The Walking Dead returns to AMC for its second season this Sunday, and I don't blame you if your expectations are a bit mixed after last year's short, powerful but largely inconsistent season one.
The series premiere was the biggest in AMC's history, and for good reason. Seen through the eyes of small town sheriff Rick Grimes, the premiere was a masterful 90-minute thrill ride through the initial horrors of a zombie apocalypse. The five episodes that followed had their moments, but none could really live up to the show's initial outing. Too many and too broadly drawn characters, hyper-realistic gore layered atop unrealistic plot developments and serious pacing issues too often distracted from the show's strengths: its action sequences, mainly, and its actors, who have been consistently great even if their material wasn't. While not an outright disappointment, the lasting impression of The Walking Dead season one wasn't of amazing, groundbreaking television, but of glimmers of brilliance amid a sea of unrealized potential.