The Walking Dead’s plummeting ratings are Negan’s biggest victim

Tuesday, 14 November 2017, 12:33:28 PM. Another standalone episode cripples the narrative momentum
The Walking Dead is back, and for us here at The Verge that’s an opportunity to examine just how effective the show can be in creating a complex villain. As played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, big bad Negan has always been violent. But thanks to his man-baby antics, he’s stubbornly remained a comic book thug, never becoming the nuanced character the show so sorely needs. Each week, I’ll be analyzing the show through its presentation of Negan: how he acts, how he delivers his jokes and threats, and most importantly, how his character develops in contrast to our supposedly-virtuous heroes. We’ll look at all the traits a villain is supposed to excel at, including those we detest, and boil it down into one single score on what we are calling the Negan-o-meter™. A score of 10 means he’s the best, most complex villain we’ve ever seen; a score of 0 means he’s pretty much the same ol’ Negan he’s always been. Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Warning: There will be spoilers. Season 8 of The Walking Dead is shaping up to be one of the show’s worst, right up there with the roundabout, feet-dragging plot on Herschel’s farm back in the show’s second season. It’s not that there hasn’t been action. There’s been a lot of it. We’ve had shoot-outs and brutal, confined fistfights, and lots and lots of walkers. But the show is burning rubber at the starting line. We’re now halfway through the front half of the season, yet Negan is still trapped in a trailer, and every major character has...Read more
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