This is a Fear the Walking Dead review for the entire first season, there will be spoilers ahead.
Well, that was all over well and truly before I thought it was supposed to be (just 6 episodes)….but I have to say that I am glad. I have seen other reviews on imdb and elsewhere and they seem to be pretty average and I have to agree, there was nothing special about this series at all.
My biggest complaint is with the acting in the series, it just didn’t seem to match the intensity of other shows on at the moment, and seemed very B-Grade. Not B-grade in that found footage, we are at war, gritty kind of way that is often used as a tool to carry the story. This was legit B-Grade. The acting was wooden, especially the character of Madison, who seems to wear a constant expression of confused disgust. Don’t get me started on ‘Budget Johnny Depp’ Nick either…
Early on in the piece, the family are put in a situation where they have to kill another human, who then turns into a zombie (surprise!). How do you think you would react to having to kill someone, then they come back to life and try to attack you again? With apathy you say? Because that is damn sure how they react, like it was some sort of weird anomaly in their day, as if the grocery store had run out of milk, like that’s weird but not life changing, just like that half a body over there chomping it’s teeth at us…
Sure, the series is ‘world building’ and ‘fleshes out the back story’ but it was boring. The foreshadowing of some of the scenes like the Jack London “nature always wins” talk given to students are a ham-fisted attempt at building drama. The trailer in the player above has, essentially, all of the most exciting parts from the season. But really, I may be kidding myself when I say it fleshes out the story, because it doesn’t. All it really does is tell the story from different, earlier, perspective than the events of The Walking Dead. There is no talking of where the virus may have come from, very little evidence of anything being done about it, and the typical ‘scary military complex’ cliche is trotted out.
I could say a bit about group psychology and dynamics here, but there is really no need. Again the dynamics are there to see in that very in your face ‘can you see what we are trying to say?’ symbolism from the immediate riots to the lack of trust of the military, another cliche of ‘We have more to fear from ourselves.’
Fear the Walking Dead should have taken time to develop, but instead it rushed to the Zombies – Chaos – Arrrgh conclusion too quickly. What it did was assume that the audience were fools who only wanted to see action and gore, so it delivered that without delivering any real insight into the morals and reasoning of any of the major players or back story as to how, or why, this event has come about.
Comparing this to The Walking Dead is unfair, as it is an established show, but the first season of Walking killed this show altogether. There seemed to be no budget at all for this one, that CGI boat in the finale was an absolute travesty, I’m not sure how that ever got past the editing process. Surely, AMC could have spread some of the cash from The Walking Dead to it’s smaller sibling?
My advice, let’s forget that this ever happened and just push on through to the new season of The Walking Dead in a few weeks time.