Next month, The Walking Dead will debut its biggest season yet. They're bringing on fan favorites, heading to the prison and enforcing the Ricktatorship. But before they move on, they have some serious 'splaining to do.
The second season of The Walking Dead wasn't perfect. As a whole, its pacing was inconsistent. The first half was slow and stagnant, while the second was filled with action. This caused a divide among fans and critics, who complained about the lack of balance.
The show's cast and producers heard your cries and are responding to the criticism.
According to Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon):
"People are going say whatever they're going to say anyway. If we killed a zillion zombies last season everyone would say, 'There's no storyline, they don't talk enough.' So f— 'em! I've been trying to get into Game of Thrones. I can't tell if it's the future or the past, but those motherf--ers talk to the whole time. Do I gotta bitch about it, or am I going to watch it and enjoy? I'm going to watch it and enjoy. People are going say whatever they say. You have to talk to tell a story. It's not a cartoon. The pace this season is definitely amped up. We're just talking faster."
Steven Yeun (Glenn) also threw in his two cents.
"We get it, we're not perfect, and obviously, last season wasn't perfect. But you tweak, you stay consistent as well. You hope that people come back and watch."
Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori) specifically addressed the slow pace, which she felt served a purpose.
"I think the pace of the first half of the second season was a huge creative risk because it slowed down to the pace of a stage play instead of the pace of a horror movie. And I think that risk, in my mind, was absolutely worth it. The first season was so fast and so short. You got a chance to really invest in those characters and really explore them. I think that's Frank's genius as a writer—he's not about what happens as much, in my opinion, as he is about who's making it happen and why."
Laurie Holden (Andrea) shares Callies sentiment.
"It's storytelling, and I think that, first of all, you can't please everybody—there's always going to be a hater. But it needed to develop slowly in the beginning for the story—to get to know the characters, to really set up the conflict so you could go quickly and just have this tornado of action. But it can't be like that all the time. I think it all ended up the way that it was supposed to."
As for the man behind it all? Robert Kirkman says:
"I know that we're all very proud of season 2, and we're very happy with how it turned out. I think that once you see it all as a whole, you see how the first half—that some people said was slow—kind of built to a cool moment and really facilitated what happened in the later faster paced episodes."
With that in mind, do you agree with their reasoning? We can understand not wanting to lose the show's humanity with nonstop violence. But there are ways to do that without being tedious. Unfortunately, there were moments in season two where it felt like the story was going nowhere.
The Walking Dead returns Oct. 14 on AMC.
What do you think?