A few years ago, The Walking Dead was one of the most widely acclaimed TV shows around. However, it’s generally agreed that the quality has declined in recent seasons, with more and more former fans of the series turning against it by either simply deciding to stop watching or advocating for it to end for good.
But what does the writing team of the AMC zombie drama make of all the criticism? Well, former showrunner Scott Gimple, who’s now the brand’s chief content officer, was speaking to USA Today when he revealed that he believes that such a strong reaction, either positive or negative, is just a consequence of producing a TV show in the age of social media, which is why he doesn’t mind the criticism.
“This is a show that has lived in the world of Twitter. It’s something you check in on and it’s interesting, but there can be so much praise and criticism for the same things. … Anybody’s opinion is valid, as long as they watch the show.”
It seems that AMC shares Gimple’s view of the online criticism as a poor gauge of public opinion. Last year, for instance, the backlash against Carl’s death spawned a petition created by fans that called for Gimple to be fired as showrunner and Chandler Riggs’ character to be resurrected. Sure enough, Gimple was soon removed from that role, with Angela Kang replacing him – however, it’s because he got a promotion instead of the boot.
Looking ahead, the creators of The Walking Dead should probably buckle in for even more intense reactions to what’s about to happen in season 9. All signs point to Andrew Lincoln bowing out of the series after only a handful of episodes, meaning protagonist Rick Grimes is likely going to kick the bucket.
A majority of fans who voted in a poll revealed they’d no longer be interested in watching the show without him, with petitions also being created to keep Rick around. We’ll have to see how folks respond to his exit when TWD returns this fall, but we don’t imagine it’ll be pretty.