To call a show overrated, as we’ve done here with The Walking Dead, requires there to be a large group of people who believe the show is much better than it is. Sure, there’s a large group of fans who see The Walking Dead as pure entertainment, something to pass the time. Well, we’re not really speaking to that group because everyone has the right to choose their own entertainment and, if zombie dramas are your thing, all the power to you. We are, however, speaking to the group of fans who think their zombie apocalypse show deserves the massive audiences, accolades and the critical praise its received. We’re also catering to the haters. You know who you are.
Whenever something gets really popular, you are bound to get a rise in the number of dissenters. In many cases, the dissenters are the most vocal. This happens with popular sports teams, with movies and with celebrities (see Jennifer Lawrence). This is also happening as we speak with The Walking Dead. Since the most vocal group are often the haters, it can seem like the public opinion of a show like The Walking Dead is that it isn’t as good as the numbers suggest, but we don’t think that’s true. We think that most fans are just too lazy to defend their show or incapable of doing so. So, we’re going to dump on it. Our goal here isn’t to shame fans of The Walking Dead to stop them form watching it. Our goal is simply to show why no one should think it’s better than it is. There are spoilers from the later seasons of the show as well, so turn away if you care. Here are 15 Reasons Why Walking Dead Is Completely Overrated.
15. They’re Just So Sneaky
On too many occasions while watching The Walking Dead we ask ourselves, what the hell? Why are so many people bitten by walkers in the stupidest of ways. There have been countless bites that could have been avoided by just backing away slowly or running away or opening up your damn ears. In this discussion, you have to go back to Dale, the total noob who was snuck up by a walker in the middle of an open field. Like if he turned around at any point in the hour it probably took that walker to sneak up on him, he would have seen it. Then there was Carter, who was running and a walker grabbed him and he basically stops, as if to ask, can I help you? He even leans in closer to the walker to make it easier for the thing to bite his face. And what about Eastman? Granted he was defending someone even dumber than he, but instead of pulling the guy backwards away from the walker, Eastman puts himself between his buddy and the thing. Maybe hit the walker with the giant stick in your hand. Really, do anything but what you did.
14. Climb a Tree
Every season, the big brains in The Walking Dead come up with a new place to live and surround it in a fence and, at the end of every season, the fence is broken through and their new friends die. Okay, so fences don’t work. What do we know about walkers? They can’t climb and they can’t swim. When are people going to suggest making a camp that is raised off the ground? By now they could have built a series of tree-houses to stay off the ground like Lothlorien in The Lord of the Rings. Obviously, you would have to create an escape plan to get down if need be, but it would solve a lot of problems. When in doubt, climb a tree.
13. All Those Awards
Anyone who says that The Walking Dead is only a ratings cash cow and mindless entertainment hasn’t been paying attention to the awards the show has received. It has received numerous awards in different seasons, including six Saturn Award nominations in season one and seven in season five. They’ve won Golden Globes and Emmys as well. While we will certainly agree that the makeup and the concept of The Walking Dead are interesting and the show can be entertaining, we wouldn’t go so far as to say that the performances are anything to write home about. Chandler Riggs was nominated for the Best Young Performer on Television for God’s sake. Are we that low on options that we need to nominate one of the most vile characters in all of television?
12. It’s Not Even the Best Zombie Narrative
Now, before we start talking about how it’s unfair to judge The Walking Dead against all the great zombie movies, like 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland, we’re not even talking about these films. The Walking Dead isn’t even the best zombie show on television currently. For that, you would need to tune into iZombie. Yeah, they’re entirely different and difficult to compare, but The Walking Dead feels stale in comparison. We’ve seen The Walking Dead before. No one would ever consider the concept original. For that reason alone, we can get away with saying it’s overrated.
11. The Pacing
With today’s insanely short attention spans, it’s a wonder how The Walking Dead has kept its audience. Each season has about three full episodes of content and the rest is just boring filler. The glacial pace seems to be tolerated because fans have wasted so much time up to this point that they have to keep trudging on. Sadly, millions tune in each week to watch Rick and his companions go from point A to point B over the course of an hour, which would take the average show a single commercial break to traverse. While many have revolted because of these tricks to extend the show longer than the content allows, there are still millions upon millions who are too stubborn to quit now.
10. Bad Science
In a show about zombies, it seems silly to point out flaws in science, but we do what we must when talking smack. We wouldn’t want an actual zombie apocalypse to happen and you come out thinking that old gasoline in a car’s tank is going to be fine years later. There’s the question of where the awesome haircuts and beautiful hair styles come from, like who’s curling these women’s dirty hair? We also see new vehicles that were built in the years after the apocalypse happened. Are we to believe that Hyundai is still making SUVs? There’s nice moustaches, a general lack of armpit hair on the women, and we also see quite a few husky survivors packing a few too many lbs in their midsection for a food-light apocalypse. We also have to wonder about the snow and how when the walkers came suddenly Georgia stopped getting winter.
9. Soap Opera with Zombies
Friends made fun of the way Soap Operas bring characters back from the dead when it’s convenient, having Drake Ramoray get a brain transplant that allowed him to return, but this has become a common device on TV these days. Early on with The Walking Dead, we were never quite sure which character would live and which would die. As the show wore on, it became more and more obvious that no important major characters would die. Take the recent season six cop-out, which had Glen die and then return from death in the stupidest way possible. They even showed his guts ripped out, which turned out to be some other corpse. Whatever. But there’s also all the crying, the glacial pacing, the emotions and the crying. We get it. You’re all very sad and grouchy.
