The Walking Dead has been Rick Grimes from day 1
I love The Walking Dead. When Rick Grimes and the walkers shambled onto my TV screen eight years ago, I was in Heaven. You see I love zombies, walkers, the undead, shamblers, whatever you want to call them - deadites, anybody, or is that just for the awesome Ash vs. Evil Dead?
Finally after so many years of making do with some fantastic and not so fantastic zombie movies (Brain Dead, anyone - I can't be the only one unlucky to see that?), I had the TV show of my dreams.
How The Walking Dead began
The first episode shot by Frank Dabaront, director of the best movie ever according to imdb.com (The Shawshank Redemption) and filmed like 28 Hours Later, was engrossing pulsating stuff. Immediately I was hooked on sheriff Rick Grimes.
I wanted him to survive.
I wanted him to be reunited with his family.
I wanted him to kill Shane who was trying to kill him.
I wanted Morgan Jones who saved Rick's life and his son Duane who was named, I hope, after the main character in the cult classic Night of the Living Dead to be on the end of that walkie-talkie one day after they parted.
The Walking Dead is Rick Grimes.
"You're my brother, Daryl."
He's the beating heart of The Walking Dead. He's the string that ties everybody together, this weird bunch of survivors. He's Daryl's brother. Michonne's lover. Maggie's mentor. Morgan's permanent anchor to this world. He's the one who banished Carol then welcomed her back. He's Carl's dad.
He's the one man who got the better of Negan and before him the Governor.
He's the man with the plan - even when it's not a particularly good one.
Without him how can the show go on?
Of course I don't want the show to end. Talking with other Walking Dead fans about walkers and how to survive in this apocalyptic hell has been an absolute pleasure. It's gotten me through some tough times including the death of my father. But here's the rub. I love the show so much I don't want to see it limping on and becoming even more of a shadow of what it once was.
I definitely don't want to see one of the best ever TV characters in Rick Grimes ruined any more. Maybe Andrew Lincoln feels the same way and that's why he's leaving?
The last two seasons have been pretty terrible. Since Negan appeared, because of some awful writing every character has got a dose of the stupids. Almost everyone got caught by braggart Negan and had to bow down as he set about Abraham and then Glenn with the swing of a baseball bat. Worst of all, Rick was broken. His de facto brother Daryl was broken when he was held prisoner.
Could Daryl and Carol save The Walking Dead?
If as looks likely they do keep on making The Walking Dead, maybe the only two people who could try to replace Rick are Daryl and Carol and together? Side by side they could be the dream team - I hope.
Magic happens when they're on screen together. They could be the show's only hope, especially if as looks likely Maggie and Michonne do leave - one for a TV show, the other for movies and the possibility of an Oscar one day.
What do you think? Can The Walking Dead survive without Rick Grimes?