Stellar Performances Almost Save AMC’s Bloated The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live | TV/Streaming

Unfortunately, like some of the earlier spin-offs set in this universe, its newest installment would be better if it abandoned the overarching plotlines the original series struggled to contain in its final seasons. Frankly, a show about Rick and Michonne should be just that: a show about Rick and Michonne. The reason these two became fan favorites is because of not only their bond but because of their entertaining skills as warriors. The chemistry is enough alone to fuel a 16-episode epic, so why not do it? It almost feels as if the creators (previous “The Walking Dead” showrunner Scott M. Gimple and Lincoln and Gurira) wanted these two characters to try and make their way back to each other, but they had no idea how to craft a story around that desire. 

“The Ones Who Live” suffers from its position in the bloated universe these characters find themselves in, and despite the beautiful work from its two main actors, it never quite reaches its full potential. The stakes don’t truly feel high enough. If this spin-off was able to exist as its own contained story, there is no doubt it would be able to shed the interconnected threads that ultimately weigh it down. 

“Everything we had is broken,” Rick states halfway through the series, and the same could be said for the formula of franchise spinoffs. When it works — like in “The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon” — it really works, but, when it doesn’t, it has you questioning the longevity of this decades spanning franchise. Is there a world where these spin-offs can offer something new to longtime fans? Is this franchise, which was one of the first of its kind, still sustainable in the age of shows like “The Last of Us?”

“The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” doesn’t fully answer these questions, and perhaps these new renditions will never be as great as the first few seasons of the original show. It’s not until episode 4 — written by Danai Gurira herself — where it seems like the series may finally start to pick up, though it feels too-little-too-late. It’s by far the best of the episodes screened ahead of the show’s release, and truly allows Gurira and Lincoln to shine as performers. While it leaves a lot to be desired, at least with these spin-offs we get to watch two talented actors who we fell in love with over nearly 15 years ago. For that, it’s hard not to be somewhat thankful.

“The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” premieres on AMC and AMC+ on February 26th. Four episodes screened for review.

Sumber: www.rogerebert.com

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