The Walking Dead” Season 2 Midseason Premiere Kills the Cable Rating Record

By on February 14, 2012

“The Walking Dead” from AMC broke their previous record of most watched show. Previously set at 7.3 million viewers for their Season 2 premiere in October 2011, the show outdid it self hitting 8 million viewers this time on February 12 of this year reports the Huffington Post. Combined with the encore showing, it was really more like 11 million. That’s not even counting online downloads.

According to AMC, the premiere was the “strongest telecast for any drama in basic cable history.”

Charlie Collier, president of AMC, had this to say about the show:

“‘The Walking Dead’ is one of those rare television programs that reaches both a core genre fan as well as broad audiences simply looking for a great, character-based story. We’re so proud of and grateful for the amazing team on both sides of the camera who works so hard and is so committed to making this a unique programming event.”

“That ‘The Walking Dead’ is now the most watched drama in the history of basic cable is staggering, just like our zombies.”

“It is a great night for AMC. We’re thrilled to see this incredible record breaking response to ‘The Walking Dead,’ and ‘Comic Book Men’ is off to a strong start as well. Congratulations to the teams behind both of these shows,”

Comic Book Men that Collier is referring to is a comic book reality show by Kevin Smith; Silent Bob nooch! It aired right after “the Walking dead” and was watched by only 2 million viewers. Which to me means that only two million of the viewers are comic book fans who probably read the original The Walking Dead graphic novels..

Forget about the ratings, hocking loosely related spin offs and the money symbols burning out their retinas. What about the show? Warning: Spoilers.

Show begins of course where they last left off. With the shooting of Zombie Sophia. The dust settles and it’s up to the farmers to go nuts and get dangerously close to the walkers. “I know. Let’s all be stupid and cry over our dead zombie relatives, then give them a chance to bite us.  Yes, scratches and bites is all it takes.  That’s why she’s all catatonic.

This is further compounded by Andrea walking around without a care in the world into dark barns and trucks loaded with destroyed walkers. Is this the development of la belle indifference where she is unable to see real danger or a sign that she’s become used to this? She doesn’t even go into the barn with her weapon drawn.  She could have fell backwards in the truck and into an open mouth that bites her from the impact of a pot hole. This is where I see the show finally spiraling into zombie movie domain. The theme? When idiots attack.

I cannot express how much I dislike Shane Walsh on the show. The bullying he does, the contempt on his face, the attitude that he carries himself with, and the way of which he continuously rationalizes his actions. I am continuously annoyed with him. Is there no other development of his character other than flip out and be loud? If that’s the goal, then Shane is a well written character. I feel sorry for John Bernthal the actor who plays him. I hope he doesn’t get type cast.

So Shane continues to flip out on Rick and vies for the matrix of leadership. Shane opens a barn full of walkers to prove a point, instead of safely killing them from the outside. Rick however has to make the hard choices such as shooting Sophia. The show is becoming less about zombie survival and more “Who’s the Boss?” but without comedy.

Poor Dale. Dale is the only one privy to watch the dead frog sing and dance when no one else is around. Shane only likes to reveal his true nature to him. Why? Maybe because he believes no one will side against him. Dale even attempts to explain this to Lori, but they’re all immune to logic. Here is a version of what I heard:

Dale: Shane. He’s dangerous.

Lori: Yes, he can be a hot head.

Dale: No. I said dangerous.

Lori: Hot head?

Dale: *sounding it out now* Dane-Jer-Us

Lori: * slowly * Haw-Tuh Heh-Ed?

Dale goes on to explain that Shane is a threat to their survival and he’ll eventually kill again. I recall saying this fairly recently in The Walking Dead Game: Dead Reckoning article.

To prove that the supporting cast is become more Teflon coated against logic, Lori is all annoyed asking that Rick does not abandon them to find Hershel; one of his kids is sick and he’s gone missing.

“We need Hershel for the baby.” Oh snap! Logic! W…What do I do? Quick, get Shane to flip out!

Then there’s the introduction of new survivors, all bent on shacking up with the rest of the Walking Dead cast and exuding feelings of unsavory intent.

When Rick refuses to let them join or reveal their main base, we hear “I thought we were friends.” All over bearing bullies and rapists tend to say this.

I was surprised that the writers didn’t drag the two interlopers story out and make it into a douche fest between them and Shane.

How did the show redeem itself in less than five seconds? Bam! Another head shot! Followed by some more gun play. I hope this is the beginning of a new running gag or theme. All premieres and finales end and begin with head shots. Maybe this will lead up to Shane’s final close up.

After all, Shane is getting too big for his britches, and only one guy gets to wear the sheriff’s hat around here.

About Leo Choy

Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Leo Choy stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished. He awoke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that were not his own, and driven by an unknown force to change history for the better. His only guide on this journey is Al, an observer from his own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Leo can see and hear. And so, Leo finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home.
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