What better way to cover AMC’s new spin-off series of the smash-hit The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, than a pair of reviews from…a married Los Angeles couple?
Into a world where people have not yet learned to walk into abandoned buildings shouting “Hello, anyone here?” (or, go near people you have already hit with your car but have gotten up…) comes Fear the Walking Dead.
Set in a pre-Walking Dead United States where Zombies are still just something you run from at Horror Nights, FTWD promises to take viewers on a ride, showing them what happened before Rick Grimes woke up. The first 3-minutes should lull viewer into a false sense of familiarity: abandoned buildings, spooky noises, and the familiar groans of the dead. Soon after, it becomes obvious that the characters are not in Kansas – I mean Georgia – anymore…
The premise is strong, and as a loyal TWD viewer, I was excited to see the early stages of the zombie apocalypse descend on my home state. The big problem with the initial hook of FTWD is that instead of being drawn in by the initial character’s experience, I kept wondering how this junkie dude got a hold of my sister’s cardigan.
Fun fact! Apparently when they wake up, tired junkies move just like zombies. Beware, zombie hunters, that next walker you try to put down could just be a guy looking for his next fix – and an espresso.
The father-son dynamic of TWD has been expanded to encompass a larger, more dystopian family unit: mother, children, mother’s live-in boyfriend, and, by extension, his old family. It will be interesting to see how a high school teacher and counselor will fare against the burgeoning numbers of walkers.
There isn’t a stalwart lawman or survivalist among the group, so the viewer is left to wonder: will any of the soft and squishy characters we are introduced to be molded by this new world into a hardcore, kickass slayer of the dead?
Finding that out is worth the watch alone. 3.5/5 Bloody Bibles. – “Sister” Sarah
What was it like in the beginning? Did people understand what was happening? How did it spread so easily? Fear The Walking Dead will try to answer those questions and more…
The show opens with a young man waking up from loud noises as well as complete silence, worried that something isn’t right. His movement is erratic and his surrounding is that of a dilapidated church, boarded up to protect the inhabitants. He stumbles around walking past a body and bloody piano, unsure of what is going on, and eventually comes across a situation of what seems to be a girl he knows attacking another person. He runs out of the building and into the streets, feeling safe until *wham* a car tries to stop but hits him anyways and knocks him to the ground.
Have the undead already taken over? The camera pans out from above as various people come to his aid and others come to gawk at the accident. Clearly the shit has not yet been introduced to the fan. Without spoiling the rest, we get to see a family, the Clarks — played by Kim Dickens, Frank Dillane, Alycia Debnam-Carey, (boyfriend) Cliff Curtis — come to grips with the strange occurances; trying to understand what all is going on..
FTWD‘s premiere/pilot episode is an hour-and-a-half long (or an hour if you take in mind commercials) and primarily spends time getting to know the family, their situation, and show the very start of how things play out at the beginning of the end. At times it seems to feel drawn out; but I had that same feeling with some episodes of The Walking Dead, so comparitively it doesn’t lose any points. There are times when you wonder why no one is reacting more to a scene or what a character is telling/showing others, which just shows the level of writing. I have hopes things will get better.
On the other hand, it was great that FTWD didnt just give a 5-minute introduction to life before zombies–and then throw us into the chaos that we are already familiar with on its older sibling’s show. And the preview for episode two definitely tells us that shit is getting real and that our protagonists will have to make some quick decisions on how to handle this new “LA” together. Despite some big boot to fill, this clergygeek is interested in the spin-off and want to see how it plays out, so long as they find a better title theme song. 3.5/5 Bloody Bibles. – “Saint” Patrick