Since the season four finale, I have been hooked on the show. The constant twists and turns, the relationships, the uncertainty, the character development- it was all just the type of show I found myself getting invested in, just the show I needed. Around the season February of 2015 when Aaron was introduced, I picked up the comics and binge read them. It was the first comic material I did not want to put down and read any chance I got. I found the changes from paper to screen fitting, and the upcoming storylines to be exciting and new.
Upon entering season eight, however, I can not help but have a few questions and comments to be made on some of the creative choices made- both on screen adaptation as well as latest issues.
1. Why are the wives such a grey area?
- This is such a hot button issue that no matter how much effort is put into emphasizing how much Sherry wanted that life, people will think Negan is a rapist because the wives were rarely ever seen discussing it. Personally, I don’t think the wives were any form of rape because of how Sherry acted, and the fact no one dared speak out about it unless it was Dwight, but still you will have people suspecting such. It does not make it any better when the show paints Negan’s wife harem as a complete trash show when the Comic wive harem was lavish and nice. In the comics they play cards, and in the show they try and kill Negan. His biggest redeeming quality is the fact he doesn’t like rape, and yet you portray him in a way that is oddly mucky.
2. Why is Negan so against rape?
- Speaking of Negan’s anti-rape rule, we never discovered why he was so against it. Of course anyone in their right mind would be, but Negan has such a strong reaction to it in the comics that it leaves room to believe that it strikes a personal chord. I was prepared to find out in Here’s Negan but when he first comes into contact with it, it’s the same reaction without acknowledgement of just why such a chord is pulled.
3. Seriously, wtf with issue #118? Not cool.
- I’m all for killing big characters, but come on! Shiva did not deserve that! I applaud the death, it definitely ripped me apart (forgive my wording) but why didn’t she last longer? This is my only shallow fan-service question, but it’s not just me!
4. Why was Richonne so rushed?
- Before anyone says it, I know they had great chemistry and great character development since the prison! I know! But the week (in our time) Jessie dies, Rick is with Michonne. A few episodes later, their sex life is paraded. I love their characters, I do love them individually and I would love them together had the writing not been so rushed. I’m not a writer by any means when it comes to show business, but it is hard to ignore how they went from zero to one hundred real quick. Had they been handled slower, and eased into the relationship gradually, it would have been an easier pill to swallow and I think the fans may have enjoyed catching on to the easter eggs. For instance, instead of a full make out session and waking up in bed together to the sight of Jesus, maybe have them hold hands in the R.V, or share other subtle touches. A couple on T.V. is more than just sex, and I wish Richonne, as much as a power duo they are, would have had more of that big build up.
5. Why does Juanita Sanchez remind me of the embodiment of Tumblr?
- Seriously, what was the thought process behind Juanita Sanchez a.k.a Princess? She’s the ultimate cringe queen and seeing the way she speaks just sets me off the wrong sort of ways. I’m open to seeing any sort of backstory or explanation you have, and I sure hope there is one, because otherwise all she is doing for me is giving me flashbacks of my thirteen year old self.
COMMENTARY, Because I have some serious issues with some of the creative choices.
6. You missed an opportunity with Negan’s introduction.
- It should have been Daryl. Hear me out! It would have packed the right amount of punch! the series needs to launch it into another season of war. I know Daryl is among the least likely to get killed off, but that’s why it would have brought the show to a new and exciting high! He’s a fan favorite, and it would steer away from the comic kill (or kill Glenn too, I wouldn’t judge because everyone expects it already). Yes, Abraham was a curveball, but what we really need in this show is more spontaneity and everyone already has money on who will last to the ending- Michonne, Rick, Daryl, and Carl being the big money. Yeah, you could kill Daryl off still, but Negan really needed that! He’s the biggest bad, the biggest twist in your story thus far and he can’t even get a big kill out of it? I’m telling you, ratings would have sky rocketed out of sheer disbelief if Daryl took the brunt end of the bat.
7. Daryl needs to stay in his own lane.
- Look, I’m not a big fan of Daryl personally. I think he would have been a better character if he were killed off long ago, but naturally he is a fan favorite and you keep him around- understood. It is nothing against Reedus, but his character is flat. All his development was done long ago, and now he is just dull. That being said, the story lines he does have are rinse and repeat, and take a lot of good plot lines from the character’s comic story lines. You can’t have things verbatim, but sometimes there are story lines that would be best kept to one character.
Because of Daryl’s involvement with the story lines, I have a concern. I am begging, do not let Daryl take Negan's redemption arc. It is very plausible, and I could very well see it happening upon discussing the plot with friends. If Daryl takes that key part of Negan’s development it would completely negate all the hard work put into such a well rounded and well shaped comic character. Don’t let Negan’s character go to waste, because it is a key part of Walking Dead story telling right now. I can not tell you how many times I have seen ”the only reason I’m watching is for Negan”.
8. Negan can’t die yet...
- ...and when you do kill him off it can’t be half-assed. He needs a good death, a big death because of what he has done for Alexandria, for Rick, and (in the beginning) for others. As stated above, Negan is a well rounded villain with a new story arc different from villains before, and a one off death would not do him justice.
9. Jesus and Aaron was a cheap shot.
- Okay, I get it. They’re cute, and I won’t deny it. I’m glad they’re happy, and the recent issue (173) but seriously? The only primary gay characters are together? It just seemed cheap. I don’t expect a horde of gay characters, but it would have been nice to see them bond as buddies first! Give me that friendship and the bond. We barely got that after Eric died and Alex rejected Jesus!
10. The show can’t deviate from Negan’s arc.
- I’ve already said this up there, but let’s restate it. You can’t take Negan’s arc and twist it to a pulp. He’s a great character as it is, leave him alone before he’s ruined.
11. Beta = Guy Negan killed? Cool theory. (photo above)
- When Here's Negan was drawing to a close and he murders the man for offering his wife or girlfriend a to Negan for sex, the man who does it looks eerily similar to Beta. Of course, we eventually learn that the man does not make it past this one issue, and so Beta is not him, but the likeness is there. This isn't so much a complaint on the fact they aren't one in the same, but more so wanting to see pieces of Negan's past for once. This isn't so much of a complaint as a suggestion. Maybe a student, or a past coworker, a bar buddy, something.
I am still a fan of the show and comic and will continue to read and watch further, but I have always had questions about certain creative liberties and have always had concerns about certain characters. It is understandable why you would make changes, but certain details could have been done differently or certain things could have been answered had more time and consideration been taken. After all, these are small details, and who would catch on, right?
A fan with strong feelings