Fear the Walking Dead (AMC)

This is a miniseries then? Just six episodes?

Just six episodes this season, not sure what the plan is for future seasons (or if there is a plan yet). I think only this first episode was 90 minutes, the rest will all be hour episodes, or whatever that actually translates to with commercials these days.

The first season of the normal Walking Dead was also only six episodes, obviously because it wasn’t a sure thing at that point. But I don’t know if this was a short season for the same reason, or if it will always be a short season or what. As you guys have said, this is a cool opportunity to show the collapse, but it’s hard to say what value there is to a second Walking Dead show when we move past that phase. Can a different setting provide that many different story opportunities? Is getting away from the comic book going to be liberating, even though they’ve apparently already made plenty of changes from the comic in the original show?

One thing I like about the Walking Dead is that they’ve been reasonably free to add and drop characters, and the show is at its best exploring characters with zombie-apocalypse-societal-collapse as the constant connection, but not always the main focus. In that regard, the show could go on almost forever. Characters show up, cooperate, fight, leave, die off; groups/societies/locations are discovered, restored, destroyed, abandoned, etc.

So in the sense that the premise has no expiration date, another show exploring it doesn’t worry me. But on the other hand, as I asked above, what opportunities can a second show offer that the first couldn’t already explore once we move past the initial collapse?

(I still haven’t seen season 5 of The Walking Dead, so hopefully it hasn’t gone totally off the rails and undermined anything I just said I liked about the show.)

That’s where I am. If/when it progresses past the collapse phase and just becomes The Walking Dead: SoCal, then I don’t see the point. I guess it’s a win for AMC if they can keep an audience for both shows, but it’s not going to be interesting to me once they’re just going through the motions of the other series.

One thing is Urban vs Rural. Walking Dead is in the sticks.

Walking Dead is fun, but in season two they said they were heading to Ft Brag or Benning (forget which one), they barely got out of Atlanta and have barely moved since.

It would be great to see survival in the big city, or travel and witnessing of epic landmarks in a post apocalyptic era.

Oh, and this is from Wikipedia:

So 15 episode second season guaranteed.

You’re confusing turning from being bitten and turning from dying. Anyone who dies turns within a few minutes. Anyone who is bitten (but doesn’t get a fatal wound in itself, like having a throat bitten out) will eventually die from fever several days later (unless the bite location and surrounding area is immediately amputated).

It’s the 1st 24 hours of the outbreak - the incident at the church is presumably hour 1 and was probably triggered by a death by overdose. Information is starting to rapidly circulate, but most people haven’t seen anything directly and there are a lot of confusing rumors. Is there a rabies-like virus going around? Some bad bath-salt type drug reaction? By this point some officials and people in hospitals, etc., know what’s going on and schools are being closed and action plans are being implemented, but the scale/cause/solution are unclear and things are rapidly starting to expand and fall apart.

Also, I had zombie related dreams last night. DennyA was there too, we were part of a group trying to secure a school. Of course it might not have been inspired by Fear the Walking Dead; it could’ve been because I’ve been playing Dying Light again, or because I also just watched the Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre episode of Always Sunny.

Just so people don’t think I’m glossing over some of the narrative flaws, this story (and episode) would have started in a much more interesting way if the clean cut black drug dealer kid had actually killed the heroin addict and joined up through circumstances with the two adult leads, without them knowing that he’d killed their son and thinking that he was a good guy.

The heroin addict’s death would have been a decent surprise in the episode (and his subsequent turning would have revealed the outbreak in the same explicit way), there would have been seeds of additional drama since the drug dealer’s true background (and his impact on the son’s life and eventual murder) wouldn’t be known by the parents, and we would have gotten an interesting indirect introduction to the drug dealer character, who also looked like an interesting person played by a good actor (instead of being saddled with a boring addict and additional family drama, played by a character pulling a second-rate Johnny Depp impersonation).

Seconded. It was boring, contrived and totally not scary at all. Not what I want with my Zombie Horror, thanks. This show can already barely turn out a 12 episode season that isn’t mostly filler, and now they’re adding 12 more? Bad idea AMC.

Oh god, I thought this would never end. I was sort of hoping everyone would die and we’d reboot next week with a new family.

This takes the worst part of Walking Dead–family drama, relationships, anything involving Rick Grimes—and makes it the focus (now we have addict Rick Grimes). There could be an interesting family drama to be made that takes place in the middle of a zombie outbreak, but it wouldn’t be from these guys. But I’m guessing that “breakdown of family” isn’t really that interesting–or credible as a focal point for a show–when there’s something looming outside that’s significantly more important than whether sis supports her brother.

Not impressed. Standard issue dysfunctional family. Did like the not initially seen ambulance shoot-out (maybe because just a half hour before I started watching, I saw 10 police cars race by me in North Hollywood at 10:30 pm - gonna have to see if that was a zombie response squad).

I get the feeling that this will be just as unexplained as it was in the original series. Zombies just start popping up, things get out of control because that’s what the writers to want to happen, and Bob’s your zombie! The only way I see it getting out of control is that the initial infection actually kills the weak or those who have little or no resistance so that you get mass deaths in a short time frame before people really understand what is truly happening. A few biters early on is simply never, ever, going to snow-ball into a global catastrophe. If it’s just one family’s struggle to survive this, it simply becomes The Walking Dead: Left Coast spin-off rather than a unique and illuminating angle.

And yes, my reaction to the one character was “Johnny Depp”.

