10. Season Seven
Season seven is The Walking Dead at its most depressing and relentlessly bleak, opening with the cruel deaths of Glenn and Abraham and piling on the remorseless tragedy of the Survivors' predicament with every episode that follows.
Largely concerned with the pitiless, bat-wielding megalomaniac Negan, the season throws its characters to the wolves, hitting them with endless trauma until they finally snap and conspire to fight back. It makes for hard viewing, slipping often into outright torture porn, but it has some virtues.
With Andrew Lincoln and Jeffrey Dean Morgan on incredibly fine form and its slow-burning intensity, season seven at least gives itself time to focus on the growth of its characters. Rick, Carl, Michonne and Maggie in particular shine as they battle their grief and anger, and Negan (in small doses) makes for an entertaining threat.
Unfortunately, the flaws are too many. The poor special effects, Carol and Morgan's dull feud, the surreal introduction of Ezekiel and his tiger, Daryl's imprisonment, the icy cold brutality -- it's all too much to bear, existing to shock and little more.