Writing Is Hard Work

Musings of a Hard Working Writer...

  • Roger Colby

Why This Writer Quit Watching “The Walking Dead”


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At the start of season 6, the series had seen its lowest ratings drop since the series began.  It is believed also that because of this fact the producers began to scramble to do something to make the ratings go up again…namely “killing off” Glen (psyche!).  The problem with this is that instead of telling a good story, writers are being forced to cow to the ratings and the fright that the network’s money maker might tank.

Well, it might tank for sure after Sunday night’s episode “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be”.

Already there is fan outrage, but not really because of the characters who went to the chopping  block…or the batting range.  The outrage comes from the audience being manipulated by a show that is becoming increasingly violent for violence sake.  The biggest beef I have with it is that the writing has taken a back seat to escalation of violence.

This happened to Game of Thrones after the “red wedding” scene, and it has now happened to The Walking Dead.  What originally drew me to TWD was its sense of humanity.  Even though things are bad for our heroes, our heroes somehow manage to find the silver lining in the difficult world in which they live.

My exit has a two-fold reason:

  1. There Is No Bright Spot – Even if you are writing a story that is a tragedy, there always should be some ray of hope in the mix, no matter how small.  Macbeth had MacDuff.  Breaking Bad had Jessie.  But now I am feeling like there are not any more redeemable people on the show.  More to the point, there is not any sense of hope at all.

  2. Writers Shouldn’t Care About Ratings – Sure, it’s what butters the bread of the networks, but to use character death as a gimmick to get people to watch a show and then show that character being brutalized for five grueling minutes (Glen) and show him stare at his wife with a detached eye before saying “I’ll find you” is pretty sick.  It reminds me of why I hate the “Saw” movies so much.  Gruesome violence for the sake of violence is completely pointless.

For more on the subject, and for a detailed analysis of other reasons I’ll be doing something else on Sunday nights, check out this article from The Verge.

Besides.  I have better things to do with my time, like write a novel or something.  I don’t want to subject myself to more misery when there is enough to go around in our world right now.

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