High: The casting is much better now.
For years, "The Walking Dead" cast had too much deadweight, with only a few members of the ensemble at any given time capable of any real dramatic heavy lifting. (And in several cases, like Jeffrey DeMunn and Scott Wilson, the better actors were in marginalized roles as old guys no one listened to.) Now, though? I don't know that I'd put "The Walking Dead" cast on a par with "Game of Thrones" or "Mad Men," but there are far fewer obvious weak links, and lots of strong new additions like Michael Cudlitz. What's been particularly gratifying is the way the producers finally responded to the complaints about the show's tokenized minority casting, where whenever a new black character was hired, the previous one had to be killed off. Now, they're not just hiring lots of minority actors, but really good ones, so that it's less troubling when we're saying goodbye to a Lawrence Gilliard Jr., because the show has just introduced fellow "The Wire" alum Seth Gilliam (and will be bringing in Tyler James Williams in the next episode). And the guest casting has become better as well: when the show brings in a Williams, or a Christine Woods or Maximiliano Hernandez, it's no longer obvious who will be zombie meat and who might somehow wind up becoming part of Rick's crew, because they're both more recognizable and simply better than many of the guest stars from earlier seasons.
- Alan Sepinwall