A companion series to “The Walking Dead,” the #1 show on television among adults 18-49, “Fear the Walking Dead” is executive produced by Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero, David Alpert and showrunner David Erickson and produced by AMC Studios. Co-Executive Producer Adam Davidson, who directed the pilot, is also directing the second and third episodes. The series’ first season, consisting of six one-hour episodes, premiered on AMC August 23rd. Season two will consist of 15 episodes to air in 2016.
“‘Fear the Walking Dead’ takes us back to the earlier, more dangerous, more terrifying days of ‘The Walking Dead,’” said Kirkman. “A time when danger was lurking around every corner and the thing mostly likely to get you killed was your own ignorance of the rapidly changing world around you. The stakes are going to be higher and the ride more intense. We’re going to show people all the insanity of civilization crumbling that Rick Grimes slept through. Buckle up.”
When AMC announced a spin-off series set in the same universe as The Walking Dead, I was skeptical but excited. I love zombies, I love this world, I love the comic series and I’m generally on board with everything the network has been dishing out these days. The prequel/sidequel/has nothing to with The Walking Dead character-wise plotline was a great concept – it would show the chaos that Rick Grimes slept through and it would display it in a city setting as opposed to the country landcapes of the show we’re all used to.
After a solid hour of character building to get fans hooked onto our new cast, Fear The Walking Dead slowly…very slowly…. Begins to show how the system fails the people as riots, looting and madness begin to ascend upon the streets of Los Angeles. The problem however is that when a show promises to show you “chaos” and then limits the viewer to seeing only fragments of that action, then technically… you’re breaking your fucking promise buddy. We see some crazy shit as a character watches people destroying cars through some blinds briefly, then we see a few glimpse of walkers getting capped by police as we drive by the scene in haste. All of this in the first two-three episodes mind you before our main cast plays Monopoly in a gated off community under the ‘protection’ of US soldiers.
Episodes go by without a zombie in sight and before you know it – the apocalypse has already happened while we were lounging in the pool or smashing picture frames with two dickhead teenagers. If you were craving witness to the end of the world, you caught a fleeting glimpse or two and even then it sure as shit wasn’t worth the time spent getting there. The cast is loaded with strong talent and having Cliff Curtis, Kim Dickens and Ruben Blades as your core lineup is a strong foundation to build from. The problem with Fear The Walking Dead is that it doesn’t even try all that much to hide how it’s simply cashing in off the success of that other show. AMC had a winner either way. If people loved it, then score but if people hated it, then they became even more excited for The Walking Dead to return. If I personally learned one thing, it’s how much I was taking The Walking Dead for granted. Shit – AMC got me didn’t they?
Six episodes and only three of them were needed to tell this first story arc. The finale was exciting sure, but the way we wrap it up doesn’t make me in any way hooked to see what happens down the road. Was anyone else puzzled at how selfish, stupid and borderline psychotic the group’s rescue plan was in the season finale? Seriously though – in order to save two they directly caused the deaths of hundreds, maybe thousands down the road. I don’t get it… Maybe the group will go fishing or watch re-runs of The Cosby Show in that creepy dude’s billion dollar apartment now while the real exciting shit happens off-screen. It doesn’t matter – this show was put together in a hurry and built upon false promises.
Frank Dillane, aka the heroin kid, does have a great line near the end of the season however when he mentions how he’s always been living this way (not sure of where he’s headed next) and that it’s the rest of the world finally catching up to him. I really liked that moment and it rings true for several of the best survivors in this post-apocalyptic world in which the misfits are the ones who truly rise to the occasion when the shit hits the fan. But again – Fear The Walking Dead just isn’t exciting enough…. I gave it several fair shots at hooking me in but it failed time and time again. I understand that it wants to set itself apart from the main series and it does so by utilizing more subtle and quiet moments but I feel as though the tone wound up muddled and boring as a result.
Even the nice lady at the Tim Horton’s drivethru, who after noticing my Walking Dead hoodie said the following after asking when AMC’s premiere series would be returning: “I don’t give a shit about Fear The Walking Dead.” Me neither lady and that’s the sad truth.