‘The Walking Dead’ 705 Go Getters and why the ratings drop

the walking dead 605 go getters and what's causing the huge ratings drop 2016 images

The Walking Dead Go Getters Season 7 Episode 5 Recap Review

Who is more disgusting, Gregory or Negan? The latter is more vicious for sure. But Gregory’s cowardice is pretty hard to stomach for The Walking Dead audience.

Dude was all set to hand over an innocent lady who is pregnant and dealing with PTSD after seeing her husband on the business end of a home run competition.

Before I spew more hate on the “leader” of the Hilltop Colony, let’s back up.

The episode titled Go Getters, jumped off with Maggie as the centerpiece. She is alive and somewhat well at the Hilltop. She is under the care of a real doctor there, and we’re not sure if she is covered with Obamacare or not in this post-apocalyptic universe.

walking dead maggie with hilltop guy

There was not a ton of paperwork, so maybe she just has to trade the doc some chickens for his work, like in the old days.

Besides Maggie being alive, somehow her unborn child is still with her despite the trauma she’s suffered. Sasha is with her and looking to be a solid companion and protector. Nothing is gonna happen to Maggie with Sasha there. She’s hardcore and a little crazy as we saw last season.

Their scene beside the graves of Glenn and Abraham was touching. It showed that Maggie is far from giving up. Hearing her baby’s heartbeat reminded her that life does go on and “not everything is wrong.”

the walking dead jesus go getters

Jesus is apparently running a florist shop at the Hilltop, and Gregory is training to be the biggest prick on the sparsely populated planet. Greg keeps calling Maggie “Marsha” and referring to Rick as “Rich.” Pretty funny stuff, but I have a feeling Gregory is not long for this world.

And his leadership role at the colony is about to come to an end.

the walking dead carl enid rollar skating

A side story involved Carl and Enid. She traveled to the Hilltop Colony alone, but her “boyfriend” joined her eventually. Carl made some slick moves to get that kiss, but he has to find a barber shop. Alexandria had a helluva stylist, but she was eaten alive and had her arm chopped off by Rick.

It’s clear just how capable Maggie is even while she’s far from being 100 percent healthy. The Saviors let some Walkers in the colony, and Maggie helps Sasha and Jesus fight them off. Her weapon? A John Deer tractor of course. That farm girl is no stranger to using heavy equipment to damage property.

walking dead go getters gremlin car

Nice use of a Gremlin as a prop BTW.

The next day, a slew of Saviors barge into the Hilltop Colony. And the leader of the group, Simon, is pretty impressed that the colonists were able to fight off the Walkers all by themselves. But he smells a rat and wants to search the place, while their reaping their protection pay.

It looked like Gregory was doing the right thing by showing Simon the hidden liquor. But in reality, he was going to hand over Maggie. Jesus was just smart enough to hide her elsewhere.

So Maggie ended up being safe, and the Saviors finally left. But not before making Gregory kneel. He was happy to do so. This guy is a full-blown weasel. And weasels have their place in this new terrible world. Just not as a leader.

walking dead go getters negans gang at hilltop

He’s out! I love a good mutiny. He was relieved of his duties right after Maggie punched him in the grill. I doubt he’ll forget her name again. That shit looked painful.

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Even cooler than the right cross on Greg was Sasha saying she needs to “find out where Negan lives.”

walking dead go getters jesus maggie

Fearless SON!

She saw how vicious Negan is. She now wants to get his address. Wow!

So Jesus hops aboard one of the trucks headed back to the Negan compound. He’s not alone, though. Carl has already had the same thoughts as Sasha. Boy is fearless too.

Reckless, but no fear

This episode gave a sliver of hope to TWD fans. Can Negan actually be opposed? We saw no evidence of it from Rick. But his crew sees things differently and are not afraid to try different tactics.

Tactics that don’t involve kneeling.

We’ll see how that works out in the coming weeks I guess. #dread

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Here’s a peek at The Walking Dead 706 Swear episode.

the walking dead falling ratings after season premiere

What Is Causing the Huge Ratings Drop for The Walking Dead?

With the season premiere, you’d have thought that the biggest threat to Rick Grimes and his group would be Negan, but suddenly they seem to be more under threat of their audience losing interest.

