"The Walking Dead,"AMC's epic, buzzy zombie apocalypse drama, returns from its midseason hibernation this Sunday at 9 p.m. with the first of six episodes closing out the second season.
The midseason finale, which aired on Nov. 27, saw a zombified Sophia emerge from the barn — Hershel Greene's holding pen for reanimated family members and friends — and take a bullet in the head from Rick Grimes' revolver.
Key storylines heading down the stretch run of Season 2 include the volatile love triangle between Rick, Lori and Shane; Hershel's territorial protection of his farm and the whereabouts of self-amputee and great American badass Merle Dixon.
I hope everyone had a nice 10-week break. I spent the time off returning sweaters, playing broomball, refereeing broomball, jogging sporadically and eating fast food. I also watched "Twin Peaks" a lot, went on a road trip to Providence, RI, for New Years, and ran face first into a fence while trying to catch a football. Finally, I was entertained live locally by the Nuclear Cowboyz, Baltimore Blast and Ring of Honor wrestling.
But enough about me, let's get onto the ten things that should happen in the second half of "The Walking Dead" Season 2, but probably won't happen!
1. Some silly new characters
"Seinfeld" had Kramer, "Lost" had Hurley, and Perfect Strangers had Balki.
On "The Walking Dead," we're stuck with Glenn (chuckle) and maybe T-Dog (snicker) for the occasional comic relief.
In the second half of Season 2, I'd like the writers to introduce a more classic, vaudevillian funnyman. Maybe someone who suffers from a delightfully amusing mental disorder like Captain 'Howling Mad' Murdock from the "The A-Team" (played by Calvert Hall graduate Dwight Schultz nonetheless). Or maybe the band of survivors will welcome a failed stand-up comedian into their ranks. His puns and one-liners will be so bad that they'll be hilarious! I'd even settle for a sassy young — possibly gay — smart-aleck who often cracks wise, a la David Spade or Andy Dick, at the expense of others. Can you imagine the possibilities?
*Dale is being eaten by zombies*
Sass-master: "What a shame!"
Lori: "I know, he was such a good man!"
Sass-master: "Oh honey, I was talking about that unfortunate shirt! Where did he get that, Jimmy Buffett's yard sale?"
2. Celebrity cameos
Half the fun of "The Walking Dead" is that the actors are relative unknowns — save for Emma Bell from"Frozen" and "Final Destination 5," and who died in Season 1 — so you're like "Oh, this guy's not famous so he could be killed at any second, but then again, none of them are famous, so any of them could be killed at any second! MINDF---"
But wouldn't it be fun if like David Duchovny or Denise Richards or Cheech Marin or Tom Wopat or that guy Jonathan Pryce who was in the Infiniti commercials, or Debra Messing, showed up on the farm like "I'm lost, and scared. I can't believe I found this farm! Can I hang out and cool my heels for a minute? My dogs are barking!"
And the best part is that they're just doing a cameo, so they'd need to exit stage left by the end of the episode. That would mean that either they could mosey on down the path (maybe after doing something to outrage the other survivors?) or meet their death! Wouldn't it be fun to watch Betty White or Wayne Brady or Chris Elliott being devoured by z-boys?
3. A new background
Sorry, the farm is cool and all, but I think we're all ready for a change of scenery. How about like an old abandoned amusement park where they could explore the fun house and the tunnel of love, or a run-down shopping mall (#TeamDawnOfTheDead) or roller rink? Or what about if they holed up in an old sports arena, like the Baltimore Arena, or an undersea base, or ... a prison? I could go on and on, the possibilities are endless. Anything other than that darn farm!
4. Some of the survivors form a band
Not like a band of survivors, they already have that, but like a cool garage band to pass the time. I see Daryl on the axe, Shane as the angst-ridden lead singer, belting out Alice in Chains covers, Rick pounding the skins, not drawing too much attention to himself but keeping an airtight rhythm, and T-Dog on bass.
5. The survivors celebrate a holiday
Chrtistmas and Thanksgiving would be too cheesy, Halloween would be pointless, so how about April Fool's Day? Glenn could pour ketchup down his arm and run up to Maggie and be like "AAH-SAHH! I been bit!" and she's like "Nooo!!!" and he's like "Psyched your mind! You should have seen the look on your face, it was priceless!" That way he could also get her back for smashing that egg in his ball cap. Or on Memorial Day or Labor Day they could have a picnic, BBQing up some spam and playing a little tailgate toss. That might help them get their minds off of things.
6. One of the characters starts drinking, hard
This one was going to be "Hershel Greene pays the ultimate price," but then I remembered in the teaser for the new episode that they showed Hershel turning to the bottle. What Hershel really needed all along was to lighten up some, so who knows, he could end up being a pretty cool guy after all! As long as he's a fun drunk, like Dudley Moore in "Arthur," and not an angry drunk, like anyone who's ever been on Cops.
7. More Merle Dixon
Oh man, Merle Dixon (portrayed by Michael Rooker) is so cool. He's like Daryl Dixon except without all the namby pambiness and pussyfooting. Yeah he's racist, sexist, boorish and homophobic, but he comes up with lots of good cutdowns and the camera loves him! I think that if he and Shane ever went toe-to-toe the fireworks would be as good as what they have at Disney World. And if they happened to join forces...?
8. Better product placement
We get that in the zombie apocalypse, Hyundai vehicles and Gerber knives are your key to survival. But I'd like to see the survivors stumble across an abandoned Arby's and throw some delicious curly fries into the deep frier, crack open a few tall boys of Miller High Life that had been chilling in a teeth-cracking cold mountain creek, or find some really cool Von Dutch trucker hats to shield their domes from the blazing hot sun.
9. Comedic sound effects
"The Walking Dead" sound effects team does a great job when someone smashes a zombies head open with a hammer (*KAA-CHUNNKK*) or pops off a few rounds from an automatic handgun (*KLATT-KLATT-KLATT*). But I'd like it if they added humorous sound effects, too, like if someone slips and falls on some zombie blood (*WUBBA-WUBBA-WUBBA-SHWEEEEE*) or has a tree branch fall on their head and knock them out cold (*BONNNK*). While they're at it, a laugh track might not be the worst idea in the world either...And, it couldn't hurt to throw in heavy metal music during all fight scenes, like in "Wild at Heart"!
10. More gore!
Remember when there was that big, fat, naked zombie that lived in the well on the Greene farm? And they tried to pull it out with the horse and the rope, and it ripped in half and all this gunk spilled out of it back into the well? More stuff like that please. Thanks.
Well, that's it! Be sure to check back here Sunday night and Monday morning for weekly recaps each of the next six weeks. Oh, and I promise to never use the euphamism "bumping uglies" again in my recaps.
What do you want to see more of or less of during the next six episodes of The Walking Dead? Add your suggestions in the comments, or just think it to yourself quietly!