AMC may have hit the jackpot with its new show, The Walking Dead. After garnering around 5 million viewers on Halloween, the cable network has been trying pretty damn hard to spread the word about it’s new zombie series. They even went as far as putting a countdown for the new episode up on Sunday; I don’t remember if there was a countdown for the pilot, I don’t think that there was one. Considering that this is a show with R-rated gore and other adult situations, that is pretty darn impressive.
But how exactly was the second episode of this new show? If you haven’t already gotten it from the picture above, the newest Walking Dead installment was just as epic as the first, and I have plenty of things to praise and rant on after the jump.
[Yes, there are spoilers. You have been warned.]
- Original Storylines(!): I was just about to say that AMC wasn’t exactly living up to its “Telling the best original stories” line with The Walking Dead, but this episode definitely changed my view on that very quickly. Looking back on the comic, while 99% of the plot points have been in the TV adaptation, the presentation at times has been very different. For instance, in the comic, Rick is saved by Glenn and Glenn only after the ambush in Atlanta, but the guys behind the camera had other ideas, and they look to make some big changes for the foreseeable future of the show. Those changes are the addition of four original characters that join Glenn and Andrea to rescue Rick. This turned what was at the most 10 pages of comic book into a 40 minutes of great television, including a subplot involving a hillbilly that wastes ammo and calls one of the other survivors the N-word, resulting in his abandonment, which appears to play a big part in the next episode. While some fanboys may have complained over the new direction, I embraced it. Definitely a good move to make.
- T-Dogg and Glenn: Sorry to those of you wanting more Lennie James, but he probably won’t be showing up again any time soon. Instead, we were introduced to an assortment of new characters that will play big roles in the show. All of the actors did a fine job (And damn, Jeffery DeMunn looks exactly like Dale from the comic), but special shoutouts go to Steven Yeun and IronE (No spelling error there, I swear) Singleton, the guys playing Glenn and T-Dog, respectively. Yeun played Glenn’s role just like the character early in the graphic novel series: Cocky, humerous, and brave to the point of stupidity. As for T-Dog, I just enjoyed the character, who is one of the new guys in the series. While all of the other characters not from the comic were pretty boring (Besides the racist guy), and likely zombie fodder for future episodes, T-Dog actually had a lot of meaningful screen-time, and I enjoyed his performance so much that I hope he ends up like Andy from the US Office. Outside of those guys, Andrew Lincoln was still fantastic as Rick Grimes.
- IT’S GON RAIN! And Other Clichés That I Hate : This isn’t necessarily the fault of the guys doing the TV show, as the same thing occurs in the comic, but I hate how it just happens to rain right as Rick and Glenn make their way through a horde of zombies by covering themselves in gore. While it does provide some epic ax kills, I still hate the whole coincidence aspect of the plot. Also bad was how the handcuff key that T-Dog drops just so happens to fly right into a hole on the roof, forcing him to leave racist guy for the zombies. Nitpicking is fun!
- Shane and Laurie: Ugly? More like bumpin’ uglies, hey ohhhhhh! [*High-fives cat] Yeah, I don’t exactly know if Laurie knows that the guy Glenn and Co. are saving is her thought-to-be-dead husband, but if she does, then that’s just cold. Also, racist guy attempts to get Andrea to “Bump uglies” with him. Really, writing staff? I got that he was a dumb guy when he wasted ammo on random zombies and then threatened everyone with a gun and racial slurs.
- GORE: The episode was named “Guts” for a reason, folks. The scene where Rick decimates a corpse with an ax in order to create gore scent for his escape with Glenn was ridiculously violent, definitely the goriest thing I’ve ever witnessed in a non-HBO television series. My mom (Remember, readers, I’m still in high school) just so happened to walk by as the poor, dead zombie’s hand was hacked off. Bad luck for her, I guess.
Kills of the Week:
- When Rick escapes from his tank hideout, he immediately slices a zombie’s jaw open with a shovel. What’s next, television? Are you going to let people hit people in their faces with an ax?
- Rick hits a zombie in the face with an ax after IT’S GON RAIN ruins his escape plan. Beautiful.
Final Thoughts: Folks, The Walking Dead is for real. If you can handle lots of gore, then you’ll be able to appreciate the great story-lines and character development that will be the main points of the show. If you love gore and violence, then you’ll finally be able to tell all of your snooty friends that watch Mad Men that you like AMC shows too. I’m in love with this show. Bring on the next episode.