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Oh the drama! So many emotions!
on April 7, 2013
Season 2 was a severe disappointment after the mostly focused story-line of season 1. I'm not a fan of horror or zombies in particular, but I wanted to watch the show because I do like the post-apocalypse genre. To be clear, I expected a lot of drama before I began watching season; but drama is only good when it makes sense. The short version of why I didn't like season 2 is this: the characters are all over the place. Maybe two or three are well-written and don't do things that make no sense, but there rest are just vessels through which the writers of the show like to squeeze out as much melodrama as possible, irritating me in the process.
From about episode 2 on, I was bored. I don't need action to keep me paying attention, I need a focused narrative, and characters that do and say things that make sense...for their character. For the most part, it seemed to me that whenever the writers didn't know what to do, they would just have a character do something stupid, which would create a problem that doesn't add anything to the story. And that's how most of season 2 felt. Like there were two or maybe three things that were driving the story forward, and everything in between was just filler. I think it was seven or eight episodes in and the Sophia being lost in the woods story arc hadn't even been finished. By that point it seemed like her mom had already moved on, and didn't particularly care about finding her. Sure...I mean whatever. If she's not going to care, I don't care.
And that's how I felt even throughout season 1. I don't particularly feel attached to any of the characters. Glenn is probably the strongest character, and the one whom doesn't do very many things that don't make sense. But I'm watching each episode just kind of passing the time, being bored through most of the drama because almost nothing happens in most of the episodes. We have to drive five minutes into town to go get Herschel, we'll be right back. Cool. Five hours later, the short trip has inevitably been turned into the entire episode, and then the pregnant woman decides to go off to rescue them on her own because obviously whatever is holding them up is something she can deal with. But of course she crashes her car, thus creating even more drama. And I'm sitting there just like...who cares? I don't care about any of these people because none of them are consistent. In a survival story you have to care about the people who are trying to survive. But everything is just a long argument that ultimately never gets resolved.
I'm not saying that everyone should just work together happily. No doubt in a real-world scenario people would argue with each other and there would be drama. But I don't need eleven episodes of it. The Walking Dead is about a zombie apocalypse, but it shouldn't be about a zombie apocalypse. It should be about what comes after. How people collectively can regroup and decide how best to try to live. There are morality questions that are amateurishly addressed. The show should be poignant, offering up questions without actually having to ask them, and making the viewer wonder not just how they would feel in that characters' place, but about their own morality in the world we actually live in. These are things that have been awkwardly handled so far, and if I'm going to keep watching it needs to change.
That said, another problem is some of the casting choices. Carl, the main protagonist's son, is horrible. Excuse the pun, but he can't act to save his life. And it doesn't help that whomever is writing the dialog for him clearly has no idea how an actual 13 year old speaks. Many (I'd say most) shows suffer from this, and it's not easy writing dialog for a very young person, but if that's the case his dialog should be kept to a minimum. It's laughably bad, and he ruins almost every scene he speaks in. I guess he's really the only actor I have a problem with, the rest I can chalk up just to the sub-par writing.
All that negativity said, the season had a few high points. Without spoiling anything, it is finally revealed what Jenner told Rick before they left the CDC, and the Sophia story-line was completed in a way that made me respect the show more, though by that point I was extremely bored and irritated at all the pointless bickering. I can only hope season 3 is better. If it's not, I won't continue watching.