Plot: There’s a sign of the apocalypse in Los Angeles, where reports of a strange flu and the disappearance of people underscore this gritty drama, a prequel to AMC’s uber-popular “Walking Dead.” The story of the mysterious outbreak and its ramifications are told through the lens of high school guidance counselor Madison Clark and English teacher Travis Manawa. A widowed mother, Madison, is raising two children single-handedly, but has recently found love with Travis, who maintains a relationship with his ex-wife and resentful son while trying to become a father to Madison’s children. The challenge of blending their families is exacerbated by unforeseen chaos, and a necessary survival of the fittest takes hold. The Clarks and Manawas must reinvent themselves, or embrace their darker histories.
Review: The people behind The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead really have a low opinion of mankind and this show in particular has no one you’re going to root for. There is no Rick or Daryl here, instead it’s a bunch of LA families who are forced together as the zombie apocalypse slowly unfolds around them.
Travis (Cliff Curtis) is essentially the “hero” of Fear the Walking Dead and he is pretty much the only person you nearly care about. The teenagers are particularly obnoxious but then they are teenagers so that’s their job.
Travis’s new woman Madison (Kim Dickens) is all over the place as a character and just comes across as a hard faced bitch who you won’t care about at all either.
I know the whole thing behind The Walking Dead is that essentially only the bad people are able to survive and could almost be compared to The Rapture where the good go up to heaven and leave the damned on Earth to suffer.
So good times all round then but it’s not all bad; despite a boring first episode, it does establish the mood and builds up the impending threat quite nicely.
As riots start to break out and panic ensues we feel the group’s growing fear that events are going to get worse before they get better.
It’s funny how every TV show these days seems to portray people in the military as unstable, corrupt or just plain nasty so if you’re looking for any heroics soldier characters don’t expect that. Really don’t expect anything heroic at all; it’s just people losing their humanity and by the end of the season even Travis has done some nasty things. When he shows compassion to someone in the season finale, it of course goes pear shaped and essentially is saying you should never help anyone.
Apparently after the first episode the viewing figures dropped and it’s hardly surprising; why should we care if any of these horrible people survive? With Rick, Daryl and co. in the REAL Walking Dead we root for them because we know what they work together so well and we feel like we’ve gone through this Hell with them. With everyone treating Travis like shit throughout the show I kept wanting him to just walk away from them as he’s better off without any of them.
I do like the whole concept of how the zombie apocalypse happens and the way everything unravels is nicely handled and despite the unlikeable characters the acting is at least first rate.
The finale was excellent and there was plenty of zombie action but it was grueling to get there and I’m not sure if I’d be interested in a Season 2 if we even get one.
Overall, Fear the Walking Dead has some nice touches but if they want people to tune in for another season then maybe try creating characters that we give even half a shit about it… might help.