AMC’s plan of leaving such a frustrating cliffhanger on Season 6 only to shock viewers with the premiere worked initially, and The Walking Dead put up record numbers as 17 million tuned into the season 7 premiere to see who Negan had actually during after the season 6 cliffhanger. But afterward? The show’s ratings have fallen off a cliff in the weeks that followed. They dropped precipitously from 12.5 in episode 2 to now just 11 million viewers in episode 5.

While viewers always drop off to a certain extent after season premieres, this is simply unprecedented for The Walking Dead. Losing over six million viewers in just five episodes is not a fluke, and the downward trend may not be over yet. Having just 11 million viewers drops The Walking Dead to a viewership level not seen since season 3. The show was still popular then, but with seasons 4 and 6 averaging about 12-13 million viewers an episode, and season five averaging more like 13-15, this is obviously not the direction The Walking Dead wants to be moving. Season 6 may have indicated a slow decline, but now in season 7, viewer interest is dying off at a simply alarming rate.

So what the heck is going on?

We decided to ask our readers about this to see what their thoughts were and how they were feeling about Season 7. We also asked them if they were watching live, waiting to see it on DVR or just not bothering and why.

It’s not just one thing if we’re looking closely. From the feedback we got, it’s actually a perfect storm of factors, some of which may be out of AMC and the showrunners’ control, while others they are directly responsible for. This is what feedback we got mixed in with some of our opinions, but mainly, we let you readers take the lead on what’s wrong.

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Fans Didn’t React So Positively To the Negan Premiere and How It Played Out

This would seem to be the most obvious answer, given the enormous drop we saw from the premiere to the other episodes this season. If 17 million people tuned in to watch that premiere, and the show loses 6 million of those in a month, that probably says something about the content of that much-watched premiere.

Glenn and Abraham were fan favorite characters, and it was gut-wrenching to lose them. I’d argue that their deaths were less sad then they were disgusting, with the show not holding back any of the gore from the comic, which is obviously more graphic when acted out in real life.

There was a common thought that AMC wouldn’t’ be bold enough to sacrifice a beloved character like Daryl, for fear of a fan uprising, but there may have been an uprising after these deaths all the same, if not for Abraham, then certainly for Glenn, who has been with the show from the very start. His death seemed arbitrary, random and also the fanbase already had gone through one “Glenn is dead” scare earlier in the same year. Even if both Glenn and Abraham are dead in the comics at this same point in time, and Glenn’s death was almost identical, fans may be revolting all the same.

I was a little surprised when I heard the morning radio shows the next day commenting on how the show had gone too far, and several call-in people said they wouldn’t be watching it again. Assuming it was just a few people who weren’t long-time fans, I didn’t think much, but the way the ratings have tumbled, there was some substance to the complaints.

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Fans Tired Of Feeling Manipulated By The Walking Dead Showrunners

As mentioned this above, but fans are getting tired of AMC purposefully trying to mess with them, like what we saw with the entire “Glenn is dead but not really” plotline of season six, where there was some ridiculously convoluted arc where Glenn was supposed to have been eaten alive by zombies, only for us to find out later he survived by crawling under a dumpster. But rather than creating mystery in any traditional way, AMC used tricks to fool the audience directly, like pivoting camera angles so it looked exactly like Glenn’s entrails were being torn out of him as he screamed (when really they were from another corpse).

That whole arc didn’t sit well with fans (and was made worse by Glenn’s actual death not that many episodes later), but there was an even greater uproar when the show gave us an absolutely unforgivable cliffhanger that had Negan beating someone’s head in during the season 6 finale, but again, another camera angle change hid the truth from the audience, and it was seen as a deliberate ploy to blackmail viewers to tune into the next year’s premiere.

A really large number of people responding on Twitter said that the countless faux Glenn deaths made them quit the show altogether, and many worry that AMC will continue to pull things like this, given the ratings they’re rewarded with. But as we’ve seen with the premiere, such gains may be short lived, and AMC could be sacrificing the longer term health of the show in the process.

negan not helping walking dead ratings

Negan Not As Popular With Fans As In the Comics

I mean, you’re not supposed to like Negan, given that he’s a villain, but there are good villains and poor villains, and over these last five episodes, I have not be surprised to learn many fans think Negan is more lame than menacing.

