Viewers Make Good on Threats to Stop Watching The Walking Dead

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Apparently I wasn’t the only one who stopped watching. Can it be fixed?

When I wrote my post about Why I Stopped Watching the Walking Dead, I hadn’t paid any attention to how the show’s ratings were going this season. I was just upset about the direction one of my favorite shows had taken, and the way other fans criticize each other when their opinions differ. But it seems that many other fans are taking action rather than just complaining about the show in comments sections. The Walking Dead’s ratings have dropped from a high of 17.03 million viewers for the season premiere to a low of 10.4 million viewers for episode 6, “Swear.” That’s a drop back to season 3 levels of viewership.

The Walking Dead Wikipedia ratings page has all of the detail you could want about TWD’s ratings, both for the length of its run and for this season, so I’ll just share this chart:

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The chart shows that season 5 was the overall peak in ratings, with seasons 4 and 6 being roughly equal (and a decline that started in 6B), then a steep decline over season 7 so far. That fits with both metawitches opinions of the quality of the show over time, and many of the comments from longtime viewers we’ve seen around the web. The show plateaued in season 5, and season 6 was a clusterfuck. I gave up on reading recaps of season 7 after a few episodes when it became clear that there wasn’t enough plot or character development happening to justify the writer’s time.

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Why I Stopped Watching the Walking Dead

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It’s not as simple as leaving because one of my favorite characters died. I hate it when people reduce other people’s decisions to quit watching a show to sounding like they are whiny children who didn’t get their way, so here is the long, drawn out explanation that won’t fit in the comments section on other blogs.

I’ve watched The Walking Dead since the very, very beginning, long before it became The Biggest Show on Television. It was my favorite show for years. My (teenage, now adult) kids and I watched it together, then watched Talking Dead. My husband would get drawn into watching Talking Dead, even though the mother show was too intense and violent for him. It took a lot for me to walk away from a show that we enjoyed together as a family so much. (What can I say? We’re an odd family with a dark sense of humor. Think The Adams Family, with chickens, more sunshine, and less black.)

I was hooked as soon Rick Grimes shot the original Symbolic Sacrificial Angelic Blonde Girl in the head in the pilot. I was just about done when the most recent Symbolic Sacrificial Angelic Blonde Girl*, Denise, died as a random in S6 Ep 14. I should have known she wouldn’t last, since, not only was she a blonde female and a Medical Practitioner**, both types sure to die early on TWD, but she also was a Lesbian, and female queer people in general were doomed on television last spring (even more so than usual).

Continue reading “Why I Stopped Watching the Walking Dead”