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The Worst Show On TV Is Finally Coming To An End

The Worst Show On TV Is Finally Coming To An End

Updated 1/13/2023 at 5:45 pm ET. Updates below.

Cancellations are on everyone’s mind these days. Nobody’s favorite show is safe, unless that show is already a megahit like Stranger Things. Between Netflix cancelling many shows long before they have a chance to shine and Time Warner Discovery merger—which has seen shows like Westworld removed from HBO Max entirely, and the finished Batgirl movie scrapped at the 11th hour—it seems as though nothing short of a Wednesday mega-hit is safe.

Now, even AMC has begun taking its shows to the chopping block.

“As human behavior continues to evolve, our industry is experiencing an unrivaled period of reflection and correction. Factors including rising inflation, challenging ad market, too many shows, and an over reliance on streaming metrics that don’t necessarily deliver profitability, have caused most content companies, including ourselves, to take stock and recalibrate their forward path,” AMC President of Entertainment and AMC Studios said recently, as the company lopped off the heads of Pantheon, Moonhaven, 61st Street, Demascus and Invitation to a Bonfire.

This was at AMC’s TCA press tour day according to Deadline, where the company was also highlighting its new slate of shows: Anne Rices Mayfair Witches (January 8th), Bob Odenkirk’s Lucky Hank (March 19th) and the Maggie/Negan spinoff The Walking Dead: Dead City (June).

Another show that won’t survive the year: Fear The Walking Dead, a show that has itself been shambling along half-dead for the past five seasons, remarkable only in its ability to survive cancellation no matter how dreadful it became. Countless better shows have been cancelled since it jumped the shark in Season 4, but FTWD has managed to cling to life, one preposterously awful season after the next. I know. I’ve been reviewing it this entire time.

The zombie farce’s 8th season will land on AMC on May 14th and will no doubt amaze us all with its childish scripts, absurd plotting, terrible direction and unbelievable story. I can’t wait.

Oh, and here’s the teaser for Lucky Hank based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo. Aaron Zelman (Silicon Valley) and Paul Lieberstein (The Office) are showrunning.

Check out my worst and most disappointing shows of 2022 right here.

Update: 1/12/23

There are many people who agree and many people who disagree with my assessment that this is the ‘worst show on TV’. I will freely admit that this is just my personal opinion. I obviously have neither the time nor the inclination to watch every single TV show so I can’t possibly say, with any pure objectivity, that Fear The Walking Dead is the very worst of them all. It is merely the worst show in my opinion of the shows I personally watch and write about. I know the Kardashians exist and that they make some kind of reality TV show that I’ve never watched. I don’t really understand who they are or why anyone cares about them, but I suspect that it’s probably worse than Fear The Walking Dead. But I can’t really make that claim without watching, can I?

If this all makes you angry, good. Well, no, not good. You should be able to have an opinion distinct from mine and even one that runs contrary to mine without it affecting your mood and without leaping to your keyboard to scream and wail at strangers. That’s not healthy adulting, folks. Not healthy at all. You should also be able to have a personality that exists with or without the shows you love. If you’ve tied so much of your sense of self to a show—one as crappy as Fear The Walking Dead or one as brilliant as Breaking Bad—you have a problem and should probably seek help.

It’s the more diabolical side of me that gets a bit of a kick out of people getting so very, very angry at my opinions, who seem to have never heard the word ‘critic’ before. Usually, very angry people on Twitter resort to one sort of logical fallacy or another. No True Scotsman is very popular. Red Herrings are a must.

And it’s fine. It tickles my schadenfreude that you’re so out of sorts, it really does. Besides, I don’t care if you don’t like me. I’m rather more confused at why you’d like Fear The Walking Dead! This is a show that is truly, even objectively bad. I’m almost certain the people making the series (cast, crew, writers, etc) don’t even like it! I’m convinced that most of the actors we’ve seen killed off in the last two or three seasons asked to be, begged even. A few of the show’s more inane bunglings include:

