The Walking Dead hit a bit of a funk during its seventh season with ratings plummeting to lows and fans tuning out after the graphic season opener.
If you haven’t seen season 7 of The Walking Dead and want to avoid spoilers, we suggest you stop reading now. If you have seen it and want to hear our thoughts, then keep reading.
The season finale didn’t help matters by turning in a rather predictable episode that saw Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and co fail in their attempts to overthrow and defeat Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). The Scavengers double-crossed Alexandria and it was revealed they had made a deal with Negan.
Add to that the most obvious moment of the episode, Sasha’s (Sonequa Martin-Green) death, and it was an underwhelming outing for a season plagued with patchy moments, a slow pace and not much excitement.
With the show already renewed for an eighth seasons, fans are hoping that a return to form is on the cards. I’ve put together the Top 10 things I want to see when the show returns…
1. The cast to stop hyping the show. Before the season finale even aired, the show’s cast has lifted expectations to stupid heights. With Danai Gurira saying it was ‘powerful’ through to Scott Gimple’s promise that it would be ‘quantum intense’, it’s safe to say the episode didn’t match expectations. The cast are really harming the show by setting expectations, then not delivering.
2. A cast clearout. There are so many characters in the show now and more than 60% of them have experienced absolutely no development at all. Even the main characters that we’ve grown to love over the last 7 seasons, have been reduced to minimal screentime.
3. Less character separation. Hands up who loved an entire episode dedicated to Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Heath (Corey Hawkins). Oh that’s right, absolutely nobody. With characters like Carol (Melissa McBride), Michonne and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) completely sidelined, we were forced to spend time with characters we simply don’t care about. I miss the days of Rick, Carl (Chandler Riggs), Daryl (Norman Reedus), Michonne and Carol kicking ass together.
4. A better pace. After the nerve-shredding season premiere, season 7 never really got going again. Instead it got bogged down introducing all of the different factions and barely developing any of them. The jaw-dropping, heart-stopping moments the show has become known for never really materialised.
5. Jesus (Tom Payne) to get a storyline. One of the only supporting characters that has actually managed to become interesting despite having next to no screentime, I’d like to get to know more about him. He’s slotted right into the main cast without the character really doing anything to warrant it. All we know about him is from throwaway conversations and he deserves to be treated a hell of a lot better.
6. Negan to become three-dimensional. If you looked up the definition of a comic book baddie, you’d likely see Negan pictured. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is a fantastic actor but you wouldn’t know that thanks to the poor writing for Negan. Over the course of season 7 (following the interminable teasing during season 6), Negan did nothing other than act cocky and wield Lucille, his trusty baseball bat. After the initial shock of the season premiere, he wasn’t scary any more and isn’t all that threatening. Give him a backstory, make us try to understand where he’s coming from and allow him to actually be menacing.
7. Get rid of Eugene (Josh McDermitt). Has a character ever been so spineless and eager to please as Eugene? How on earth we live in a world where Glenn (Steve Yeun) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) get killed off, and we have to watch Eugene kissing Negan’s ass is beyond me. Dull, dull, dull.
8. The communities to actually unite with one another. Oceanside is a lost cause as are The Scavengers but The Hilltop and The Kingdom show some promise. There was a coming together of sorts at the end of season 7 but all the factions still feel so very separate. Also why bother introducing King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) if he’s not going to actually do anything?
9. Scale back the world and concentrate on delivering compelling stories. This links into point 2 really but if the show took at look at some of its earlier seasons (aside from season 2, please NEVER revisit that hot mess) it would see it’s most successful when we actually care about a smaller group of characters and the stakes are actually high.
10. A moratorium on new characters. If there’s one thing The Walking Dead doesn’t need, it’s any more new characters. Season 8 needs to see Rick and the group defeat Negan and they definitely don’t need more dead weight to drag that plot out past the next season.
The Walking Dead returns for season 8 later this year to AMC in the US and FOX in the UK. Tell us what you want to see from the next season in the comments section but please keep the conversation civil.