Cliffhanger thoughts

TaraC73TaraC73 Manchester NH
Admittedly I *am* somewhat pissed at the thought of having to wait til October to see who got killed. (Or waiting til May-ish when filming starts and set spoilers reveal who isn't there filming!) I also understand those who are quitting the show over the culminating downward spiral of the show. (Though I thought this last half season was tremendous. And I am pretty much in this for the long haul...) but I have seen many people say they are quitting the show - or are so outraged their lives are ruined - all because we were left on a cliffhanger, and that doesn't even make sense.

Shows have been using cliffhangers for years. YEARS! This isn't a new concept... So because you have to wait til October to find out, you're going to quit the show? Just chillax, enjoy the suspense! This reminds me of people quitting Lost when Locke tried bashing the hatch open and the light came on and... Fade to black. Did people rage quit Dallas when JR was shot? HELL NO! Radio stations were running contests about it! Did people declare war on 24 when Palmer got that poison handshake? Nope - we stressed and worried all summer long. What happened when Mr Burns was shot? Another contest! What about breaking bad Full Measure? Epic!!

I'm not really good at getting my thoughts down on paper (or interwebz lol) so sorry if this comes across like a ranting of a crazy lady. I just wish people wouldn't throw the baby (entire show catalog) out with the bath water (cliffhanger finale) and chillax.

PS - this isn't necessarily directed at anyone in particular, and not just our BM community :) this carries across all platforms - Reddit, Facebook, other communities :)
S. SmithTravis

Comments

  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    edited April 2016
    We had slavery for 170 odd years, women couldn't vote, gays and lesbians weren't allowed to marry, Hockey goalies used to not wear masks. I know these are some extreme examples but just cuz we had things in the past doesn't make it right or good.

    Simpsons is a poor example as the entire next episode was dedicated to a Clue style who dun it.

    Also full measure is a bad example as explained in other posts on these forums because Gilligan came out and said it was never meant to be a cliffhanger. He apologised for the obscure ending as it was meant to be clearly the person was killed.

    This "cliffhanger" served one purpose. To make sure the premiere gets viewers. It's nothing more than a shitty method to get viewership for s7e1.

    I do agree with you that I get tired of hearing people say "I'm out" or "i quit" 90% of them will be back. It's a bit annoying to hear. I'm sure if we captured the names of the quitters here we will see them commenting on next Seasons episodes.
  • TonyaTonya SC
    edited April 2016
    I, for one, am not mad that I have to wait to find out who got the bat. I am mad about the blatant emotional manipulation these showrunners use. The idea that trickery and "cliffhangers" are the only way to tell a story so compelling that people come back for more is just BAWLSHIT. (See Villigan, Katims, Ridley Scott, Chase, Weiner, Benioff and Weiss, etc. etc. etc.)

    We could debate what a real "cliffhanger" is for days. But when a showrunner consistently uses them and other forms of manipulation, it's cheap. I don't recall Villigan faking us out over and over so a cliffhanger like Full Measure was a treat, not another trick. That's the difference, I think. 

    Thankfully, my life is not ruined (haven't seen that one yet) but I probably am quitting the show. I don't need to be treated like an idiot by the likes of Gimple and Kirkman and Nicotero - and sorry (not sorry) I can't wrap my head around what it is about all this cheap storytelling that is so entertaining. 



    TaraC73
  • Yeah, the idea of the cliffhanger is very old hat. We should be beyond that now. I forget who said or wrote it, but it's like TWD tried to take TV back to the 70s and 80s with that nonsense. The Simpsons cliffhanger was mentioned above. They were making fun of the cliffhanger and in particular, the Dallas cliffhanger. And that was 20 years ago.

    As was discussed, this may be more of an executive decision than a creative one, but whatever it is, it sucks.

  • Having read the comic, I know who got killed (unless this is an extreme Kirkman reeeemix), so it didn't bother me.
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited April 2016

    You have it all wrong. The cliffhanger did ruin my life! My wife was so upset about not knowing who died that she left me to go live with monks in Tibet. My boss was so upset that he fired everyone in our office because "it ruined accounting" for him. My dog had a fucking seizure and died! Right there on the spot! I swear in her last gasp she looked up at me and said "why?"

    The collective chefs in my area are so depressed that (literally!) the food doesn't taste good anymore.  All of the liquor stores in my town are picked clean in the wake of the cliffhanger, so I can't even drink my sadness away. Don't talk to me about how the cliffhanger can't ruin lives! Even the music in my computer refuses to play. When I double click on the track I just get an error message saying "why bother?"

