When The Walking Dead premiered on AMC in 2010, it proved that people were ready to watch a zombie show on a weekly basis. The show was loaded with great characters, tense situations, and unprecedented gore and well written drama. Now six years later The Walking Dead is the highest rated show on cable television and continually breaks its own viewership records. So it only seems inevitable that AMC might consider breaking out another show in the world of the undead. This year was the 6 episode premiere run of their new show Fear the Walking Dead and AMC might just have another hit on their hands.
Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis) is a teacher with a highly dysfunctional family. He is divorced and having trouble connecting with his son. He is in a relationship with Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) who also has a daughter and a drug addicted son, Nick (Frank Dillane). When a mysterious virus seems to take hold of Los Angeles, Travis and his family seem dismissive at first but soon realize the problem is growing at an alarming rate and causing the dead to rise and attack the living. Now Travis, his family, and some people they meet along the way must find a way out of the chaotic city and somehow find some place safe before it is too late.
Fear the Walking Dead is a wonderful companion series to The Walking Dead. It is very different in feel and in execution. While The Walking Dead is more action based and grittier with a greater sense of hopelessness, Fear the Walking Dead is at the beginning of the apocalypse so it feels more familiar, more relatable. The characters don’t know what we all know as viewers of both shows, they don’t know how to handle the situation, how to dispatch a walker, how to work together to survive. They must learn all of this while on the go trying to survive each hour as it occurs. And they must deal with the family issues that were present at the time of the crisis. Relationship problems, addiction, and belief systems all become obstacles and things to reevaluate. Fear the Walking Dead was criticized by some viewers as being too slow but I really liked the build up of the world and the situation, we got to work things out as the characters were. And after the thrilling finale there promises to be much more action to come in Season Two next year. Fear the Walking Dead is a different experience than The Walking Dead but a very complementary one. Highly recommended for The Walking Dead fans or just fans of good thrilling television.