Sarah Wayne Callies
While we're on the topic of the first half of the season I would also like to point out another reason to ignore the haters. This may be a series that revolves around a scientific outbreak causing the dead to walk around as zombies, but I think some fans are missing the point. The zombie apocalypse is the catalyst but by no means the central focus. What sets this series apart from others is the fact that it illustrates how we, humans, become monsters far more vicious and evil than any walker. The emotional impact of this storyline stems from real people in a messed up situation trying to keep it together as society (and the world) fall apart around them. If you want mindless zombie action go rent any of the RESIDENT EVIL films, DAWN OF THE DEAD or 28 DAYS LATER. This series is trying desperately to give us more than that, and for the most part succeeds.
The cast is still well rounded with Andrew Lincoln leading the pack as Rick Grimes. Rick's character changes dramatically over the course of the graphic novel series, and this season gives us a taste of that, especially with the last half of the season working up to the explosive finale. I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume you've watched this entire season before I delve into a couple details/potential spoilers...so be warned if you still have some episodes to go. Still with me, okay then. The Rick and Shane deal was a powder keg just itching to explode, even the book virgins could easily see that coming. The way it all went down was...different, but not altogether bad. Carl's character becomes seriously dark in the books, and though we see a small piece of that, it's like a grain of sand by comparison. I really hope they don't drop the ball with certain characters, Carl being one of them. I didn't mind them inventing a handful of characters who admittedly add to the mix, but don't water down the badass peeps who shape the series into epic status.
THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 2 made for some good TV viewing (after the first five episodes more so), and after the balls to the walls finale I'm aching for more. My favorite character is Michonne, and why the hell wouldn't she be as what story wouldn't improve with the addition of a sword wielding chick hacking off zombie heads left and right. I exploded with glee as she appeared saving Andria's life, hooded and sporting her signature chained zombies. Yes, I loved seeing the prison in the closing moments too, but Michonne is what I've been waiting for all season (I was rooting for TRUE BLOOD's Rutina Wesley to land the role of Michonne as she would have been perfect, but you can't win them all). This story needed a strong badass Riddick-like anti hero and she's got that one covered in spades. Add to that, a villain like the Governor and we could be in for one hell of a season 3. Again, my only fear stems from the idea of these characters (and the ridiculously graphic chaos that comes with them) being watered down in fear of shocking or turning off fans of the TV series that didn't read the books. In a world where ratings win wars, I'm sure AMC is and has been debating this very issue down to the very last letter, all I ask is that the decision be handled with proper care and good judgement. At this point I'm still raging for more and that's definitely a good thing. Here's hoping season three knocks 'em dead.
Featurettes: There are ten mini-featurettes, all running about five minutes or so and for the most part they're very entertaining and informative. I'm particularly fond of the Farmhouse and Barn segment along with the construction of the well. And although we hear from cast and the production team, it's the insight from Graphic Novel writer Robert Kirkman that really pulls weight here. Kirkman feels genuine in his explanation of character arcs and why the show differs from the comic. We also get some wardrobe, score and special effects details that are a fun watch.
Webisodes: Oddly enough I didn't know about these and I'm usually on top of webisode stuff. These six 2-5 minute beauties are a clever tie-in to the story that revolve around a woman and her two kids. How it ties in to the first season of the show was pretty damn cool.
Deleted Scenes: Sadly there's not much here in this half hour of scenes. There's a couple extended versions of stuff we know, but mostly this is filler we didn't need making it obvious as to why they were cut. Lots of Otis and Shane stuff and a forced God/religion bit. I was hoping for more.
Previews: There are a few TV themed trailers and advertisements.