Editor’s Notes: The Sender and The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season are out on their respective formats August 25th.
The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season
The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season (Anchor Bay) begins with the outstanding episode, “No Sanctuary,” one of the most action packed, bloodiest of the series. Season 4 concluded with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the group outnumbered, outgunned, and trapped in a shipping container at the mercy of Gareth and his band of cannibals. The outlook was bleak.
The problem with this series is that, apart from season opening and finale episodes, the shows tend to be too dialogue driven. For a series whose success is based on zombie/human confrontations, The Walking Dead too often lapses into long talky sequences that slow the pace and kill suspense. Much of this has to do with padding. After all, the show is about the humans defending themselves from becoming zombie meals, but we have back stories, conflicts among the humans, and assorted treks to supposedly safe locations.
Special effects tend to be exceptional — the best on television, easily ranking with what you can see in Hollywood features. The producers keep coming up with new and ghastly images, and I suppose that’s what keeps viewers coming back. However, the series is showing its age and often is repetitive. It’s tough sustaining any series for more than three seasons, especially one whose attraction is shocking viewers. Even deaths of key characters have become predictable, occurring for the most part in season finales. Viewers may be surprised, but never shocked, as they would be if a key character bit the dust early in the season. With its shortcomings, The Walking Dead is without question the best scripted horror ever aired on TV, delivering solid drama along with plenty of blood and gore.
Bonus extras on the Blu-ray release include several behind-the-scenes featurettes, audio commentaries, and deleted scenes.