Monday, October 17, 2011
The dead return
AMC's The Walking Dead returned last night with an extra-long season premiere. I enjoyed it, but I have to say it was the first episode of the hit horror series that was merely good in my eyes, not very good or excellent. While certainly peppered with a few great moments, overall I found it, well... a little draggy.
It's funny. Most of the recent internet chatter about the show expressed concern that AMC's reported budget cuts for this season might adversely affect the show's quality. But to me, last night's episode alomost appeared too lavish and rich, with too many lingering shots showing off the well-dressed sets and nicely-framed compositions. Where was that lean, mean look from last season, when it almost seemed like the camera people and other crewmembers were afraid of the zombies, too, and quickly shot their scenes and got the Hell out of there?
Also, there was a bit too much of a self-congratulatory air to the whole affair, with characters rehashing the great moments from season one rather than creating new great moments here in season two. Some of that type of thing is inevitable in an ongoing drama, of course, but it kept feeling like last night's show wanted to be an epilogue or postscript to last season rather than a bang-up start to this season.
Still, only one episode into season two, I don't want to overstate my criticisms. Last night's season premiere was still a good, watchable, occasionally scary episode that will have me in front of the set again next week. I just hope that, with episode two, we get back to the full-on lean, mean, in-your-face terror that spoiled us back in season one.
If they do that, they can even throw in the occasional artsy shot of sun-dappled trees, or an over-decorated set or two. I won't mind.