Fear the Walking Dead is set to air in a couple of weeks on June 4, 2017. Prepping for the new season, I found myself reminiscing on how much it's gotten better over the years. It can be argued that the quality of writing and overall story direction has improved for that iteration of Robert Kirkman's zombie apocalypse. However, it's more than debatable that the AMC flagship series #TheWalkingDead has left a mixed impression on its fans.
After ratings declined following its massive premiere, The Walking Dead has been gleefully trashed by critics eager to latch on to any signs of wear. For several years, the show has gathered the largest audience on television. In its latest outing, the early part of Season 7 has somehow managed to energize some of its detractors and even has some diehard fans scratching their heads. While I admit to being panicked by pacing at times this past season, The Walking Dead has proven it can deliver solid storytelling despite some major missteps.
We can all complain about the overstuffed story arcs and obvious plot devices from season to season. What makes it so hard for me to be too critical is that I can also point to impressive episodic outings, highlighting the palpable emotions shared by the protagonists. There are a few exceptions with a cast this size, but the actors are solidly handing in honed in performances. Season 7 feels like a millennia ago already. Yet, if you check out any Reddit posts or Twitter feeds, you'll find it's still very divisive. It's been a divisive type of year anyway, so why not let The Walking Dead continue the trend.
With ratings falling the past season and negative critics collecting like flies on dung, one can reasonably wonder if AMC is too smitten with itself to respond to the outcry. But why should they? The Walking Dead is still one of the best viewing experiences on TV. Despite the ratings fluctuation, it also still trounces any and all competition in terms of numbers.
"The season finale will be a conclusion that promises an epic story ahead. It’s about setting up season eight but also beyond" — Scott Gimple (Variety)
Epic? Season 7 and its finale was far from that. To give credit where it's due, I will say it was satisfactory. For a finale, it left me (like many others) still wanting better closure. There's definitely room for entertaining what exactly it sets up in Season 8. We got to know a host of new characters and groups, with episodes bouncing all over the place much like Game of Thrones. Although it wasn't executed as expertly, it's welcoming to know there's so much more to mine in the long running series.