There are things that those of us at The Throwdown are big fans of, and many things we are not. However, those things we enjoy, we don’t just love blindly and without objectivity. We are not simple fanboys who lap up anything that is thrown at us from the tv shows, music, and movies that we like. If there is something going wrong with something we enjoy, we are going to point it out, no holds barred. With that being said I begin my views on the first half of the second season of The Walking Dead.
It goes without saying that those of us at The Throwdown waited anxiously for months for the beginning of season two of The Walking Dead to begin. There was plenty of speculation between JB and myself as to how this season was going to go. Upon viewing the first episode, especially the nail-biting highway scene with the zombie herd, it was needless to say that we were more than excited for what the first half of season two would offer. Yes, dear reader, thanks to yours truly doing a little research prior to the beginning of the current season, we were fortunate enough to realize that the season would be divided in half. While I understand that by doing a split season you can hit Fall and Spring sweeps, it didn’t bode well with my need for what had become my Walking Dead fix. Having viewed the first half of The Walking Dead’s sophomore’s effort, however, I think I can wait and hope for some improvements.
Yes, the first episode was exciting, but what has followed has turned into lumbering, stagnant series that is very light on zombie action. It was rumored that part of Frank Darabont’s departure was due to budget cuts imposed by the network. Judging by the need to establish too many and, quite frankly, unnecessary love interests, I would say that rumor has merit. Yes, you could make the argument that there is more of an emphasis on character development, but you would be dead wrong (pun intended). Ok, Shane may be going crazy, Andrea is an idiot, and Daryl kicks ass. However, the Sophia plot line, the zombie farm, and Lori’s pregnancy have become tedious and should have been wrapped up by episode three or four at most. Don’t even get me started on the whole Merle returning as merely a “vision” thing. There have been some cool and disturbing moments in season two, but like baseball, there has been a lot of down time in between. The second to last episode of this first half was, by far, the worst as it was more preachy than a Southern Baptist tent revival. The first season developed more character traits, plus had good zombie action, than season two has done in the same amount of time.
Ok, so before I come off as totally hating this second season (which I don’t, but I can’t let it slide without some criticism), I’ll speak of some of its strengths. The one thing that season two has done well, as in season one, is to provide good flashbacks at appropriate times to further deepen the back story. I have also found myself debating whether Shane’s actions are that of a man gone mad or as a realist in a world gone to hell; exemplifying Darwin’s principle of survival of the fittest. Though, when he threatened Dale, whom I consider the Yoda of the group, I wasn’t too happy. This season has done well at making none of the characters flawless, giving each a weakness that threatens to take them all down. Another thing that has been executed well, one thing that seems to be lost in most television series, is a great use of a cliffhanger. Finally, I would be greatly remiss if I left out one of the greatest aspects of season two: incredible side boob action during the love scene in the pharmacy between Glenn and Maggie that is more than worthy of a Mr. Skin award. You didn’t think I was gonna be completely serious on this one, did you? Bwahahahaha!!
Now that I’ve expounded on all that I like and don’t like about season two, let’s get to the nitty-gritty of the mid-season finale. Speaking of weaknesses, Jesus, where on the road did Rick lose his balls? My god, you have a barn full of walkers and you want to leave it alone?!? In the words of JB: “Just. Fucking. Leave.” Herschel is an asshole and Rick isn’t too far behind him. Helping Herschel to save walkers?!? At this point, I’m hoping Bruce Campbell shows up and uses his chainsaw hand to cut to the chase. So far the only thing Big Angry has seen is “Days of Our Lives” with the occasional, and I mean very occasional, zombie. Shit, the soap opera “Passions” was better and has more supernatural in it than what this once-great series has become. Wow, I was hoping for so much more out of a finale, but at the 36 minute mark, I’m left feeling, well, underwhelmed to say the least. Now, that it’s finished, really? Rick grows his balls in the last-minute of the show and the public is supposed to be impressed? If anything, as crazy as Shane is, he was right. Yes, in a normal world Shane is a crazy asshole. In a zombie apocalypse, he’s a survivor. I think I can say with good confidence that, after reading the script for season two, Frank Darabont laughed his ass off all the way out of AMC’s office. Good call on his part. Who would want their name tied to what has become a slow-moving soap opera that even Susan Lucci wouldn’t even sign on to?
I had such high hopes…
This is Big Angry, hoping to God they move this shit along in February.