A prequel to The Walking Dead following a different group of survivors in a different place and watching how the outbreak happened. On paper the idea for the show has no flaws in it. The questions we have left over about how people survived, how it got so bad etc seem to be seconds away from being answered.
DISCLAIMER : I have only just caught up with the three episodes myself having not had time to watch them. Three reviews will therefore be posted tonight and will carry on being posted every week.
The beginning of the show did not show much promise for me. The first characters we meet aren’t exactly ones that you can sympathize with and most of the time you are just waiting for something more interesting to happen.
By the end of the show I had warmed slightly to Nick, the son of the family we are following who is a heroin addict, and to Travis, the step-father, but the rest of the cast were dreary and unlikable, other then Tobias. Tobias doesn’t look to be a important character in the long run though which is a shame.
My biggest problem with the show I guess is that they know we know what is coming. Madison spent most of the episode creeping up on people who we were meant to think had already turned. It spent too long trying to remind us that at some point someone is going to be infected and these people won’t know anything about it that it forgot that we know this and would rather not have a load of false alerts but actual stories to make us feel more when the outbreak does happen.
The first episode felt very over bloated with things we just didn’t need, Nick spent way too long in the hospital, nothing ever really came of the girl that was with him becoming a zombie and the whole drug dealer best friend plot with Calvin didn’t have the dramatic effect it probably should have had. Especially seeing it seemed to have very little effect on both Madison and Travis.
With that being said it was only the first half of the episode for me that failed to deliver.
Without it even the story with Calvin would have not seemed to have been pointless. The acting wasn’t the best they could have and unlike the original series there isn’t any character I can say right from meeting them I cared about.
When we actually got the proper build up to “shit something is happening” it actually started to feel more like a TV show then just a few ideas jammed together.
I get that the first half was meant to build a normal relationship with these characters, it was meant to show you their human side before all this, their relationships and the difficulties of their lives. I get that. The Walking Dead managed to do that in a tiny scene with Rick and Shane in the cop car and Rick being shot. Fear The Walking Dead failed with a over bloated first act that honestly didn’t say much.
For me that could be the downfall on a personal level. Through thick and thin with The Walking Dead the strength of the bonds with the characters I have is what keeps me returning to it regardless of whether I like the stories. For most of these characters that bond was automatic. The original survivors we met all had something that made me care about them, some I hated but they all brought out a emotion strongly enough that I wanted to know what happened to them whether I liked them or not. I don’t feel that way with this and I know a few characters are only there for shock value at being turned in the early days anyway. Alicia’s boyfriend who was one of the only characters I like has disappeared and will quite obviously be infected for example. The main thing that Zombie shows need to have if it isn’t just about the walking dead coming to get us is a relatable and likable cast. Right now I’m not getting that. You need to care about these people and the story didn’t so much make me care about them but put timers on some of their heads.
I’d heard much about how the series was genuinely scary in a way that the original just wasn’t and won’t be but it was rather tame. We know what the world becomes, so it took some of the wind out of the sails, we know that no one found a cure or that anyone is really capable of looking for one anymore with the big bio-chemistry labs gone and no power remaining.
There is nothing to fear. Or at least it hasn’t given us a reason to fear something we’re already well aware of.