I’ve talked about this before, but even though Jeffrey Dean Morgan is doing a picture-perfect impression of Negan from the comics, I don’t think that a 1:1 translation of Negan from the comics is actually the best move for his character. His quippy lines, his plastered smiled, his eternal swagger. He comes off like a cartoon character. This is a show that has produced some truly harrowing villains, from the Governor to the Terminus cannibals to the Wolves, and Negan just seems too goofy by comparison.

Also, the show has done nothing but drive the exact same message home for five episodes now that Negan is in charge, Negan is boss, Negan is your world now. That’s great and necessary for some measure of plot development, but it’s getting a bit tiresome, and the way this threat is probably going to be overcome, a betrayal from within, the uniting of oppressed colonies, seems a bit too telegraphed already.

Fans Getting Uncomfortable With Rick Grimes and Daryl Getting Beaten Down Incessantly

Here’s the thing, when over the past seven years you have seen Rick’s group take on every single horrible foe on earth and emerge the group of collective badasses that they are, it’s going to be more than a little uncomfortable to see them being endlessly whipped like dogs by Negan and the Saviors.

Compare Rick’s reaction when facing off against overwhelming odds at Terminus (“They don’t know who they’re f***ing with”) to now, where he’s practically licking Negan’s boots, and telling everyone to like it and expect it to continue for years to come. Take away every single gun from camp. Take away Carol’s drive to fight. Take the show’s biggest badass, Daryl, and turn him into a maliciously tortured PTSD victim. These are all things people don’t want to see, given the arcs to this point.

In this case I don’t think this is necessarily the wrong move for the show, because this is all pretty necessary to set-up the coming conflict, and victory will be all that much sweeter when the beaten-down group finds their fire again and rises up to beat the Saviors, but I can understand why in the moment, it’s hard to watch and makes for frustrating TV. To see characters like Rick, Daryl and Carol totally losing their edge is just demoralizing, and some may not be motivated enough to stick around and see them get their groove back.

Season 7 Splintering the Group Not Going Over Well

I’ve tried defending how they’re doing it this season, but the show just hasn’t split the group this time around, they have shattered it. So far, every single episode this season has taken place in a different location with a mostly different group of people. Just trying to remember that each time you see a new episode, you have to remember that only a few days have passed which isn’t so easy for fans in today’s world.

Remember, people have the attention span of a gnat, so expecting them to hang on can sometimes be too much.

Ep 1 – The Woods

Ep 2 – The Kingdom

Ep 3 – Savior’s Fortress

Ep 4 – Alexandria

Ep 5 – The Hilltop

And now, episode six, tonight, is a Tara focused episode. No offense to Tara, but she’s not exactly breaking the streak here, and if ratings go up tonight, I will be amazed.

The show is spreading itself absurdly thin in ways it never has before. And unlike a show like Game of Thrones, it doesn’t know how to tell different stories simultaneously, so it spends weeks away from characters now in this new format, with more or less every episode dedicated to one location only. It’s wreaked havoc with storytelling in season 7, and could be one of the biggest contributing factors as to why people are leaving.

walking dead fans tiring and ratings falling

The Walking Dead Suffering from Six Hit Seasons

We’re seven seasons into The Walking Dead at this point so no matter what AMC does, fan interest is probably going to fade at some point. I do believe that they are helping things along in a number of ways as listed above, but at some point, fans are just going to get tired of the show.

We are probably in cycle number five of Rick’s group coming up against a scary enemy, and then working to overcome them, and it’s both predictable, and a little bit exhausting, given how much filler tends to accompany these plotlines. And for those who have added Fear the Walking Dead to their show line-up, we are now over 30 weeks a year when AMC is showing zombie programs. Fatigue does have a part to play in this equation.

I don’t know what exactly AMC can do to stop the bleeding here. They should start moving things along faster so this Negan storyline doesn’t drag out for another two years (which it seems on pace for). They need to try and get the group together as much as possible rather than splitting them between 4-5 locations. They need to stop pulling cheap tricks for audience retention and going back to creating truly emotional moments in the show, something they’ve been missing for a while now.

But again, it’s hard to know how possible all this is. The show is bound to the source material to a certain extent, and that dictates we are staying in the Kingdom/Alexandria/The Hilltop for eons, most likely. Negan isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and it’s unlikely Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s performance will change. I suppose they have to work with what they’re given. But right now, not much is working at all, and the ratings have become increasingly reflective of that.