Not being terribly familiar with The Walking Dead comics before the series debuted, I was a little disappointed to find out the show - like the comics - was not focused as much on the zombies as it was on the survivors. But now I know, and I have come to like the characters and become invested in their storylines. I know what to expect from the series - yet the first couple episodes of season two exceeded all expectations.
Knowing what to expect from the upcoming premiere of season two of The Walking Dead, and having seen the first two episodes, I was completely enthralled. Season two is off to a smashing start. Having decided that Atlanta has nothing left to offer our survivors, they head off in an attempt to find greener pastures (Yes, those greener pastures end up being Herschel's farm). Their numbers have dwindled; in case you lost count, we are down to: Rick, Lori, Carl, Shane, Darryl, Dale, Glen, T-Dog, Andrea, Carol, and Sophia. There is a lot of strife among the survivors - chalk it up to "cabin fever." You can feel the tensions bubbling just under the surface that will surely lead to a blow-out or two later on in the season.
Let's talk about the zombies. They are as gruesome and horrifying as ever. In the first episode, the survivors encounter a massive herd of zombies - we are talking hundreds. The ensuing 20 minutes or so are breathtakingly tense and is one of the greatest sequences I've ever seen on television. Seriously. The walkers must have been tired out after that first episode because they are virtually absent from the second - but you don't miss them.
The "theme" of this season seems to be a focus on the non-zom dangers the new world offers. The survivors seem to have done a good job adapting to life with zombies. But now they seem to face more "everyday" dangers: lost children, friendly fire, suicide, infections. These traumas take on a new urgency in the new world order.
There doesn't seem to be any new twists or turns in the new season (at least not yet), but that doesn't really matter. The Walking Dead isn't about soapy storytelling; it is about ordinary characters in extraordinary circumstances. With more character depth and less of a need to "explain" the situation, fans will not be disappointed.
The Walking Dead premieres Sunday, October 16th on AMC.