Why Is Nobody Talking About What’s Really Wrong With ‘The Walking Dead’?!


This post contains spoilers for every single thing that has ever happened in AMC’s The Walking Dead, up to but not including this Sunday’s coming finale.

As we approach the finale of the sixth season of AMC’s The Walking Dead — an episode ominously titled “Last Day on Earth” — we can’t help but take stock of the situation facing Rick and his grimy cohorts. Let’s recap this season so far: Denise, the smart, sexy lesbian doctor got shot through the eye with an arrow while talking about how essential it is to take risks; Eugene literally bit a dude’s dick; Abraham refused to come out and claim his title as Sergeant Bear; Daryl got shot in the back by Future Bieber with a half-burned face; Carl somehow continued to avoid being tortured to the point of getting a haircut; the baby, named Judith, is still alive, but her whereabouts are unknown; Glenn, the delivery boy with perfectly tailored apocalypse pants, was kidnapped (again); Maggie remains selfish and so did not abort the child she’s determined to bring into this hell-world; and Rick is boning Michonne. So he’s still a completely unrealistic character, because Michonne is way out of his league.

Rick and Michonne are down to party.

Needless to say, the group has come a long way from Atlanta, and the days of scavenging for food while on the road are long gone. They’ve moved on from their makeshift home in a prison and settled in Alexandria, a community with walls and food and a new prison and some rough form of government. And so, when our not-heroes aren’t out killing humans in the name of some kind of justice, they’re kickin’ back and baking cookies and maintaining their cars. They’re living life, basically.

This newfound, though surely short-lived, ease raises the biggest, most important question that nobody is asking about The Walking Dead: why aren’t these hot, blood-covered survivors having more kickass ragers? For god’s sake, people, the last time we saw some whisky was when Daryl took a swig as he was burying Denise, and if death is what’s needed as motivation to drink, our not-heroes should’ve been hammered this whole time.

Fine: when the group first arrived in Alexandria, they had a little welcoming party, but it had all of the intensity and booze of Papaw’s failed burger bash. And, all right, sure: there are plenty of “good” reasons why Michonne and Carl and Glenn and Carol aren’t getting wasted and grinding their filthy asses on one another every night, the least of which is that Carl is still in his teens. They live in a world filled with constant, shambling threat, and getting fall-on-your-face drunk might lead to reduced mobility, to the point of getting one’s neck ripped apart by a zombie. But it’s no greater risk than having sex, which doesn’t happen all the time in TWD‘s world. It happens often enough, though, especially now that Michonne and Rick have become a thing (woo). And besides, isn’t the sexual union of two of the show’s best assassins cause for celebration? Just another missed opportunity to blow off some steam by gettin’ loaded.

Carl would be down to party if he got a haircut and took off his dumb hat.

Now, I haven’t seen the first two seasons of the show, but it’s obvious this isn’t the first time the group stayed mad when they should’ve been lit. If the entire second season basically takes place in a farmhouse, why was this farmhouse never transformed into a party house? Hershel’s daughters, Maggie and Beth (also RIP), never found any magic mushrooms while wandering around the woods of their family property? Everybody knows Carl would show drastic cognitive improvements if he just had a dope 24-hour acid trip. And for years we’ve been trying to forget that time Beth’s Emily Kinney sang Tom Waits when she should’ve been singing some ABBA. We get it, Kinney: you wanted to establish some credibility to buoy your post-TWD singing career, but chill out with the gloom-fest.

But perhaps the biggest bummer happened in this sixth season, when Jesus sabotaged Daryl and Rick when they nearly brought home a truck full of supplies, plenty of which would have surely been prime partying materials. But then Jesus (really) from the Hilltop (really) sent the whole thing careening into a lake before getting knocked out by Daryl. Later, when Jesus brought Rick and his buddies to the Hilltop, they again failed to have a party. Perfect chance for a party, but whatever. An old dude tried to sleep with pregnant Maggie, and then he got stabbed, but still, no party. No party, either, when Rick went and massacred all of the Bad Guys at their Bad Guy outpost. Doesn’t seem like there’s going to be a party in the finale, after the leader of this season’s Bad Guys, Negan, bashes someone’s face in with a barbed wire-covered bat named Lucille, either.

Jesus isn’t down to party, but he should be, because he’s called “Jesus.”

So, on the eve of yet another bloody, depressing, enraging finale of The Walking Dead, I’m begging Robert Kirkman: let these dudes have some fun. Give Carl a goddamn haircut and have the whole cast celebrate it. Get Carol to come back and make some of those great cookies, only with some potent weed butter. Let Morgan transform his sweet Bō moves into some breakdancing, have Rick give some Cookie Monster vocals to Daryl’s bluegrass band, and crack into the vats of moonshine and wine that have to be hidden somewhere in Alexandria. The lack of parties is the one thing keeping this show from greatness — and Golden Globes. And don’t you want Golden Globes, Kirkman? We know you do. Everybody does.