Posted on

The Female Perspective: The Walking Dead – Here’s Negan!

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


We waited for season 7 and we were not disappointed...Well most of us anyway.
We waited for season 7 and we were not disappointed…Well most of us anyway.

This post isn’t so much about feminism in The Walking Dead because I have touched on that before, but more it’s about me being a total nerd for this show and I wanted to chat a bit about the Season 7 premiere that happened last Sunday and the reaction thus far.

Do you watch The Walking Dead? Did you see it yet? No? Then stop reading, there be SPOILERS AHEAD! Why are you reading a blog instead of watching the show? Yeesh, go, go now!

Okay. Onward and upward.

If you watch the show then you  know that season 6 left us all in a quandary. We had just met Negan (if you didn’t read the comics you had been hearing about him ad naseum for quite a while I assume) and I can say that for me, I had a hard time remember to breathe the entire episode as we waited the big reveal and what it meant for our hearty band of survivors.

If you read the comics, then you know that someone is about to die, and Negan is going to be the one who does it. With Lucille, his vampire bat.

I started watching Walking Dead before I read the comics and I instantly loved the show and very quickly thereafter began to devour the comics as well. I am now currently caught up with the comics but won’t spoil those here.  Sufficed it to say, Negan is still alive and kicking and he is still a very, very, VERY bad man. Can you be a man when you’re a horrible monster in a world of horrible monsters?

Many people knew that someone was about to die, we didn’t know who and season 6 was not about to end telling us who dies, they left us all wondering, as the screen went black and the horrific crunching of bat on head echoed all around us. We waited and we guessed and we worried, and finally, we know. It wasn’t just one character, it was two. TWO! Walking Dead you’re getting greedy now.

Winner of best facial hair on "The Walking Dead" has to be Abraham.
Winner of best facial hair on “The Walking Dead” has to be Abraham.

It was a brutal episode, first Abraham got killed, but not before he got in one last, “Such my b—s” as he collapsed. It was a death worthy of the character and it was sad to see. It was actually really grotesque, but this is a show full of grotesque imagery, I mean, for pete’s sake, the dead and decaying are walking around la-dee-dah like. It’s pretty gross.

What came next was a surprise and a pretty good shock, Daryl gets a good, solid punch in on Negan’s handsome face and voila! We have our second death of the evening, Glenn. Poor Glenn, he got it via Lucille in the comics so he’s who I had my money on to be murdered on the episode. I admit to jumping and yelling when it happened. I admit to crying a tear or two when he finally cries out to Maggie and tells her he’ll find her.

Ugh.

It’s a brutal episode. Not only do we see characters we love get butchered in front of our faces, we see some pretty gnarly zombie death as well. But besides all of that is the emotional toll the show took. We watch as Negan beats Rick down emotionally, brutally, gleefully. After so many years with these characters, it’s hard to see someone as strong, as capable, as kind of cuckoo-pants crazy, as Rick get beaten down to the point of weeping and begging.

I say it again, it was a brutal episode.

Sadness...RIP Glenn Rhee.
Sadness…RIP Glenn Rhee.

So why am I so surprised that people are mad? We live in an age where people can accept gratuitous sex and foul language as par for the course, but violence on a show known for being gory and violent shocks us. People cry out, “My kids were watching!” And I ask, “What the heck were you doing let kids watch this show?” People cry out, “It’s too much,” and I ask, “So why doesn’t the violence on the news get you this upset? Why are half naked women okay, but violence is not?”

To me it’s a mark of a show doing something right. If people have such a strong and emotional reaction that they vow to stop watching the show, then the writers, the actors, everyone is doing something right. It means it’s effecting people (either positively or negatively) and that is what any entertainer wants to do. As a writer, I would LOVE to effect people with my words so much so that they have an emotional reaction so strong as to be angry, sad, happy, etc.

Is the show too violent? I don’t think so, not in the context of everything else that surrounds us. Not to mention the show is on at 9 AND has multiple warnings about violent content. They’ve done their job in warning people, if parents are letting their kids watch the show and the kids have nightmares, that’s on them. I’m sorry, but it’s true. It’s not AMC or The Walking Dead’s responsibility to censor itself because parents don’t make good decisions. I also think that if you don’t read the comics, then this weekends premier was probably a shocker for you, I get that. For those of us who have seen it, we know that Negan is horrible, violent and sadistic. We know what he does. If it was a surprise how violent things got and you are angry, that’s okay, but take a breather and think about the show you’re watching. It’s a show where the dead walk. Where people have been killing each other, sometimes there’s cannibals, always there’s death, and you’re surprised it got violent?

I do agree though that it was still brutal. And brilliant. That was some of the finest TV I’ve seen in awhile. Not because it was violent, but for the quiet moments after the violence was past us. When Rick and Negan are having alone time, when Rick is going through what’s just happened again and again. When we see the look on Daryl’s face when Glenn is killed. It’s those little moments that make it brilliant. The violence is just wrapped into that, it’s the catalyst for those little moments of true brilliance.

I personally cannot wait to see where Season 7 goes. If it’s anything like the comic book, we are in for quite the horrifically brutal treat.

Oh Negan...
Oh Negan…

What did you think of the premier? Too violent? Are you going to keep watching the show?
Yes or no?
Why or why not?
Sound off in the comments!

