The Walking Dead has never been a particularly "easy" show for viewers to watch. Adapted faithfully from the original comic books, the series is well-known for its brutal conditions, graphic violence, and completely ruthless attitude about killing off its important characters at the drop of a hat. But The Walking Dead took that rough treatment of its characters to some extreme measures in the first half of its seventh season, with the long-awaited introduction of Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan. It was a grueling stretch of episodes, in which Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and the rest of the show's heroes were steamrolled and abused by Negan and his saviors.
Fortunately for both the viewers and the characters themselves, things are about to change when The Walking Dead returns this Sunday night, as Rick works to create an alliance with the other major surrounding communities against Negan. As can be expected that then means The Hilltop and The Kingdom will play much bigger roles moving forwards than they did in the first half of the season.
In anticipation of the show's return this week as well, a brand new video for the season has been released online by AMC today. Narrated by showrunner Scott Gimple, the video goes into detail about how the rest of the communities may and may not work well with Rick and the citizens of Alexandria, and what exactly the nature of their relationship with Negan is right now. You can check out the video for yourself in the space up above.
Much to the likely surprise of the producers and creative team behind the show, The Walking Dead was on the receiving end of some of its most unfavorable reviews in history throughout the early episodes of its seventh season. Many argued that the constant, degrading treatment of Rick and his companions didn't provide the series with any real dramatic weight or tension, giving the series a gratuitous level of darkness the likes of which it had never quite captured any time before that.
So hopefully, a change of pace will wind up being just what The Walking Dead needed, now that Rick has finally managed to find his fighting spirit once again. Considering some fans were disappointed by Ezekiel's minimal role in the first half of the season, seeing Khary Payton actually get to flex his muscles as the character may be able to bring an extra level of levity to the remaining episodes of the season too - even as the conflicts between The Saviors and the rest of the communities only continue to grow, in the meantime.
The Walking Dead returns with 'The Rock in the Road' on Sunday, February 12 @9pm on AMC.