I watch The Walking Dead so of course I’m going to watch Fear The Walking Dead. I’ve been in it since the beginning. I stayed with it when it was bad and boring and grosser than gross. There’s a large part of me that needs to be in tune with the zeitgeist. Everyone is watching it and talking about it and so I need to be a part of that. I don’t want to be left out. And there’s another part of me that feels I need to see it through. I started it and so I may as well finish it.
Smartly or not I kind of had high hopes for this new series. Starting at the beginning when all the shit hits the fan sounded cool and interesting. And oh, it really could have been cool and interesting. But three episodes in and I’m kind of pissed. It’s not terrible. There are some good things. I’ll keep watching it. But first, I need to vent.
My sister told me an article she read on Vulture about how Kim Dickens’ character would never be named Madison because she would have been born before Splash and Madison was not a name anyone used until after Splash. So yeah, it’s a silly name to give a character who is probably 50 or at least close to 50. And that brings me to laziness.
The makers of this show knew people were going to watch it no matter what. They had a formula in place. Zombies were going to be in it. But couldn’t they have tried harder to really make something cool? To not go with easy? They were going to have the audience already. Why not push the boundaries a little? Why not get a little bit less formulaic and a little bit more awesome?
For example, we didn’t need to start with one of the main characters. We could have started in some other part of the world with some other group of people we might never see again. Closer to the beginnings of the walkers. Maybe even patient zero. Why not? How did it start? Wouldn’t it be more interesting to see some guy in Russia (or wherever) getting bitten by a random guy on the street? And then see where it goes? How did it get to the U.S.? How did it get to L.A.? What are the doctors making of this? The police? The government? I want characters in these places. I want to know the details.
And I want more dread. When Nick wakes up from his drug coma or whatever and goes downstairs to find his friend eating someone it doesn’t even produce a little bit of a charge. We knew it was coming of course but certainly there could have been a more interesting scene. Way more interesting than that slow mo shirtless stumble out of the church. I want atmosphere! LA is boring.
I also don’t think that all of these characters would be so willing to approach the walkers as they have. “Are you alright?” “Are you sick?” Madison and Travis have already been exposed to a walker–a man rising from the dead no less. And the people around them are begging them not to go near the thing, but there they go anyway. No. Stupid.
Of course Madison would grab food from the high school cafeteria. She knows shit’s coming. She’s a mom. And Nick would change his damn dead old man clothes as soon as he got home. And everyone would take a shower because when are they going to get the chance again? The lights are flickering! Chaos is ensuing already! Fill up your bathtub! Get all the Hostess snacks you can! Now! Do it! But no. Instead they wander and pontificate and worry and play Monopoly.
And of course Travis and family escape rioting during the day time (during the beginning) only to escape during the night time when it is worse. Yep. Let’s wait for it to get really bad and then go.
How about Madison leaving her back door open as they run to the neighbor’s house for a gun? She knows her neighbor is already afflicted and wandering about.
There are so many interesting stories one might tell. They had the opportunity to do some really cool stuff. A doctor or nurse in a hospital. Someone in the military. A scientist at the World Health Organization. How about a different landscape. Somewhere less hot?
I want more dread. I want to feel afraid. I want authenticity. Do it, people.