The Walking Dead: Dead City – Season 1 Review

The Walking Dead: Dead City’s First Season Premieres This June

The Walking Dead franchise continues with its latest installment, Dead City. Set to premiere on AMC on June 18, the show follows the unusual alliance between Maggie and Negan as they embark on a six-episode mission in the now-devastated Manhattan. While Dead City offers better content compared to its predecessors, it falls short by undoing the significant emotional growth these characters underwent in the final season of The Walking Dead.

Dead City is primarily targeted towards die-hard Walking Dead fans, completionists, and Maggie and Negan enthusiasts. More casual viewers should approach with caution, as the show fails to explore new narrative territory and lacks the depth and effectiveness of other contemporary zombie shows.

Questionable Character Development Choices

One might wonder if the regression in Maggie and Negan’s relationship in Dead City is an attempt to appease fans who may not have followed the eleventh season of The Walking Dead. Alternatively, it could be based on the assumption that the only interesting dynamic between these characters is when they are at odds with each other. Whether the reasons for this decision are valid or not, Dead City manages to avoid wasting time on flat, one-dimensional characters. However, it disregards the progress made between Maggie and Negan in favor of revisiting their redemption arc.

New Adventures and Introduction of Intriguing Villain

“A city teeming with zombies isn’t new to the genre, but it is sort of new to The Walking Dead.”

Despite its flaws, Dead City presents viewers with thrilling experiences, including zombie cage fights, daring zip-line traversals across buildings, new weaponry, and unique settings. The show delves into darkness and shadows, creating a stark contrast to the outdoor environments that dominated The Walking Dead in recent seasons. As our characters sneak through the ruinous metropolis of midtown Manhattan, viewers are treated to a glimpse of fallen landmarks and a toppled civilization. Moreover, the chemistry between stars Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan remains captivating, even if their characters’ relationship feels like a repetitive narrative device.

An Opportunity Missed

The Walking Dead: Dead City Images From NYCC 2022

The inclusion of Mahina Napoleon as the mute girl Ginny, whom Negan protects, feels forced and clichéd. This choice seems to capitalize on the trend of “surrogate apocalypse dad” characters. Unfortunately, Ginny’s lack of complexity and development as a character is evident. The Walking Dead missed the chance to explore the already established relationships between Negan and Judith, as well as his own child. Instead, the show discards these significant storylines in favor of introducing a stranger who can hardly advocate for herself.

Newcomers and a Compelling Villain

Dead City introduces several new characters, including Gaius Charles as a lawman, Jonathan Higginbotham and Karina Ortiz as city survivors, and Garret Dillahunt’s wife, Michelle Hurd, in a small role. However, it is Željko Ivanek’s portrayal of the villain Croat that shines the brightest. Ivanek brings depth and cunning to the character, making him a formidable presence with grand plans and strategic foresight.