The Walking Dead & Having Confidence in Your Work


I watched the season finale of the walking dead a couple of weeks ago, and, like a lot of people, I was a bit peeved by the cliffhanger ending (by the way, no spoilers here!)

It wasn't totally unexpected. Shows these days love the cliffhanger, and almost every episode ends with one kind of tease or another so that you'll be sure to tune in the following week.

But still. A major cliffhanger like that - at the end of the season? And now I'll have to wait until October to scratch that itch?

I get it producers, you want to make sure people watch the next season.

But shouldn't you also have confidence in the quality of your work? I mean, if the show is awesome (and I think The Walking Dead is), people will tune in because it's awesome. And if it isn't - they won't. Sure, you may cajole a few extra people into watching if you leave a major open end - but you also risk annoying your loyal fan base, who deserve to be treated with respect. And that loyal fan base is what's going pass on the message. The message that this show is great and you should be watching it. No cliffhanger will match the power of people telling their friends that they should skip show A in order to watch the season premiere of show B because show B is just that good.

So we didn't need those last few seconds of Season 6 of The Walking Dead. Maybe a little tease just to get the "what's next?" part of your brain going, but nothing more. That major cliffhanger won't make me any more inclined to watch in October, because I'd already decided to do that weeks ago.

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