I enjoyed it, but for very odd reasons admittedly. Mostly the subtlety of the show…

[li]I enjoyed that while the couple was dealing with all their personal drama in the background you hear in ever increasing occurrence of sirens and helicopters.[/li][li]I enjoyed that the nerd kid knew something bad was going on, and just most people just weren’t willing to see it.[/li][li]Everyone in the show at some point is confronted with it, and they respond all with fear. Some pretend it isn’t real (the daughter) and try to go on like everything is normal. Some are hunker up in their homes, they probably saw something or heard something, knows no one will believe them, so they disappear into their homes. This is probably why most of the kids are at home, parents scared of this mysterious virus that most other people are ignoring, because how often have we already heard that. The junkie kid wants to face it, which suggests he’ll be the guru of surviving later, that willingness to face the impossible…which has to be some sort of cliché…but can’t think what it might be.[/li][li]Also my wife didn’t quite get that this was a world that most people had never heard of zombies, I reminded her that walking dead that was much further along was still discovering, things we all take for granted. So when she shifted that mindset she was enjoying the show more too.[/li][li]I also figure that the infection, that infected everyone, might have made many people sick, but doesn’t turn them into zombies till they actually die (which was discovered and confirmed on the walking dead), so people getting sick by this initial spread makes sense even if they don’t turn till they are later bitten or die.[/li][li]There was many more moments that things seemed off kilter or subtlely ominous. I like that in a slow burn approach of the slide of humanity into oblivion.[/li][/ul]

On the Tom side, I didn’t really care for or relate to many of the characters. So If they killed them all off and replaced them with a new set of folks struggling to survive. I’d be fine with that…

I wish they could have come up with a good drama of life for the show’s start premise and built it up so that story was good all its own, that you were invested in and then slowly have it erode away as the world collapses around the characters and drama your invested transforms into this new reality of survival and collapse of all these things people take for granted. Too much to hope for, but still that would have been awesome.

The way I saw it, we did NOT see a family breakdown. This was normal to them, every day life. This is why the daughter had such a peaceful scene with the brother in the hospital, been there/done that for her. She’s not upset with him because she’s way past that point because this happens all the time. The guy asks the son “Do you mean it” and the son replies he always means it, alluding to this being a regular thing.

The breakdown is happening all around them. Their jobs for one thing, simply not having all those kids in school is a huge development. Imagine you’re a teacher and you go into work where your class usually has 28 students and you see 12 kids there. And every other class in school has the same kind of absentee rate! Holy shit!

What I’m hoping they take plenty of advantage of is the fact that so much craziness does go on around LA that you could plausibly have people driving right by a mass zombie attack and it would just look like a bunch of people rioting. So they drive on, since that’s nothing new. You can have lots of helicopters and planes flying around low because there’s always helicopters and planes doing that. It would take a hell of a lot for the general public to even be aware the violence was linked, much less figuring out the cause. The reveal we got from the camera move after the addict got hit is exactly the kind of thing they could do a lot more of.

I think ultimately the storyline will be ‘get out of LA’, ie the heart of the city. So this could end with them heading north up I-5 or I-15 through the mountains. Maybe the Army quarantines the city so they have to fight their way back cross LA to try and go south towards San Diego. Either way I’d keep them in the LA area. Unlike Walking Dead where they are looking for a place to start over, in this show I think the theme will stay “looking to escape LA”. Rick’s group wants to rebuild civilization, this group wants to rejoin it. The ultimate end for this show will be when these characters realize there is nothing to rejoin.

The druggie reminded me more of Jared Leto in Requiem for a Dream, but I do see the Depp resemblance too. The kid in the school had a small knife with him, so while I do think he knows something is up, I don’t think he really knows that much.

We’ll never find out because “Walking Dead”, but I’d be really curious to discover the reason the “zombie switch” gets thrown for the whole LA area all at once. I know the nerdy knife-wielding kid mentioned some kind of virus “in 5 states so far”, so it would seem other areas started seeing the reanimation process earlier than LA, but when it does happen (we’re introduced to it with Gloria), it seems to just be activated instantly in everyone. On Monday grandma passes away peacefully at the hospice without trying to munch on her grieving family, on Tuesday Gloria ODs and suddenly everyone who dies becomes a reanimated eating machine. It would be nice if Fear the Walking Dead would try to explore that for just a little bit.

The main problem I see with exploring the why and how, in a tv show or movie, is then you have to have characters who would plausibly be on the inside of something like that. Government/scientist/military, those are the only people who’d know. If you want regular civilians as your characters then there’s no real way for them to ever know that.

You could have a ‘travel to the CDC’ scenario but even that stretches disbelief too much. In a novel it works because you have the luxury of stuffing it full of every kind of character, like in Stephen King’s The Stand. In a tv show unless it’s going to help move the story along, or add to character development, I’m fine with them leaving out the explanations.

Yeah, this latter point. I’ve posted this before, but I’ll repeat it because this is the Internet and my opinion is a unique special snowflake that I demand everyone attend:

One of the great things about “traditional” zombie fiction is that the protagonists are everyman citizens who are absolutely not in the position to see the Big Picture - they’re not the Chosen One, nor are they the Golden Hero that will deliver the planet from the bag guy (the zombie plague in this case). They’re just folks fighting against the tide like everyone else.

I sill maintain that TWD’s greatest single misstep was having them visit the CDC, only partially redeemed by the Eugene character lying about knowing what the Hell was going on.

I enjoyed this enough and found the cast to be pretty decent, though I will be glad when shit really hits the fan and everyone stops talking / texting on their phones.