Gooey zombies are about to descend on us, and I can't wait! Especially since, with the second season of AMC's smash hit The Walking Dead premiering Sunday, executive producer Robert Kirkman has a dare for us.
"This is a great survival story. It's about great characters living through very human stories and dealing with loss and broken hearts and zombies busting through walls trying to eat them. It's really just unlike anything else on television. I dare you to find another show that delivers on the same things that The Walking Dead delivers on," he said.
Kirkman created the comic book series that The Walking Dead series is based on, and he's got plenty to say about what we can look forward to this season.
"We've got over double the amount of episodes that we had last year. We'll be telling much longer, involved stories. There's going to be a lot more twists and turns along the way. I'm pretty excited for people to see what we're doing in this second season."
The new season, which kicks off with a 90-minute episode, will follow the survivors as they leave Atlanta and head toward rural areas away from the dangerous cities.
"It'll be beautiful, picturesque landscapes and just seeing the countryside of rural Georgia. And it'll be much more dangerous, just because it's going to be harder to find supplies as they get into less populated areas, and there aren't going to be as many opportunities for shelter, and so they're going to be out on their own, braving the elements. There's going to be zombies lurking behind every tree, so it's going to be a much different look to the show. I think it'll bring a lot more suspense," said Kirkman.
While zombies may be lurking behind every tree, as it was last year, the core of the series is about the characters who are trying so desperately to survive.
"The core dynamic of the Rick/Lori/Shane relationship is definitely going to be explored in a bigger way. So we're going to see a lot more to that, and we're going to see some interesting movements from Shane. And there's also going to be a big plot twist thrown into the mix around episode four or five that will complicate that relationship that much more. So be on the lookout for that," said Kirkman.
And there will be something the comic book fans have been hoping for. The survivors are "going to be encountering Hershel's Farm, which is a big storyline from the comic book series. That'll be a place that they stay in for a while, and so we'll be introduced to Hershel, who is a big character from the comic book series, and Maggie, who in the comic book series has a relationship with Glenn. So we'll possibly see a little bit of romance between Glenn and Maggie as we move forward into the second season." Maggie will be played by Lauren Cohan (Chuck), and Scott Wilson takes on the role of Hershel Greene. Pruitt Taylor Vince also guest-stars this season.
But there's some lingering elements from last season that might pop up as well. "Merle is kind of out there. We saw him cut his hand off to survive on that roof, and we never really saw where he went. And the fact of the matter is we will eventually, probably, see that. I don't know if it's going to be in the second season. I don't know if it's going to be in the third season. We're definitely not going to leave that hanging. But I wouldn't want to give away when we may or may not be seeing that guy. Another character that I'm really anxious to get back into exploring is Morgan, who was in the very first episode, played by Lennie James."
While AMC has announced that The Walking Dead will have a 13-episode second season, that season will be split in half. The first half will have seven episodes, including the 90-minute premiere. The second half of the season, with the final six episodes, will premiere Sunday, Feb. 12, at 9 p.m. ET.
The one thing Kirkman promises is that there will be "great character development, much more than we saw in the first season. We're going to really get to the meat and potatoes of our characters and find out what makes them tick and exactly how they're going to be able to continue to survive in this world ravaged by zombies," he said.
Are you ready for the dead to walk?