Dead October

Group of 'The Walking Dead' characters in the woods
Photo: Bob Mahoney © 2011 AMC Studios.

The Walking Dead begins its 13-episode second season tonight at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.

Its character work — the hallmark of AMC’s original series, born of brilliant contributions on both sides of the camera — makes Dead appointment television for viewers who can stomach the viscera and suspense-laden filmmaking that are endemic to a show set in a post-apocalyptic future (or present, really) overrun with zombies. You don’t have to be a horror enthusiast to enjoy it, though, any more than you have to know or care about the advertising industry or crystal meth to get hooked on the stellar storytelling in Mad Men or Breaking Bad. Sure, The Walking Dead is about survival in a world where a global outbreak has left living, breathing people the minority amidst hordes of shambling corpses whose only instinct is to feast on fresh human meat and transfer their disease, but the emphasis is on the stark reality of our protagonists’ existence.

You needn’t be familiar with the comics that are the show’s source material, either — created by writer Robert Kirkman with artist Tony Moore, now drawn by Charlie Adlard, published monthly by Image since 2003. Credit where it’s due, however; their work is what led Frank Darabont to develop the series (and serve as showrunner before departing this past summer).

For those who missed the 6-episode first season that debuted last Halloween, or want
to rewatch it, AMC is airing it in order today starting at 2:30 p.m. ET (1:30 p.m. CT). The 90-minute second-season premiere follows, repeating at 10:30, after which comes a live special discussing the show called Talking Dead. Extras — including behind-the-scenes videos and six brief “webisodes” — may be found at the above-linked site.

Related: ... in Thought Panel to Frame North Mythology


  1. I just found episodes 3,4,5 on my "OnDemand"! I watched 45 minutes of some Old Timey movie called "King of the Zombies*" because it was listed before the said episodes and I thought it was a clever introduction to the series like "Hey, let's make an Old Timey movie about the zombie infection as our first episode!" and I was all impressed and stuff. Then my husband, who has seen the first season, comes down and is all "What the hell are you watching?" and I go "The first episode of Walking Dead, Dummy." and he is all "Um, that's not what I saw..." and I was like "Well, that's because you associate with idiots and they probably couldn't sit through the first episode and so they didn't show it to you. You should watch it; it's pretty good." and then I realized he was right. I wasn't watching Walking Dead, I watched this:

    and thought it was the start of the show :/

    BUT the point is: making a mock Old Timey movie is exactly how I will begin my series.

    *I mean it, I was all "Wow! They sure did make this seem authentic! What a cool show!"


  2. ...

    Glad I could help?

  3. @Joan: Did you watch the On Demand episodes, are were you just too turned off when you learned the old timey movie wasn't the first episodes?

  4. I did go on to watch the rest of the episodes and I really liked it. I get angry about some glaringly stupid things though. For example, "The Bag of Guns". Those guns aren't super great guns, they're just guns, you can find them in any gun store or Wal-Mart. Why they kept risking lives for those guns and the limited ammo (instead of securing more guns and ammo) made me annoyed as did their "Old Man on Top of a Camper" security system. And when the alarm goes off in the CDC and everyone is like "Why is there that noise, dur?" after just talking about the time running out. OH, and those jerks all wasting the hot water right after the guy is like "Please, don't waste the hot water". Some of the acting kind of sucks but the idea is so awesome, I will keep watching (when I get season two OnDemand in 12 months). I am coming off all Negative Nelly about it but I *do* like it... I just am not crazy about any one character yet.

  5. @Joan: Why they kept risking lives for those guns and the limited ammo (instead of securing more guns and ammo) made me annoyed as did their "Old Man on Top of a Camper" security system.

    Yeah, I have some issues with how the characters approach their situation too (it's something I bring up in my next TV post). I mean, it's easy for me to say from behind my computer where zombies aren't attacking me, but the first thing I'd do in a zombie apocalypse like this is secure a good melee weapon, then some good boots and clothes that would protect me from casual zombie bites/fluids. THEN worry about guns and junk.

    Also, the idea (prevalent in much apocalypse fiction) of trying to maintain some level of normalcy? Out the window with me. My only concern is staying alive. The only school my kids would be attending would the be the one that teaches them how to kill zombies better.