I am the product of a mother who loves horror. I grew up watching some of the best horror movies (and by ‘grow up,’ I mean I was basically nine when I started watching them), and later on in life, this translated to my love for zombies.
It all started when I was young, playing zombie games with my brother, and it’s only grown as I’ve gotten older. I’ve fallen in love with video games where zombies are the core subject (like The Last of Us, which is getting a TV adaptation soon), and other shows that feature scary-ass zombies, like All Of Us Are Dead. But, there’s one show that's been with me for years. And that, my friends, is The Walking Dead.
Through its ups and its downs, the trials and tribulations - I have stuck with this show and seen it all, covered it all, and at this point, I am ready for it to end. This show is what got me through my last year of middle school, all of high school and college and early adulthood. And while I’m eager for the eleventh (and final) season to come to an end, there was one roadblock in my way - my boyfriend.
Fun fact - we met in 2016, and one of our first conversations ever was about The Walking Dead and why we loved it. However, like many people, he dropped off the show around Season 8 and wanted to rewatch it so he could finish up the series, and I decided to watch it with him. So, with that in mind, here are six pretty consistent thoughts I had while rewatching all of The Walking Dead, before its final episodes come out.
Damn, These Walkers Really Just Get More Disgusting, Huh?
I know that the timespan of The Walking Dead by Season 11 is that a decade has passed with the world completely destroyed, but I have to give credit where credit is due to the creative team at the show, as well as effects and makeup. These walkers are freaking disgusting.
While during the first season of the show, they still look pretty human-like - considering it’s only been a few months after the outbreak at that point, but as the show goes on, these walkers just decay more and more until they’re basically nothing but rotted flesh and skeletons shuffling their way on the road. They’re so disgusting - and perfectly done.
Also, the addition of more cool horror effects - such as bloated walkers like in Season 2 and the well, or spiders crawling out of the mouth of a walker in the Season 9 premiere - is always welcome in my book. Make them creepy and crawly.
Also, Can We Talk About The Inconsistencies With These Zombies?
But, even if the walkers in The Walking Dead look cool, my God, are they inconsistent.
There have been so many moments during my rewatch where I’ve noticed that the walkers' behavior just isn't consistent. In Season 4, it’s visibly shown that walkers can’t go into water because they’ll sink, but in Season 7, they’re fully swimming in the water in order to get Rick and Aaron as they’re trying to get supplies for Negan. I know people will say, "Oh, time has passed, maybe they’ve evolved," but would the evolution be that fast? Come on.
Or, how about the fact that there were so many times characters should have died by walker swarms - like Tyreese in Season 4 on that run, or Glenn with the dumpster in Season 6 - and yet they survive? That is plot armor at its finest.
I could go on for ages about the inconsistencies. I mean, maybe that’s what makes walkers so scary - because they’re inconsistent and you can never predict their movements completely, but dang, is it annoying as a viewer.
Carol Has Seriously Had The Most Growth Out Of Everyone
I am so proud of my girl. Carol's timeline in The Walking Dead is astounding.
Many characters have grown in this series. I’ve seen Daryl’s badass moments as he’s evolved, the same with Maggie's major events, heck, even Rick, to an extent, during his time on the show, but no one has changed quite as much as Carol.
Going from an abused wife, too scared of her own shadow after suffering so much pain, to confident within her abilities and being the badass she is today - what a story of empowerment. If I was ever in an apocalypse, I would want to be like her - but knowing me, I’d be like Amy and get bitten within the first few months.
Yup, Negan Is Still The Best Villain
I really thought that in rewatching The Walking Dead, I’d find that the Governor was the best villain of The Walking Dead. It’s been a while since I rewatched his arc.
But, nope, Negan still wins, hands down.
There’s just something about him, man. The complexities of his character always draw me in, from his charming yet deadly introduction, to the views of his past, to how he is willing to change and grow and become a better version of himself years down the line - he’s just so interesting. And, it also helps that he’s played by the wonderful Jeffrey Dean Morgan. You just can’t hate someone with that smile.
David Morrisey is also amazing as the Governor, so he’s a close second.
Seasons 1-5 Really Were Peak Television
I always hear a lot of people talk about when they think show quality sort of fell off, or what season they stopped watching The Walking Dead, but the first five seasons of this show really were peak television.
While I do enjoy the villains of the later seasons - like Negan and the Saviors, or The Whisperers - the first five seasons hold a special place in my heart. It feels smaller, more intimate, watching our group from Atlanta dwindle down and grow again, trying to learn how to survive in this scary world. The story was a little slower-paced but tight and compact, and the deaths were still just as heartbreaking as they are later on in the show. It’s really so good.
The only complaints I’d have about the first five seasons are, like I said, the antagonists, in comparison to the Saviors and the Whisperers. But that’s just me liking huge threats. Everything else is amazing.
I Don’t Think Rick “Dying” Was The End Of The Show
Rick’s “death” scene really isn’t the end of the show for me.
When Andrew Lincoln left The Walking Dead, a lot of fans stopped watching. There was most certainly a decline in quality in Seasons 6, 7, and 8 if we’re talking story-wise, with the exception of a couple of great episodes, like Season 6’s “Here’s Not Here,” but Rick’s death - which was really him getting saved by Jadis and taken away in a helicopter without anyone knowing - just seemed to be the icing on the cake for many disgruntled fans in Season 9.
However - and this might be controversial - I actually think Rick’s departure improved the show.
The time skip we are given after the fact gave us the jump in the narrative that we needed to get our attention again, and it set the stage for other characters that we care about to become the center of attention. I loved seeing the spotlight on Michonne, and seeing Judith grow up. Heck, we even got to meet Dog through this. How can you not love Dog? That animal made Daryl’s story interesting again.
I also really love the villains of this era, too. They feel so much more threatening, and the wars against them are much more compact and creepier. While Season 11 has been introducing more political aspects into the show with the inclusion of the Commonwealth, the Whisperers were an amazing antagonist.
I actually really like Seasons 9 and 10. Season 11 is more of a mixed bag for me, just because I’m not the hugest fan of the Commonwealth, but it still has its moments in the sun. And I think more people need to give the show a chance again, because it really has changed for the better.
While The Walking Dead universe isn’t going away anytime soon - and we’re even going to be getting a spinoff of Rick and Michonne in 2023, as well as several others - I’ll always have a special place in my heart for this show. Even when it ends, I’ll still remember it fondly.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
A self-proclaimed nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, Alexandra Ramos is a Content Producer at CinemaBlend. She first started off working in December 2020 as a Freelance Writer after graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Journalism and a minor in English. She primarily works in features for movies, TV, and sometimes video games. (Please don't debate her on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!) She is also the main person who runs both our daily newsletter, The CinemaBlend Daily, and our ReelBlend newsletter.