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Are the many Rick-less episodes trend Scott Gimple started, a purposed intention to reboot TWD

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by richonnelove, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. richonnelove

    richonnelove Ricktator

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    I created this post in response to another thread but felt the discussion deserves a thread of its own.

    Imo AMC wanted Daryl to take over as lead for a long while now (though I'm no longer sure if they still do as they seemed to have jumped on the Negan bandwagon), Kirkman wants Negan to be the lead and Gimple wants Carol as the lead and was trying to build the show around her in season 6. Three different factions all trying to divest the show of Rick as the protagonist and it's telling on the show because the more the show became about these other characters and Rick was shoved aside on the periphery, the more the show lost its luster and core appeal.

    7A, the season of Negan was a flop comparatively to expectations. The hype and over-confidence of this character being the be all and end all of all walking dead characters was through the roof from TPTB. They treated the actors and characters that put TWD on the map like unwanted leftovers and acted like JDM and Negan was responsible for The Walking Dead becoming the TV juggernaut it is.

    All 3 - AMC, Kirkman and Gimple may get their wish of a Rick-less TWD sooner than later, but they will eventually realize what they squandered by not appreciating the gold (AL) they had all along. Who am I kidding, lol. They'll be their usual know it all selves proclaiming their character was the best and TWD universe should be focused around them. On TTD, fans were asked which character they preferred between Negan and Daryl. The fans voted they preferred Daryl 96% over Negan and Kirkman said they were wrong. Negan is THE best, period. I don't think he meant that comparatively to just Daryl either. It is what he believes and ultimately wants for the direction of the TV show - Negan's TWD. He already adapted the comics to be all about Negan.

    So there you have it. I now just mainly watch episodes Rick and Michonne are in and am mostly looking forward to the other projects AL and DG will participate in and future ones once they leave TWD behind which I hope is no later than season 9.

    SMG is getting out at an opportune time. The direction of the show and the mindset of TPTB is not the best atmosphere for the original cast up to season 5. TPTB are more focused on their newer cast to help reset TWD to run longer and cheaper without the majority of the originals at the forefront and the quality and ratings will reflect this new direction.

    I think they think a new TWD with a much newer cast lead by one or 2 familiar faces like Daryl or Carol or Negan would do the trick. That Rick would be expendable and they have been trying to phase him out for a while under Gimple. Season 6 the Carol show and 7A Negan's TWD seem like test runs. Rick was consistently on the periphery of the action and the story and TWD just felt more and more less like the show many came to love. Every Rick-less episode felt lacking and not worth watching and that's what began to happen. Some stopped watching live. It was no longer must see TV as soon as the episode aired. In 7A, Rick featured in just one episode (no doubts about it, even with all Negan's posturing, Rick carried the premiere) and guest starred in two (704 & 708 where Rick shared top billing with Negan who was the headliner in 704 & shared billing with an ensemble cast in 708) and made a cameo in 705. So the protagonist starred in one episode out of eight. 7A may as well not have had any Rick, he was so underused. The latter part of 6B should have clued us in more on Gimple's ultimate gameplan and direction for the show.

    FTWD 1st year numbers lulled them into a false hope. The 2nd year's numbers reflected reality more imo and that's what they should expect for their Rick-less TWD.
     
    #1 richonnelove, Dec 31, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
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  2. Lilly965

    Lilly965 Wig Shopping For Michonne
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    They want negan to take over not Daryl imo. Ride with reedus was a test bed.
     
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  3. Ms.J.Richonne

    Ms.J.Richonne "You can smile now"
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    No Rick no Michonne no me. I will quit this show.
     
  4. TakemetoRick

    TakemetoRick Caressing Eugene's Mullet

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    I don't know if they are serious about trying to keep the show going without AL/Rick in the future. Despite what Kirkman says about plans for future seasons beyond 9 or 10, that seems very unrealistic to me unless AL and DG sign new contracts. I don't think Daryl can carry a show and neither can Negan. I disagree with the premise that anyone other than Rick has been or is currently the protagonist from a story structure perspective (I admit that I read creative writing and story structure reference books for fun in my spare time).