Posted on

The Female Perspective: Why The “Walking Dead” Cliffhanger Is Awesome

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


** SPOILERS AHEAD **

If you haven’t seen the season finale of Walking Dead by now, don’t read this. That is your only warning.

walking-dead-season-5-comic-con-poster-image-widewallpapershd-20-114967

I am a huge Walking Dead fan, both of the comics and the TV show (though I started watching the show first in all honesty) and I think it has consistently been one of the smartest, grossest and funnest shows on TV for many years now.  I also love/hate a good cliffhanger. This season, Walking Dead delivered on both keeping it’s quality at the highest level while also giving us one killer (pun intended) of a cliffhanger.

So why are people so peeved about it?

It is simply amazing to me how many people are upset that the show ended in a cliffhanger. First off, this is not the first time in TV history that there has been a cliffhanger ending for a season so why are people acting all shocked and/or angry that Walking Dead chose that route? All season they have been playing with us, making us wait for the final 10 minutes of the season to finally see one of the biggest bads in all of Walking Dead history, Negan. Not to mention, they teased us with Glenn’s death earlier in the season, only to take it away with a sly wink and a nod, “Don’t worry folks, we’ll get to the death soon…Just be patient,” and then, when death is imminent for one of our mighty zombie killers, the screen fades to black, screams are heard and the credits roll. Leaving us no idea as to who just got their head bashed in by Lucille while also leaving us angry, confused and wanting more.

It’s freaking brilliant TV show writing.

What’s the best way to ensure a huge audience when your show premiers in October? Tease a major characters death and then end the show before telling us who it is. End the show with the bone cracking, blood squelching sounds of a bat (wrapped in barbed wire) being smashed repeatedly into someone’s head, in front of people who love them, but don’t tell the audience who just died. It’s amazing. It’s brilliant and yeah, it’s a little infuriating but I can’t even count at this point how many times I’ve yelled, “I hate this show!” at my TV as the credits roll. But really, that’s code for, “I love this show!”

The fact is, I refuse to give up and/or complain about a show that has given me years of entertainment, taking the zombie survival scenario to a whole other level and who delivers some of the best performances in acting I’ve seen on TV. I mean, the fear in Rick’s eyes as he realizes just how screwed they are when they finally meet Negan after weeks and weeks of him prancing around all cocky, “We’ve done it before,” kind of nonsense. Rick thought Negan was a simple man doing bad things that they could defeat easily.

He is very, very wrong.

Yep. Pee-pee pants city, all aboard!
Yep. Pee-pee pants city, all aboard!

For those who read the comics, we spent the season anxiously awaiting the arrival of Negan, knowing what it means for the survivors, knowing how bloody and brutal things are about to get. Knowing just how diabolical (and damn charming) Negan is. I can say for me that it’s been maddening. Imagine my relief then when Negan steps out of the RV with all his swagger, all his smiles, and Lucille, the bat from Hell. Well, I thought I’d feel relief, but really all I felt was heart pounding fear. I knew what was coming (as so many did) and the anticipation as Negan stalked his prey, toyed with it and made a grand speech that I only heard a little of (it’s hard to hear when you have your shirt over your face and you’re going “Oh God, oh God, oh God,” over and over again) was maddening.

(FYI: Jeffrey Dean Morgan was made to play Negan. I couldn’t be more happy with his performance. He makes Negan confusing, just like in the comics, he’s insane but handsome. True evil, but charming. A sexist , but … Nope, he’s just a jerk)

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead - Season 6/Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan – The Walking Dead – Season 6/Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Then when the screen fades away with the sounds of screaming and skull crushing, I wanted to faint a little bit. It was perfect. It was everything I hoped it would be, even if it was insanity-inducing. To all those people who are creating petitions to find out the ending of WD, or who are complaining that the show was “lame” or “badly written”, you all need to take a step back, survey what else is on TV and realize, this is one of the best shows out there and if you see anything other than total brilliance, you are missing the point and should just stop watching … Oh, but you won’t, because you want to find out who Negan killed. Uh oh!

Seriously though, everyone has their opinion and I respect that, the fact is that cliffhangers happen. They happen quite a bit and they are both a lot of fun as well as being smart TV making and marketing. What better way to get your audience to come back than to leave them wanting more? In this case Walking Dead killed off a major character but left us wondering who that was. Unusual for them as they like to show us who died, leave us in the aftermath and make us wait 6-7 months for the revenge. This time, they left us mid-kill and invite us back for the death, the aftermath and the revenge. I for one cannot wait!

We shall see Rick, we shall see..
We shall see Rick, we shall see..

It’s funny, almost everyone I’ve talked to has a different opinion as to who died in the finale. I say Glenn (I’m sticking with the comics here), others say Daryl, Aaron, Eugene or even Maggie. Which is exactly what those jerks at the writers table of Walking Dead want us to think. They want us sitting in limbo until October so that when that 9pm rolls around we are glued to our TV, just waiting, and then they’ll give us a “filler” episode about Carol and Morgan and we won’t know who died until episode 2 – because the writers of the Walking Dead are mean people, but I love them just the same.

Who do you think died? Tell me in the comments!