Rob Bricken, reporting for io9:
Were you sort of dreading the season nine premiere of The Walking Dead? I was. The series has had increasing problems since the beginning of the boring, interminable Savior War, and the show’s declining ratings back that up. But I’m surprised—and happy!—to report that the season nine premiere really feels like a new beginning, and damned if it didn’t make me excited for the show all over again…mostly.
I still watch TWD, but I’m not quite sure why. As a narrative springboard there’s so much potential there, but the characters have felt increasingly wooden (the living ones, mind you) and the storylines have been well south of compelling.
Something certainly felt different right from the opening credits of season 9’s debut. Color. Crows scatter from a tree as its leaves burst into view, and a pitchforked skull on the ground is overtaken by blooming vines. Even the title itself shows a hint of life.
I’ll stick it out and see if this goes anywhere. Pivoting the story in a new direction as Rick Grimes departs is a smart move. Let’s just hope they fill the void with something more than Negan’s latest antics.