    The central plot is structured around Rick's character arcs and has been since season 1. The decisions that Rick makes are what drives the plot forward and season 7 is about Rick initially losing and then regaining the will to fight against Negan. The first half of season 7 was the aftermath of last season's crisis/climax when Rick is at his lowest point. The last 8 episodes have been Rick trying to figure out how to make his decision to submit to Negan work. We just saw a turning point in Rick's arc in the MSF where he realized that he has to fight. So, the next 8 episodes will be about how his decision plays out and will rise toward another climax. For Carol or Daryl or Negan to actually be protagonists, the show would have to be structured completely differently. Just because Rick isn't in an episode does not make him not the protagonist of the show. We can talk about balance and whether all of these Rick-less bottle episodes were entertaining/successful, but I'm not currently seeing evidence that the underlying story structure of the show has shifted away from Rick. Daryl's arc was about refusing to kneel to Negan and the impact that had on Dwight, Carol's is about not wanting to kill again and distancing herself from TF. Negan is the antagonist. He is the central figure that Rick (and TF) has to defeat in order to protect the future of human civilization.

    I think that they will get to season 9 and decide whether to go on based on whether AL will sign another contract. If it's too expensive and/or he refuses, then all bets are off on the show continuing beyond that.
     
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  5. richonnelove

    richonnelove Ricktator

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    A Rick-less GN TWD can work. Fans are not as invested in 2D characters as they are 3D characters from the show. That's why the GN has a significantly less readership than the viewership of the TV show. A Rick-less TWD show will not be as successful because viewers have invested in TWD as a story about Rick Grimes and his band of survivors navigating the zombie apocolypse.

    Many watched FTWD out of curiosity, buoyed by the familiarity and success of the original, but the Rick-less TWD with the exact same premise (no variation in concept which could have made it a different and interesting franchise of its own) could not keep viewer interest on the grande scale of the Rick led original.

    They are also not factoring the different variables which made the original TV version a hit. The right casting, the deep characterizations, the fresh new way of approaching the zombie genre - making it a character based drama about the survivors, not the horror. I think they think it's just the concept that lead to its success so it's replicable by just replacing the cast. If that was the case FTWD would still have double digit ratings beyond its first season and Z- nation and others would be raging hits. It takes the right blend of magic to create a hit. Something about the cast and characters and their chemistry that resonates with an audience. It's not often or easily duplicated.

    Friends (never liked or could get into that show) would not continue to be a hit without that original cast. Big Bang Theory without Sheldon & that original cast, etc.
     
    #5 richonnelove, Dec 31, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  6. MsAntiSocial

    MsAntiSocial Watchtower Sniper

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    I've never felt like they were trying to make Carol or Daryl the lead of the show. I think AMC is cheap and SG is bad at managing this large cast which is why we get so many single character episodes that don't include Rick. I don't think they're trying to make Negan the lead either but they got JDM who's a well known actor and they bought into the hype from RK and his fanboys about how great this character is.
     
  7. TakemetoRick

    TakemetoRick Caressing Eugene's Mullet

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    I'll admit I've never watched FTWD because I heard that it was terrible from a co-worker who loves TWD and I believe him. I agree with your take on the difference between the GN audience and tv audiences and I think what makes TWD is the fact that it's character driven and has a likable protagonist. I never would have been able to keep watching it if it hadn't been for Rick. The suspense and gore were almost too much for me on more than one occasion. I wouldn't watch if Rick were gone.
     
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  8. Tisha Grimes

    Tisha Grimes Stay Strong
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    No I don't think so.
     
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  9. coolhotsweetlove

    coolhotsweetlove Searching for Sophia

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    I think they might prefer to keep Rick the lead forever if possible (why fix something that's not broken) but if AL decides to bow out after season 9 I wouldn't be surprised at all if they tried a Rick-less show, especially if AMC doesn't have another hit show to replace TWD. It may be messy and weird story-wise and flop in the long run but as long as it provides a few coins for a year or two, they will do it.
     
