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THR, Variety Applaud Season 2 Premiere; Hurd, Kirkman, and Mazzara Talk With NYT

The Season 2 premiere gets excellent advance reviews from the Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Entertainment Weekly, and others, while the show’s top brass (Robert Kirkman, Glen Mazzara, and Gale Anne Hurd) talks with the New York Times.

The Hollywood Reporter gives the Season 2 premiere a rave review, calling it “90 minutes of skill — bringing viewers back into the story without missing a beat.”

• In praising the Season 2 premiere, Variety remarks, “The second season showcases the top-notch cast the producers have assembled, as well as the program’s skill milking terror in broad daylight.” [No link.]

ShockYa.com reviews the first two episodes of Season 2 and concludes, “The first two episodes of the new season are absolutely stellar.”

Newsday gives the Season 2 premiere an “A,” and Entertainment Weekly names the Season 2 premiere a Must Watch of the Week, cautioning viewers to eat “at least 30 minutes before watching.” [No link.]

The Contra Costa Times notes that The Walking Dead “retains its hard-earned status as the TV show most likely to send shivers up your spine.” In the same vein, the Boston Herald thinks it “remains the most suspenseful show on any TV network.”

USA Today says, “For anyone seeking edge-of-your-chair tension, Dead delivers. But what separates this fine series from similar shows is the honesty of its human interactions.” The San Francisco Chronicle agrees, remarking that Season 2 is back “with lots of predictable gore but also with a move toward deeper character development.” Judging from the Season 2 premiere, the New York Post thinks the “show is better than ever.”

People‘s season-premiere review commends Andrew Lincoln, who is “even better this time as the sheriff fighting for the world’s survival — a wiry, tired jitteriness has crept in.” [No link.]

The New York Times interviews Robert Kirkman, Glen Mazzara, and Gale Anne Hurd and learns that character development may be a greater focus in Season 2.

The Hollywood Reporter has a Season 2 preview from Gale Anne Hurd and Robert Kirkman, with Kirkman revealing that the series will explore more of the characters’ pre-apocalypse relationships.

Newsarama.com catches up with Robert Kirkman, who talks about balancing the TV show and his comics: “I’ve definitely hit a rhythm working on the show while also keeping up with writing comics.” He teases USA Today, “The second season is spectacular, and I’m just absolutely dying to get the show in front of people and see what they think.” Kirkman also talks with Fangoria.

Gale Anne Hurd tells Zap2it.com that if she could play any character from the TV show or comic it would be Michonne.

The New York Daily News chats with Jon Bernthal, who describes his job: “Running through the woods, carrying big guns, and being chased by monsters. And then we get to kill them and chop their heads off. You can’t ask for anything better.” He also tells Star that zombies aren’t the real problem: “I think the people are gonna prove to be way more dangerous in this unbelievably desperate situation.” [No link.]

The Associated Press feature on The Walking Dead compliments Greg Nicotero for giving the drama an “even eerier feeling as the human aspects of each zombie shine through, reminding viewers that the creepy monsters were once people.”

Andrew Lincoln gives Fearnet.com a list of his top five horror films, with The Omen (“Had a profound effect and terrified me”) at No. 1.

TV Guide talks with Norman Reedus, who reveals there will be a Daryl-centric episode airing Nov. 13. He also talks with Zap2it.com about making Daryl different from Merle. Reedus chats with Complex about Daryl’s Season 2 character arc and his action figure, among other topics. Fans of Reedus (and Daryl) will also want to read his interview with Celebuzz.com.

Breaking Bad‘s Vince Gilligan reveals to the New York Times that The Walking Dead‘s Greg Nicotero helped with the explosion scene in the Season 4 finale where Gus died.

The Houston Chronicle lists five reasons to watch The Walking Dead; at No. 1 is, “It’s a hit.”

The A.V. Club features a five-minute compilation of every zombie kill in Season 1.

TVLine.com previews The Soup‘s “Soup of The Walking Dead,” featuring Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, and Mad Men‘s Rich Sommer.

• An Entertainment Weekly reporter plays zombie for a day and lives to tell the tale: “Although it means multiple takes at multiple angles for multiple hours, it is a full-on blast every single time.” Alas, his scene ended up on the cutting-room floor. [No link.]

/Film reports that Mad magazine parodies The Walking Dead on its Dec. 2011 cover.

MoviesOnline.ca provides a Season 1 primer.

The Toronto Sun‘s review of the special-edition Season 1 DVD calls The Walking Dead the “coolest, goriest, most extreme, and yet most intelligent horror show on television today.”

The Associated Press reports that Netflix is adding The Walking Dead to its Internet video library as part of a licensing agreement with AMC Networks, Inc.

An attempt by Microsoft’s Bing for product placement on The Walking Dead was rebuffed, so the search engine is running a zombie-themed ad instead, according to the New York Times.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that The Walking Dead will be the flagship show for a new Australian pay-TV channel that Fox International Channels will launch early next year.

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