The Walking Dead Tops Entertainment Weekly’s Must List; Newsday Calls it TV Event of the Year

The reviews are in for last week’s Season Premiere of The Walking Dead, with critics across publications like The Washington Post, TV Guide and Hitfix declaring it bodes well for the rest of the season. Meanwhile, EW places the series atop its weekly Must List.

According to TV Guide, The Walking Dead “returns very much alive and kicking, the gut-wrenching highlight of another busy TV weekend.”

Entertainment Weekly features The Walking Dead as the No. 1 “Must” of the week, advising, “Trust us: You’ll want to hitch a ride on this road trip.” (No Link)

• From the Washington Post‘s review of The Walking Dead Season 2 premiere: “The show seems somehow sleeker and better paced… The Walking Dead [is] less predictable and more frightening.”

Newsday calls The Walking Dead premiere “one of the TV events of the year.” Bloody Disgusting says of The Walking Dead, “if the season premiere of Season 2 is any indication, we don’t need to worry about a damn thing — if anything, it’s better than ever.” HitFix says that “Like Rick Grimes, all I can do is focus on what lies directly in front of me, and the here and now of The Walking Dead looks very good,” and the New York Daily News declares that “Coming out of the starting blocks, at least, the show is still clinging to its complexity, darkness and humor.”

BuzzFocus.com says of the season premiere, “Co-directors Ernest Dickerson and Gwenyth Horder Payton capture each face of panic, every wrinkle of despair, and moment of anguish perfectly.” Meanwhile, the Montreal Gazette remarks, “The Walking Dead is fiction, and the premise seems frankly unbelievable, and yet there’s something undeniably real about the human drama that unfolds onscreen.”

Fangoria believes that the first two episodes The Walking Dead Season 2 showcase how it “has begun ascension back toward being the show we’d all hoped and knew it could be.” The Philadelphia Daily News reveals, “I’m still zombie-challenged, but by the end of the season premiere, I was hooked all over again.”

TVLine has a photo from The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 2, “Bloodletting,” of Rick holding Carl after he’s been shot: “Episode 2 picks up seconds later and finds Rick morphing into Father Protector mode.”

Digital Spy shares 10 teasers from The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 2, “Bloodletting,” including “This episode focuses on the close bond between Rick and Shane, with Andrew Lincoln and Jon Bernthal both delivering phenomenal performances.”

USA Today writes that The Walking Dead premiere averaged 7.3 million total viewers, with 4.8 million viewers in the ages 18-49 category. Those ratings “buried the previous cable record for 18-to-49-year-old viewers,” according to the New York Times.

• The U.K.’s Guardian applauds Greg Nicotero: “Artistically, he’s making the best zombies of his impressive career.” Meanwhile, Monsters and Critics credits Nicotero for making the show “even more frightening this second season than the first.” The New York Post interviews Nicotero, who states, “The Walking Dead is one of the most epic things I’ve been involved with. I’ve never worked harder in my life.”

Grantland mentions The Walking Dead in an examination the zombie phenomenon, theorizing it is “the most visible sign yet that zombies, once a niche phenomenon beloved by effects-makeup nerds and dudes in Cannibal Corpse T-shirts, are America’s Next Top Abomination.” Similarly, Adweek notes that because of The Walking Dead‘s success, “TV may breakout into a full on scare pandemic, driven by strong ratings and critical raves.”

• The Los Angeles Times discusses Carl’s shooting at the end of the Season 2 premiere.

• The New York Times examines Atlanta’s self-styled claim as the “Zombie Capital of the World.”

The Walking Dead‘s show-runner Glen Mazzara tells CNN about his all-zombies, all-the-time life: “I wake up thinking about zombies. How do I keep them scary? What’s new, what’s different, what’s fun that we can do with zombies?”

Robert Kirkman and Gale Anne Hurd tease bits of Season 2 to The Hollywood Reporter (such as “What did Jenner whisper to Rick at the CDC?”).

Robert Kirkman chats with the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Daily Maverick, the Fresno Bee, The Hollywood Reporter and IGN. Kirkman also tells MTV about Chandler Riggs’ (Carl) reaction to the last scene of the Season 2 premiere: “He was like, ‘I’m going to get shot? This is great!’ Chandler is really into that stuff”.

Gale Anne Hurd shares with New York magazine that there are no plans for celebrities to play any zombies: “It’s difficult to suspend disbelief and buy into what we think is a very character-driven show if you’re spending your time playing Spot the Zombie.” She also talks to the Daily Beast, Comic Book Resources and indieWIRE.

Andrew Lincoln tells Total Film, “It’s a privilege to work in America anyway, but playing an American — and such an iconic role — is beyond my wildest dreams really.”

Sarah Wayne Callies talks to the Chicago Sun-Times about the show’s bloodshed: “This year, we lose as many people to the living as we do to the dead.” Callies also sits down with TVLine.

Jon Bernthal raves about Greg Nicotero to E! Online: “What sets him apart is that there’s an authenticity and a unique nature to every zombie he creates–everything he does is steeped in and centered in realism.” Bernthal did several other interviews too, with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, ABC News and Broadway World.

Norman Reedus discusses with Entertainment Weekly his impetus for staying in shape: “I’ve been trying to work out to catch up with that little action figure. They gave me huge muscles.” Reedus also speaks with Entertainment Weekly‘s podcast, TV Overmind, CliqueClack, BuzzFocus.com, Screen Rant, Digital Spy and Hollywood.com.

Michael Rooker (Merle) talks to AMCtv.com about his career-making role in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and, of course, The Walking Dead.

Steven Yeun sits down with the Miami Herald and shares Glenn’s view of what’s happened: “He sees this apocalypse as a way to assert himself and make his mark on the world.”

indieWIRE speaks with IronE Singleton (T-Dog), who expresses “his concerns, as the only black member of the team, and what that could mean for him and the others.”

Film School Rejects calls The Walking Dead panel at New York Comic Con “by the far the most successful one of the day.” The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly and TV Guide also cover the panel.

• For recaps and reviews of Season 2, Episode 1, “What Lies Ahead,” check out AOL TV, Assignment X, the A.V. Club, the Christian Science Monitor, CliqueClack, Crave Online, Entertainment Weekly, HitFix, indieWIRE, the Los Angeles Times, Poptimal, the Star-Ledger, Time and TV Overmind.

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