Applied Media Analysis

The Walking Dead is an American horror-drama Television program set in a post-apocalyptic zombie run world. The AMC networked show has been popular ever since it started running in 2010, and in 2012 the season 3 premiere became the most watched basic cable episode ever. The show follows a large amount of characters (some we’ve been following since the very beginning of the show and some are newer), but it varies because the show kills off a lot of characters in order to keep it corresponding with the plot.

The much anticipated seventh season of The Walking Dead premieres on cable TV on October 23rd, 2016. This particular season has been talked about a lot through social media since the sixth season’s final episode in April of 2016, because of a certain critical and evil character being introduced, named Negan. In the last few minutes of the suspenseful season finale, Negan brutally killed off one of the major characters, but the camerawork was careful to make sure that the audience (and even the actors) did not know who was killed. This is behind the reason the suspense for the premiere has slowly been building up for fans, and the fact that the fan base has taken it upon themselves to argue their personal theory of who Negan killed and why- using supposed easter eggs from the finale episode to build their argument.

In “Peak TV and The Problem with Our Addiction to ‘More'”, the article by Steven Hyden that we read for class, he discusses how the media is becoming increasingly accessible to the point that consumers can’t get enough and don’t necessarily care whether or not the things they are consuming is pleasurable. He says, “I’m more interested in how “Peak TV” affects the average viewer. I think it’s turning us into addicts.” I think this really applies to the show The Walking Dead, because of the “addiction to more” argument, which could apply to how cable shows with large enough fan bases can expand to creating their own presence in other (social) media. Like for example, The Walking Dead TV series is ultimately based on a comic book, or graphic novel, written by Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore (now replaced by Charlie Adlard). And that is definitely not the extent of TWD‘s media presence. Once TWD really started becoming popular in the media as well as pop culture, AMC’s network decided to start other shows that were similar yet independent. To start, they added a show that airs immediately after TWD, which is called Talking Dead, and is dedicated specifically to discussing the details which just took place in that episode of TWD, in an entertaining way. The network also added an almost equally popular spin-off show called Fear the Walking Dead, with it’s own characters and specifically it’s own separate timeline from the original show. During the live airing of the show there is also ‘live tweeting’ that is encouraged so viewers can be even more involved; The tweets that discuss what is happening during the show are done through the app Twitter, and are occasionally shown through commercial breaks. There’s even multiple video games made specifically to allow the user to ‘be a part of the show’ where they can be essential characters and kill all the zombies they want.

Things like this are only possible because of the huge fan base The Walking Dead has created, or as they go by, Spoil the Dead, and the large amount of fans who are interactive with the show across multiple media. Hyden’s argument about “addicts” has a point, in that the show’s popularity could be other than just the content, but that it could also be because of the huge rate of availability and demand for ‘more’ from consumers. The franchise of The Walking Dead is still increasing because of how much it gets talked about through the media, which is looked at by the network company, thus ‘more’ is provided so more money can be made. The show itself is still airing new seasons, in order to provide ‘more’ to the consumer-base. It’s interesting to think what could be next, since at this point the consumers might not even realize what they really want, just that it’s ‘more’.

 

The Walking Dead

 

 

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5 comments

  1. bboessen · October 24

    This is a solid discussion of the ways popular media worlds can be multiplied and spread easily across several platforms and media in the digital networked media landscape. There is a useful link back to Hyden, but the piece builds on that article in a constructive way.

    The one thing that is missing here is any kind of conclusion, a place to bring back together the various threads that the rest of the piece spins out. The final sentence begins to do this, but is fairly abrupt given what comes before it. Rework the end of this piece and it should be ready to go.

    Like

  2. samshep · November 2

    Reworked it. How does it look now?

    Like

    • bboessen · November 4

      OK, this is better. Count it.

      Like

      • samshep · December 8

        Brett I noticed I didn’t receive any points for this on the portfolio progress, does it still need work?

        Like

  3. bboessen · December 8

    My mistake – apologies. 🙂

    Like

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