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  10. MrsG

    MrsG The New Mrs. Grimes

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    TWD will not work without Rick Grimes. AMC, SG, even RK know this. Rick, Michonne and Daryl are the only untouchables on the show. But heaven forbid, if Andy decides to leave; sadly due to the low attention span and lack of the GAs ability to "go deep" the show can't make it solely with Dixonne; Rick has to be in the mix. TWD need The Trinity, everyone else is expendable IMO (unfortunately even my beloved Carl in the eyes of the GA :(). Now, if Michonne or Daryl are know longer on the show :eek::eek:, but we still have Rick...TWD would still thrive. But this theory about a Negan show, a Daryl and Carol show? It ain't happening. Rick Grimes is The Walking Dead. TPTB better be kissing Andy's sexy ass to get him to stay. Andy got rich off the show but doesn't strike me as overly money hungry, so another bagful of money won't work. They better start letting him direct, write or give him producer status or something. Once Andy leaves, it's over. Gravy trains gone for EVERYONE. :thumbsdown:
     
  11. AbsoluteTrash

    AbsoluteTrash Nestled in Rick's Beard
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    IMO, I don't think they were originally trying to replace AL as the lead. It was more so, AMC being incredibly cheap and Gimple being head over heels in love with Lost and its structure. It worked for Lost. SO having a new lead was not the focus in Season 4 or 5. It was still very much a story about Rick. Carol may have taken more gravitas but its really because it was a way for Gimple to freestyle in a show that had very strict parameters where the original concept creator (Kirkman) was involved. Gimple poured all he had creatively into Carol, Richonne build-up/relationship, and Morgan's reemergence because it was his only outlet for creativity. Those are his babies.

    I think a lot of the bottle episodes are around people that will NOT become the lead of the show and that is what is most frustrating. Tara, Beth? I thought Same Boat was a successful bottle episode but I also know that Carol will NEVER be the center of this show. Carol's brand of leadership just doesn't lend itself for good tv drama. She is too much of a loner as is. I think Daryl wasn't going to be able to be the lead of the show because Daryl is too much of a loner. He rarely interacts with others and most of the time he communicates via meaningful looks, not dialogue. Could you imagine a show around that?

    I think Season 6 finale was the turning point. I believe that Kirkman wants to make Negan the knew protagonist to replace Rick IF Andrew Lincoln decides he wants to leave. I think he created Negan and kept him around in the comics for this very reason. It is a way for Kirkman to sell the show even if Andrew Lincoln decided to bow out. I believe that the press push of Negan on everything is because of that. I think 7A they were testing the waters. I don't think things went the way they wanted it to. It is telling that Gimple is not out here doing interviews about the show right now. I think Gimple has a major dilemma. AMC wants the show to run as long as it can in order to make money, but they know companies may be iffy about buying ad time on a show where the main protagonist just died. So they need to see that the show is building someone up. Kirkman wants Negan to take over and I kind of think he looks down on the GA and their opinion about everything. He doesn't understand why it worked in the comic but can't work on the show. Gimple is stuck in the middle cause I think he knows that Negan needs to be fixed, but he may be unsure if he is redeemable. They made Negan so much worst on the show than he is in the comics. On the other hand, he has got pressure to make Negan work and more importantly, make the audience care enough about his fate that they would stick to the show if Rick leaves.

    However this gets solved, I already know that I am probably going to stop watching this show by Season 9. If AL dies, I will definitely not watch the show. If he dies during Season 8, I'll be gone then, too.
     
    #11 AbsoluteTrash, Jan 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  12. Danaisbestie

    Danaisbestie Rick's ride or die
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    Andy said the job was sold to him by his agent that the show would be Rick focused and then eventually turn into an ensemble show. It's not a nefarious plan of Scott Gimple's.

    I think many fans including myself will bail when Andy leaves...he's the heart of the show but a few people will stick around because they like TWD universe as a whole and the stories told in it. Those people are very much in the minority but they still exist or Fear wouldn't be going into its third season. AMC knows they can't replicate their biggest hit and they cant make another Rick Grimes but they also know they can make a little change off the franchise itself so they will. Fear is the higest rated show on cable every night it aired this year so it is still considered a success even without coming anywhere near TWD.

