While most fans seem to agree that the second half was quite good, the first seven episodes of The Walking Dead's second season were met with countless complaints about slow pacing, too much talking, and not enough zombie brains being splattered everywhere. With the characters now having left the relative security of Hershel's farm behind, season three promises to be the most action-packed one yet. In the meantime, EW.com asked various members of the show's cast and crew what they thought about season 2's pace, and here are a few of their answers -
Andrew Lincoln (Rick)
"I don’t watch the show, and I don’t read reviews. I stay out of the equation. All I knew is, I always had a sense that they wanted to play it out as a big movie. They always wanted to say that it’s a big story we’re telling and if you stick with it you will be rewarded. That was always Frank’s intention and Glen’s too. I shot it, so I was like, ‘I know what’s coming.’ I remember doing a lot of press for Spain, and Spain was going, ‘More Zombie.’ And I was like, ‘Please believe me, there is more zombie killing coming.’ Of course we want to get the balance right. We’re still learning what works and what doesn’t work. You can please some of the people some of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time. You can’t please all the people all the time. That’s just taste, and that’s cool. What I keep saying to people is that there is a very vocal, very extreme group of people that want a certain thing from this show. And they will watch this show. They will because it is extreme — more extreme than any f—ing thing I’ve ever been on. And the stuff we’re doing this season is out of the ballpark — it’s crazy what we’re doing this season."
Steven Yeun (Glenn)
"You take it personal in a way because this is something that you’ve worked hard at — and as a group, as a collective, you feel like you put your blood, sweat and tears into this. But at the same time, you realize that the arts are subjective. You accept what they give you, and then subsequently laugh when they say, ‘I can’t wait for the next season.’ And you’re very thrilled and happy about that. We know how this plays out by virtue of us filming this. So for me, it was always just like: Wait for it; wait for it. There’s a plan; we’re all here. There’s a solid checks and balances system of not letting something go too far one way. It’s a beautiful group dynamic, and I think it’s a testament to the cast and crew and writers and producers; everybody has their gear that they work. 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."
Norman Reedus (Daryl)
"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 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."
Robert Kirkman (Creator/Executive Producer)
"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."
Gale Anne Hurd (Executive Producer)
"It’s got to put it in perspective. The number of people who complain are so minor; it’s a small group that we tend to blow it out of proportion. If they were that unhappy, they would have tuned out. They would not have been around —since we had a split season — come February when we started up again. I think it’s everyone’s right to be able to complain, but for the most part we would not have had the investment in the characters — many of whom ended up not making it to the end of the season — if we hadn’t spent that time the first half of the season building up the character dynamic and getting to know them better."
The full article linked above also features responses from cast members Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori), and Laurie Holden (Andrea).
So, where do you guys and gals stand? Are the cast and crew right about the criticisms being unfairly overblown, or do you agree with season two's detractors?