ACHTUNG: FULL SPOILERS!
Post 999 folks, still drafting a 1000th. In the meantime, since I've torn through Borderlands 2 a good couple of times, I've been watching movie after movie and trying to find other things to watch (whilst avoiding Hulu or downloading or paying for anything else besides Netflix). Yesterday I realized that the second season of The Walking Dead was on streaming so I figured what the hell and tore through it -finishing off the last three episodes tonight.
As many of you know I am not a fan of zombies and have a less than flattering opinion of "preppers" (I maintain that while having an emergency kit, a copy of the Army Survival Manual, a bicycle, and a decent flashlight on hand are perfectly reasonable there's been a trend in our society that's gone sideways). I am also of the opinion that I would not do well or survive long in a post-apocalyptic world (or prison). Truth be told I always figured I'd be a Glen Bateman, the old fart in The Stand (played by Ray Walston in the surprisingly strong TV adaptation from 1994). It's not a flattering or really self-deprecating view of myself. I just don't have the illusion that I will be some kind of bad-ass road warrior zombie smasher (or villian).
The ending of season one of The Walking Dead left me flat and not particularly interested in the second. The CDC explosion made me actually say, "Oh come the fuck on." Fuck that ending. That being said, I'm going to start rewatching season one after I finish this post because there was a lot I forgot about that season which influenced the second.
Season two is, despite a few problems, really fucking good. There are a number of themes I wish were developed more instead of being touched on (age/gender/race roles in their world). I would have liked to see a stronger development of T-Dog (IronE Singleton) - though I expect he's going to come into his own in season three. There also could have been one "breather"/mounting tension episode after #11 "Judge, Jury, and Executioner" but I realize the end of the season just snowballs into mayhem. I just prefer the pacing of the first half and the development of the relationships between Glenn and Maggie and in particular Daryl and Carol.
I have to say, I was really impressed by the writing and acting between Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride) and it really sold me on the entire season. Where you'd stereotypically put Daryl in Shane's camp, he turns out to be a character who reminds me of Sandor Clegane in a bizarre way (only less brutal). Carol has turned into one of my favorite characters over the course of this season. She's not a bad ass but she reminds me of Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother". There's a hard edge of endurance to her, not just base drive for survival.
Hawaiian shirts are the new red shirts. Dale got Whedoned. I was a little pissed that the breather/tension build episode didn't take place after his death. But that's just me being a fan of Hawaiian shirts and old farts.
Andrea (Laurie Holden) has turned into a beast of a bad-ass and I look forward to rewatching the first season to watch her development. She kind of "holy shitted" me near the end of second season when she breaks away from Shane's influence and comes into her own (particularly in the last few episodes). I wish she had been able to meet up with the group again because she would be the new Rick. I also love that she gives Lori a well needed verbal ass-kicking. AND DUDE WHO IS THE KATANA WIELDING, HOOD WEARING MOTHERFUCKER?!?
I'm really impressed by the way female characters are depicted in The Walking Dead. We've seen the bad-ass assassin/vixen/shake'n'bake if you've watched enough movies you know the tropes and stereotypes. The Walking Dead has them but there's an unexpected depth to them that few of the male characters have. Rick/Shane/Glenn/Dale/Daryl/Hershel are all recognizable male archetypes. That doesn't make them unsympathetic or necessarily paint by numbers but I dunno, I'm kind of into the series because of Carol, Andrea, and to a certain extent (though I don't like her) Lori.