Haunted Honeymoon

TV Review: The Walking Dead (TV Series) (Season 2) (2011-2012)

SYNOPSIS:

The Walking Dead tells the story of life following a zombie apocalypse. It follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, traveling in search of a safe and secure home. The world has changed and they need to figure out how to survive it. But they need to figure out how to survive one another.

In Season 2 Rick Grimes leads the group of survivors, Shane, Lori, Carl, Dale, Andrea, Glenn, Carol, Sophia, T-dog and Daryl, out of Atlanta in search of another safe place to call home. Along the way they encounter more surprises and tragedies that change the dynamics of the group more than ever before. They meet new survivors and encounter more challenges. The decisions they make seal their fate with themselves and each other.  Nothing will ever be the same.

REVIEW:

The Walking Dead is back with more gore, more twists and turns, more character deaths, and more surprises than the first season. The creators behind season one were back but not without complications. At first the rumor mill was amok with reports that Frank Darabont let the entire writing staff go. These rumors went unfounded as Robert Kirkman, the creator of the comics, stepped in to comment that the changing of the writers would not affect the production of the show. Glen Mazzara, executive producer and writer, put together a staff of five more writers for the season. There were also additions to the cast. Scott Wilson would portray Hershel Greene, Lauren Cohan was cast as his daughter Maggie, Pruitt Taylor Vince as Hershel’s ranch hand Otis, and Michael Zegen as a man named Randall.  In July 2011 showrunner Frank Darabont stepped down from his position appointing executive producer Glen Mazzara as the new showrunner. The reasons why are still a bit unclear.

The first episode entitled “What Lies Ahead” premiered in an extended 90 minute time slot, similar to the pilot episode, to 7.26 million viewers. After the first seven episodes aired, the series went on a hiatus, and returned on February 12, 2012, with the final six episodes of the season airing until its conclusion on March 18, 2012. The success of the show has lead to a short web series called, “Torn Apart.” The web series followed the life of the famous walker known as “bicycle girl”, Hannah, before the outbreak occurred. The web series is directed by special effects makeup artist and co-executive producer Greg Nicotero.

This season picks up where we last left off. Rick and the rest of the group are leaving the CDC in search of somewhere safer, somewhere there may be other survivors, more weapons, somewhere where people might have a clue as to what happened to the world. Soon the dynamic of the group is disturbed. The events that follow challenge Rick Grimes as a leader of this group. This season right away starts to ask the viewer questions. What would you do in this situation? How would you cope? What kind of survivor would you be, a team player or someone who is more comfortable being solo? We also start to question these characters. How could Shane do that? What is going on with Andrea? Why isn’t anyone looking after Carl? Will they survive?

The themes remain the same from the first season as we meet new characters on Hershel’s farm. How will these characters survive each other? New themes arise in the form of Hershel’s thought process about whether walkers are still people, how can a pregnant woman survive this world, what really are the rules, and we start to see different forms of mental illness.

The pacing  also remains largely the same with season two mostly taking place on Hershel’s farm. This season does slow things down quite a bit though. Many fans were upset about the lengthy focus on the farm. There was very little of interacting with the outside world. Readers of the comics know that most of the integral moments, moments that will most likely be in season 3, happen off the farm.  I felt the season was a bit too slow as well. There was a heightened reaction to walkers but the action is very subdued with most of the episodes dealing with conflicts between the characters and trying to build up the story. The walkers are used more as a catalyst in the background while viewers become attached to the characters. Many times we forget there is even a threat of walkers close by until it is too late. While this strategy is used here, it has become much more toned down until the episodes leading up to the finale. Showrunner and executive producer and writer Glenn Mazzara was quoted as saying in season 2 the walkers are taking over more than ever before. While this might be true to the story, you really didn’t see many of them until the final episodes of the season.

The episodes that lead up to the finale see several characters bite the dust, there is an internal power struggle, and the biggest surprise of them all is a tiny little secret that changes everything. In terms of how season 2 ties in with the comics, there are similarities but mostly events are happening in a way that you would not expect. To me this leads to a fresh new take on the series as a whole. Overall season 2 starts out as a slow build up with a very strong ending. Fans of the series should pick up the DVD or Blu-ray when it hits store shelves August 28, 2012 to add it to their collection. Season 3 is shaping up to be much stronger in terms of content but season 2 is when it all begins. Everything is changing. How would you survive?

The 13 episode list is as follows for the season: “What Lies Ahead,” “Bloodletting,” “Save the Last One,” “Cherokee Rose,” “Chupacabra,” “Secrets,” “Pretty Much Dead Already,” “Nebraska,” “Triggerfinger,” “18 Miles Out,” “Judge, Jury, Executioner,” “Better Angels,” and “Beside the Dying Fire.”

Bluray Extras

Pilot Episode: The B&W Version
Audio Commentaries On All 6 episodes
We Are The Walking Dead
Bring Out The Dead: KNB And The Art of Making Zombies
Digital Decay: The VFX of The Walking Dead
No More Room in Hell: The Walking Dead
Phenomenon Adapting The Dead
Killer Conversations: Frank Darabont & Greg Nicotero

Also Included:

The Making of The Walking Dead
Inside The Walking Dead: Episodes 1 – 6
A Sneak Peek with Robert Kirkman
Behind The Scenes Zombie Make-Up Tips
Convention
Panel with the Producers
The Walking Dead Trailer
Extra Footage (Zombie
School, Bicycle Girl, On the Set with Robert Kirkman, Hanging with Steven Yeun,
Inside Dale’s RV, and On Set With Andrew Lincoln)

As always this bluray release comes to you per the fine folks at AMC and Anchor Bay Entertainment – Available now!

The Walking Dead (TV Series) (Season 2) (2011-2012)

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About Stephie

I am a former Marvel Entertainment web-editorial Intern, Writer, strange girl, movie lover, gamer and cat lady. I write reviews for another horror website, macabremansion.com. I'm also a staff writer for a weekly northern NJ newspaper where I cover two municipalities and school districts. Previously I covered events for eventsnetwork.com and freelanced for a weekly NJ newspaper. I am intrigued by international horror, The Twilight Zone, The Doctor, zombies, psychological thrillers, science fiction and fantasy. I am also occasionally a photographer and an art and music enthusiast. I love wookies, the TARDIS, lady GaGa, hello kitty, legos, cartoons & anime, sushi, sleep, halloween, and comics/graphic novels & books... Follow my quirky ramblings @: twitter.com/elusiveillusion

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