    One of the AMC guys compared TWD to Star Trek (hilarious but that's what he said)....and said there is so much of the world to explore because they haven't touched on the ZA all over the world. TWD has an international fan base (which in some places has actually seen a spike in ratings with 7A) so there are opportunities to explore in that market as well.

    TWD is going to go on in different forms, games, spin offs etc after Andy leaves but it has nothing to do with Gimple and everything to do with AMC running a business and wanting to make money. They have a deal with Kirkman that is way bigger than just TWD and as along as that's in place, the show (in various forms) will go on.
     
  13. AbsoluteTrash

    AbsoluteTrash Nestled in Rick's Beard
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    I get this. That is why I don't necessarily think there was a driving force to oust Rick as the lead in Season 4, 5, or even most of Season 6. But I do think at this point, there is a supposed to be a transition away from Rick being the biggest focus of the show. I think that is actually in the source material. The more communities emerge, the less of a focus on Rick, especially after the time jump. I do think the writers have a major problem on their hands because while it may have been easy to do that in the comic, its harder to do that on a show. Its especially harder to do that when you have spent 7+ years following the story of one guy. It doesn't matter that in universe it was only like 2 years. For the viewers, its nearing damn near a decade. That is a lot of time to be invested in one character.

    But ultimately, like I sad before, I don't see Gimple having as much say as people think. Its about AMC and its about Kirkman. They have a partnership that is generating millions. It is in their best interest to have this show continue. Kirkman's Negan creation and characterization, in my opinion, was Kirkman trying to make sure there was another viable alternative to a Rick led show once the story got this far. AMC pushing Negan is a direct result of that as well.

    Whether the show will do well after Rick is phased out is not going to answered just yet. The question is what is AMC content with. If the TWD falls back to their average Season 2 ratings, would they be fine with that. I personally think, YES. But the budget for the show WILL shrink as well.
     
  14. zahira

    zahira Ricktator

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    No Rick , No twd
     
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  15. Danaisbestie

    Danaisbestie Rick's ride or die
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    AMC and Kirkman is exactly right. I disagree that Negan is being sold as a viable alternative to Rick. Negan was heavily marketed in 7A because that's what the arc was about...Negan domination. 7B was always going to have Rick/Ezekiel and TF focused marketing. I could see that during filming season. Negan is not the type of character to lead a TV show, it won't work and they know that. The Negan hype was to make it believable that someone could make Rick Grimes submit. They felt they had to beat us over the head with how dangerous Negan was to make him believable as an adversary to the hero of our story, the man that has overcome every single obstacle in his path so far. I don't think they were successful (people still thought Rick was secretly plotting and not broken) and Negan didn't win over the audience like they hoped but that's what they were trying to do. The other incentive for trying to make Negan popular is the creation of another cash cow for the network. JDM ks similar to NR in that he loves the fame and attention. He will market the show and play to the fans at cons and whatnot and we know from Daryl that cash cows don't have to be leads to bring in money and ratings.
     
  16. Toinfinitywings

    Toinfinitywings Hiding in Dale's RV

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    I agree!
     
  17. AbsoluteTrash

    AbsoluteTrash Nestled in Rick's Beard
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    But that is not what I am getting in their publicity blitz when it comes to Negan. I think a LOT of the publicity was used to show how "cool" Negan is or rather to show how "cool" JDM is. There was an interview where JDM talked about being used to playing a good guy all the time and how he could bring that into how he is playing Negan. There was a lot of talk about how there was a pre-Negan Walking Dead and a post-Negan Walking Dead. There was talk about him being a transformative character for the show. That reads, to me, being more about trumping up a villain for a future take down. Seeing where Negan is going in the comics, I think Kirkman absolutely had pushing Negan into the forefront in mind. But you are right. Negan wouldn't be the lead. It would be just a pure ensemble show. It's about building narrative stories elsewhere that people would still want to follow even if Rick is out of the picture. Negan and his story is something I think Kirkman wrote in order to broaden things out. Negan hasn't won over the audience, but that doesn't mean they are going to stop trying to push the angle. A lot of the rest of the season will be about Rick and Ezekiel. But I am curious to see what promo will be like for the rest of the season as well as going into next season.
     
