Okay, so the season two finalé episode of The Walking Dead achieved record ratings in the States. The show is clearly doing well. But the first half of this season saw the show floundering. Even after that storming finalé, there are still a lot of things about the show that niggle me. Here are eight things I’d like to see from the show’s third year:
WARNING! MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE WALKING DEAD SEASON TWO AHEAD!
1 Keep Moving
The farm was like a rope around the characters’ necks, this year. Every time Rick and co ventured away from it, the show improved. And then - creak! - the noose would tighten and drag them back for more arguments with Hershel. Yawn.
For season three, let’s keep things moving. Yes, the prison location is a big part of the story in the comics, and in season three, going by that final shot. And that's fine – but I hope we’re not stuck there all bloomin’ year.
2 Stop Being So Green!
No, I don’t want the showrunners to start clubbing seals and spraying cans of Lynx willy-nilly. I’m talking about the horrible green grading that suffuses every shot. Sure, it gives the show an appropriately grotty atmosphere, but it’s damn ugly to look at, and just makes me think of the Matrix sequels. PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME THINK ABOUT THE MATRIX SEQUELS!
3 Lighten Up, Squirt
One thing the comic does well is throw in moments of humour and charm. Not comedy, as such, but the odd gag here and there. Humans are able to find laughs in the direst of situations, after all, and it makes the story a much more rounded experience.
By contrast, the only funny thing in the TV show is how few lines T-Dog gets. Lighten up, chaps. Give the actors some snappy dialogue, or introduce a character with snark and bile. It needn’t kill the atmosphere. You want an example from another show? Have two: Tyrion from Game Of Thrones and Baltar from Battlestar . Both serious characters, both surrounded by tragedy, but also both sharp-tongued. I’m still laughing at “No more Mr. Nice Gaius!”
4 Death to Lori Grimes!
Ah… The Walking Dead ’s very own Keiko O’Brien. She’s awful. Possibly the single biggest drag on the show, especially now the farm has gone. It’s not Sarah Wayne Callies’ fault – Lori’s annoyingly sulky in the comics too. Either make her a more proactive character (the show started to do that this year, with her urging Rick to do something about Shane) or feed her to the deadites.
5 Man up, Rick!
“This isn’t a democracy!” Easy, Egg, keep your hair on! It would be great to see Rick stick to his guns in season three, though. The moderately bad-ass Rick of the last few episodes was a lot more fun than the angsty, tentative, painfully reasonable guy we saw for the rest of the season. More of that please!
6 Add Character, Not Characters
The Walking Dead is an ensemble show, but after two seasons, I still don’t feel like I know these guys. The only characters I cared about this year were Shane and Dale. And they’re both dead now…
At the end of season two we’ve got a reduced, but still large, cast. Please, please give them something to do. Let T-Dog speak! Prove Lori’s worth! Make Hershel into an insane shotgun preacher! Anything! At the moment there’s a lot of very dull characters in The Walking Dead . I’m not asking for them all to be like Michonne, but give them stronger personalities. When characters die, I want to feel sad, and not just shrug my shoulders.
7 Develop The Mystery
At the end of season one, Dr Jenner whispers something in Rick’s ear. We discovered what that secret was at the end of this year: everyone is infected!
But as Rick points out, this doesn’t actually change anything about their situation. Okay, so if they die of natural courses, they will come back as zombies. But given that most of the people on this show die from bite wounds anyway, the situation is much the same as ever. Give us a reason to care about this, and maybe a few hints at the bigger picture. The comic doesn’t really touch on why the zombie apocalypse happened. Perhaps that’s something that this parallel version could explore more fully…
8 Michonne And The Governor
Don't screw them up, right?