8. Forgetting Successful Strategies
One of the most frustrating elements of The Walking Dead is that, early on, the group discovered some neat tricks for avoiding the wrath of the walkers. The first was that if you’re covered in walker guts, you would be invisible to them. This was awesome for one episode, but then they all forgot that they knew this. They’ve used it so sparingly you have to wonder if the writers wish they’d never thought of it. Then we met Michonne and learned her wicked trick of dismantling walkers and carrying them around as a virtual shield. This was the coolest and we knew it would be utilized to its fullest, but that never happened. Nowadays they don’t even remember that it’s possible.
7. Huge Audiences
Call it envy or jealousy or bitterness or whatever you want, but the fact that The Walking Dead bogarts over 10 million viewers a night is ruining TV. OK. Maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but something needs to be done. When the show started, when it was good, there were about 5 million viewers. By season five, there were as many as 17 million viewers watching Rick and his posse take 10 episodes to travel six miles, meanwhile Varys is travelling from Westeros to Meereen and back in one episode in Game of Thrones. There are plenty of new shows out there dying for even a sniff of The Walking Dead’s audience. Spread your wings folks. Experience something new. Here’s a promise. Leave Rick and the gang alone for a few weeks and try something new. We promise you that, when you return, they will not have travelled far.
6. Powerhouse Ratings
What do Sons of Anarchy, Doctor Who, Atlanta and The Walking Dead all have in common? Well, they’re all rated as the same quality. Now, we know that rating systems are broken online. This is shown in Netflix’s decision to change their star-rating system to either a thumbs up or a thumbs down because people don’t rate things accurately, but still. C’mon. The Walking Dead isn’t even in the same stratosphere as these other shows. Where’s the justice? Metacritic is notoriously hard on dramas, but The Walking Dead nails it out of the park? It’s ludicrous. So don’t give us the argument that no one believes The Walking Dead isn’t of a high quality. We don’t want to hear it.
5. Good Guys are Dumb and the Bad Guys are Right
From the very beginning the good guys have been making stupid decisions as a team. From letting the comically evil Merle into the group, to continuously arming people who are completely untrustworthy, to making plans and expecting walkers to do exactly as you say. It’s frustrating watching these things go down again and again and again. For most fans, they’ve become so invested in the main characters they don’t see their insane flaws. In Season Two, Rick and Hershel basically wanted to talk to the walkers and find out why they’re so killy and angry, while Shane wanted to kill the horde of undead ready and waiting to eat every living person, but he’s the idiot? It seems that there’s just a whole lot hypocrisy going on. Rick’s group enters new communities each season and demand people do things their way. On several occasions, other groups have done something very similar to what Rick’s group does, but these others are considered villains while Rick’s band of merry men are angelic. It ain’t right.
4. Carl and the Other Teens
For the first few seasons, Carl was a show-ruiner for many. This whiny little baby with that stupid hat and the pudding was ill-equipped for a post-apocalyptic world and his character made everyone’s day a little worse. Later on, we got Ron, who was obviously an idiot from the get go. He tried to fight Carl a number of times and was quick to pull a gun on anyone when he was angry. Thankfully, Rick taught him how to a shoot a gun properly so he could shoot Carl in the eye without killing him or even hurting him really. With Carl now somewhat tolerable and Ron gone, Enid took over the throne as the most annoying crybaby on the show, sulking her way through every scene as if she’s the only person who’s seen walkers eat their entire family.
3. Too Many Emotions Make Dumb Characters Dumber
One of the big reasons The Walking Dead has become a soap opera is because, despite the setting and the potential for action, 95% of the show focuses on the character drama. The mistake here is in the belief that action and character development can’t happen at the same time, so the show is propped up with countless scenes of fighting and bickering and pouting and crying. From the Shane, Rick and Lori love triangle to every fight since then, it’s become tiresome. But the worst thing is, once a fight takes place, someone wanders off alone into the woods or into a field to have a cry or a hissy-fit. Whenever an already-dumb person on the show gets moody, they become the Super-Saiyan dumb version of themselves.
2. Too Many Characters
Having too many characters on a show causes so many problems. For one, we end up simply not caring about many of the players. Take all the Alexandrians, for example, there were death scenes that were probably supposed to mean something to us, but we just didn’t care. We didn’t know them and we won’t miss them. By spending time needlessly on new characters, you also miss the opportunity to develop and grow the familiar characters more as well. They’ve become stagnant. It also calls for plenty of dumb moments. Since developing a whole slew of characters is difficult in a large pack, writers tend to separate them into manageable groups. This is why we have so many “let’s split up” moments in The Walking Dead, which can be mind-numbing after a while.
1. Stupidest Characters of All Time
Yeah, we’ve focused on the stupidity of characters in a few sections, but it’s hard to ignore when it comes into play in so many different ways. While there have been countless head-scratching deaths, some we’ve already discussed, there were two characters who died from a type of stupidity they don’t make very often on Earth. The issue here isn’t that stupid people don’t exist and wouldn’t die in these ways. It’s that people this dumb wouldn’t have lasted as long as they did. Take Andrea’s turning. With Milton getting up ever so slowly and making his painfully long walk toward her, Andrea struggles with pliers to free herself. In the most frustrating fashion imaginable, Andrea would stop what she was doing to look at Milton every few seconds. If she would have put her head down and got to work, she would still be alive. Then there’s Tina. Jesus Tina. With flowers in hand, Tina kneels down beside two corpses, somehow forgetting she’s in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Obviously, they grab her. To make matters worse, she falls down in between the two walkers, so she’s basically laying down between them having a nap. You deserve the shameful death you got. There are so many ways the writers could have written this death to make it believable. No survivor at this point is letting their guard down this stupidly.