  18. TakemetoRick

    TakemetoRick Caressing Eugene's Mullet

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    If we are talking about ensemble shows, I promise they still have protagonists. Pretty much every story has to have one or the story doesn't really work. If Rick were gone from the show, someone would still have to be the protagonist. I don't think Negan could ever be that protagonist because his flaws as a character are too significant. He's a sadistic bully. He sees himself as the savior of humanity and look how he's handling it. Even if they break him down and remake him in some fashion, his character will have to change significantly for him to appear sympathetic. But is it possible for him to feel remorse for his behavior or atone for is sins to the degree that he becomes a protagonist? I'm not sure that's possible. Now, he could certainly play a supporting/ally role at some point, but I don't see TF or anyone else who remembers his reign of terror ever really trusting him.

    I think they promoted the hell out of his character for a bunch of reasons tied into hyping the CH and because RK loves him. He's a significant villain in the GN who is going to be around for a good chunk of seasons 7 and 8. RDM is a popular and charismatic actor, he has to seem "bad" enough to be capable of posing an actual threat to TF, so they wanted to have him feature prominently in the 7A arc where Rick is beaten down and unable to fight back as a result of Glenn and Abraham's deaths and the sense of duty that Rick feels to protect TF and ASZ from further bloodshed when the odds are so stacked against them. I know people don't like his character and/or how JDM plays him, but I think the show is essentially accomplishing what they wanted to with Negan.
     
  19. Clutterbuck

    Clutterbuck Finding Bigfoot™
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    I agree with @Danaisbestie in that it's more of a shift to an ensemble rather than anyone trying to replace Rick as the lead. That flounders because the audience, especially those who aren't GA, are so accustomed to Rick at the forefront so when he's not around it's ????????? Now, it's not a very popular opinion but I've always been of the mind that believes Andy is going to get the hell out of Dodge some time soon and that AMC will refuse to let TWD go. So if/when AMC refuses it let it go I imagine they'd stick with the ensemble angle. They'd probably use 2 or 3 characters as their driving promotion force along with putting Daryl all over everything like they already do.*




    *My image of a Rick-less TWD is not very well thought out because I won't be watching so I don't much care.
     
  20. Silas

    Silas Beloved Side Piece
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    As much as I bitch and moan about Rick-less episodes, the cash cow that is Daryl, and the leghumping of Negan - I don't for even one second think Gimple would want Carol as a lead. Although I wouldn't put it past AMC to push for more Durrel cuz supposedly he's the best thing since sliced bread but I think even they're coming to their senses. All the Negan hype was just that, hype, to try and build excitement for the upcoming arcs. Did I like it? Nope. Did it get old after one day? Absolutely. But I don't think they'd ever try to make a villain the star of the show. Before people knew Negan was a disaster, there was a lot of excitement surrounding him and AMC (anyone) would've been crazy to not try and capitalize on that.

    If anything, Gimple has intentionally written less Carol this season even though she's the Emmy bait.

    Rick will likely never be the leading man again, in the traditional sense of a leading man - think...Dexter. One peek at the comics and it's obvious the story opens up and becomes more and more about communities, different characters, etc. Of course, The Grimes Family is still the heart of the show but I really don't think he'll ever get the screentime he used to. I can think of a few ensemble cast shows with no lead protagonist throughout (GoT, This Is Us) but I don't think TWD will ever go quite that far. I think it'll come back to Rick, at least until he dies. But if they're planning on continuing after Rick's death it probably is smart to get the audience comfortable with other characters and seeing less of him, although that will be the day I stop watching.

    It's just unfortunate that TWD started as one thing and is slowly phasing into something else (ensemble cast) because it seems quite a few viewers aren't here for that. Imagine reading a book with a core set of characters and 3/4s of the way through - it suddenly switches POVs to everyone and their mama? Yeah, nope.

    This show has always been about humanity at it's foundation, what you'd do to survive, gray areas, rights and wrongs. So no, I don't see anyone planning on ever making Negan (a man that is pure evil) the main focus. It goes against everything they've ever written, ever.