It started off like any other The Walking Dead season premiere - some tragedy had befallen the cast of characters in some way, shape or form, and a cliffhanger was about to be answered. Who lives? Who dies? Who gets the dead guy's leftover Twinkies? (I'm certain that Twinkies make it through a zombie apocalypse.)
I've been watching The Walking Dead since completing a marathon session of the first season about five years ago. For the longest time, I found myself ending each episode thinking, "Why the HELL did I just watch this?" From a story-line perspective, it definitely leaves a lot to be desired; mainly, how'd this whole zombie thing happen and can anyone ever actually find a solution to zombies? However, I understand that the show is based on a comic book franchise, which might explain the need to just keep teasing out the story without a real plot, other than to create character profiles. I don't read comics, but with DC and Marvel both hitting it off at the box office, apparently it's a thing.
As with any fantasy entertainment, suspension of belief is required to really enjoy these types of shows. I have no problem whatsoever getting in the proper mindset to accept that a zombie apocalypse can occur, and although I struggle sometimes with exposing the obvious solutions to their life's problems ("Why don't they just hang something alive or noisy a few feet over the Grand Canyon and watch all those Walkers fall to their skull-crushing deaths?"), I've endured 6 years of The Walking Dead, if only to get to know certain characters and appreciate their development throughout the experience. There have actually been great performances throughout. Except for Carl. I hate that kid. The zombie apocalypse can definitely use less Carl.
This brings us to the season 7 premiere. The cliffhanger definitely left no question about it - someone was going to die. Many predicted that Glenn Rhee, a character involved from the first episode six years ago, and my favorite of them all (even though the main character shares my name and ex-profession), would be one of the characters to go. I knew this was a comic book adaptation, so I prepared myself for the inevitable.
Glenn was beaten to death. It was not pretty. Most deaths on this show are not, but this one... wow.
I get it. Characters die. Others grow and adapt from the experience. Still, I wasn't all that impressed with the new direction, based on the premiere. It was obviously meant to tear at the heartstrings of everyone watching, and it no doubt succeeded in its endeavor. But, as Glenn died, so did my interest in the show.
Maybe it's a greater statement on my life right now, that I can walk away from The Walking Dead. Or maybe I'm just pissed that they killed off my favorite character. Maybe there are even some statements I could make regarding the direction of political parties or country that are foreshadowed in this season premiere. But I'll just step aside and find something else to do with that hour a week.
Maybe I'll start reading. I hear comic books are making a comeback.