Monday, 15 November 2010

The Walking Dead part deux: Kill them all Rick

Two posts in a row about the same thing? This can't be healthy. But the second episode of The Walking Dead raises a lot of questions. I wrote last week that the first episode was a 'very promising start'. And it was. Atmospheric, creepy, poignant. The second episode attempts to undo all that good work. It seems like a different show. We're introduced to a bunch of new characters who are, to put it softly, annoying. Officer Rick is a nice guy, wandering around the south looking for his family. But then he runs into these idiots. The first one he meets encourages him to get out of his 'cosy' tank and run around shooting things. Why is this a good idea? He's in a tank. But never mind, at least he gets to be in peril. After that he becomes stuck in a building with at least five new people. These, so far, seem like stereotypical flat characters, not helped by some clunky writing and acting. In some cases the faults are easy to spot: the racist, the slightly nerdy one. Others are harder to put your finger on, they're just a bit off. Like caricatures. It doesn't help that they seem to find the whole situation a bit amusing, like they're playing out some action film fantasy. Think back to the first episode and this all seems ridiculous. Remember that man's attempt to 'put down' his zombie wife, and his son who had to 'cry into the pillow'. Those seemed like real people. From a different show. Now we have characters wandering around in zombie guts to blend in with the undead, and when it starts raining someone puts their hand out and says 'Oh man'. Yes, it is unfortunate that it's raining and you're all going to die, now speak properly.

Maybe I'm being a bit mean. It's only one episode after all. But there was so much promise. Now I can't wait for this lot to meet the gruesome deaths they deserve. Poor Rick comes off mostly untarnished. I just wish he had something to look forward too. Now his wife and best friend are having sex in the forest there can't be much to smile about. Why did he marry this stroppy woman? It's a zombie apocalypse, don't have a pout. Kill them all Rick. Kill them and find another horse to ride. You used to be so much fun.


  1. Episode two felt like a half-step back, but then that pilot was so very stacked that there's no way it wouldn't feel that way.

    I was OK with the characters he met, especially since they didn't spend an entire act explaining to Rick how this all happened. It was "Hey you're new here - you better keep up with us or we'll all be in deep shit".

    'Course it was all worth it for the sight of survivors camoflauging themselves from the zombies' sense of smell - don't think I've ever seen THAT before.

    When are you gonna write about episode 3?

  2. Most films/TV series centered on a disaster of some sort need to focus primarily on how the different characters and their various ideologies deal with the aftermath and interact with one another, but unfortunately most of the time the only way they can think of to breed conflict is by turning characters into extreme stereotypes. It’s damn lazy writing! I hope things improve. Like you said, the first episode was far more real.

    On another note, I have a problem with this wife. Just how long was the hubby in the hospital – a couple of weeks? Would you instantly believe the love of your life was dead without proof? Even if she could be 100% sure, one would think she’d spend a little time mourning instead of instantly jumping the bones of the nearest available guy.

  3. Did you not watch the episode last night? Many of these characters I thought were flat last week too are much better now.

  4. I'm in the UK, so a week behind.

    I'll definitely keep watching it. Despite the annoyances there's bound to be some zombie-related fun. And I'm sure some of these characters just got off to a bad start. Apart from Rick's wife.

    I've also just learned that there's a planned second season. I was under the impression that this was one-off drama. We'll see how it goes.

  5. I agree this episode was a bit of a back step but they probably felt the need to punch up the action a tad. Which left little to no time for anything more than cliched new characters. I also have an issue with the timeline and how quickly the wife jumped onto the nearest bloke with a badge - or can we assume that it was an affair that started pre-zombie infestation?