheard Negan asking Rick where Maggie was, as he wanted to pay her a visit. "Would you like to pay your respects?" asked father G, to which Negan looked shocked.

"She's dead!?"

A quick visit to some mock graves that Gabriel prepared convinces Negan that this is the case. He even admitted that he didn't want this to happen, basically saying that Glenn did have to die because of Daryl, but Maggie certainly never. God only knows what sort of things Negan wanted to do to Maggie - the worrying thing is what will he do when he finds out that she is, in fact, alive, and that Rick lied to him?

Gabriel's words with Rick echoed through me during this episode "Was nice digging a grave I knew would stay empty" - This is something our group wishes was true more often than it's not.

This leaves the question - where is Maggie?

According to the preview for next weeks episode of The Walking Dead, she's at The Hilltop. This is also what happens in the comic as Maggie goes on the path to becoming the leader of The Hilltop community.