I get why AMC keeps reviving "The Walking Dead." The original series, which ran from 2010 to 2022, was one of the most popular shows in cable history. But ratings dropped over time as viewers realized that the writers had become obsessed with grossing them out.
The steady drop in interest hasn't stopped the cable network from producing five spinoffs — with more on the way. And the approach in each one seems to be the same: more horror, less heart.
Initially, "The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon," premiering at 8 p.m. Sunday on AMC, seems determined to offer something a little more thoughtful. Dixon, played by Norman Reedus, washes ashore in France, where he gets recruited by a group of knife-wielding nuns to save a boy who many think may be the next Messiah.
It's an opportunity for the blood-and-guts franchise to ruminate on the role that faith plays in times of crises. But any philosophical debates get drowned out by the sound of Dixon smashing zombies' skulls into dust.
Reedus continues to be enigmatic and captivating. (He's also quite amusing as the host of the reality road show, "Ride With Norman Reedus," which kicks off its sixth season at 9 p.m. Sunday, AMC). His "Dead" character seems born for an apocalypse. And there's some nice touches of humor; a group of young survivors worship "Mork & Mindy" because the sitcom reruns are their only source of entertainment.
But the spinoff is mostly offering a continuation of the franchise's death march. Time to walk away.
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