The Walking Dead: Dead City Review: A Surprisingly Good Redemption

Does The Walking Dead Do you need another show? That may be the first question people consider before The Walking Dead: Dead City. After all, there has been Fear the Walking Dead, The World Beyond, Tales of the Walking Dead, and the original series, which concluded less than a year ago in its eleventh season (with what some call diminishing returns). Let’s be honest, that’s a lot of TV shows about zombies.


But The Walking Dead It’s never really been about zombies, has it? It could be zombies, a pandemic, or a natural disaster; In any case, the franchise is a study of humanity ‘after the fall’, a meditation on the politics of communities, and an exploration of the human condition in states of crisis. It is about people, the real antagonists, not about zombies.

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That’s what he does dead city and a couple of other upcoming series, Rick and Michonne and Daryl Dixonarguably more interesting than anything since the early seasons of The Walking Dead. These new shows focus squarely on individual characters with a lot of intimacy (and not a little fan service).

dead city primarily focuses on Negan and Maggie, who already had one of the most emotionally interesting relationships in the original series. Yeah, dead city suffers from many of the same problems that plagued The Walking Deadand yes, it may be pretty silly and illogical (really, what else would anyone expect?), but it’s probably the best thing to come out of this franchise in years.


A little ditty about Maggie and Negan

The Walking Dead Dead City - Maggie and Negan
AMC

If you are not familiar with The Walking Dead, this new series is probably not the best starting point. Even if all six episodes dead city introduces us to a range of new characters, there’s just too much history between the main two that newcomers probably won’t take the brunt of the show’s emotional impact. But for fans of the franchise and the wonderful character of Negan (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan), dead city it’s going to be a lovely sequel, even if the original show created quite a full arc for it.

Look, we all have something wrong with us, but Negan had a little more. He was a cult-like kingpin whose intimidation and threat created an empire and kept hundreds of people alive after the zombie apocalypse, while injuring and killing countless others. The original series does a great job of detailing Negan’s evil, his downfall, his growing self-awareness, and his attempts at some kind of redemption. He killed Maggie’s husband, but at the end of The Walking Deadhe is crying and apologizing to her for the monster he has been.

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dead city finds Maggie seeking Negan’s help, in a weird way seven samurai Kind of a situation, his farming community has been raided with the threat of repeated raids, and his son, Hershel, has been taken hostage. She needs Negan, and Negan needs to evade the rabid law enforcement that’s tailing him. Maybe he’s feeling guilty, maybe he’s got a death instinct, or maybe it’s just a convenient plot line, but he teams up with Maggie and heads to Manhattan to find ‘The Croat’ (a delightfully over-the-top Željko Ivanek, the climactic climax). of the series). series).

New characters, two stars

Negan and Maggie collide in Dead City
AMC

Complications arise and all is not as it seems, of course. Followed by a tough quarterback, Perlie Armstrong (The lights of Friday night‘ Gaius Charles), Negan and Maggie navigate the infested Manhattan, which seems to harbor The Warriors-gang style. One thing leads to another, and they are integrated into one group and are persecuted by another.

A host of new characters enter here, such as Amaia (Karina Ortiz) and Tommaso (Jonathan Higginbotham), leaders of the ultimately friendly gang, Negan and Maggie find themselves working together. None of them are terribly interesting, unfortunately, and no matter how many goofy monologues the new characters give, it’s hard to warm to any of them, really, except for The Croat. It’s haunting and villainous, sure, but fascinating, a bit pathetic and wonderfully fleshed out, thanks in large part to Ivanek, who is incredible.

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Lauren Cohan returns as Maggie Rhee, and the camera is in love with her. There are countless shots that just stop at her reactions, her suspicious eyes, her intent face as she watches what’s happening offscreen, and they go a long way to making this character more fascinating than usual. that she should be Cohan is a great actor, but not very good with southern accents, and here he gets a little awkward. It’s just more interesting to watch her react in silence than to dominate the room with words and gestures.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan is redeeming Negan

Negan - The Walking Dead
AMC

Dean Morgan is also back as Negan Smith, and he’s arguably better than ever. He can’t help but dominate almost every scene he finds himself in, even if the dialogue is patently worse than in the early seasons of the original series. dead city Ultimately, it feels like his story, using The Croat and his Manhattan operation as an analogue of Negan’s worst self. Now that he’s supposedly evolved and changed for the better, can Negan see the damage The Croat is doing? Will he be able to recognize himself in the bad guy? Will he succumb to his old nature and his stronger demons?

Throughout its six fast-paced and easily compulsive episodes, dead city sets up an ethical maze, and Negan is at the center. Of course, the show would be about him and Maggie: Maggie is the last remnant, the leftover proof that Negan was a horrible person, and her quest with her is akin to Orpheus trying to escape Hell with Eurydice.

The ending is a bit anticlimactic in terms of the fun action set pieces the series runs in every other episode, but thematically, it’s absolutely perfect. Maybe it should have ended there solidly, but this is The Walking Dead; Yeah dead city does well, viewers are likely to get eight more seasons. They’re not necessary, and it would have been nice to see this spin-off end for some purpose, but instead, it explicitly suggests a second season. He’s a bit of a joker, and if he wasn’t so symbolically perfect, it would be annoying.

As it is, we have the best elements of The Walking Dead on this new show, but also some of the worst (too many characters, confusing editing, comically over-the-top violence that’s more laughable than disturbing). However, with only six episodes in, she is not far behind and uses her time wisely. The odds are good for this one.

The Walking Dead: Dead City will premiere Sunday, June 18 at 9:00 pm ET on AMC and AMC+, with five more episodes airing each subsequent Sunday. You can watch the trailer below:

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