The Walking Dead Season Two DVD Review - Mania.com



The Walking Dead Season Two DVD Review

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Info:

  • Rated: Unrated
  • Cast: Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Steven Yeun, Norman Reedus
  • Written By: Various
  • Directed By: Various
  • Distributor: Anchor Bay
  • Original Year of Release: 2012
  • Extras: See Below
  • Series:

The Walking Dead Season Two DVD Review

AMC delivers more zombie fun

By Tim Janson     September 04, 2012
Source: Mania.com

I still have to pinch myself that there is actually a zombie show  TV.  And not some watered down, homogenized show but one that has more blood, more gore, and better makeup effects than most theatrical films.  Thank you AMC!  After a short debut test season, The Walking Dead got full 13 episodes for season two. 

Things pick up where they left off as the small band of survivors flee Atlanta after the destruction of the CDC.  They are trying to reach Fort Benning but their progress is halted by a traffic jam of abandoned cars.  As the group scavenges for supplies among the cars they are surprised by a herd of zombies travelling along the road.  Forgiving the writers for the heavy handed plot device that they might actually be “surprised” by the zombies (nice job by the lookout), this becomes the catapult to the entire season.  

Sophia flees from her hiding spot and into the woods, pursued by the walkers.  The group splits up to look for the little girl and it is during one of their searches that Carl is accidentally shot by a hunter.  Otis leads Rick back to the secluded farm of Hershel Greene, an aged veterinarian. The rest of the group soon follows as Hershel nurses Carl back to health and for a short time, the group manages to live a relatively safe and peaceful life, away from the flesh-eating zombies.

The illusion of safety comes to an end abruptly when Glenn discovers Hershel has a barn full of walkers, including many of his own family members, believing that they can be cured.  Shane releases the zombies as the group shoots them all dead.  But their safety may face its greatest peril from another group of survivors.  Rick and Glenn bring Randall back to the farm after he is abandoned by his group.  This leads to a showdown among the Rick’s group whether to set Randall free or kill him to prevent him from leading his friends back to the farm.  Season two ends as the farm is overrun by an especially large herd of zombies, killing several members of Hershel’s group and leaving the rest of the survivors splintered and on the run. As the final shot fades out we see the image of a prison looming in the background, setting the stage for season three.

While several new characters would be introduced, many would not survive the season.  Only two characters, Hershel (Scott Wilson) and his daughter Maggie (Lauren Cohan) would play significant roles.  When you counter this with the deaths of two of the main characters of the original group, the writers have to be commended for keeping the cast small and tight, and not creating too many sub-plots.  The show tarried at the farm longer than in the comics and perhaps longer than it needed to but managed to close out strong, including a brief but memorable appearance by fan favorite character Michonne.

What season two ultimately achieved was slowing down long enough to develop its core characters.  Andrea goes from suicidal at the end of season one to a trigger happy zombie killer; Rick begins to doubt his leadership abilities; Shane goes off the deep edge completely; Daryl shows his softer side as he takes the point in the search for Sophia; and Glenn strikes up a romance with Maggie as well as having some of season two’s most harrowing zombie encounters including being lowered into a well tie a rope onto a bloated zombie who is trapped within.  Oh and Lori goes from being a bitch into being a complete and utter bitch.  T-Dog even got a couple of lines of dialog!

While I still thought the idea of the zombie herd following a passing helicopter all the way to the farm to be far-fetched at best, the positives far outweigh the negatives and loyal viewers are being rewarded with a third season that will run 16 episodes this time.

DVD EXTRAS

The four-disc DVD set is filled with all sorts of goodies…

Audio Commentary on five episodes including the season premiere and season finale episodes

All the Guts inside (5:30) – A look at the scene where Rick and Daryl perform an autopsy on a zombie to see if it has eaten Sophia.  Lots of gooey goodness!

Live or Let Die (7:00) – A look at Shane’s story comparing the series to the comic and why he was kept around longer in the series.

The Meat of the Music (8:00) – A look at the series’ musical score with composer Bear McCreary.

Fire on Set (6:00) – While Hershel’s farmhouse was an actual home the producers got permission to use, there was not a barn on the property.  So a complete barn had to be built from scratched an aged to look decades old…and then burned to the ground for the climax of season two.

