NOTE: This article contains SPOILERS for The Walking Dead, Season 2
I don't understand the hype that continues to surround The Walking Dead.
Sure, the first season of the show was incredible; I was on the edge of my seat and highly invested in the characters and their interactions with the walkers that were strewn about. I watched all six episodes one after another, in awe, and was highly disappointed when there were no more episodes to watch. The potential of the show, at that time, seemed to be endless. I chalk the success of the first season up to the excellent writing and showrunning of Frank Darabont. So, when the whole Darabont getting fired thing happened, I was a bit worried that the show was going to change drastically.
A few months ago, I finally gave in and watched season two on Netflix and was unbelievably disappointed. The entire season was lackluster, with the exception of two scenes that were pretty stellar (the scene in which Shane sees a walker alone in the grass and the scene in which the walkers get slaughtered when they are let out of the barn). The two things that "drive" the plot are the growing feud between Shane and Rick and the question, "where is Sophia?" To be succinct, I will just say that the outcome of the Rick and Shane feud was stupid. Shane was the only character in the show that I liked because he was the only character who I found to be complex. Shane was unpredictable among a cast of characters that are predictable and stagnant (for example: Rick is the family man who knows what's best and who says "I know what's best for the group" an absurd amount of times, Lori is the distant wife, Dale is the voice of reason, Hershel thinks he can "save" his family despite the fact they are walkers foaming at the mouth, etc). All of these characters have a decent foundation of traits, but none of those traits are explored and progressed enough for me to care about the characters who possess them. So when Rick killed Shane, that was it for me. And then when Carl became a sharpshooter all of a sudden and shot walker-Shane, that was it again. I got that Rick saw Shane as a threat to the group (and somewhat of a threat to his marriage), but Shane deserved better. The only good thing that came out of Shane's death was that I no longer had to hear Rick and Shane have the same argument about who knows best.
Then there was the ongoing issue of Sophia missing and no one knowing where she was. When Sophia first got lost, I figured they would probably find her during the next episode. Well, that didn't happen. In fact, it took over four episodes for her to be "found," which just made me angry. After a few episodes of the gang looking for Sophia, the show was boring to watch. Perhaps my admiration for fast-paced shows such as The Wire and Breaking Bad made me slightly impatient, but, I think for a show to be successful, it has to drive a plot home efficiently and in an entertaining way.
So, terrible plot aside, I tried to think about the entertainment factor (the way in which the characters navigate through and around walkers). I never feel any fear for any of the characters when they randomly decide to go into the woods during the middle of the night for pretty much no reason. This is mostly because the characters are so flat that they are hard to care about, but also because, well, if a character decides to go vent some anger in walker-infested woods (Carl), they deserve to get killed. But, of course, they never really do. In my opinion, there aren't enough gripping walker scenes in a show that concerns itself with zombies. It's disheartening.
And now I sit here and genuinely wonder: why do people like The Walking Dead? Are viewers just staying the course to see what happens to all of the characters? Maybe it's because there really isn't anything else to watch right now. I thought about watching season three, but I'm just going to pass.
I'd like to say that it has been a pleasure. But it hasn't.