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August 1, 2014

walking dead

Where Did 'The Walking Dead' Go Wrong? A Few Thoughts on Season 2

by Maureen Ryan, posted Nov 27th 2011 10:20PM
The Walking Dead Season 2My colleague Mike Ryan is recapping 'The Walking Dead' here, and I highly recommend his weekly reviews, but I thought I'd offer a few thoughts on the show's second season below.

By the second half of 'The Walking Dead's' Sunday mid-season finale, I was actively rooting for the zombies.

Say what you will about the flesh-eaters, they know what they want and they briskly go for it. On an increasingly frustrating show that can't quite decide whether it wants to be a character-driven drama or a well-crafted frightfest, the zombies' lack of ambiguity about what they want has been almost refreshing at times.

I'm guessing it wasn't the intention of the show's writers to make me hope that Rick Grimes' crew would be munched by the undead, but too often this season, the humans on the show have been idiotic, annoying or sanctimonious -- sometimes all three. The time spent on Hershel Greene's farm was often a waste, not just of time but of the relatively sturdy momentum the show had cranked up in its short first season.

It didn't have to be this way. I'm betting the group's rural interlude was, at least in part, supposed to get us to care about the show's characters more deeply. But most of the characters were badly served by increasingly ham-fisted attempts at characterizations that merely repeated information we already had. The final scene of the episode was moving (all hail director Michelle MacLaren), but almost every other development made me want to bite someone myself.

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Walking Dead Comic vs. Show: Is One Better?

by Stephanie Earp, posted Oct 19th 2011 11:00AM

I had to pull out my zombie pillow within the first ten minutes of the season two opener of AMC's 'The Walking Dead' this past Sunday. What, you don't have a zombie pillow? Allow me to explain. It's large enough that when held tightly in your arms at waist level, the top edge is about eye level, where it can easily be shifted into a view-blocking position in times of particular stress. If your zombie pillow can be made to smell like vanilla or warm pie through the miracle of scented oils or room sprays, so much the better.

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Review: 'The Walking Dead' Doesn't Break Its Stride in Season 2

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 14th 2011 12:15PM
'The Walking Dead' (9PM ET Sunday, AMC) went through a lot of public controversy over the summer when executive producer Frank Darabont abruptly left and his second-in-command, Glen Mazzara, was appointed showrunner. The good news is, you wouldn't know any of that from watching the show.

In the first two episodes of the drama's second season, scares are efficiently dispensed, the action moves along briskly and there are credible attempts to make the survivors of a zombie apocalypse more than a collection of types.

The bottom line is, if you liked the what the show was dishing out in its first season -- genre storytelling made with admirable restraint and economy, except for those jump-out-of-your-seat scary/gross moments -- you're likely to enjoy what you see in season 2.

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AMC Comments on 'The Walking Dead' Shakeup (Updated)

by Jean Bentley, posted Jul 28th 2011 11:35AM
The Walking DeadAfter yesterday's news that 'The Walking Dead' showrunner Frank Darabont had left the hit AMC show and Glen Mazzara would take his place, the network has finally opened up about the shakeup.

AMC released a statement Thursday commenting on the news (UPDATE: see comment from AMC vice president of original programming Joel Stillerman below):

"'The Walking Dead''s Glen Mazzara, writer and executive producer, is expanding his responsibilities to assume the role of showrunner. AMC is grateful to executive producer, writer and pilot director Frank Darabont whose contributions to the success of 'The Walking Dead' are innumerable.

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'Talking TV' Podcast Takes Your Questions and Talks 'Walking Dead'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Nov 2nd 2010 11:15AM
Welcome, zombie friends! There are two main sections to this week's 'Talking TV with Ryan and Ryan' podcast:

In the first section, which is about 22 minutes long, Ryan McGee and I talk about our reactions to 'The Walking Dead,' we discuss the new AMC drama's excellent ratings and what that means for its future -- and also what that might mean for the future of another AMC show, 'Rubicon.'

