On Aug. 23, AMC premiered its new series “Fear the Walking Dead” in an hour and a half special. With new characters and a new location, the show answers a key question running through the minds of Walking Dead viewers: what about the rest of the world?
As a spin-off of the beloved AMC original series, the show takes place in Los Angeles, following the zombie outbreak’s move west.
While fans expected walkers, biters and lurkers galore, the show delivered a less-than-thrilling first episode. Compared to the pilot of “The Walking Dead,” one of the show’s best episodes, the premiere of “Fear the Walking Dead” lacked the same surprise, shock and tension.
Instead of relying on a dramatic situation, the show’s first episode focused primarily around the dramatic relationships between main characters. Rather than a gory struggle between humans and zombies, the series premiere showed the tense relationship between a drug-addict child and his mother, quarreling divorced parents and a teacher helping a troubled student.
While relationship analysis may seem a part of regular TV drama, the reputation of “The Walking Dead” spurred its lack of thrill to disappointment.
While the show’s early attempt at forming allegiances between characters and viewers is admirable, it gives the show a fabricated, forced feeling. Paired with the lack of zombified humans, it leaves much to be desired.
But, the slower and less shock-worthy pace does have its perks. Instead of relying heavily on surprise, “Fear the Walking Dead” uses suspense, creating a completely different viewing experience. The show, catering to a knowledgeable audience of the show’s parent, leaves the viewer with more knowledge than the characters, which is sure to cause some discomfort.
Interactions become more intense between humans and those affected with the disease. This intensity will presumably increase as the show progresses; thus, with faster pacing and larger numbers of zombies, the series undoubtedly has the capacity to gain the strength its premiere lacked.
As the show continues, the audience will have the opportunity to watch as the characters come to realize the severity of the disease. While the west coast characters have yet to pen a term for the flesh-eating monsters, the audience knows walkers will soon plague the Californians’ world, leaving the show with big potential to improve.
If the second episode is any indication, “Fear the Walking Dead” is already on the rise. With more zombies and less forced human drama, the second installment is promising.
While it had a slow beginning, the series offers an intriguing new look at The Walking Dead universe. As the world heads closer into the decay many are already familiar with, it’s possible this show will join its parent’s ranks as one to remember.