Review: Fear the Walking Dead: Season 1
Well, friends and neighbors, where should I start?
How about we start with the positives and work our way down.
- There were only six episodes.
- The finale was somewhat entertaining.
Now for the negatives:
Though it’s been done to death, the “zombie apocalypse” storyline is still an intriguing one. When done right, that is. Fear the Walking Dead largely fails to capture any of the excitement, sense of urgency, or suspense associated with this scenario; choosing instead to crawl through the maiden season at a dull snail’s pace. I do give the writers credit for trying to put an emphasis on the characters. That however leads us to the show’s other major shortfall: those characters simply aren’t interesting. I don’t care about any of them; the exception being chubby, Hispanic high school student, Tobias, who actually has an idea about what’s going on. Unfortunately, he only appears in a few scenes in the first two episodes. I hope he made it. Everyone else comes off flat and far too boring for me to want them to survive the outbreak. Overacting would be preferable to what we get over the bulk of the six episodes. The introduction of Mr. Strand in episodes 5 and 6 might be the only other exception. In fact I’d be perfectly fine if the entire cast was killed off in the second season premiere. Even the unstoppable juggernaut known as Ruben Blades doesn’t really add anything to the mix. A Predator 2-style exit wouldn’t be unwelcome.
Since I reside near Los Angeles, where the series takes place, I was hoping to see some familiar sights but here again I was let down. We’re mainly confined to indoor locations, mostly a couple of houses, through the first few episodes with a bit of “downtown” and the LA River sprinkled in. Having been principally filmed in Vancouver, BC, I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised. Sunken City being featured as the locale in the finale’s last scene was a nice touch and a personal treat for me since I go hiking there from time to time.
Here’s the bottom line:
A decent storyline (though far from an original one), and some brief glimpses of promise, primarily from the finale, couldn’t overcome the huge hurdles of: a lack of interesting, appealing characters, and five generally boring episodes out of a six-episode season.
I wanted to like this show. I thought it could have been that breath of fresh, undead air the franchise needed. I’ve been openly critical of the original show the last couple of seasons, but I find that I’m looking forward to its return.
If Fear the Walking Dead keeps heading this way, the only thing you need fear is narcolepsy.
1 zzzombie out of 5
La Jiggy Jar Jar Doo,