    TaraC73Hatorian
  • Nah, I think it's dumb and kind of annoying, but not that huge of a deal. Do I wish they had gone with the Jim and A.Ron plan for how it should have played out? Definitely. I'm certainly not rage quitting the show though. I like the Walking Dead. Of course it's a flawed show, but I agree that this season was a good one. Aside from all of that Glenn bullshit with the dumpster I actually thought it was pretty great. A definite uptick from where we had been, and with the world growing as it is I'm very excited for where we're going. I've built into my expectations that they will piss me off sometimes, but I'm still having a lot of fun with it.

    Actually, I don't even think that the cliffhanger was the worst thing about the episode. The thing that really stuck in my craw as we were watching it was the ridiculous justification that they would contrive the whole main cast leaving the town on this mission, but I was able to swallow it and enjoy the ride which was pretty darn fun. Flawless? God no. Fun? Yes.

    AntManBeeTaraC73
  • TaraC73 said:

    Did people rage quit Dallas when JR was shot? 

    The difference is that people saw JR get shot.
    Reni
  • tonyp1222tonyp1222 new york
    edited April 2016
    I'm so tired of people saying "Well, of course they're going to leave it on a cliffhanger."

    Yes, but it didn't need to be THIS kind of cliffhanger. In the book -- and this is the most MINOR of spoilers - Negan murders the person, Rick says something, and then Negan gets in his face and says the following (no worries, it doesn't mention who dies): 

    To give a comparison for what type of spoiler is below, it would be like me telling you that Simba is sad when his dad dies in Lion King. It's actually very similar to what he says in the show, they just moved it to before baseball bat killing.

    *****SPOILER WARNING: ACTUAL FINAL NEGAN DIALOGUE FROM COMIC*******

    Highlight to read:
    “I just hope - for your fucking sake, you’ve finally realized how things work and where you stand in all this. 
    Things have changed, Rick.
    Whatever you had going for you — that’s over.
    You answer to me. You provide for me. You belong to me. 
    Welcome to a brand new beginning.
    We’ll come for your first offering in one week.
    Until then…
    Tata.”

    ****END SPOILER****

    Is that not just as effective of a cliffhanger? 

    - We're all left here stunned talking about the death of XYZ character
    - People post their reaction videos to YouTube
    - We're left wondering how in the world Rick's group overcomes this overwhelming foe. 

    And most importantly, we're all talking about this as "The best season finale ever!" in very Game of Thrones-fashion (a show that never leaves you hanging) -- and in doing so potentially draw back those who have walked away from the show over the years and potentially even convince a few to catch up on Netflix over the break.

    Instead, what are we doing? We're all bitching. That's the buzz about the show right now. The buzz is that the Walking Dead jerks around its audience. That's hardly the kind of buzz that drives audience growth.
  • edited April 2016

    Hey peeps! Psycho babble, but want to share anyway.  Consider yourself warned lol

    I think maybe part of what goes on with this kind of thing is that people get pissed because they feel like they are being treated poorly-either disrespected (jerked around w/ the cliffhanger) or like they aren't smart.

    And I fully get that.  I was LIVID about the Glenn thing.  I felt like "they" had basically taken my connection to a character and pissed all over it, in a weird way I took it personally.  Ideally, there should be a give and take, right?  

    Something like -they're creating this thing and we are spending our precious time watching it and so there is a back and forth between creator and audience. Its a relationship of sorts that should be treated accordingly.

    So here's where I'm at with it now (just over the last couple of days) 

    I've already stated many times that I'm not sure Kirkman knows what the fuck he is doing.  He has a talent, but his creative world may have expanded waaaaaay past his skill set.  Gimple, Nicotero...et al. blah blah...  But I do know I am not going to expect them to realize how smart I am (or think I am) or to meet my definition of showing respect.  I also realized I don't care.

    I think the main actors on this show do an amazing job for the most part so I for one am going to start getting my respect and smart needs, when and if I have them, through them.  And that works well for me because I have been in it for the characters from day one anyway. 

    I have never been here for the stuff like how did the Saviors get on all those roads?  I don't care all that much.  Show me some troop movement on the Western Front in 1915 and I'm all over that shit, but with this?  I don't know, and honestly I don't need much more of an explanation than "only so many roads-Saviors have numbers, smarts, planning, info and they are spooky mother fuckers".

    I totally understand why a lot of people get annoyed and disappointed with this show.  I even understand why some people would quit-especially when stupid stuff takes you out of the experience. And I get it that the cliffhanger was the last straw for a lot of people.

    But for me, I realized in thinking about the finale that I still find this whole thing to be horrifying, sad, scary and interesting.  Rick is freaked out of his mind, just like he has been from the very beginning and I'll be right there in October to see how he does.  Because I don't really care if Kirkman, et al respect me or know that I'm smart enough to realize how ridiculous some of this is.  What I care about is the characters and the overall story.




    TaraC73
  • edited April 2016
    You can't compare this to other cliffhangers.  I'd argue that it's something different.

