Of all the shows that got a posthumous boost thanks to streaming services, “The Sopranos” is probably the best comparison. Like “The Walking Dead,” this was a show about morally ambiguous characters who seemed to get increasingly dark with each passing season. “The Sopranos” also got a lot of flak for dragging things out or for being anti-climactic. This criticism was particularly popular during the final season, which was not only split in two but famously denied viewers a satisfying conclusion with its final scene. (Or rather, with its lack of a final scene.) Yet as time passes, the anger over that ending subsidies and most of the frustration viewers had has been smoothed over.
Overall, “The Walking Dead” may never have been as good as “The Sopranos” was, but both shows have earned a place in TV history for being massive hits for a significant period of time. Just as so many of the viewers who got into “The Sopranos” these past few years are people who were too young to appreciate the show when it first aired — assuming they were even alive at all — it’s likely that plenty of young viewers will want to try out this cool zombie show they remember seeing posters for when they were kids. And hey, maybe they’ll appreciate those later seasons far more than audiences did at the time.
“The Walking Dead” may have ended, but as long as it’s available on one streaming service or another, as long as there’s a constant stream of young potential viewers who missed out on the show’s initial run, it looks like the show won’t completely die anytime soon.