My Breakup Letter to The Walking Dead

*Contains spoilers.

Dear writers of The Walking Dead, we’re done. It’s not you. It’s me. I just can’t keep watching you kill my favorite characters with increasingly horrific impunity. Seriously, you crushed Glenn’s skull with a baseball bat and then laughed as he babbled at the love of his life like a half-zombie. In the words of Negan, that shit’s really not cool.

Actually, I lied. I owe you some honesty. It’s you. It really is you, asshole. Last night, I finally saw the real you, and there’s no going back for either of us. You’ve changed, but in a way you’re becoming more you. Maybe you were always just a B-movie horror fest passing himself off as a deep, apocalyptic drama with spectacular cinematography.

Why would you do this to me? I loved you. I understood your nihilism and accepted your austere personality. Early on, I found your brooding moralism quite alluring, even attractive. Sitting alone in my living room at 1 am, sipping bourbon and watching you, that was my favorite thing in the whole world. I’m sad that we’ll never share those moments again.

Some of my friends didn’t understand our relationship at first, but I defended you. I said, “He’s really a revolutionary thinker, you know? I’ve never seen someone blend horror and psychological thriller like this. And he’s friends with Bear McCreary.”

Last night I lay awake and thought hard about our future, and that’s when I realized we have to end. I started to understand the depravity of our relationship. The entire point of your existence is to traumatize me week after week. You’re a cruel lover, dangling hope and redemption within arms’ reach, only to snatch it away. Or sometimes you let me savor satisfaction for a moment, then knock me onto the floor and choke me.

I’ll admit, for a while I liked the abuse. Craved it. The months you were way, I searched the Internet for news about you. An offhand remark, a trailer, a photograph. Anything to whet my appetite for your return. During those dry spells, I always forgot what a fucking downer you are sometimes. Oh, how drained I felt after an hour with you. Hell, I needed a week of drinking just to work up to our next encounter. That’s not healthy. I don’t need that in my life.

You’ve been a terrible influence on me. Six years ago, I used to see joy in my future. Now I can’t look at my apartment without thinking, “We really need to brick up those windows and install some sniper stations on the roof.”

Because of you, I have a real, honest-to-god “zombie to-do list” app on my phone. I add stuff to it every week that you paint different worst case scenarios.

Some nights, I lay in bed and contemplate apocalypse survival plans. I feel hopelessly unprepared without six months’ of dry goods in my pantry.

Because of you, I own a fucking ten-pound bag of dried beans.

It’s you who forced me to imagine a world without hot showers or coffee. I don’t want to think about that.

You’ve made me consider that someday I’m not going to have chocolate. You monster.

You’re a walking anxiety complex. Six months out of the year, I turn into a can hoarding survivalist Trump supporter, and it’s all your fault. You really don’t understand how depressing and heavy-handed you come off sometimes? You designed a rescue mission for a teenage girl and then blew her brains out at the last minute.

You shot an arrow through another girl’s eye while she was giving a rousing speech. People never do that. Just think if someone had done that to William Wallace. “They’ll never take our….our…f-f-f-freedom. Oh I donna feel sah good.” Thunnnnk.

Not even Hannibal did that.

You like this, don’t you? You like the power my addiction gives you over me. I was practically enslaved to you, and yet I couldn’t explain why. Other shows, I like to go back and binge watch a second or even third time. I’ve never watched you twice, Walking Dead. That tells me a little something about your potency.

What’s next? I don’t even want to think about what’ll happen to Daryl. In fact, he’s essentially the only bad ass left to kill. And I’m sensing that you’re going to do something awful to him.

So, I’m out. Enjoy your carnage. I’m sure you’ll find someone better than me to keep you company. You have lots of friends.

We’ve had some great times, though. I remember watching you way back in my PhD program. Before you, I never thought much of zombies. I guess I owe you a little thanks for expanding my tastes. Once you go dead, you don’t go to bed. Am I right?

Now, I’m already feeling the sunrise of recovery. I’m thinking about other shows I’ll watch once you’re out of my life. There’s a whole new season of Gotham. And Daredevil. And Jessica Jones. Yeah, I think I’ll be just fine without your doom and gloom, your “kill or be killed” worldview. Later, freak.