I suppose in the grand scheme of things, Fear The Walking Dead, is not a bad show when compared to some of the garbage that is on. But when compared to The Walking Dead, it is really no comparison. These are the same shows but handled differently and on that basis The Walking Dead is stellar, whereas Fear The Walking Dead is decent. It is not really any ONE issue that makes or breaks FTWD (Fear The Walking Dead). TWD (The Walking Dead) has characters that well thought out and exceedingly well acted by its cast. They have become icons in television culture. People from all over the world can see a picture of any of the characters without a single caption and know, immediately who they are and what show they are from. I don’t see the same kind of crazed enthusiasm coming for FTWD. Sorry, but I call it like I see it.
The two shows are structured in two different ways. TWD started with just Rick and grew into more and more characters but only a few at a time. We got know them and became emotionally invested in them. When Rick woke up in a hospital, alone and in the dark, we were just as in the dark as he was. When he was terrified, so were we. When he met a new character and was dubious about them at first, so were we. The writing has been almost flawless since TWD debuted in 2010 and it has grown into a cult phenomenon. All of these elements are perfectly executed in a superbly crafted show. FTWD starts with lots of characters and exposition and lingers with them, so nothing really new happens. For eight episodes, we were stuck in a fenced off part of Los Angeles, practically in the same house, week after week.
The characters on FTWD seem to be recycled out of countless other shows and movies. The divorced wife and husband arguing over their kids and why they split up in the first place. The new girlfriend trying to relate to the kids and get along. There are many scenes in which characters have contrived arguments over nothing, pretty much. The script dictates it, so it happens. There is not a moment in TWD that feels forced or contrived. There is mystery, intrigue and imagination that is carefully molded into each episode. FTWD has its moments and after a while I did become invested in the characters up to a point.
I do appreciate the fact that the creators of FTWD have tried to do the same story in a different way and simply not rehash TWD. TWD is special and cannot be duplicated, so at least to a certain point, FTWD is somewhat still fresh. The acting on FTWD is solid enough that we believed the danger these characters are in. One point though that never stops infuriating me however, is casting the military as the bad guys. This has been done by Hollywood for many years and I am sorry, but it is OLD. Can we come up with someone else as the bad guys, instead of the police and the military being the evil doers? This is something that has really irritated me and it is used far too often.
FTWD has an impressive cast with Kim Dickens, Cliff Curtis, Frank Dillane, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Mercedes Mason, Lorenzo James Henrie, Elizabeth Rodriguez and the always reliable Ruben Blades. They are more than sufficient and elevate the rather average material they are given and it works, primarily BECAUSE of them. Now granted this was the first season and it was only 8 episodes, so a lot will tell over time, how FTWD evolves as a show. TWD has gone farther in less time than FTWD, but we will see if the shows creators infuse enough freshness into FTWD as they have done with TWD. Only time will tell.
Fear The Walking Dead Season One-*** out of 4
Fear The Walking Dead Season One- 8 episodes total
Fear The Walking Dead Season One- no official rating but I would say it is a hard PG13. Certainly not as graphic as TWD, but this is not for kids who are easily frightened.