The first thing you need to know about The Walking Dead is that it’s a show about love.
We’ll let that sink in for a moment.
Are you adequately recovered from my claim? Good.
So yeah, it’s a show about love, first and foremost. It’s about love, and human nature, and the evil that men do, and familial relationships and sociological interactions. It’s basically a primetime soap opera about a group of people, and the way they treat life, and the way life treats them. It’s a soap opera about people thrust together unwittingly into less than desirable circumstances. And zombies.
And to many, that’s what this show is, or what it means. It’s a tale of a bunch of people banded together by fate, shooting the shit out of zombies in order to procure themselves a better tomorrow.
And though the zombie brains may splatter, and their rotten faces be exploded under the cool blast of a 12 gauge, this show is still about the humans behind the gun, a poetic testament to those forced into a life of murderous indifference.
In case you missed the first season—and how dare you—we learned the following:
-Primary protagonist Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) was a southern sheriff who was in a coma when the madness started.
– Deputy Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal), Rick’s BFF, thought Rick was all but dead when he fucked Rick’s wife in a moment of desperation and lust… maybe a few times.
– Lori, the not-so-dead-sheriff’s wife fucked Shane, but only because she was under the working-impression that Rick was fast dead.
– Carl, the small child of the not-dead sheriff and the not-whorish mother, took a shine to deputy Shane, the mother-fucker (literally). Early in season 2, Carl got shot while peacefully observing a doe, under the watchful gaze of the not-dead Rick and his probably-crazy buddy Shane.
The rest, they say, is in the notes.
Season one was slow-building, introducing us to the resourceful Asian, the wise old man, the gritty grease ball who lives off of the land, the suicidal blonde who lost her sister, the victimized mother and her daughter, and the non-descript black man.
By the end of the first part of the second season (yeah, they’re apparently splitting their second season into two parts, the second half of which is set to resume in February), Mrs. Grimes was pregnant (but whose baby?!), the blonde had slept with the crazy deputy, the crazy deputy and the wise old owl had almost murdered one another, and the resourceful Asian had fallen in love with the farmer’s daughter, after the group had assumed asylum on a well-protected farm.
Are you keeping up? Because I barely am.
But I’m giving it my best because really, it’s a good show. Still. Despite what the critics would have you believe.
It started from a graphic novel, and perhaps that’s the problem. A comic book can only go on for so long; at some point, the superheroes within have to start making bacon and eggs in the morning. They have to take their tights to the cleaner and have Sung-Lee scrub the blood and sweat stains from their socks. They have to go to the post office and call their cell phone provider to discuss their plan. They have to hit up the drive-thru at KFC and be angry when their box was provided without a biscuit.
They are human, is the point, and humans would do a lot when confronted with a field full of zombies. They’d scream and shit and, if given the opportunity, shoot the fucking heads off of said zombies. And after, they’d sit around a campfire and discuss what happened, and what might be done to prevent such attacks in the future, and how, if future-zombie attacks occurred, how they’d best be suited to defend.
And that last part—the part where they sit around and talk—that’s fucking boring. But it’s real. And I think that’s what fans (and some critics) have a problem with in the second season… it’s too boring! they cry, their fists clinched with popcorn, their fingers poised above the keyboard (a modern-day calling card of futility and aggressive comparativeness). They don’t get it.
Because some assholes only want to see zombies get their brains blown out. Some people are only satisfied when spoiled intestines are being splashed across the screen in an orgy of disgustingness.
Thankfully, there is a small group of people– learned, intelligent people who realize that without humans there’d be no zombies, and without zombies, there’d be no Walking Dead.
But the story isn’t without it’s flaws, let’s make no mistake.
The crazy deputy grew a little too crazy, a little too quickly for my taste.
The suicidal blonde has grown into a tiresome, undesirable character.
The black guy has become wholly unimportant. He sliced his wrist by accident a few episodes a few weeks ago, and I took a drink of my Heineken and thought “huh… so this is it for him, right?”
Similarly, the love-story between the Asian—who I really like—and the sexy farmer’s daughter is pointless and time-consuming… mainly because I keep picturing the Asian’s pubic hair anytime they start to get it on.
But hey, that’s on me, right?
Pubic hair and disparity aside, I have no regrets for how this half of the season ended.
After discovering a barn full of “walkers” on the farm that they’d made their home, crazy deputy Shane pulled the doors open and, as the gang of walkers sauntered out—friends, family and acquaintances of the farm owner (who believed he could save them)—the gang of “heroes” opened fire in painful slow-motion, obliterating the undead before them, including the abused mother’s daughter (missing gal who’d become a major plot-point over the past few episodes).
And it’s likely to only get heavier.
I mean, after all, a total-pandemic is pretty heavy shit.
Let’s hope we never end up there… and if we do? Be careful about who you shoot. Though Charlie Weis may walk like a zombie, that might just be regular ol’ Charlie Weis.
Are you comfortable killing KU’s new head football coach? Me too.