Season 2 of The Walking Dead: Watch them all, or watch selectively?
February 10, 2013 4:51 PM   Subscribe

My boyfriend and I have just finished Season 1 of The Walking Dead. We have heard that Season 2 really drags, but Season 3 (so far) is amazing. So now we are torn: should we watch all of Season 2, or should we skip some episodes so as to reach Season 3 faster? If the latter, which episodes should we skip, and which are must-watch? SPOILERS INSIDE.

I have actually read synopses for all the episodes aired so far, so if it's easier to answer things using spoilers, go right ahead.
posted by ocherdraco to Media & Arts (23 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I enjoyed Season 2. Even if it is slower than Season 1 I don't think there's anything worth skipping. YMMV.
posted by humboldt32 at 4:55 PM on February 10, 2013

Season two starts out slow, but I thought it picked up well, such that it was strong at the end. There are some plot twists/developments that are worth sticking through from the beginning. I almost didn't get there, though, as I stopped watching after the first couple of episodes, due to the concerns you voice. I'm glad I came back to it, though, as I think I may have enjoyed it more than season three at the end of the day. Second two has some excellent moments that require tgecharacter development up to those moments.
posted by SpacemanStix at 5:04 PM on February 10, 2013

I don't think you can skip any. Even if they go slower, there are important things you might miss if you don't watch them all.
posted by DoubleLune at 5:05 PM on February 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

Agree.... watch them all.
posted by pearlybob at 5:05 PM on February 10, 2013

Eh, I'd say skip them all and read the episode plot summaries on Wikipedia.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 5:06 PM on February 10, 2013

Every single episode is terrific and you'd lose a lot of context for many things - like "hey, why isn't so and so on the show anymore...?"
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:14 PM on February 10, 2013

Season 2 (mainly) gets a bad rap because they spend a lot of time on the farm and it was torture waiting a week between episodes to see if, well, anything happened. This feeling will be greatly mitigated now that you can watch all of them back-to-back if you want.
posted by Diskeater at 5:17 PM on February 10, 2013 [8 favorites]

Came in to say what Diskeater said. I caught them all more-or-less back-to-back, and I didn't find them nearly as interminable as other people (who I agreed with on Season 1) have described.
posted by Etrigan at 5:20 PM on February 10, 2013

I agree that you should watch all of them. I watched the second season on Netflix over the course of a few weeks and found that the suspense built from episode to episode and kept me on the edge of my seat. I don't think you'll get the same effect if you skip any episodes.
posted by southern_sky at 5:31 PM on February 10, 2013

Thanks, folks! We'll discuss, and figure out what we want to do. We'll probably watch them all.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:34 PM on February 10, 2013

Season 2 won't seem slow if you can watch them whenever you want. People who had to watch them one per week thought it dragged. It seemed fine to me when I watched on Netflix Watch Instantly.
posted by dgeiser13 at 5:57 PM on February 10, 2013

They go a lot faster if you blow through them all as fast as you can.
posted by cellphone at 6:19 PM on February 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Season 2 kind of lost its way (and diverged even more from the comics), but if you can watch them ad libitum powering through a few episodes in a row is a good option.

The plus side is that the story's fresh for the much better 3rd season (which was a little more congruent, storywise, with the comics).
posted by porpoise at 6:27 PM on February 10, 2013

Yeah, what everyone else said about being able to watch them as you'd like. I thought Season 2 was great, if a bit slow on the action at times (watching 4 episodes in a weekend would have been torture watching 4 episodes a month!)
posted by AlisonM at 6:30 PM on February 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I know you've already read the synopses but without using spoilers I'll just say that most of the criticism was levied at the first half of the season, which ended with a huge reveal (and it's weird in retrospect to think how things seemed to go on "forever" when they were only on the farm for six episodes at that point), and a lot more happened in the second half.

The bigger complaint, I recall, was not that things were slow so much as that many of the characters made a preposterous number of dumb and bad decisions (which did, in a number of cases, directly lead to later events).
posted by psoas at 7:01 PM on February 10, 2013

I'll give a contrary opinion -- I really enjoyed season 1, and found season 2 so dull and pompous that I quit the show entirely after 6 or 7 episodes. (And I was watching it on Netflix Streaming, taking in episodes one after another.) If season 3 is actually good, I'll consider watching it without seeing another minute of season 2. So, in my opinion, should you.
posted by escabeche at 7:01 PM on February 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

If you like the show, why wouldn't you want to watch every episode? It's not like these are network seasons with 25 episodes each.

Honestly, if you're going to skip season 2 there's absolutely no reason to watch any further. The season advances the plot and the characters in such a way that season 3 and beyond would make little to no sense. Part of the enjoyment of watching this newish crop of non-episodic long-form dramas is letting the story unroll in a way that never happened on shows like Magnum P. I. or 21 Jump Street, two programs that you could probably skip the second seasons of and still be okay.
posted by item at 8:51 PM on February 10, 2013

We had a marathon of watching Seasons 1-2 and I read a book (or whatever) through some of it. I recommend that rather than just skipping.
posted by BibiRose at 5:55 AM on February 11, 2013

Major Walking Dead fan here. I've read the comics and watched all of what's available (except for last night's ep). The first half of S2 is slow, but it's necessary for the last half. The payoff in the last episode of S2 is worth the wait. Absolutely do not skip anything.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 7:48 AM on February 11, 2013

I skipped Season 2. I was fine only because I had someone who had watched it with me narrating backstory. Without it, however, I would have been lost.
posted by corb at 8:26 AM on February 11, 2013

I watched Season 2 back-to-back on Netflix and found it pretty interminable. That said, browsing through the episode synopsii on WikiPedia makes me feel that there are very few episodes which could be skipped completely. The Sophia subplot and episodes 8, 9, 10 seemed like the draggiest parts to me, though there's good bits in there (Daryl's searching for Sophia, mostly. Funny that I felt that season should have been 10 episodes rather than 13 and now that I sit down and go over the episodes I recomend skipping three of them.)
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:56 AM on February 11, 2013

Season 2 is awesome. The "it draaags!" commentary is lame, at least to me; The Walking Dead is a marvelously written, acted, and filmed series, and complaining because it fails to be an action movie and spends time developing the pathos of the characters says more about the complainer than the show.
posted by ellF at 12:50 PM on February 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

I just watched Season 2 on Netflix and it was enough that I'm pondering giving up on the series entirely. The first half especially does plodding episodes with cliffhanger endings which is less annoying when you're watching them all back to back, but still. I also really stopped caring about Rick and Shane and Lori, which the season devotes far too much time to for my taste.
posted by ckape at 2:36 PM on February 11, 2013

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