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‘The Walking Dead: Dead City’ A Spoiler-Free Season One Review

Published on June 16th, 2023 | Updated on June 16th, 2023 | By FanFest

The Walking Dead franchise lives on with the introduction of Dead City, a series that brings together the unlikely duo of Maggie and Negan for a six-episode adventure in the devastated landscape of Manhattan. While Dead City offers more engaging content than its predecessors in recent years, it falters by undoing much of the emotional development these two characters underwent in the final season of The Walking Dead.

Dead City may be recommended to die-hard Walking Dead fans, completionists, and avid followers of Maggie and Negan. However, more casual viewers should proceed with caution. If you believe the franchise’s glory days are behind it and consider the latter half of The Walking Dead a waste of time, Dead City may not offer much new ground. There are now newer and better zombie shows available that deliver denser and more effective storytelling.

One may speculate whether Dead City‘s regression in Maggie and Negan’s relationship is an attempt to appease fans who skipped the eleventh season of The Walking Dead or if it assumes that the only interesting dynamic between these characters is their constant animosity, followed by eventual forgiveness. Whatever the reason, this approach sacrifices the opportunity to explore deeper and more nuanced character arcs. We left Maggie and Negan in an “okay” place when Maggie offered Negan a place at Hilltop along with his wife and unborn child. They may not have been friends, but they could coexist in close proximity. However, Dead City fast-forwards a couple of years and discards that progress for the sake of repeating their redemption arc.

On the positive side, Dead City introduces a new Escape from New York-style setting and an intriguing villain named Croat, portrayed by Željko Ivanek. While a city overrun by zombies is not groundbreaking in the genre, it offers a fresh perspective within The Walking Dead universe, particularly as the action unfolds in the ruins of midtown Manhattan. These moments inject some excitement into the narrative. Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan continue to deliver strong performances, even though their characters’ hostile relationship treads familiar ground.

In Dead City, viewers can expect zombie cage fights, thrilling zip-line escapades across buildings, new weapons, innovative armor, and a glimpse into an entirely different realm. The show often takes place in darkness and shadows, which can be frustrating at times (be prepared to adjust your TV’s brightness settings). Nonetheless, it provides a welcome contrast to the vast and monotonous outdoor landscapes that characterized the main series in recent seasons. This is the most dystopian The Walking Dead has ever felt, as our characters navigate through the ruins of a once-vibrant metropolis, allowing us to witness fallen landmarks and a collapsed civilization.

Furthermore, the fact that Maggie and Negan received their own spinoff suggests that they are among the franchise’s strongest characters. Maggie’s journey of learning to coexist with Negan, rather than simply sparing his life as she did in Season 8, was a significant development in a show that often lacked emotional depth. However, Dead City‘s regression undermines Negan’s growth as a budding family man in The Walking Dead‘s conclusion. While the show provides reasons for this regression, it fails to make up for discarding the progress that was painstakingly established.

Dead City delves into Maggie’s trauma and Negan’s history as the founder of the Saviors, exploring a unique and devastated corner of post-apocalyptic America. Manhattan, now isolated due to the destruction of bridges and tunnels, stands as a haunting graveyard of skyscrapers, ruled by someone from Negan’s past. This individual employs methods reminiscent of the Saviors, tormenting Maggie by abducting her teenage son Hershel, portrayed by Logan Kim, and hiding him within the concrete jungle. Thematically, this near-impossible rescue mission succeeds in reuniting Maggie and

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as seen on promo graphic


as seen on promo graphic