The Walking Dead: Dead City is the franchise’s best spinoff yet!

Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 - Photo Credit: Peter Kramer/AMC
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 - Photo Credit: Peter Kramer/AMC /

Between Fear the Walking Dead, The Walking Dead: World Beyond and Tales of the Walking Dead, AMC’s beloved zombie franchise has had mixed success with spinoffs over the years. However, The Walking Dead universe’s latest spinoff, Dead City — the first spinoff to air after the ending of the original show — breathes fresh new life into a franchise that some thought was as dead as the zombies themselves.

Check out our spoiler-free review of the series below!

The Walking Dead: Dead City follows unlikely duo Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) as they travel to a desolate, zombie-infested Manhattan in search of Maggie’s son Hershel, who has been kidnapped by a gang leader known only as the Croat (Željko Ivanek).

Dead City breathes life into The Walking Dead franchise

Dead City takes us beyond the samey forests of Georgia — a place The Walking Dead spent the majority of its time — to Manhattan, one of the beating hearts of the modern world. The new setting is extremely welcome. The towering skyscrapers and narrow roads teeming with walkers and human threats creates a claustrophobic, foreboding atmosphere. Enemies lurk around every corner. The show does a great job at creating obstacles and threats at every elevation; whether the characters are flying across zip lines up high, running through the city center, or trudging through the sewers, there’s danger everywhere.

The story itself is quite straightforward, but executed really well. Maggie and Negan’s relationship was one of the most interesting elements of the original show’s final season. Sure, they hate each other, but they continuously find themselves in situations where they can help each other. The show refuses to let go of the history between the two characters, with numerous scenes referencing the infamous moment Negan killed her husband Glenn (Steven Yeun) in The Walking Dead season 7.

Negan fans in particular are going to absolutely love this series. A few months back, Jeffrey Dean Morgan teased that Negan would fall back on old habits, and that certainly happens. His one liners add some great dark comedy, and we’re treated to one of the most brutal scenes in the character’s history in Episode 2.

Unhinged and unpredictable, the Croat is a great villain, but he doesn’t get enough screentime; we also don’t spend enough time with Maggie’s son Hershel. The Croat gives off classic James Bond villain vibes, although his backstory is a little predictable.

In the show’s quieter moments, I really enjoyed some of the conversations between Maggie and Negan. They hate each other, but they can still talk. These chats, which occur pretty much every episode, don’t necessarily move their story forward, but it’s nice to get a deeper understanding of what makes them tick.

The Walking Dead: Dead City ends on a so-so note

The series is solid throughout all six episodes, although I was disappointed by the finale. We end up with finishing the first season with more questions than we had going in, so the endgame isn’t as satisfying as I’d have liked. If Dead City isn’t renewed for more episodes, I’ll be very disappointed.

I found many of the side characters pretty forgettable; the show tended to push them aside in favor of focusing on Maggie and Negan. Six episodes may be too few for us to feel empathy for every side character. The best was definitely Perlie Armstrong (Gaius Charles), a determined bounty hunter with a troubled past.


The Walking Dead: Dead City sees the franchise enter an exciting new era. It’s epic, action-packed and thrilling. Fans will not be disappointed by this entry, which I wouldn’t hesitate to call the best Walking Dead spinoff to date.

This is a must-watch for Walking Dead fans. Dead City represents an extremely positive start to the upcoming slate of spinoffs!

Series Grade: A

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