In a small town in Georgia, Sheriff Deputy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), is seriously injured during a shoot out with bandits. He's soon hospitalized and eventually slips into a coma. He reawakens and finds his town completely out of order from what he remembers, with scores of dead bodies wrapped in white sheets, plus the hospital appearing as if a small war was waged. He encounters a father and son who explains to him that the dead has risen, and they're eating the living. Grimes returns to his home to find his wife and son gone, but has faith that they're still alive. He journeys to Atlanta in hopes of finding them.
Rick and his group of survivors traveled to the CDC in Atlanta following rumors of the place being a safe haven. They find themselves having to escape after Dr. Jenner (Noah Emmerich) attempts to "bring them peace". They soon end up on an abandoned highway, and one of their number attempts to flee some zombies only to end up missing, this causes Rick and the others to begin a search for the person. -summary
After the first season pretty much knocked me out of my socks with how well it was assembled. I came into this second season with very high expectations and once again I been left pretty satisfied. The Walking Dead Season Two continues to deliver with top notch characterization, awesome action and gore scenes, with stellar acting to go along with it. However, the one element that manages to stick with me the most is tonal consistency. Far too many works of the zombie genre resort to mindless acts of comedy or characters too stupid to care about. Therefore, I find it quite refreshing to come into anything zombie related that completely leaves out the bullsh*t.
Directed by Ernest Dickerson, The Walking Dead Season Two is spread across 13 episodes. There are a few key events to take place before the actual plot begins to go somewhere. The groups search for the missing person leads them to a secluded farm ran by a man named Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) and several family members. This portion of the story takes up a bulk of the season but so much takes place here.
The characters are indeed the be all, end all. The show uses them to exercise all of its themes, with morality being the most notable. They are put through many trials, and this also includes the power struggle between Rick and his best friend Shane (Jon Bernthal). I mainly enjoy how the show manages to pull emotional strings; it can force the viewer to ponder being in the characters positions, and eventually lead to choosing a side. Since my personality is more towards Shane when looking at their struggle for survival, of course, I leaned towards him which meant I found Shane more interesting than Rick. What can I say? I believe in survival of the fittest even right now, and there's no zombie hell around me.
The rest of the cast are developed very well, which is actually a good thing because it enhances the story a great deal. I really didn't want to see anyone die, but when certain characters did go down, I actually felt that loss. That's what good character development can do. Now there are characters that can come off annoying, thankfully there was no one I wanted to put the squeeze to with the power of a boa.
I can't really say anything negative about the acting, since everyone pretty much turned in solid performances. The show is very heavy on drama with plenty of character interactions, but when the action comes around, damn does it deliver. The special effects for the gore can be gruesome. The zombies indeed grab themselves some mouthfuls of face, ear, and pieces of shoulder, I mean wow, they seem to enjoy their meals. And our heroes, they manage to dish out some fiery hell vengeance against these walking bear traps. I can't imagine gore hounds coming away disappointed. There are also some non graphic sex scenes. Nothing is actually shown but you know for a fact something happened.
The production team also do a great job with the set pieces. This place really does look like hell on Earth, with the heavy devastation across the highway they travel. I also enjoyed their use of lighting on some sets, in this case a ran down bar. The dim-light used here worked very well in making this segment very atmospheric. It was dark, creepy, and it works surprisingly well given that the enemies at this point were living humans with guns. The make up for the zombies is among the best I seen. They look like true monsters of the undead, and they aren't the least bit comical. Plus the BGM works well with the personality of the show. There's a really good balance of style and substance to be found here.
If I can say the show has any flaws, besides it being very predictable on some occasions, it would be that it can be too drama-heavy. This wasn't much of a problem for me since I cared so much for the characters. I can imagine this bothering the action crowd a lot though. I'm also a little unsure with the direction the show is taking. The deaths of some characters and one new story element can probably cause problems later on, but this is more speculation from me than anything else. One thing is for sure, I am very curious to see what happens next.
To be straight up though; if you're sick and tired of these ridiculous zombie comedies, with the undead riding on skateboards or something equally retarded. Then give this show a chance if you haven't already; it's very strong on plot, character depth, suspense, and action, that can keep you entertained for the 578 minute run time. The set also has extras on the fourth disk, which consist of featurettes on production with interviews by the production team and cast. But the show left such a lasting impression on me I didn't really get into this. I can imagine others who are in this type of thing enjoying it more.
Honestly, while I liked the first season of this AMC series, I wasn't as impressed with it as most folks. I know, this probably stems from the fact that I have read the comic series from issue # 1 up to the current issues, but I was a little saddened with the serving of the usual staples after a strong pilot episode. I feel that it had diverted heavily from the themes of the source material, but the season was better than most zombie movies these days anyway.... Well, … more