The Return of The Walking Dead
Last night, The Walking Dead returned for the second half of its second season. Strangely, I felt rather underwhelmed by “Nebraska.” So, I’ll give a brief review and then discuss a few other things.
I think my biggest concern is that the narrative has slowed to a crawl over the course of the second season. The first season, having only six episodes, progressed along a very quick and interesting story arc with the climax at the CDC. But the second half, having double the number of episodes, has more time to focus on the characters.
Now, focusing on the characters is not a bad thing, in fact it is a very good thing. But, the problem is that so much character development is retrograded then repeated. I understand that these characters are emotional wrecks with several of them approaching sociopathy. That said, do we really need more episodes of Rick et al. repeating the same emotional arcs and never quite getting anywhere?
And speaking of repetition, how many missing group member arcs is this?
Besides the general lack of progress in the episode, the killing of the two douche bags comes off as a little problematic. Yes, they were douche bags and they were more than likely going to bleed Hershel and Rick dry had they and their group been allowed in. But did he really have to kill them? Yes, it makes Rick more and more the man he becomes in the comics, but killing them just comes off as stupid. Such is drama, however, that Rick’s actions can be milked for the rest of the season, most likely (and result in the expulsion from the farm).
Maybe my view is colored by the fact that I watched Shameless immediately after The Walking Dead. I mean Grammy Gallagher was a complete hoot during that episode. And so much progression takes place in each episode among so many different characters. So maybe I’m enjoying one less because the other one is so good?
I mean, I still enjoy The Walking Dead immensely, but it is going through growing pains. This situation reminds me of Battlestar Galactica where the first and second seasons were phenomenal (baring the second season finale), the third season was okay, and the fourth season was a serious let down. I hope that The Walking Dead can maintain itself for however many seasons it finally has, but often the first few seasons are markedly stronger than later ones.
Postscript: It seems that Kirkman is being sued by Moore according to Comic Mix. What effect this has on the series (both television and comic) remains to be seen. However, it does raise questions for me about entering the comics industry.