After peaceful first half, season two will close with things 'at a full boil' on the farm
"The Walking Dead" returns from a brief mid-season hiatus on Sunday night at 9 on AMC. Ratings-wise, the post-apocalyptic zombie drama remains an enormous hit for AMC, with its viewership actually increasing after the already successful first season. Creatively, though, there have been some bumps, with most of the season's first half taking place during a relatively idyllic — or, as some viewers have put it, dull — stretch on a rural farm that's been largely untouched by the zombie plague.
On top of that, there was the abrupt departure of showrunner Frank Darabont midway through the season, which left his number two man, "The Shield" alum Glen Mazzara, in charge of things. I spoke with Mazzara and Robert Kirkman — who created "The Walking Dead" comic book and has been a writer on the TV series from the beginning — about where things stand for Rick Grimes and friends as we head into the home stretch, about some of the complaints about the relative peace of Herschel's farm, the timing of Darabont's exit and more.
Also, one word of warning for those who have watched the show but not read the comics: at one point in the interview, Kirkman brings up a character who died early in the comic but is still alive on the show, and one who suffered the opposite fate in the transition from page to screen. I've generally discouraged discussion of events in the comic that have yet to happen on the show, but in this case it's a situation where if it does eventually happen on the show, the context will have to be very different, so I left it in the transcript. If you don't want to know, don't click through.