FEAR THE WALKING DEAD (2015): Season 1 Review – The Zombie Apocalypse Origin… Kind Of
‘The Walking Dead’ is a hugely successful comic book adaptation that debuted a spin-off series this year from the same creators. Titled ‘Fear The Walking Dead’, the show deals with a parralell story set in the same world as its parent show. Featuring new characters and essentially working as a tie-in to the main series, the show seeks to tell the missing story from present day, to how the world became as we saw it on ‘The Walking Dead’. Season 1 ended over a week ago, with some pretty mixed responses.
With the Season 6 premiere of ‘The Walking Dead’ last Sunday, let’s take a look at how Season 1 of ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ performed, and what it does for the over all Dead Universe.
‘Fear The Walking Dead’ showcases the rise of the Dead in what seems to be present day Los Angeles. The original showed the real world very briefly, and only from the perspective of main character Rick Grimes, (Andrew Lincoln) before it all went to hell when he woke up in a hospital bed months later. This new show seeks to bridge the gap between then and now, showcasing how the Zombie Apocalypse happened, progressively.
Starring Cliff Curtis (‘Training Day’) and Kim Dickens, (the detective in ‘Gone Girl’) ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ is all about an extended family, and their ability to make it through the world as it changes around them. Initially, like most people, I was attracted to the show due to it’s obvious connection to ‘The Walking Dead’. That was a mistake.
Once you stop watching the show based on expectations or prejudices of how it will, or should be, based on the show it spun off from, ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ becomes a pretty engaging and interesting show all on it’s own. Sure, it’s a very slow burn, and with only six episodes in Season 1, I expected a lot more to happen, but the Season wraps up pretty satisfyingly.
Travis (Curtis) plays the father, married to Madison (Dickens) who has a teenage son and daughter from her previous marriage. Travis himself has an ex wife and son as well, and the families seem to be in decent terms with one another, despite the typical ‘you’re not my real dad’ issues.
The show takes small but progressive steps showing how in-the-dark people were in the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse as established on ‘The Walking Dead’ Universe. Initially thinking it was a virus, to wanting to help people, it’s intense to see the small realization dawn upon people how it’s all hopeless.
We’ve also never seen anything about how much the outside world knows about the Zombification process. Hell, it took a few seasons on the ‘The Walking Dead‘ for them to acknowledge that no matter how you die, everyone comes back. ‘Fear The Walking Dead‘ shows this to be common knowledge amongst the military doctors, almost immediately.
For what it’s supposed to be, a companion series, ‘Fear The Walking Dead‘ established very interesting characters, a different family dynamic than what we’ve already seen before, and a quiet desperation that the original show cannot deal with given it’s current setting.
The standout of the show has to be Madison’s son, Nick, played by Frank Dillane, (‘Sense8’) who plays a junkie. The young actor provides the initial plot points, and progresses into becoming one of the more interesting characters of the show, even though his antics tend to piss you off as an audience. Strand, (Colman Domingo) a new character introduced in the last two episodes, also ends up being pretty interesting himself by the end. I predict this character will be very important in Season 2, seeing how he seems to have his own demons.
By the end of Season 1, ‘Fear The Walking Dead‘ snaps off a piece of the universe as its own, as a hard hitting character drama set in the world of a Zombie Apocalypse, rather than being a show that centers around the Zombies themselves. While the show is about survival, it focuses more on surviving together as a family right off the bat, than everyone for themselves. And in that, the show succeeds immensely. Skip this show if you want more of the ‘The Walking Dead’ though, because this show does not connect to that in any way. Yet.
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Do you think ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ was a necessary spin-off?
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