Saturday, 13 April 2013

TV: The Walking Dead (S3) (8/10)

Why did I watch it?
The second season of The Walking Dead was often criticised but despite its weaknesses I still enjoyed watching it and there was never going to be any doubt that I would be tuning in to see where Rick and co ended up after abandoning the farm.

What's it all about?
After leaving the relative sanctuary of the farm and cleaning house with regards to Shane, Rick leads the group onwards through Georgia, ransacking house after house of food, weapons and the inevitable zombie squatters. That is until they come across an abandoned prison, where similar to Hershel's farm, they decided to set up camp. Meanwhile, the identity of Andrea's saviour is revealed and the pair travel to Woodbury, a safe barracaded town of residents led by 'The Governor' (David Morrissey). 

Should you watch it?
The first thing that struck me during the season premiere was how skilled and comfortable the group have become in dealing with zombies. There has clearly been some time pass between seasons and in order to survive the group have become deadlier and more immune to the fear of zombies, especially in small numbers in open spaces but I found that in doing so, I didn't feel the fear, suspense or shock that I previously did either.

Perhaps sensitive to criticism of the slow nature of the last season, some pretty major events occur within the first four episodes this time around, reducing the number of the prison inhabitants by two and introducing (and in one case reintroducing) the residents of Woodbury to our screens. The show definitely improves with the introduction of Woodbury's de facto chief, The Governor. Already a merciless leader with some disturbing but well meant secrets, he becomes an increasingly violent madman after clashing with Michonne and the character becomes the driving force of the reminder of the season's storyline.

The story was again bogged down in places by frustrating character development. Rick and Lori's domestic issues, Rick's mental breakdown and Glenn and Maggie's issues post-Woodbury kidnap all being examples of the show not being at it's best.
Eye'll be seeing you.....
The season is action packed, by the end zombies only really appeared as extras outside the prison perimeter, as the story focused solely on the impending battle between The Governor's Woodbury and Rick's prison. Caught in the middle of the two was Andrea, who had the most frustrating character storyline of the season and overtook Lori and Carl (no mean feat) as the show's most annoying character. Just as the season finale looked set to reveal the victor once and for all, it didn't. No cliffhanger, no nothing, the finale only serving to give polite notice that the personal duel had been postponed to next season.

With at least it's third showrunner taking over the helm for season four, The Walking Dead will need to hit the ground running next time around.

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