The Ink is alive (9:00) – Comic creator Robert Kirkman discusses the similarities and differences between comic and TV show such as the additions of Daryl and Merle, the destruction of the CDC and Sophia going missing.

The Sound of the Effects (4:30) – A look at how the sound effects are created and interestingly, just about all the show’s sounds are recorded and mixed in later from the mundane sounds like setting a coffee cup down on a table to the sounds of zombies chewing their meals.

In the Dead Water (5:00) – A look at filming the “zombie in the well” scene and the bloated zombie makeup. 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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jedibanner 9/4/2012 8:07:08 AM

Still so disapointed with the second season....for me it would earn a C but that's about it. Characters are still so far off their original creation, the stories are dragging, Rick is becoming anoying since he's not talking that much (but, then again they want him that way and not be like in the comic).

The 3rd season seems promising so hopefully it will redeem itself.

tjanson 9/4/2012 10:15:07 AM

Jedi but that's the thing...you have to review the show based on the show...not comparing it to the comic.  fortunately I only read a handful of the comics.

makabriel 9/4/2012 11:11:15 AM

Yeah, after season 2 I borrowed the Graphic novels from a friend of mine.  1-100. 

I just have to say, it is a HUGE difference.  I was wondering how they are going to tackle a lot of the content in the graphic novel series, but it looks like they may deviate to almost a different "version"

 

IRONMANIAC 9/4/2012 11:38:28 AM

Man, I get that this is a forum to exchange opinions and such. I really do. And I respect you, Jedi. You're a fixture on here. But when a show like this comes along that is this well written and well produced, we should be extoling its virtues, not bemoaning that the characters are not exactly as they were written in the books, which I love btw. In this non-linear world we live in where there are heroes in diff universes, we can certainly appreciate a different take on this. It's not THAT different, in my opinion. The basic premise is that in a world of the undead, it's the living that are the most dangerous. We get to watch how humanity drains from each character in different ways and at a different pace. It just absolutely nails the very true essence of the books.

calhob 9/4/2012 12:33:20 PM

 I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! and comic even more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jedibanner 9/4/2012 1:06:19 PM

It's fair Ironmaniac that the show keeps certain things from the comic (danger, human emotions, zombies).

But the essence itself IMO is not the same from the comic to the show. It is ok to take one's material and put your own stamp to it which they did in the first season, I respected that. The second however was not the same and I do believe Frank Darabont made a huge difference and his presence was obviously missed...again, IMO.

The show itself is interesting but I just believe it is ''inspired'' from the comic, it is no longer the comic in a show but a show inspired by the comic.

The comics themselves obviously cannot be transfered page by page into the screen because it would get boring. I've explained in different comments where my beefs are and it gets to the core of my issue: they've changed too much.

Everything else, the pace (which was very disapointing this season), the characters, the blood, the zombies, they are fun to watch but it's just nowhere near the same as the comic.

Some have mentionned many time ''well, Robert Kirkman is executive producer in the show''....just like Stan Lee is excecutive producer for all Marvel movies and does he get to say anything or make any change in the movies? Hell no...it's a title...the name is there but, if the suits want it some way, he sold his rights to AMC so, it's their thing now. Obviously they can ask him certain things but the fact that they've changed so much obviously means (in my book anyway) that he has little to no influence in the show EXCEPT when he writes an episodes, only then can he affects directly the show.

That's what I think anyway...

jdiggitty 9/4/2012 1:50:40 PM

 Isn't Kirkman writing most of those episodes though Jedi? If you read the Letter Hacks at the end of the comics, he clearly defines why the tv series has to be different. It's meant to be different from the start. Personally, I'm glad it's different. I'm so sick of the comic rehashing the same tired plot points over and over. I'm sticking around till the end of the current "Something to Fear" storyline and I may be done. Don't think I can take 200 more issues.

 

hanso 9/4/2012 2:27:11 PM

Season wasn't good, the show overall aint that great like mofos want it to be.  Good news is the new stuff coming for the next season should raise the bar for the show, so looking forward to it.

tjanson 9/4/2012 3:07:26 PM

Leave it to Hanso to throw water on the parade...

TheSilentKiller 9/4/2012 6:40:37 PM

 testing? My comments seem to be getting deleted...

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