I recently got caught up on the Walking Dead now that the second season went on Netflix and the premiere of the third. Friends of mine have sung the show’s praises and carried on about the lethality involved between likeable characters and the murderous plot.
I am not impressed. Sorry.
I fully intend to complete the rest of this review with FULL SPOILERS, just so you know. However, I have to forewarn that I am doing something that breaks one of my own cardinal rules – I have no knowledge, absolute zero, of the Walking Dead comic/graphic novels. Please pardon this transgression.
I’m disappointed. Perhaps the show had been built up, but the show falls flat on several points for me. Now that there’s been a separation between the group with Rick and Andrea, the writing is also separated between melodrama and on-the-nose scripting.
Anytime Lori is onscreen, I’m finding the show nearly unwatchable. The re-hashing of her decision to cohabitate with Shane after the outbreak was overdone too many times, plus her character is unpleasant down to the core. People – better yet CHARACTERS – do forgive and forget, even and especially during trying circumstances. I think there were three different sets of conversations where the topic was broached between Rick & Lori and resolved. Yet, this is still a sore source that’s keeping these characters from being a happy family unit. Its poor and unrealistic characterization. Every time Lori & Rick are onscreen now, there’s the same stinkface on each of their mugs. Drawing out this mistake is a poor choice and uninteresting. THAT’s a television sin.
The new offshoot with Andrea is interesting, especially the character of Michonne adds a mysterious element the show needs. I loved the zombie pets she carried around with her, but that device deserved another display of how that tactic worked amongst a herd. Wouldn’t you rather have seen Michonne and Andrea creeping across a meadow with the zombie pets serving as a camo/smoke screen – the intensity of terror and the anticipation of getting caught or discovered by a particularly disgusting deadhead than the wasted potential the most current displayed by having those two get decapitated with very little reason as to why they became agitated and started to give away the ladies’ position?
Also, the new “bad guy” Governor is full of tired writing and characterization. Yes, we get it. He’s a power-hungry redneck despot that shouldn’t be trusted. Do we need to see him ambiguously staring at an aquarium collection of zedheads? Do we need to have the same conversation three times where the “imprisoned” ladies ask for their weapons with a curt response that asks them to stay? Its all too on-the-nose, we get the point already, we didn’t trust the guy before we saw him do really awful things.
The show does do things well on the visual spectrum. All of the dead look fantastic. Their world looks and feels like a post-apocalyptic Georgia. With every and any scene, there is a solid amount of tension that zombies are somewhere out there and could show up to interrupt at any time. Those are solid. I’d say the show does the undead proud.
The living, however, are horrific. Rick’s struggle between good and right was getting tired towards the end of last season, but his crossover to being exactly like Shane was both predictable and stupid. I hate Lori, let me say that again. Dale was the heart and soul of the group and his death was important, but the situations with him & Andrea and Rick, Shane & Lori pushed the show beyond drama to melodrama and approaching soap opera.
I plan on continuing along, but the world of the Walking Dead needs some new blood. There’s loads of potential there – everything going on within the prison can be great – but I fear that the show will get bogged down in pissing match squabbles based on human inadequacies. If the zombies win, from what I’ve seen so far, that’s really the best outcome imaginable.