  • That scene where everyone was dying from anti-freeze poisoning and they shoot the ethanol truck and ethanol is the cure for anti-freeze poisoning but instead of grabbing whatever they can to get the ethanol from the holes as it spills out they just watch it drain into the dirt and do nothing. Later they get some beer and that cures them, even though there’s not nearly enough ethanol in beer to cure anti-freeze poisoning.
  • Speaking of beer, there was the whole “We don’t know how to fly a plane but we need to save this one dude so we’re going to fly a plane anyways and oh crap we crashed it and now we’re stuck in the middle of land-locked Texas but for reasons we can’t leave until we fix the plane so then Strand flies to them with the parts they need in a hot-air balloon shaped like a beer bottle.” That was a fun one.
  • Or hey, how about the whole nuclear missile plot! They nuke the state of Texas into a radioactive wasteland and then don’t leave because reasons and instead spend the entire season fighting over an office tower because yeah, totally, everybody wants to live surrounded by nuclear fallout and radiant zombies. That’s definitely the life I want.

And that’s just three out of so very, very many ridiculous things that have gone down in Fear The Walking Dead since the new showrunners took over after the largely excellent Season 3. Of course, now Madison is back so everything will be fine. Just fine. Nothing to see here folks.

Here’s my video version of my Worst Shows Of 2022 list:

As always, I’d love it if you’d follow me here on this blog and subscribe to my YouTube channel and my Substack so you can stay up-to-date on all my TV, movie and video game reviews and coverage. Thanks!

Update: 1/13/2023

What To Expect In Season 8

Since we’re already discussing Season 8, I figured now would be a good time to speculate on what’s to come. AMC has released some information about the upcoming season and what to expect including a synopsis, episode count and more. Let’s take a look.

Teaser Trailer

In the first Season 8 teaser trailer we find Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) under some kind of house arrest. Two women are trying to get her to eat, talking quite condescendingly to her. One even says “We have ways of making you eat,” which is hilarious and pretty much sets the tone for the season. I can’t wait.

Synopsis

Rolling out in two parts, the eighth and final season of Fear the Walking Dead kicks off with the first six episodes following Morgan (Lennie James) and Madison’s (Kim Dickens) plans to rescue Mo (Zoey Merchant) from PADRE and seven years later — Morgan, Madison and the rest of the people they brought to the island are living under PADRE’s cynical rule. With our characters demoralized and dejected, the task of reigniting everyone’s belief in a better world is the person Morgan and Madison set out to rescue in the first place — a now eight-year-old Mo.

The big revelation here is that we’ve jumped ahead seven years into the future for the second half of the final season, bringing Fear up to speed with the main show. This means that crossovers (perhaps with The Walking Dead: Dead City) are possible. Or maybe Morgan will set sail for France and meet up with Daryl and they can go motorbiking across the continent.

What irks me about this plot is how similar it sounds to The Walking Dead’s final season. PADRE is just another Commonwealth. Cool. How original!

Episode Count

The one bit of good news here is the episode count, which is down to 12 from the usual 16. These Walking Dead shows have been too long for years. This leads to lots of filler episodes and slows down the story, leading to many of the worst episodes. Twelve is a much better number.

Morgan After The Time-Jump

Well, I think this is Morgan after the time-jump—his beard has a lot more grey in it! It suits him. Sigh. I keep hoping Morgan will be a great character again. He was pretty interesting before they screwed him up over on the main show. Then there was this brief moment at the beginning of Season 4 where it seemed like they were taking him in a new and interesting direction. But no. Soon it was an endless parade of ‘We have to help people to make up for the bad things we’ve done’ spewing out of not just Morgan’s mouth, but every character on the show. THAT IS NOT WHY YOU HELP PEOPLE! GAH!

Waterworld

The other thing we know about Season 8 is that it’s apparently going to have more of a water setting or theme. The showrunners like to ‘overhaul’ the show each season rather than tell an organic story that flows from one to the next, so you’ll notice these themes or settings change from one to the next. Season 6 was supposed to be like an anthology, where each small group of characters had their own individual storylines. Then Season 7 was the radiation theme. Here’s Andrew Chambliss:

I think one thing that kind of goes hand-in-hand with the production of the show is that we’ve been for the past four seasons in Texas and we’re going to be actually moving the show to Savannah, Georgia, which is on the water. And we end the season with Morgan and Madison going out to a boat. So I think it’s safe to say that season 8 will have a very different environment from what we have seen before. And it will, in many ways, be centered around the water.

In any case, that’s what we know so far. Fear returns May 14, 2023. Dead City lands in June.

Written by Barry Black