Chris Philpott 's Opinion

Chris Philpott is nzherald.co.nz's resident TV expert.

Chris Philpott: Why you should watch The Walking Dead tonight

16 comments
Chris Philpott disagreed with Chris Schulz's take on The Walking Dead's mid-season finale. Here's why he thinks you should tune in tonight.
Andrew Lincoln stars in 'The Walking Dead'.
Andrew Lincoln stars in 'The Walking Dead'.

It's no secret that The Walking Dead has been struggling to keep fans interested over the past year or so.

The zombie attacks, though more inventive every season, are getting fewer and further between, and a lack of narrative urgency - I mean, outside of the zombies - means the core characters are frozen, not growing or deepening as much as they are just moving up and down an emotional spectrum from "stable" to "Carrie Matheson on Homeland".

As if turning viewers against the main characters wasn't enough, the writers gave far too much time to a cartoonish villain named The Governor, who had about as much charisma as one of the disembodied heads he was keeping in a fish tank.

It's no surprise that the most boring stretch of season four so far involved a pair of episodes that were devoted solely to catching us up on what The Governor had been up to, as if any of us even cared.

Yet, despite its obvious flaws, I think the show can only improve from here.

As season four returns, the core group of survivors have been scattered far and wide, with small groups of two and three replacing the large congregation who had gathered at the now-destroyed prison.

It's a move that will force the writers to develop major characters like Michonne and Daryl, whether they want to or not.

There are new characters coming into play too, including Michael Cudlitz (Southland) as comic fan favourite Abraham Ford, and a rather large herd of zombies bearing down on the area in which our survivors toil - even though the number of zombie attacks might continue to drop.

I don't mind, though. The show, like Kirkman's comic book on which it's based, was never really about zombies anyway.

Core characters Rick and Carl could develop some more as they deal with the death (or perceived death, depending on how you viewed the mid-season finale) of baby Judith.

Andrew Lincoln has a decent acting range and, if the writers are smart, they'll try to get him using some of that talent.

So, should you watch the second half of The Walking Dead's fourth season? If you've enjoyed the show at any stage, I think the answer is an unequivocal yes - the mid-season finale was the best episode in a while, and I think showrunner Scott Gimple knows where he is taking the show now that some of the poor story decisions he inherited (The Governor, the prison) have been swept aside.

The Walking Dead will almost certainly get better in this final eight episodes. I'll be tuning in. I reckon you should too.

* The Walking Dead, TV2, 9.30pm

Read more: Why I'm bailing on The Walking Dead

Chris Philpott

Chris Philpott is nzherald.co.nz's resident TV expert.

In a strange way, Chris Philpott has grown up with television: his first big addiction was The X Files, which he watched as a teenager, enthralled by what was possible with the form. Chris’ love of TV grew over the years, parallel to the popularity and quality of serial dramas like The Sopranos, Lost, Mad Men and Breaking Bad. He began writing about TV professionally in 2010, before joining the NZ Herald in late 2013, and considers writing about TV more than a passing interest or hobby: he genuinely loves sharing new series and discussing the big shows with readers. Chris is based in Whangarei, and lives with his wife and daughter. When he isn’t watching television … just kidding, he’s always watching television.

Read more by Chris Philpott

Have your say

We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't publish comments that abuse others. View commenting guidelines.

1200 characters left

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a3 at 03 Sep 2014 09:55:12 Processing Time: 600ms