Season 7B of The Walking Dead looks like it will be a gathering of the tribes (or maybe a begging of the tribes to please help) as Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) attempts to rally various communities together in a war against that arrogant bat-swinging jerk Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
For The Walking Dead, the simultaneous multiple communities scenario breaks tradition with previous seasons. Before, The Walking Dead mostly stayed put in one or two locations per season, with Rick's group in one and whichever mentally ill villain was terrorizing Rick that season ruling the other.
But now we got options! We've also seen members of Rick's group move out and spend time in these communities, which got us thinking, which of these communities would be the best place to live? Let's dig in and reason this out like sane people.
Good old home base is where Rick and most of his group live after making themselves at home there beginning in Season 5 (which involved a somewhat hostile takeover and a murder, let's not forget). But is it as safe and secure as it should be?
Pros: There's a big anti-zombie wall (that only crumbles sometimes) to keep citizens somewhat safe! An occasionally stocked pantry, which is now consistently half full thanks to Negan. There's no more Spencer (Austin Nichols), since he was gutted like a pig, good riddance to that tool. There's also plenty of track housing with modern-day amenities, though mattresses are pretty hard to come by now. You can visit Ron and Sam Anderson's graves to remind you of that wonderful time when they both died.
Cons: There are zero guns, which is BAD in times like these (no, Morgan, we don't want a dang stick to fend off zombies). People keep crashing into the walls, letting herds of zombies in. And of course, there's the constant fear of Negan showing up to eat half of your burrito.
Pros: A frickin' tiger! Renaissance Faire-style life and ye olde English speak makes for fun pretend times and a temporary mental vacation from the horrifying truth that you will be eaten any second now. Fresh veggies mean you'll get the vitamins you need to survive another day in this hellscape. The Kingdom hosts movie night (seriously rad!). Free Aikido lessons from Morgan. Dope body armor/football pads for the warriors. The Kingdom's deal with Negan isn't widely known to the residents, so Negan isn't allowed inside.
Cons: A frickin' tiger! It could run loose and murder everyone at any second. Renaissance Faire-style life and ye olde English speak means you may commit suicide after a few days because that would get really old quickly. Free morality lessons from Morgan. Must swear loyalty to someone with gross dreadlocks.
Negan's turf is surprisingly well run given that it's a society of thieves, and the old factory setting probably makes for great raves. Daryl (Norman Reedus) spent a few moments there and reportedly hated it, and now Eugene (Josh McDermitt) calls it home... as Negan's newest prisoner.
Pros: There's a real doctor there (but he's usually gluing faces back on). Free ironing service (for your face). With so many people getting their faces ironed, you may be one of the better looking people there. You get half of everything that the other communities find. As a Savior, you get to bully wimps all day and say outrageous dialogue. And there's a real sense of security knowing that all you have to do is suck up to the sociopathic monster running things.
Cons: The leader is kind of a jerk, and will take your wife if you cross him or have your face ironed or smash your brains in with a barbed-wire baseball bat or publicly humiliate you and call you a little girl. He also holds boring meetings where he melodramatically grandstands and talks about his baseball bat's vagina. You can't leave the Sanctuary. Well, you can, but you'll be hunted down and killed. Pretty much everything about this dump, really.
Pros: Because of its positioning, it has spectacular views that can't be beat! Look at those vistas or rubble and swarms of undead! Rich, fertile farming ground to grow delicious sorghum. Totally dope crib. Mmmm, sorghum. Fried sorghum, sorghum burgers, sorghum casserole, sorghum stuffed with sorghum. Someone made an apple pie! And there's a good chance to befriend Hilltop's best character, Ninja Jesus (Tom Payne).
Cons: There's a spineless, sex-crazed dweeb for a leader. Constant threats from Negan and the Saviors because the spineless, sex-crazed dweeb leader is too craven to do anything but bend over for Negan. General sense of wussiness, probably because of the spineless, sex-crazed leader. Gregory.
The all-female community was stumbled upon by Tara (Alanna Masterson), and she was made to promise that she'd never mention it to anyone else, or she'd be killed. They tried to kill her anyway.
Pros: So many guns, and they're kept in an outdoor closet! With its proximity to the water, there's an endless supply of fish. Negan doesn't know this place exists, so he's not sniffing around for free sashimi. It's like adult summer camp for an all-girls school!
Cons: So many NDAs to sign. If you visit, you either stay for life or are executed in the woods like a rabid animal. There are no dudes for balance (which admittedly could be a pro for some). Even if you promise to say nothing, they'll probably try to kill you anyway. Do we really trust the leader — Natania — one but? Long lines for the bathroom.
Nowhere/All By Yourself
Maybe you don't want to live in any of these places, and would rather take your chances on your own. Solo! You against the world! Carol did that, and she's got a sweet pad all to herself!
Pros: Suitors may deliver you fresh pomegranates. No ridiculous forced inter-character drama that lasts for too many episodes because no one else is around. You can use the bathroom and leave the door open or walk into the living room in your underwear (something I know something about because I work from home). No one else's dumb decisions affect your life (you hear that, Gabriel!?!?!?).
Cons: It's so lonely, you might end up painting a face on a pomegranate just to have something to talk to.
The verdict: At this point in time in The Walking Dead, it was a neck-and-neck call between The Kingdom and living all by your lonesome, but we're taking The Kingdom as the place we'd most like to live. To be honest, every other option seemed pretty horrible. What about you?
The Walking Dead returns Sunday, Feb. 12 at 9/8c on AMC.