In the second section, which starts at about Minute 22.5, we take a few reader questions. A reminder: I'm still taking questions for a new Ask Mo column here (don't leave your questions in the comment area of this podcast post, please. It'd be great if you could leave them here.)

Below is a list of the questions we answered in this week's podcast:

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'The Walking Dead' Review: A Zombie Tale Made with Brains

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 29th 2010 1:00PM
A question recently fielded on Twitter: "'Walking Dead,' yea or nay? Wifey doesn't like gore, trying to convince her otherwise. First impressions? Suggestions to convince my wife?"

Thanks, Isaiah B., for ruining my week.

OK, I kid -- Isaiah is a frequent (and appreciated) Twitter correspondent whose TV preferences are largely aligned with my own.

Yet in this case, I'm with Isaiah's wife: I'm no fan of gore. For me, horror fare has to be firmly centered on the relationships, the characters and the metaphors for emotional turmoil, or I find a hiding spot behind the couch, fingers firmly pressed in ears.

So what should I tell Mrs. Isaiah about 'The Walking Dead' (10PM ET Sunday, AMC), which, thanks to the sure hand of skilled storyteller Frank Darabont, is unquestionably a cut above most scary fare? I've spent a few days wrestling with this question.

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Take the Poll: Is It Better to Read the Book Before Watching the TV Adaptation?

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 1st 2010 12:15PM
Let me ask you a question, readers. Before watching an upcoming TV series -- in this case, AMC's 'The Walking Dead' -- should I read the source material on which the show is based?

I've heard a lot of good things about Robert Kirkman's acclaimed comic series of the same name. But, speaking of adaptations, I read 'Pillars of the Earth' over the summer and almost had an aneurysm when I saw how shoddy the Starz adaptation of the book was.

So is it better to read the book to prepare myself for the series? Or is it better to be surprised by the twists and turns of the story and not potentially set myself up for disappointment?

Tell me what to do in the poll below, and you can also share your thoughts in comments.

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Fall TV's Best New Shows

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 9th 2010 1:30PM
Your TV will be flooded with new shows in coming weeks, so consider this an attempt to help you sort through your couch-potato options.

Of course, when it comes to new shows, no one can accurately predict which ones will fulfill their early promise and which ones will flame out creatively or get canceled within weeks of their premieres. And this year there are few slam-dunks along the lines of 'The Good Wife' or 'Modern Family' (to get our comedy kicks we'll probably have to go with returning shows, given that none of the new comedies look too promising).

Without further ado, these are the fall programs that, on first glance, appear to have quite a bit of potential:

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Check Out the New 'Walking Dead' Clips

by Nick Zaino, posted Sep 7th 2010 9:30PM
New clips released for AMC's adaptation of Robert Kirkman's 'The Walking Dead'The zombie hordes are amassing. A couple of months before the Halloween premiere date, AMC has released three new clips from 'The Walking Dead,' a new series based on the superb Robert Kirkman graphic novels from Image Comics.

The clips were posted Monday on ComicsAlliance.com, and vary in length -- "Rick's Gun" is just six seconds, "Darkness" 16 seconds and "Hospital Corridor" a minute and five seconds. Between the trailer, released last month and the new clips, the show has been taking a lot of its imagery straight from the book, although writer/director Frank Darabont ('Shawshank Redemption') has said there will be some changes for TV.

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More Pilots Ordered as Networks Gear Up for Fall 2010

by Audrey Fine, posted Jan 21st 2010 12:14PM
David KohanAs riveting as the Conan/Jay saga may be, network execs have their plates full with other dramas -- and comedies -- as orders for fall 2010 pilots keep coming in.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the newest batch of pickups finds ABC wed to two new dramas. One, 'Cutthroat,' is about an "ambitious single mother who finds running her own international drug cartel is perfect training for navigating the cutthroat world of Beverly Hills high society." Think 'Weeds' for the Prada set.

The alphabet net has also committed to a flashback-based show called 'Generation Y' that focuses on a group of present-day folks who wax sentimental about their senior year in high school.

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