Series Review: The Walking Dead Season 11 (AMC)

By: Jesse Striewski

When The Walking Dead premiered on Halloween night 2010, I was a single father at the time, in need of some definite escapism to fill the void after completing a full night of trick-or-treating with my son and dropping him off to his mother’s place for the rest of the night. The show was the perfect remedy I needed, not only that very night, but for many more to come.

Since then I’ve never seen a show climb so steadily (and painfully) down hill before in my life. What once was a concise series filled with relatable characters and plots worth emotionally vesting in, became muddled with far too many ridiculously tedious and (often non-sensical) subplots, as well as the addition of far too many unlikable characters that it became impossible to keep track of them all, many just being added for no better reason other than to show how “woke” the show could be. Even the special effects have suffered an immense loss of quality.

The show had been on a noticeable decline for several seasons now, ever since the writing staff started going through changes and main characters like original boss man Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincolin) left (no doubt seeing the writing on the wall). But this latest season has just been so predictable, and just plan weird at times. You’ve got all these different communities (or “Commonwealth”) intertwined together, with these storm-trooper looking morons walking around now that it all just feels like, frankly, a joke. There’s even an episode that featured a full-on wrestling match in the zombie apocalypse, if you can believe that.

The core trio of early cast members that consists of Darryl (Norman Reedus), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), and Carol (Melissa McBride) hold it together as best as the can among the noise and chaos, but are given little to nothing to work with here. It’s not until the very last finale episode that anything of any real interest actually occurs, with some standout emotional performances from the likes of Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Eugene (Josh McDermitt) that offers some sort of closure at least.

But it doesn’t really end there now, does it? With multiple spin-offs still very much in motion, we’ll still be seeing more from this “dead” horse for years to come. Let The Walking Dead be a lesson to AMC of exactly what not to do to a once-flawless show. Hopefully at least one of said spin-offs (I’m putting my money on the one about Rick and Michonne) will manage to bring some integrity back to the brand, instead of just continuing to tarnish it.

Rating: 1.5/5 Stars

Series Review: The Walking Dead Season 10 (AMC)

Never before have I seen a series take such a steep decline in terms of writing and content as I have The Walking Dead. What once started off as such a juggernaut, has been dying a slow, painful death for a good four or five seasons now, with Season 10 being the most embarrassing one yet.

Originally airing from October of 2019 to April of 2020, the season dragged on thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and didn’t pick back up until February of this year (with one single forgettable episode airing in the meantime in October of 2020). But no matter when they aired, the majority of the episodes remained as uninteresting as the last one.

When the season first picked back up, the heroes were still in the midst of conflict with “The Whispers,” the most bland and boring group of villains to fill the small screen since the original Scooby-Doo series back in the ’60s (and equally as laughable). Samantha Morton and Ryan Hurst lead said group of “bad guys” as Alpha and Beta, respectively, and were (thankfully) both killed off early on with little to no shock effect at all.

The show has become so overly muddled with various new characters (Princess and the “masked soldiers” come to mind) and settings, it’s become nearly impossible to keep track of (or even care to) what’s even going on. The only saving grace in recent memory were two individual episodes; one involving Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) encountering an unstable drifter (played brilliantly by Robert Patrick) while on a supply run, and Negan’s (Jeffery Dean Morgan) backstory episode last night (though unfortunately, even the latter took away some of the mystic of the character by making him into a former gym teacher. Yes, a GYM TEACHER!).

I remember watching the show the night it originally premiered (October 31, 2010) after taking my son out for a night of trick-or-treating. I instantly related with characters like Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), and fell in love with the dramatic tension of the pace and writing. Since then, the show has become unrecognizable, and downright atrocious, with cast members coming and going (Danai Gurira, a.k.a. “Michonne,” is the latest to leave after this season). But thankfully, the show will finally be put out of it’s own misery after season eleven (with of course even more spin-offs than the ones already going, which both have more or less surpassed their source material at this point). If you’ve never watched an episode of The Walking Dead in your life, do yourself a favor, and do not start with a later season like this. Hell, even if you do start from the beginning, don’t waste your time, and just skip the last few pitiful seasons altogether (I certainly wish I had).

Rating: 1.5/5 Stars