The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live Reviews Are All Blowing Our Minds

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

the walking dead the ones who lived

Josh Carr once created a viral meme by asking a simple question: “I wanna know at what point you gave up on The Walking Dead?” The meme assumes that this was a show that everyone was once really into but eventually dropped quicker than Rick Grimes getting his hand cut off.

The majority of fans eventually abandoned the original show, but here’s a glimmer of hope: reviews for the new spinoff series The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live reviews are in, and they are so positive that it’s blowing our minds.

Praising Andrew Lincoln

For example, Daily Beast writer Laura Bradley was particularly impressed by Andrew Lincoln’s performance as fan-favorite character Rick Grimes.

“He’s just as grounded as always, making each and every one of Rick’s competing impulses legible on his weathered, terrified face.”

It may sound like a backhanded compliment, but she’s right: Lincoln aging in real-time over the years (and overcoming one crisis after another) has certainly sold the image of The Walking Dead as an unrelenting apocalypse.

Danai Gurira Also Given High Marks

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Lived

Lincoln isn’t the only one who is impressing critics with a standout performance. writer Kaiya Shunyata writes, “Each time Lincoln and (Danai) Gurira are on screen it becomes clear that while the spinoffs have been entertaining, they were missing the kind of sincerity these two actors bring to the table.”

Ironically, the zombie franchise The Walking Dead can’t sustain itself on monsters alone: it’s both the humans and the humanity that draws fans back, and it sounds like the new spinoff has these qualities in spades.

The Walking Dead As A Conspiracy Thriller?

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Lived

While some audiences enjoyed the relatively intimate scale of the original show (which certainly captured the realities of characters fighting for survival across rural Georgia), some criticized it for feeling a bit small next to legendary zombie features such as Dawn of the Dead.

Cameron Bonomolo of seems to think such critics will be happy with the spinoff: “The Ones Who Live plays out as a conspiracy thriller against the backdrop of the post-zombie apocalypse. Part Prison Break and part World War Z, this is The Walking Dead on the scope and scale of a zombie movie blockbuster.”

Giving Audiences Something New?

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Lived

One lingering concern that we shared with many fans and critics is whether or not this spinoff could give audiences something new while still providing something that felt authentically like the show we all fell in love with.

According to CBR writer Katie Doll, the new spinoff perfectly nails this very small target by giving the fans exactly what they want.”The Ones Who Live perfectly balances the old and new eras of The Walking Dead franchise, grounded in the forbidden love between Rick and Michonne.”

A Satisfying Story For The Walking Dead Fans

the walking dead

Remember when we brought up the meme about not if but when fans stopped watching the original show? Most of the fans who fled did so because they felt the franchise was stringing things out and not providing any satisfying answers to the big questions it kept posing.

According to IGN writer Matt Fowler, the new spinoff delivers what we’ve been waiting for: “For those who’ve waited years for answers, The Ones Who Live is equal parts sad, sinister, and satisfying.”

Everything The Walking Dead Fans Want

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Lived

Originally, we shared everyone’s skepticism that a new spinoff could do anything to breathe new life into The Walking Dead, a franchise that has long felt like one of its signature foes: a withering zombie that simply shambled forward and tried to remember when it used to be alive.

But everything these critics have been saying about the new spinoff has awakened something we thought long (ahem) dead: our passion for this long-running franchise and its colorful characters.

If your own passion has similarly been reignited, then you have time to catch up on the first episode of The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Lived right now before catching weekly episodes on AMC (9 p.m. EST/PST) or stream them each week via AMC+.