The new cast pictures from season two of AMC’s The Walking Dead have this zombiephile wondering, “Are they all angels wearing halos, or dying of thirst under the hot desert sun?”
Looking at the recently-released cast photos for season two, you will notice two things: 1) The extreme halo/desert sun effect on all the cast portraits, and 2) A not-so-subtle focus on the love triangle. Let’s examine the first of these interesting PR decisions. You can see the new photos in the slideshow on the left.
The Walking Dead is hot. No really: It takes place in Georgia during August. It’s hot, it’s sticky, the sun is scorching down, there’s mosquitos and red clay everywhere. So that’s possibly what the marketing team behind these new cast photos were trying to capture with the glaring sun/halo effect behind each of the characters’ heads. But instead of that miserable sweaty feeling, it conjures images of angels, or grand, hulking heroes blotting out the sun. Maybe these people are just too pretty die, the portraits seem to say. Or even, No zombie could ever kill a bad-ass framed so artistically by the sun. Somehow I don’t think that’s what they were going for.
And then there’s the ubiquitous photos of the love triangle of Rick, Lori, and Shane. One of the most widely-debated decisions from season one was to keep Shane alive past the point of his character’s departure in the comic book. While Shane sticking around for longer certainly differentiates the plot of the comic book from the TV show, it also takes advantage of an opportunity that was missed in the book: What if the love triangle came to a head? What if Rick found out about Lori and Shane? And what if we got to see Shane slowly but surely driven mad with jealousy over the course of a few seasons? Fascinating plotlines ensue!
But these love triangle portraits seem a little too… obvious. And slightly too close to a Harlequin-romance-in-Zombieland feel for my tastes. The beauty of The Walking Dead is not that the characters are overwhelmingly beautiful and tragic and untouchable and heroic, it’s that they’re normal people. Lori and Rick have a strained marriage, and she is a head-strong and stressed-out woman, something that is not reflected by their pose in one particular shot, in which Shane looks with longing over his shoulder as Lori meekly clings to Rick’s side. Those aren’t the TWD characters I’ve come to know and love.
Perhaps we can cut the TWD marketing team some slack for artistic interpretation. After all, the new cast photos are certainly whetting my appetite for season two. But seriously, guys: This isn’t The Vampire Diaries. It’s The Walking Dead.
We are the walking dead: Snarky commentary aside, what do you think of these new cast photos from season two of The Walking Dead? Share your thoughts in a comment below.
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