Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pilot Review: Fear the Walking Dead

Fear the Walking Dead (AMC)
Premiered August 23 at 9pm

It’s relatively uncommon for a show that’s neither a comedy nor a procedural drama to get a spinoff these days, and there are a few important questions that need to be answered in order to determine whether a show can hold its own and distinguish itself from its original series in order to prove legitimate. In this case, the opening scene was stark and deserted and ended on an emphatic note, showing just how many people were actually around and that normal life is still occurring in these pre-zombie times. It’s interesting to see how this show is structured, with a police shooting that seems like it has to have been faked serving as the initial impetus for the spread of panic on the streets. This show takes a gritty approach from the very start, with Nick being a drug addict and Travis and Madison working at a school equipped with metal detectors. More than that, Nick nearly got himself executed by a drug dealer who thought he was spreading untruths about his product and who Nick’s parents knew well enough to stop by his house looking for him even if they didn’t know what he actually did. The zombies on this show are a bit slower and less deliberate, but I think that’s all about the slow mutation and the beginning of something that people can’t quite recognize yet. I’m pleased to see that these characters are strongly defined and the dialogue is considerably improved from the show that spawned this one. I watch the original; something would really have to go wrong for me not to watch this show after this promising start.

How will it work as a series? The only real worry here is catching up to the present, since the more people there are that know about zombies, the easier it is for this to start looking like a post-apocalyptic world. That said, the most fascinating part of any transition to that future is what happens in the interim, with societies and governments transforming, falling, and adjusting, and that’s what I’m extremely excited to see.
How long will it last? Forever? Probably. The show has already been renewed for a second season, jumping from six episodes this round to fifteen then, and the original series, which shows no signs of losing steam, is heading into its sixth season. Expect this one to stick around for a long, long time.

Pilot grade: B+

No comments: