Remember how I said I was going to drop the occasional post onto the blog that talked about things other than books and reading from time to time? Well, this is one of those, and oddly enough it looks like when this happens it will probably happen on Wednesdays given how I’ve got the rest of my regular stuff scheduled. Fun, eh?
I realize that The Walking Dead just began its third season on AMC a few weeks ago, but I watched the first season on Netflix and was waiting for the second season to arrive on there as well so I could watch it. I’m fairly well caught up with season three at this point from watching the premiere on amctv.com and then following the detailed recaps of the episodes that have followed, but I wanted to take a minute and talk about what I thought of the second season because I watched all if it in about five days.
The first thing I should make apparent is that I am not a zombie show regular. All while growing up my parents kept us pretty secluded from anything in the horror genre and so even to this day I’ve can probably count the number of horror type movies I’ve seen on a single hand. It’s just not usually my type of thing, but something is different about this show compared to those other movies. Sure, The Walking Dead is full of zombies, lots and lots of zombies actually, but the show is not about them, it’s about the rest of humanity. That makes all the difference in the world to me personally.
Zombies are in every single episode of this show, but not always are they eating the faces off of cast members. Sometimes they are merely seen from the distance. In the second season I noticed this happening a lot more often that the cast would deal with a minor zombie situation with nobody being in any real imminent danger, but then the rest of the episode dealt with the toll living in a zombie-filled world was taking on the survivors. It was a pretty dramatic shift from the first season which was packed with action, intrigue, and suspense. In this season I felt that for the first eight or nine episodes I was almost watching a soap opera to a certain extent. It was clear that the writers/producers were trying to add a lot of depth to the various characters, but in the end it just seemed a little forced.
Part of the reason it felt so forced was because it got a little repetitive for my taste. With everyone centralized on the farm there was so little interaction with the outside world that the story lines seemed to all roll into one back and forth over and over again. It wasn’t until the final four or five episodes when things really got moving. At that point two main cast members are killed, another is separated from the group, and the remaining group members are tossed into chaos. Even the “leader,” Rick has a pretty major psychotic rip as a result of the last couple of episodes. It was like halfway through the writers realized, “Well, this ain’t working,” and then went back to the winning formula from the first season. I was happy with that change, let me tell you.
From what little I’ve seen in the third season (airing now), I think I’m going to like where the show is going. I’m glad they tried to shift tones and realized it wasn’t going to work so quickly so they could get back to putting out a show that I really, really like despite the fact that there are few people I know personally who could handle the intensity. If you are on the fence about watching The Walking Dead then I recommend you give the first season a try to see what you think. It’s only 6 episodes and you’ll know by the time its done if the show is for you or not. If it turns out you like it, slog through the first half of season two to get to the juicy ending. It’s worth it in the end.