Five Reasons The Walking Dead Won’t Miss Frank Darabont
With the October 16th premiere of AMC’s The Walking Dead fast approaching, some fans of the show may still be worried about what the absence of creator Frank Darabont will mean for the quality of the upcoming season. Darabont, who also goes by “That guy that directed Shawshank Redemption” was unceremoniously
shitcanned let go back in July after production on the second season had already begun.
Clearly this is cause for concern among fans, but when we stopped to think about it, it might not be as bad as it seems. Here are five reasons why losing Darabont won’t be a big a deal as you might think.
Make no mistake, Darabont deserves credit for persevering to get Dead on the air in the first place and his direction of the premiere episode “Days Gone By” was nothing short of stellar. But you know what? That episode wasn’t a pilot — it was a two-hour movie that played to his strengths. Serializing a drama over the course of multiple years without the aid of consistently high production values, set designs and theatrical pacing might not be. Just saying.
The West Wing. Baywatch. Lost. Want to know what they all have in common? They were all better in year two than year one. Whether it’s unfolding a blowup over a hidden medical condition, a profound increase in T&A or the deepening mystery of a strange island, successful shows tend to figure out by season two what works and how to exploit it. A zombie apocalypse drama will be no different.
Hand in hand with the blossoming of a show in season two is the fact that the actors are far more settled into their roles, honing their characterizations and truly beginning to embody the people they’re playing. That surety usually translates into some kick-ass acting and a better experience for the viewer.
New showrunner Glen Mazzara is a veteran writer whose credits include work on Life, Crash and, most notably, The Shield. Mazzara was also responsible for directing the penultimate installment of season one entitled “Wildfire,” arguably the second best episode besides the pilot. Mazzara is known around Hollywood for being a strong talent in his own right and we think giving him the controls for Dead is the right call.
In all honesty, there’s no reason to think there would be a drop in ratings without Darabont leading the production. All the elements are already in place. A great cast, capable writers and a killer storyline (pun intended). But even if it falls a little flatter than last season, we doubt it will hurt too much, mostly because once people engage with a show like The Walking Dead they tend to stay in for the long haul. We have a suspicion season two is going to be pretty damn epic, but that’s just our opinion. Judge for yourself.