The Good Place
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The flashback-laden "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be" is slow to deliver the payoff from last season's finale -- but ultimately delivers with sadistic acts of gut-wrenching violence that will push Walking Dead fans to their limit.
Viewers had to wait until the end of the first ad break to find out who the victims were. While this helped build a sense of dread, after months of waiting, it also arguably felt like one tense, teasing step too far.
The show's creative team has not lost its taste for jerking fans of the TV show around and it remains committed to refining and retuning the biggest moments from the book, without jettisoning them completely.
Being beaten over the head by big bad Negan just felt like lousy storytelling. Showing less could have actually been more suspenseful.
Lincoln warned us this episode would be gut-wrenching.
If this is what a hit TV series is about -- the slaughter of the sacrificial lamb on occasion to draw us in, to watch, to gape, to write reviews -- then maybe we should ask ourselves why we are watching.
It was miserable, and tedious, and made me feel bad. Not in an emotionally compelling way, just in a "I could be watching something of value" way.
The thing is, I'm invested. No, that's not right. I just know that I can't get those past 6 seasons back, so why not keep going? I know I'm going to watch at least the next episode. [Audible sigh]
The Walking Dead has little concept of what bothered fans in the first place.
"The Walking Dead" may have committed the cardinal sin of trolling, but it's exciting to see the series move past it into more emotionally complex territory.
After six years, we've come to love the living characters on The Walking Dead in the same way we have those in a show like Friday Night Lights or Lost. But getting attached is what makes major moments like Sunday's deaths pay off in such a big way.
This wasn't quality television, and it wasn't suspenseful drama. It was torture-porn masquerading as storytelling, and AMC should be ashamed for airing it.
If you can say anything about this cliff-hanger payoff, it's that it's one of the most brutal things that has ever aired on cable television. Though as comic fans know, Glenn's brutal death, at least, came directly from the books.