Sometimes "The Walking Dead" gives me crazy high levels of anxiety. When that happens, I'm completely hooked and feeling the zombie love. Then the next week I'm debating why I even bother watching. For much of Season 2 I have been bored to tears, and I desperately want to be back on the zombie train.
At the insistence of my dad and brother, I turned to the Image comic book series that inspired the AMC show. Because of my frustrations with the first half of the second season, I was hesitant, but once I dove in, I never looked back. "The Walking Dead" is a brilliant comic book series that will tear out your heart week after week. And yes, that's a good thing.
Robert Kirkman, the comic series co-creator, is a hands-on executive producer behind the scenes of the TV show, and I can appreciate that he wants to keep the two somewhat separate (readers would hate knowing every move before they make it on TV), but I wish the show would borrow from the comic a bit more.
New showrunner Glen Mazzara has revitalized the show's momentum in these past two episodes, his first at the helm, but there's so much that the TV series could and should capitalize on to keep things interesting. I present the top five things:
The katana-wielding badass -- one of the standouts of "The Walking Dead" comic book -- would be a welcome shot in the arm for the TV series. Where Michonne goes, zombies die in beautifully flawless ways. She's not a member of the original survivors and, considering how dangerous she is, she would stir up some much-needed conflict (besides the tired Shane/Rick/Lori triangle) on the show. However, the writers would need to shy away from hitting the viewers over the head with the group's trust issues week after week. Rick needs an ally and "The Walking Dead" TV series needs Michonne. (Plus, Michonne is necessary if the show tackles the Governor storyline ... but that's a whole other story, amiright comic buffs?)
The zombie in the well (you remember: the guy who exploded in half) was a very gross touch that was also very welcome. Keep it up. Bring on the cannibals, the gory amputations and the generally unsavory folks. Zombies aren't the only dangers out there in a post-apocalyptic world. The first two episodes of the second half of the season were a great step in this direction and hopefully it'll continue. Also, please let Andrea be more like the badass, rifle-toting Andrea from the comic. Shane shouldn't have to be the only hero, and Laurie Holden is capable of playing it -- just do it already!
The show shouldn't shy away from having the characters we know and love kill people -- it might even make us love them more. Having long conversations doesn't solve every problem, and Rick has started down that path. The gun has been pulled out -- now let the character growth commence!
Rumor has it some of our tired survivors are going to bite the dust soon (yes, more than one!), and that's so insanely exciting. Enough of the faceless deaths -- if the world has truly gone to hell, represent that. Bring on new characters, develop the remaining characters and freshen things up.
Intrigued? There are 90-plus issues of zombie goodness that can be devoured in comic book form. Yes, I know it's taken almost 100 issues for "The Walking Dead" comic series to get to its current state and TV is a whole different beast, but there's no reason the show can't step it up in character development ... and killing. If the source material is there, use it.