There are a number of legitimate criticisms you can lob at AMC’s hit zombie drama The Walking Dead. Over the course of two seasons—plus two episodes—the series has been wildly inconsistent, hitting spectacular highs and mind-boggling lows. Perhaps the biggest knock on the adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s comic book is that, for long stretches of time in pretty much every episode, nothing happens.
If nothing else, there’s a noticeable pattern to many of the episodes. This new infographic maps out that structure, and definitely captures some of the frustration that being a fan of the show can cause.
Fortunately for fans of The Walking Dead, the still-young season three has managed to avoid falling into this monotonous model. Action and drama keep the story moving forward at a quick pace, and even in the quieter moments there are still things going on, building tension, drawing characters. You know, establishing the vital elements of a narrative.
So far season three has avoided the long, drawn-out, repetitive scenes that recur again and again. How many times can you watch Rick and Shane have the same conversation? Remember the endless debate about what to do with that annoying kid they kept locked up in a barn?
Hopefully this is a trend that will continue. Over the course of the previous seasons, The Walking Dead has, at times, been one of the best shows on television, but it has also been more maddening to watch than any show in recent memory. That’s what makes it so exasperating when it fails, because you’ve seen how good it can be.