Tyreese actor Chad Coleman stopped watching The Walking Dead exactly when I wanted to do the same. I continued through Season 9, and will keep going into TWD Season 10, which is now starting to film for its premiere in October. But I can't say I blame Coleman for dropping out when he said he did. He made his debut as Tyreese midway through Season 3 and lasted on the show until midway through Season 5. As a viewer, he lasted until the Season 7 premiere.
Here's what Chad Coleman said when asked if he still watched and followed along with The Walking Dead:
No, I haven't been. You know, after Glenn and Abraham ... Negan smashed their heads in that way. It was just kinda like, 'That’s enough for me. Thanks guys. Take care. All the best.' But they're coming back around to more nuanced, less extreme characters.
Clearly he hasn't met Alpha and The Whisperers!
The Walking Dead is known to be a brutal show, and it's based on Robert Kirkman's brutal comic book series. But the AMC series doesn't always follow the comics -- it "remixed" Tyreese's on-screen death, for example. So even though many fans knew going into the Season 7 premiere that Negan Lucille-d Glenn in that story's own version of Game of Thrones' Red Wedding, it was a very different experience to watch that happen.
The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere ended up the second most-watched episode of the series to date, with fans wondering which characters would die in Negan's TV version of the lineup. After we saw the results, ratings plummeted, as fans turned off by what happened -- and The Negan Show of the rest of Season 7 -- decided to stop watching for good.
Apparently Chad Coleman was one of the fans who shut off The Walking Dead after the Season 7 premiere. He continued on the "less extreme characters" note during his chat on the Popcorn Talk podcast:
That's one of the benefits and joys of playing Tyreese. He's a very real man in a very tough situation. You felt his humanity, his sensitivity, and all of the things that all of us just as regular folks, I would imagine, would go through. So they're getting back to nuanced character stuff with [new showrunner] Angela Kang. She was very much a part of, as a writer, what I would call the glory years. Seasons 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. All of that. So she's at the helm, proud of her, so I look forward to a change.
Angela Kang took over as showrunner in The Walking Dead Season 9, while previous showrunner Scott M. GImple is now in charge of the whole expanding Walking Dead universe. There were a lot of "nuanced character" moments in Season 9, and hopefully more ahead in Season 10. But there were also a lot of brutal deaths, especially in "The Calm Before" fair episode. And we lost, at least temporarily, Rick Grimes and Maggie Greene-Rhee.
Rick is literally lost to the characters, although we know he survived and was taken away on that helicopter before the time jump. We'll see Rick again when actor Andrew Lincoln returns for his movies. Maggie is expected to return to the TV series at some point, possibly in Season 10, depending on Whiskey Cavalier actress Lauren Cohan's schedule (and contract). Meanwhile, Danai Gurira's Michonne appears to be leaving TWD after Season 10.