Lenn, I hear what you're saying, but I just don't consider it nitpicking when the writers are so obviously being lazy and taking shortcuts. It too often looks patchy and thrown together as if the writer's didn't give a **** about what the viewers might think. For that reason I just can't invest myself in the characters as deeply as I'd like. I've been watching this series from the beginning, (unlike Fear the Walking Dead which I bailed on pretty early), so I do like it at some level. Interesting that you bring up Breaking Bad, another fictional series, which I would agree is one of the, if not the, best series ever. But even though that show often put the characters in quite unbelievable situations, I cared more about it, as well as the characters. I think it's because the show was so well written, and the acting so top notch, that I became emotionally invested in almost every character, every plot twist. That show never wasted anything...dialog, acting, plot, color/shading, sound, etc. Everything was perfectly thought out. Perhaps too high a standard by which to compare other shows, (except maybe Better Call Saul ). I guess bottom line, I loved Breaking Bad, I enjoy The Walking Dead when it's at its best, but all too often I do get frustrated when when I see so many missed opportunities along the way. I keep watching though.
I've never read the comic so I wouldn't know how this show is tied into it. Perhaps that is why things don't seem to fit well, are incomplete or fail to make sense. It's almost as if they know where they want to get to in a conclusion and then force things into the package to get there. It makes no logical sense that these groups so fragmented and enigmatic will be able to pull together to take down a fairly well organized machine. It looks as though they will do it by script and forced into a package to get it done. It's a matter of suspending reality further to continue to enjoy the show.
I think people watch this show for different reasons. Someone added me to a very large Facebook group called the Talking Dead Club with over 53,000 members. Some watch it for the gore, some for the action, some because of their love for the characters and watch it for the personal storyline and the character development. It's about the human struggle and man's inhumanity against man in an outrageous setting where law and rules don't exist so everyone has to figure out and then redefine who they are and how they decide to live life on their terms.
After this season's opening premier there was a drop in the ratings and the producers and writers reacted with a reversal from the direction they were taking things. Fans were depressed and they felt they had to tone it down. I think it's this and trying to stay somewhat close to the comic line has resulted in some questionable writing. The actors and actresses and the special effects/stunt and makeup team are holding the show together right now. As I see it.
I think they failed to get into the storyline of some of these characters and groups to bring them closer to the plot. More flashbacks into how they were started or in previous lives. All these groups are so close in proximity with a limited amount of supplies feeding off each other just doesn't seem believable that it took so long to discover each other. None of these groups have formed any type of organized government with a constitution and laws and a plan for the future. That perhaps would kill the show and 53,000 people wouldn't be posting on a Facebook group about who should die first or who you hate more or who's group you would join or if Michonne and Rick make a good couple. Some of these people are outrageous fanatics.
The more reasonable fans like us seem to watch the show because of a connection to the characters. Maybe that's why you still hang in there even though you feel the show insults your intelligence. Sorry for the long post and the rambling.