Summer Series Snapshot: Fear the Walking Dead

FearTWDOnly two episodes have aired thus far, so it may not be fair to say I’m already bored. But this “companion series” (don’t call it a spin-off!) to AMC’s zombie juggernaut looks to potentially be rather underwhelming. Even the name feels lazy.

It could be subtitled “While Rick Grimes Slept.” Fear looks to illustrate society’s rapid unraveling from the onset of the virus—? flu? bacteria? We still don’t know!—with the pilot episode showing our new main characters what we already know: No matter how many times you shoot the infected (or hit them with a car), they will continue to come at you until they take a bullet/arrow/blade to the brain.

Speaking of those characters, I don’t like a single one of them yet. “Oh, how nice to see some fresh faces!” False. We’re introduced to new people on Dead all the time and it’s safe to say they are far less bland than this band of “blended” family members.

While it’s interesting (for now) to see the contrast of Georgia countryside versus bustling Los Angeles, one could expect that in a few months’ time, it might feasibly resemble the eerily abandoned Atlanta we remember from season one of Dead.

Come to think of it, I now have a new appreciation for season one of Dead. We were thrust right into the apocalypse, seeing this terrifying new world through Rick’s freshly opened eyes: What happened? Where is everyone? What is that? Oh my god, what IS that? What happened to her face? That lady only has half a body! WHAT IS GOING ON?

I think Fear is a letdown so far because we’re so accustomed to the heart-pounding, no-holds-barred action that Dead has grown into. (Remember the quiet days on the farm when all you had to worry about was walker guts in the well? Aww.) I don’t have the patience to wait for everyone to discover what world they’re now living in. I yawn at the confused/horrified looks on their faces. We’re two episodes in and no one’s dead yet?

The scene that really annoyed me in “So Close, Yet So Far” was when Alicia found out her boyfriend was sick. 1f98ac04-4539-4dcb-8f43-161bdc0caf70Her parents wander in and discover he’s been bitten—and they just leave him there. Why did NO ONE ask, “Oh hey, so who/what bit you?” How was that not a question? Or how long ago he was bitten? What his symptoms are? They’re so worried about what’s happening, enough to escape to the desert (really?) because the cops are shooting people in the streets, but here they are with a real live person afflicted and they’re not stopping for two minutes to ask this kid what’s wrong with him! I also have no patience for stupid people (LOL, RIP Andrea).

I have a massive amount of respect for the showrunners and brilliant (albeit maybe a little disturbed) minds behind The Walking Dead. Knowing that the same great people are doing their best to churn out another blockbuster series is going to keep me tuning in each week at least for the first season. If I had given up on Dead before they’d reached the prison, I’d be severely missing out on the mind-blowing Sunday nights I’ve come to love so much—but really, all Fear is doing is giving me severe withdrawal pangs for Dead. October can’t come soon enough!

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