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The Walking Dead: Dead City

The Walking Dead Dead City season 1





Emily Tsiao

TV Series Review

Maggie Rhee and Negan Smith are two of the last folks on earth you would ever expect to team up. But they do. And maybe that’s because they really are two of the last folks on earth.

It’s been well over a decade since Maggie and Negan’s world fell apart. An illness infected every human on the planet, causing the dead to rise up as carnivorous zombie-like creatures called walkers.

Maggie survived the initial outbreak by holing up on her family’s farm. Events of The Walking Dead eventually caused her family to leave. And since then, she’s lost her father, her sister and her husband, Glen.

Negan’s responsible for that last loss. See, he responded to the apocalypse by heading up a group of savage murderers called the Saviors. They used their firepower to force every group of survivors they came across to give them supplies.

And Negan’s favorite way of asserting his dominance? Killing off a random member of each group. And unfortunately, Glen became one of his victims.

After Glen’s death, Maggie wanted vengeance. She even led a new settlement called the Hilltop against him in a war. But then, just when Negan’s death seemed imminent, Rick Grimes (Maggie’s friend and former leader) spared him.

Rick’s mercy toward Negan changed Maggie. It helped her to stop hating Negan—though she never truly forgave him for what he did. And it allowed her to focus on leading the Hilltop and raising her and Glen’s son, Hershel.

But now, Maggie needs Negan’s help. Raiders have kidnapped Hershel. She’s tracked them all the way to Manhattan, but their leader is a man called “The Croat,” who used to be one of Negan’s old cronies.

Negan’s not optimistic of finding Hershel alive. According to him, the Croat was one of the most insane psychos he’d recruited to the Saviors back in the day.

But Negan also doesn’t have a lot of options. He’s wanted by the marshals of New Babylon, a new city serving as a sort of capital, for murdering a magistrate and four other men. If they catch him, they’ll kill him—and brutally.

Maggie offers protection in exchange for her son’s return. But she’ll have to learn to put aside her old grudges if she hopes for that day to come.

The Undying Dead

If you’re familiar with the Walking Dead franchise, none of what follows will surprise you.

This is a vehemently bloody and gory show. When the walkers aren’t eating people alive, they’re usually getting blasted or beaten to bits. But humans are just as liable to die by the living, as well.

Plugged In once wrote of the original Walking Dead that it “turns to focus on the depth of human depravity in a world without law and order. And viewers are given cause to wonder if the show’s name isn’t about the walkers at all, but the morally debased characters who are left.”

Well, that hasn’t changed.

Maggie has a lot of hatred built up in her: hatred for Negan, for the walkers, for the people who took her son. At times, she struggles to remember Rick’s lesson of mercy. And it begs the question of how far she’ll go in order to save her son—and how much blood she and Negan will shed before they’re done.

Aside from that, viewers can expect harsh language (including uses of the f-word), heavy drinking and LGBT characters. And, if the franchise’s history is anything to go by, sex scenes are also liable to pop up.

The Walking Dead: Dead City is a continuation of an incredibly popular story. But that doesn’t mean you should continue to watch it.

Episode Reviews

Jun. 15, 2023 – S1, Ep1: “Old Acquaintances”

Maggie recruits her old nemesis Negan to help her save her son after the boy is kidnapped by one of Negan’s old allies.

A flashback shows Negan killing Glen, Maggie’s husband, right before her eyes with a baseball bat. Several people are devoured by walkers. (One woman is deliberately shoved into their path by a marshal.) We see walkers hung from a gallows outside a city (and it’s obvious they weren’t walkers when they were hung). Walkers are thrown from city rooftops in an attempt to kill people on the streets below. A marshal accidentally shoots his colleague. A man covered in cuts from torture attempts to escape his captors via zipline, but they sever the cable he’s gliding on, causing him to fall 20 stories to his death.

Maggie uses a pipe to bash in the skull of a walker that tried to eat her (and in her rage, she continues to beat the creature long after it “dies”). Many walkers are shot in the head.

We see New York City in ruins and later learn that the military tried to contain the outbreak there by destroying the bridges and tunnels leading to Manhattan Island. It’s rumored that Negan killed five people, though he claims that’s not how it happened. We’re told that the marshals will execute him by dangling him upside down and sawing him in half from his groin to his head. We learn a girl’s father was murdered and that she discovered him the next day as a reanimated walker. The Croat (the leader who kidnapped Maggie’s son, Hershel) has a scar where his ear should be.

People get into several knife and fistfights (and some characters receive nonfatal wounds). Women are roughly shoved around by men. Characters are frequently held at gun or knifepoint. The Croat threatens to torture Hershel, but he’s interrupted before he can harm the boy. Negan tries to throw a marshal overboard but Maggie stops him.

Maggie drinks in a bar and pretends to drunkenly flirt with the bartender in order to garner information from him. Later, the bar’s proprietor is executed for “liquor, drugs, gambling [and] whoredom,” which are all prohibited by new laws.

We see two prostitutes (a woman and an effeminate man). We see the outline of a man in a shower. A man urinates offscreen. People are covered in bugs when they hide in infested garbage. Negan says his dad would often flake out on him.

There’s a single use of the f-word and 10 uses of the s-word. God’s name is abused once, paired with “d–n.” There are also uses of “b–ch,” “d–mit,” “d–k” and “h—.”

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Emily Tsiao

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and geeking out with her husband indulging in their “nerdoms,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything they love, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate and Lord of the Rings.

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