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Friday, January 21, 2011

Head to Head 2: The Return

Todd Jepperson

The dust has settled a bit since the finale, and we’ve had some time to reflect. The emails have rolled in slowly and a few of you even commented on the previous post. Although the general impressions I’m getting are excitement, satisfaction, and optimism, there have been quite a few general issues with the television production of the show. The biggest concern seems to be the detours that the crew is taking along the comic book path. There are concerns that Shane is still alive, and that whole CDC thing might over expose the zombie element of the story.

First, I’ll restate the whole television numbers thing. This was the most watched cable show of 2010. There was a little south of 10 million viewers per episode. Then, we have a makeup team that has stepped up and created the most visually impressive legion of undead we’ve ever seen. Also, AMC pulls no punches when it comes to the limits allowed on TV. They pushed the envelope, in one way or another, with every single episode.

The problem seems to be that this show has taken well beaten path of Hollywood production and went straight away off course. Most people that responded felt a little ripped off by the unexpected turns. They want their story the way it was originally written. The feeling was summed up pretty well by Little George over at October Toys,

“ If you wanted to just make up a zombie tale, why bother calling it the Walking Dead? Just make a new zombie show. We would all still watch it. Leave the Walking Dead for someone else to make who wants to tell that story the way it should be told.”

Amen, brother.

That being said, I gave up on Hollywood reproductions of things like this a long time ago. There have been times when the big screen didn’t completely abuse the story line (The Lord of the Rings) and then there have been the ones where I was in the theater at the end of a movie with my face buried in my palm; shaking my head (Eragon, Beowulf). I decided, like I said, these two things are oil and water. So, I’m not really bothered by the differences. I take each episode in stride and look at it like it was the only Walking Dead I’ve ever had. It makes it a lot easier to enjoy that way, and I really don’t wanna burn the little free time I have feeling waylaid by the things I decide to fill it with.

So, Carl didn’t end up giving Shane a new hole to breathe from. There are a couple of extra rednecks holding down the fort. There’s a scientific push to explain and cure the world of the undead. If these are the biggest changes they’re gonna make, bring it on.
In the end, I didn’t get one response that I could file in the “this is crap” folder. The Zombie Nation has spoken. The Walking Dead Season One was well worth our time. The fact the season ended in the RV heading down the road toward who knows what left us looking forward to Season Two. Thanks for your emails and comments. We’ll see you in October

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