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29 June 2012

The Walking Dead - Season 2 (2011)

I don’t watch TV much, but when I do it has to be AMC’s Walking Dead.

I’ve previously told you my thoughts on Season 1. Surprisingly, that post has clocked up close to 6000 hits. Now it’s time for Season 2!

AMC's The Walking Dead - Season 2

Yeah, it has taken an age for me to get a chance to watch this. I’ve had to avoid podcasts, filter my reading material and apply all sorts of oddball tactics to try and avoid learning what happens in the show. In the main I succeeded, though unfortunately, a couple of major spoilers did make it through the roadblock. Damn! That’s the price I pay for living in the past.

Mud Zombie
The Walking Dead - Season 2, AMC 2011

When the show first aired in the US at the end of 2011 it is fair to say that there were a lot of excited people waiting for it. Fans were beside themselves and the vibe seemed to be one of Season 2 living up to expectations. But something happened. Somewhere near the middle, people appeared to be switching off. I put it down as an anomaly - a numerical aberration.

I was kind of aware of infighting on set. Perhaps this was to blame? There had been reports of the director Frank Darabont having fired the show’s writing staff including (shock horror!) Robert Kirkman - creator of the original Walking Dead comics. Maybe Frank was unhappy with the scripts they were producing? Actually, I’m still not sure if there’s any truth to that rumour... Kirkman appears to be involved in the production of Season 3... or at least the marketing of it. As a side note: He must be doing alright for himself; One of the original comic artists Tony Moore is suing him for a bigger cut of the profits. That can only mean that there are profits!

Rick Grimes
The Walking Dead - Season 2, AMC 2011

Anyway...

My bro got to Season 2 before me. He knew the rules... We could talk about it, without talking about it. At first he was raving and then to my horror he stopped watching it... somewhere in the middle! All he could tell me was: “It’s just too annoying”. Oh no! On the bright side, he’d started reading the comics somewhere about the same time and he’s kept up that subscription. His verdict is that the comics are worth the money and better than the series. Hmmm.

Shane Walsh
The Walking Dead - Season 2, AMC 2011

None of this put me off sitting down to watch Season 2; I just didn’t have very high expectations

Season 2 starts where Season 1 left off. My memory of Season 1 is starting to fade. The group have left the mistake that was the CDC building and are on the road to somewhere else. I think it is Atlanta, but it really doesn’t matter, they don’t get that far down the road. Don’t worry: I won’t spoil any of the series for you in this review, but of course that means I’m going to be limited in what I can say.

Barn Zombie
The Walking Dead - Season 2, AMC 2011

The zombies are better looking than in Season 1. I have a couple of favourites, but be sure to keep and eye out for “the well zombie”. What a fantastic scene! I loved it. The show is managing to keep the tension up whenever our undead kindred are on screen. They’re ugly and deadly and we’re reminded of this regularly in the show. I’ve heard comments along the lines of the show having turned into a drama with zombies, rather than an out-and-out zombie show. I don’t agree with this statement. There are times in the show where the zombies are few and far between, but there needs to be some story at play here, or else it’s going to get very boring very quickly.

Hey ho the gang's all here...
The Walking Dead - Season 2, AMC 2011

I think that the main complaint I have with Season 2 is with the characters. Pretty much every single character with the exception of the wonderful Daryl (Norman Reedus) and possibly Glenn (Steve Yeun) managed to get on my nerves. Some of this was down to some over-the-top acting (pay heed Andrew Lincoln!) but most was due to the writing. Even Season 1’s voice of reason Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) was starting to get on my tits with his holier than thou drivel. The worst offenders were Rick’s wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and child Carl (Chandler Riggs). It may sound terrible, but I found myself hoping that they were going to be next to get bitten!

There is an undercurrent of Religion in Season 2. I picked up on it. I know that other people have too. I didn’t think that it was too much or that it took over. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either; It all seemed to have its place and just when it might have got annoying it was throttled. Let’s move on...

Always go for the head!
The Walking Dead - Season 2, AMC 2011

What did I love?

I loved the zombie bits! You knew I was going to say that didn’t you!

There were some scarier bits in the show than I’ve seen in many a film. The special effects are outstanding. Again - better than I’ve seen in many films. There has obviously been a lot of love and attention applied to getting each zombie just right. They scare me! Whenever they appeared I was on the edge of my seat wondering what the hell was going to happen next. And that brings me onto another point... Season 2 is far from predictable. I haven’t read the comics, but I’m lead to believe that with Season 2 the show has now diverged from the comic in significant ways. There were slow and fast bits, but overall, I was being delivered surprises all throughout. For some of the episodes I was almost grateful for the rolling credits because it meant I could breath again! Ha ha! What a wuss!

The Walking Dead Returns Poster
The Walking Dead - Season 2, AMC 2011

Right - I’ve said far too much already. Let’s round this off.

I'm going to buck the trend and say that I really enjoyed Season 2. In many ways, I enjoyed it far more than Season 1. It's not perfect and it definitely has its ups and downs, but over all it delivers exactly what I was hoping it would. Huzzah!

On the Triple-B I’m going to wish that all 8 of my principal characters were dead... but surely that would mean an end to the show! Maybe not...

Roll on Season 3!





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