After stunning TV industry pundits last week by posting the largest ratings ever for an original AMC show, The Walking Dead returns with a mission: at the very least, keep pace with the incredible pilot episode “Days Gone Bye.” Does it succeed? In a word: Hellya. More ahead.
The Walking Dead “Guts” does what the second episode of any wildly successful series should do: it actually exceeds its predecessor. “Guts” brings to light the versatility of The Walking Dead, and the horror genre as a whole. Where “Days Gone Bye” was a darkly emotional character drama flanked with the lumbering suspense of the best zombie epics, “Guts” is every bit the action oriented gore fest its title promises – this is where The Walking Dead proves that not only can it torture your inner existentialist with dark overtures on human nature, it can also make you dive for the nearest corner and beg for the horror to stop. It’s gritty, it’s fast paced, it’s icky, and it’s awesome.
Another good thing to point out about this episode of The Walking Dead is that the loose play with Kirkman’s source material begins to get a lot looser here. I don’t want to give anything away, but I could sum it up like this: where comic adaptations usually have to cut corners to reign in the no-budget-restraints vision of the comic world, The Walking Dead does just the opposite: expanding the scope not only in the sense of the wonderful character work inherent in both iterations of The Walking Dead, but also in the action elements. Kirkman fans note: I’m not suggesting that the comic was bested, just that it is clear that when flanked by some of the best minds in film today Kirkman’s vision becomes bigger, bolder, more savage, and much more ambitious.
The Walking Dead 1.02 “Guts” Premieres Tonight at 10/9c on AMC
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