Kieran Cunnane reviews Fear The Walking Dead, a companion show to The Walking Dead. While both share the same name, Kieran argues that Fear The Walking Dead does little to warrant its hype.
Fear The Walking Dead is a companion show to The Walking Dead that shares little of the show’s character and intrigue.
Fear The Walking Dead chronicles the fallout of the zombie virus we know from The Walking Dead, but doesn’t live up to its name by being a by-the-numbers zombie story.
Fear The Walking Dead has a cast of characters as boring and archetypal as they come. The show stars the Clark family, including mother Madison (Kim Dickens), her son and heroin-addict Nick (Frank Dillane), her straight-shooter daughter Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and her new boyfriend Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis).
The show’s recurring cast include Travis’ ex-wife, son and a family they met trying to hide from a riot, but are all too lacklustre to mention by name.
Fear The Walking Dead clearly tried to set itself apart from its big-brother, which was a fine idea. It’s more grounded, so you won’t find anybody fighting with katanas, crossbows or a big knife for an arm.
This both works in the show’s favour and against it. While the more grounded approach coupled with the show’s different time and setting will make it harder to draw comparisons between it and The Walking Dead, it’s hard to separate it from almost every other zombie story.
I feel like I’ve watched this tale being told many times before, with a zombie outbreak followed by a government intervention who might also have a hidden agenda.
I think it would have been better for the show to be closer to The Walking Dead rather than so many other zombie stories that are lesser in quality.
One major missed opportunity of the show is by not moving itself towards more traditional horror. The Walking Dead can be scary, but it’s not a horror show. It’s a drama set inside a horror landscape.
Fear The Walking Dead’s greatest quality could have been the growing sense of dread it set by having the show’s characters’ lives slowly get distorted by watching those close to them turn into walkers, and become trapped inside the city of Los Angeles.
The Walking Dead didn’t have this, as the show’s protagonist woke up in the hospital after the fallout of the zombie outbreak. Additionally, this tense setting would surely have filled the void left by the sub-par cast.
Another major issue I had with the show is that it was filled with fluff. Much time was wasted on forced drama and poor dialogue that wasn’t necessary.
This is especially a poor mistake as it is already a slow-paced, methodical show. This undesirable drama was especially hurtful, because it involved characters that weren’t interesting to begin with.
Fear The Walking Dead was a poor show that missed great opportunities to be better. If it didn’t have a such a popular name attached to the title, I wouldn’t say the show would last much longer. However, we’re promised another season.
Fortunately, these problems are easily rectified so I hope to see a show that can redeem itself of its name.