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Apart From a Few Speedbumps, a Disappointing Season Compared to the First.
on 20 November 2013
The first sign that not all may be well for The Walking Dead Season 2, is the amount of episodes there are. The first contained 6, this one contains 13. Quantity over quality you think... And the end result may favour that theory.
Season 2 for the most part concentrates on character development- I'm fine with that, but to do that almost over 13 epsiodes can be quite taxing. Also to do this you need an insanely great writing team. And that isn't always the case here. The middle of the season is where things crack up for me and what stops this season achieving at least four stars. Characters just argue, and debate and then argue. And it just becomes tiring. No one can do anything without it being debated to death. And then Season 2 does what Season 1 very much threatened- it brings us Issues. Oh, my the I word. I hate issues. Yes we all have them, but I don't like paying good money to be blundered by them, episode by episode.
What is also unforgivable is the 6 episode search for Carol's missing girl. It gets to the point where you hope she is just found dead, that sounds terrible until you watch Season 2. But really the season is all about character development. Main guy Rick Grimes finally dumps his silly sheriff uniform and becomes part of the team. He becomes quite likeable too. Manning up and becoming more agressive, a little less human as he can see that his group no matter how long they survive don't really have much of a future. His wife, Lori I couldn't get on with in Season 1. But she's given a better script here, and isn't too bad. Shane the crazy one- just goes more insane as the show goes on. His face drooping for the entire season. He does give the show its edge though- as he turns from cop to psychopath.
Glenn the Korean kid, goes from kid to adult here. I think his character is developed fairly well, though I could have done without the whole virgin first timer thing. That may well just be my age. Daryl is probably my favourite character, the don't give a crap attitude, but heart of gold in there somewhere, I like that. He's like if you had Snake Plissken in that group. Dale questions everything, but its good to throw an old wise guy in there. T Dog I can't get on with. Don't know what it is, but it may just be that he is hardly given any lines, and that my friends may not bode well for the future.
So the team now reside on a farm, and I'm sorry but farms are boring, and they spend the entire season here- and that for me is the biggest problem- the location. It screams budget cuts. And talking about budget cuts, Frank Darabont was kicked out mid season for Glen Mazzara, and it seemed that this was total suicide. However, however, Mazzara came in and it must be said spiced the show up. For the final four episodes are very good, with the final two being excellent, on a par with Season 1 anyway.
There are of course many plus points about Season 2. Some of the dialogue delieverd is good- and of course lets talk about the zombies. First hats off to Greg Nicotero and Berger, the fx is beautiful and the gore really is over the top violent at times. I read a review here that said, you don't have to like zombies to like The Walking Dead, but the truth is, you do have to like horror to like The Walking Dead. Even if you're just a passing fan- you need to be able to take the squeamish stuff in to enjoy the 'drama'. The gore it must be said is violently very good.
Aside from that, The Walking Dead is able to stick in your head days after watching it. I swear watch an episode in the morning and go out to grab a paper and you will be looking at the odd person in the street as if they are a zombie.
Season 2 reveals some things, which are nice, and a few main characters are killed off. Not all is wrong with the best piece of zombie footage this side of Romero's Day of the Dead. But one hopes that the show doesn't become too stale. Zombies and killings every few minutes are clearly not needed to make the show a success, but a sense of flow, and location most certaintly are. To conclude, Season 2 is not a failure, it passes the test just, but testing it was.