Friday, August 12, 2011

To the Suits at AMC ...

I'm just one of millions of random "The Walking Dead" fans out there in the world, so my bark will seem but a yelp in the scope of things; particularly, in this basement-level blog. But honestly, who the hell do you think you are, getting rid of Frank Darabont? You remember him, he's the man whose name you were happy to drop way back when you were trying to sell a TV show about zombies to the Bristol Farms set:

Oh honey, it's from the director of The Shawshank Redemption. Maybe we should watch. Pass the hummus?

Alrighty. And then you moved on to the genre fans. Well, me, at least. You used Darabont, "The Walking Dead" and a marathon of F13 films through Manhattan (sorry, still can't get with Jason Goes to Hell) to sucker me into another year of Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers and Pet Sematary on AMC's annual Fear Fest. Darabont hosting the former Monsterfest injected new life into a tired AMC October institution. You brought in films that I thought you had never previously heard of, like the first three Halloweens. And those crazy bumpers; would you still have gotten Alexandre Aja had you not gotten Darabont? James Wan? Wes Craven? Gregory Nicotero? That great convo between Kane Hodder and Tyler Mane? I'll bet that a marquee name attached to the 2010 Fear Fest gave you great entree into meetings with genre people who had probably never even heard of your rinky-dinky channel before "Mad Men," if at all.

And if deciding to fire the man who practically gift-wrapped you a hit before it even aired wasn't bad enough, you waited until after his appearance (below, with one of my heroes, Nicotero) at the industry luvvie SD Comic-Con to do it:


The story follows that you gave Darabont his "Walking" papers because he didn't embrace your greed, but I'm guessing that he didn't know that he would become but a bit player in your AMC money-printing scheme:

  • Increase the number of episodes by seven
  • Cut "The Walking Dead" budget by $650,000
  • Push Darabont as the face of the second series
  • Up advertising and raise rates per spot
  • Fire Darabont, quickly and quietly

AMC. Money Matters Here.

Well, you can do what you want, but here are the facts: we the genre fans are the 5.3 million viewers who made "The Walking Dead's" Halloween 2010 debut your strongest-ever showing for an AMC original program. "The Walking Dead" is also the only show you own, outright. You fired the guy who made that show a runaway success. You think that by making us wait a year for the second series, we'll be chomping at the bit to see it, no matter what? Okay, I'll concede to that one, if only because people will be people at the end of the day, and everyone's been waiting. But what are you going to do after the first episode, AMC? According to The Hollywood Reporter, when you fired Darabont, he was working to fix unusable footage left by another director. Great, well  I made brownies one time and took them out of the oven too soon, and I still ate them because the box said they were brownies, but they were shit.

We will only tolerate so much, and so far, so bad with Darabont gone and you thinking that we're just this side of dumbass to fall in line and do our part as the viewing public. I was already pissed at you for making me miss the final minutes of many recorded episodes in the first season due to all the advertising, which was always louder than the actual show. You don't care about us, you care about the bottom line, and I can accept that but I don't have to take it. I can always re-watch the first series, or pop in "Dead Set" and watch that instead.

You aren't the first to dream up a TV series on zombies, AMC. You won't be the last. You show "The Three Stooges" every weekend. Get over yourselves.

The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [2 Discs] [Blu-ray]