    This hasn't been mentioned much, but notice that Jeffrey Dean Morgan is speaking directly to the camera during his final lines.  This is meant to show him speaking directly to the victim, but he is also breaking the fourth wall and addressing the audience.  Part of his 4th wall dialogue includes, "... you can cry.  Hell, you're all going to be doing that."

    So the writers knew they weren't going to show who got killed.  OK, like traces of feces in your food, that's simply TWD for you.  But then they have a character look into the camera and make 4th wall observations beforehand.  Because of that, I don't think this is really a cliffhanger.

    I did some research and found an old German literary term that I think applies.  What TWD did is called fick dich fanz, or perhaps colloquially better known as fuck you fans.  This technique was pioneered by author Rudolph Ammer in the late 19th century.  Characters would often address the readers before ambiguously ending a book, sparking controversy leading into future releases.  However, after abusing fick dich fanz, ratings and sales dropped considerably and Ammer faded away.
  • GredalBee said:

    You can't compare this to other cliffhangers.  I'd argue that it's something different.

    This hasn't been mentioned much, but notice that Jeffrey Dean Morgan is speaking directly to the camera during his final lines.  This is meant to show him speaking directly to the victim, but he is also breaking the fourth wall and addressing the audience.  Part of his 4th wall dialogue includes, "... you can cry.  Hell, you're all going to be doing that."

    So the writers knew they weren't going to show who got killed.  OK, like traces of feces in your food, that's simply TWD for you.  But then they have a character look into the camera and make 4th wall observations beforehand.  Because of that, I don't think this is really a cliffhanger.controversy leading into future releases.  However, after abusing fick dich fanz, ratings and sales dropped considerably and Ammer faded away.

    To be fair, the 4th wall dialogue is identical to what he says before doing the deed in the comic. It's not really a commentary on the cliffhanger.
  • edited April 2016
    It's a visual medium.  Staging it from a POV with that dialogue, which is not what they did in the comics, was deliberate.  They specifically shot that part of the speech with Negan gleaming into the camera.  How is that not commentary?

    However, I will concede that TWD isn't really smart enough for 4th wall commentary and this could all be accidental.
  • GredalBee said:

    It's a visual medium.  Staging it from a POV with that dialogue, which is not what they did in the comics, was deliberate.  They specifically shot that part of the speech with Negan gleaming into the camera.  How is that not commentary?

    However, I will concede that TWD isn't really smart enough for 4th wall commentary and this could all be accidental.

    Now you've got me imagining a season 7 where Negan keeps talking to the audience about his plans, Frank Underwood style.
    TaraC73S. Smithtonyp1222
  • GredalBee said:

    It's a visual medium.  Staging it from a POV with that dialogue, which is not what they did in the comics, was deliberate.  They specifically shot that part of the speech with Negan gleaming into the camera.  How is that not commentary?

    However, I will concede that TWD isn't really smart enough for 4th wall commentary and this could all be accidental.

    Now you've got me imagining a season 7 where Negan keeps talking to the audience about his plans, Frank Underwood style.
    But only when he's being most contemptuous, in order to best reflect the producers contempt for the audience.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    I can't tell if people are willfully conflating different types of cliffhangers or really can't tell the difference, but I don't feel like I have anything more to add. I'm not rage quitting TWD, I got a lot of entertainment out of this season as compared to other recent ones.  I wish they made better choices, but whatev. They'll be in real trouble if they bore me as well as do dumb shit, but I don't see that happening for the next season or two.
    S. SmithTaraC73
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    edited April 2016
    I don't really have a dog in this fight as I'm annoyed but I'm not quitting, however I don't think the comparisons to Dallas are really relevant.

    Dallas was a pure soap opera - the soap opera's number one trope is the DUN DUN DUN cliffhanger ending. TWD is kiiiind of a soap opera, but it doesn't think it is. It doesn't think it's playing into soapie tropes. It thinks it's a quality drama providing quality writing.

    Also, TV audiences in the early 1980s were a lot less questioning and critical than audiences now. There was never really any discussion of bad writing or character motivation outside TV critics. Stories went where they went and characters did what they did and everyone accepted it. I was around when J.R. got shot (I wasn't old enough to watch but my mum was obsessed, along with every other adult) and no one was angry or talking about rage quitting. People were excited - it was a huge thing. The returning episode that revealed the killer had the highest audience viewing in history (in its time).
  • AnominalAnominal San Francisco Bay Area
    I'm not quitting the show, but when I thought it would be hard going back to Fear the Walking Dead... boy was I wrong. After this ending I'm excited for Fear.

    But when the main show comes around again, I don't think I'll be watching week to week anymore. The podcast has been a good motivator for me to keep through the low points, and this was such a good back half of the season, but I think I've just lost all trust in their storytelling and pacing sensibilities. It's not because of this one incident, but because of the culmination of everything. I'm going to be waiting on my friend to tell me about when a good time to binge is and go off of that.
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