Dear Walking Dead: A Breakup Letter
By Amanda Rossenrode
Dear Walking Dead,
Look, I know you tried. You tried in your own way, you made motions towards making a change. You got the cast out of Georgia and took them all the way to… Virginia. That looks a lot like Georgia. You introduced a plot about getting to Washington D.C. to work on a cure… which turned out to be a weird lie, which is as big of a cop out as saying it was all a dream. You did cop out on killing off Glenn, a fan favorite, and then did kill him, along with your last remaining likeable character, Moustache Man. Then you patted yourself on the back and decided to wage war with ANOTHER settlement.
I can’t stand by silently anymore, watching you destroy yourself. I cannot bear seeing the effect this has had on Michonne. She went from badass to Rick’s girlfriend. This is a woman that walked around leading zombies on a leash like they were geriatric beagles and now she stands behind Rick and cowers like a child fearing a thunderstorm. What you’ve done to Associate Badass Darryl is embarrassing. It’s like watching a friend sit on a discarded bean burrito while wearing white pants and knowing they have to walk back to the car like that, with everybody looking at them. You wish you could help, lend a sweater to cover their embarrassment, but you have no sweater. Then a little kid laughs and screams “poop pants!” and you’re just so helpless. This is what your show is doing to me. And yeah, I was that friend. What kind of monster leaves a burrito on a bench in the mall?
Don’t speak –there’s nothing left to say. And even if you did, it would be the same thing you said last season. Hell, you introduced a frigging dude with a tiger, and I still can’t muster any interest. A dude named King Ezekiel with a tiger as a house pet should be the coolest thing I’ve ever seen! Yet, I still can’t care. My love is dead. All that is left is pity, and a bit of contempt.
Your main characters have one trait: lifeless self-righteousness. Their only emotions are homicidal anger and crippling depression. You brag in interviews about breaking characters and then bringing them back –does it never occur to you that an object can only be broken and mended so many times before it is irreparably destroyed? As you methodically mow down your more developed characters during sweeps periods, you insert new and side characters into the mix like mice in a python’s cage. We all know they were born to die, and despite your insistence that they are important characters, it only confirms that they are not long for this earth. Who wants to know the history of a feeder mouse? Who wants to know its hopes and dreams? They are just insignificant links in the food chain.
You traded in levity and hope for senselessly cruelty and a bigger FX budget. There’s more suspense in swatting a fly in the living room than the cast head stabbing its way through a horde of gelatinous zombies. Every time Rick opens his mouth I start screaming the lyrics to Smash Mouth songs. And I hate Smash Mouth. I just hate them so much. When I hear “All Star” in the car, I run it into a ditch. That’s why no one will insure me. But at least I feel something for Smash Mouth. A burning, passionate hatred. There is no passion left for you, not even hate, just irritated apathy, which is somehow worse than hate. My eyes hurt from rolling them at Rick’s raspy speeches about… I don’t know Carl and freedom or something, even though you guys are just as bad, if not worse, than half the settlements you’ve gone to war with.
If there was any other feeling I would say it is disappointment. You make me disappointed in people. I would really hope that people in an apocalypse would find something better to do with their time than bash the brains in of their neighbors. I mean sure, there would be a few crazy individuals like that (Todd) but would we really form entire communities around the one psycho who came up with a capitol idea to wrap barbed wire around a baseball bat? Hell no! Look, everyone else around him has a gun. Somewhere, early in his bat wielding career, the sane people on the block would have probably said, “Look, Todd is cuckoo-bananas. I caught him wrapping barbed wire around a bat. No good can come of this nonsense. Let’s get the bat from him when he’s sleeping and maybe drop him off in the woods a few miles away. Now let’s get back to farming and creating a fair market.”
So get out, Walking Dead. Take your dead-inside Darryl and your one-eyed Emo Coral, and your army of nameless characters with surprisingly well-maintained hair for an apocalypse. Kill them or let them live forever, it makes no difference to me. Pick a real life fight with Cathedral City if you want, but I won’t be there. I won’t witness this repetitive, self-destructive behavior any longer. If I want to be in a disappointing relationship with a show and remember all the things I used to love about it, I’ll re-watch the finale season of Roseanne.