Yes George, thats why. Its not that youve done nothing but rubbish in the last 10 years.
The Walking Dead had seen four straight weeks of ratings declines, and that streak was not broken in week five by an odd Tara-centric episode that was as far removed from the main show as just about any episode has ever been.
The show lost another 600,000 viewers, with “only” 10.4 million tuning it. For an AMC show, that’s still great, but it’s a long way from the 17 million of the season 7 premiere, and 12 of the 16 episodes in season 3 of The Walking Dead four years ago got higher ratings than that.
I have to believe, however, that with tonight’s “Sing Me a Song” episode returning to the main storyline, and bringing back main cast members like Rick, Michonne, Daryl and Negan, that we’re going to see ratings rebound a bit and not continue this descent. I mean, whatever this episode is, it will almost have to be more relevant than the Tara episode. From the trailers, it seems like we might see an iconic Carl comic moment tonight, but it’s possible they might be saving that for the midseason finale, which could be a good call.
But the fact remains that the show remains on the wrong track in a number of ways, and it’s going to take more than just refocusing on the main cast to get people interested again. Last week, I went through five reasons that viewers are fleeing the show at this point, but now I want to talk a little bit about possible solutions I hope to see implemented soon. Some minor comic spoilers will follow in this discussion.
Right now the biggest problem with Negan is that he’s a dick. I mean, he’s supposed to be a dick, that’s just his persona, but he is only a dick, and nothing else, which has created this unlikable-for-the-wrong-reasons character that pales in comparison to many of the show’s past villains. The Governor, arguably the show’s best villain, had a sad backstory where he was keeping his zombie daughter alive, and we got to see his humanity in a few “Brian-centric” episodes to show he wasn’t all bad. Even the Terminus cannibals were given a story about how they were once a group that helped people, but that backfired on them, so they became monsters.
We have none of that with Negan. Seven episodes after his introduction, and the show hyping him up for many before that, we have really gotten nothing about who the man is other than some power-hungry loon that speaks in non-stop innuendo. We don’t know anything about his past or how he became this way, and his interactions with most characters are all the same. I hear that Negan will be getting some backstory in the future, and if they handle his Carl comic plotline correctly, that could humanize him a little bit. But for now, it’s easy to see why people think he’s not a great villain in a show that has had many better foes.
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