A Breaking Bad Post-Mortem and a Walking Dead Beginning

I find the AMC Network to be very interesting.

Beyond the idea that they take a lot of chances, pursue concepts that wouldn’t work anywhere else, and generally seem to be batting .900 (because let’s face it, Low Winter Sun just wasn’t what they told us it would be), they just do things different.

We are now a couple weeks removed from the end of what will go down in history as being one of the greatest television shows ever.  Breaking Bad was something special.  Think about the shows that have ended that had a similar mystique.  Breaking Bad is the only one that seems to have both resonated with and satisfied fans.  The obvious example, and one that we have made many times is The Sopranos.  It’s the finale that confused, opened eyes, raised questions, and in the opinions of many, left one of the most brilliant television shows of its time in shambles.  At the same time as the Breaking Bad finale, we had the end of the run for Dexter.  Another example of a finale that didn’t do well with fans.  That said, Dexter had 3 too many seasons.  They should have gone out while they were on top, instead of trying to write their way into, and then out of, something special.  Now we get reports that the writers of Dexter were under very specific guidelines from Showtime that they weren’t allowed to explore many of the avenues they thought were fitting for the end (like Killing Dexter).

Breaking Bad went out on top.  The final season had viewership increase week over week.  The finale set records for AMC and cable.  The DVR numbers were awesome.  It helps that the episode worked.  We got to see resolution in the weeks leading up to it, and in the final episode we got to see something new, something exciting, freedom, escape, forgiveness, and just desserts.

It raises an interesting question.  Today marks the season premier of The Walking Dead, a show that also works very well on AMC.  It’s special.  I love the comic.  It’s incredible.  Robert Kirkman is a genius.  But the TV show is brilliant.  To pull off zombies and character studies as deep as The Walking Dead requires is amazing.  Now, it’s had its ups and downs for sure, and it keeps turning over showrunners for creative reasons, but it still seems to do ok.  They claim this season will get back to the idea of survival and horror that last season lost in search of a true villain for the band of heroes (the comic did the same thing, and for at least a year suffered the same consequence).

The question that needs to be asked is this:  How long can The Walking Dead go on as a successful television show?  There are at least 60-75 more issues of the comic that we could mine story from, however I’m not sure that would be the right thing to do.  Obviously they could take bits and pieces and make movies or shorts or pieces of content outside of the show, but what is RIGHT for this show?

For me, I’m not sure that the show can live, as it is, without some kind of spark or new direction, for more than a couple seasons.  Obviously character turnover and actors need to diversify and get somewhere new makes things hard.  I’ll be curious to see what they do.

We are very excited for the new season of The Walking Dead.  We’ll be launching our YouTube commentary and response show, Stalking Dead, late Sunday/early Monday and premier new episodes with each new episode of the show.  We’ll also be at Walker Stalker Con covering the show.

We are also interested in your thoughts on entertainment.  We’ll be launching a productions of a zombie series in the coming weeks, and we’ll need your help to make it perfect.  Your input and ideas will be used, and you’ll be compensated for your work.  Want to be a part?  Like us on Facebook.  We can’t wait to tell you what we’re doing.

Tell us what you think of The Walking Dead, and what you’re looking forward to with this season.  How long do you think the show can go?

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