AMC is gearing up to launch The Walking Dead season 9 come Sunday night, and this is by far the most challenging premiere in years. Not only does the network have to find a way to recruit longtime viewers, there’s another challenge here: Trying to find a way to move the show forward without Rick Grimes.
Despite there being this specter of this big event (the potential death of Andrew Lincoln’s character) around almost every corner, it is still rather easy to watch this teaser below and feel a small element of hope over it. You don’t get the sense that the series is necessarily out to depress you in its ad campaign like they once were. There are some attempts at hope and happiness here, with the big question we have at the moment simply being whether or not any of this will stick.
This preview does at least succeed at showing the passage of time. The writers are jumping things forward at the start of season 9, really to a point where everyone seems to be building something that feels closer to a real society. Negan is captured, everyone is finding their humanity again, and there are ways in which the community is starting to handle the walker threat. At this point, maybe it feels like dealing with them is a natural part of life. That probably makes the day-to-day a little bit easier than it would be otherwise.
We feel like the series is going to continue to be successful until Lincoln departs — in some ways, we wouldn’t be shocked if the ratings even improved leading up to that exit. The problem will be maintaining it after the fact, especially when there is such a large contingent of people out there who feel like without Rick Grimes, the series itself fails to exist in the same way. We’ve absolutely heard from many a people who are not even planning to watch once Lincoln says his fond farewell.
What are you the most excited to see when it comes to The Walking Dead season 9? Share now in the attached comments! (Photo: AMC.)