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Friday Foofaraw: Fear The Walking Dead

As promised, this week’s Friday Foofaraw is centered around “Fear the Walking Dead,” AMC’s prequel/spinoff of its curiously monster hit “The Walking Dead.” For those of you new around here or unfamiliar, I was on The Walking Dead train back in the days of when I had my own blog. [SKY POINT]

What started off as a mild psychotic obsession for me has waned into a lackadaisical shrug. I tune in on Sundays and still watch every episode but it’s more out of curiosity and hate-watching. It’s not very often that a television show can consist primarily of loathsome characters with zero redeeming qualities, a meandering plot with no clearly defined end game and be the most watched show in America by a landslide. (Friends is the only other one that jumps immediately to mind.)

Yet, here we are.

It’s no surprise that AMC optioned a prequel series to its powerhouse show. There’s clearly a ton of interest in this universe and getting the hell out of the raging shithole that is the state of Georgia and shooting on location in Los Angeles certainly had to have a lot of appeal for the producers.

Anyways, on to some other random takeaways from the show. I should warn, there are some details from the opening episode that, while they aren’t huge spoilers, do describe certain happenings. So if you don’t want to read on, I won’t be offended.

–Robert Kirkman has told anyone that will listen that viewers should not expect this to be The Walking Dead Part 2. Perhaps then maybe it wasn’t a good idea to start the show in almost the exact same fashion as its predecessor? The only real difference is that this time the opening scene takes place with a character waking up in a heroin shooting gallery instead of Rick in an abandoned hospital.

Some viewers will be able to discern the artistic storytelling of how the story splits course from the original when Johnny Depp Jr. gets run over by a car as opposed to Rick running outside to an empty city. However, I feel like most will think, “Ok, here we go again! When’s our first character going to get gnawed on screen?”

For one episode, they did a good job of building suspense and playing with the audience’s premonitions in that regard. Certain camera angles and viewpoints that tend to preclude zombie appearances or crazy deaths on The Walking Dead were used here but instead, actually nothing happened. That sort of thing is cool now but I think it will have run its course by the end of the next episode.

–I really like Cliff Curtis as the male lead. He’s probably best known (to me, at least) for his role as Pablo Escobar in “Blow.” His character here isn’t portrayed (not yet) as the ‘hero’ role that all the other characters turn to make their decisions and therefore, he’s not annoying.

–Kim Dickens is the female lead and she’s your classic character actress that you recognize but have no idea from where. She also hasn’t turned into a raving psychopath that lets little children die under her watch and uses that as a reason to threaten and kill others as she pleases so she gets a thumbs up from me.

–The principal of the high school where Kim Dickens’ character works is a dead ringer for President Obama. Does that mean anything metaphorically? I haven’t the slightest clue.

–Perhaps I’m coming off as slightly negative but I am optimistic/excited about this show. I love any and all movies/shows dealing with the zombie apocalypse and the angle for this one is intriguing. We get to see what happened before the world went to shit and Daryl Dixon became a cartoon character.

–PREDICTION TIME: The creators of this version of Walking Dead have said this show will be all about the family whereas the previous version is all about doing whatever you can to survive. In that vein, I would be slightly stunned if any of the four members of this family is killed off before the final season (assuming it gets there and/or doesn’t need a SHOCK death to bump the ratings).

Where I see this show ultimately heading is that this family starts bouncing around through different scenarios meeting other minor characters (who will most definitely be killed off/eaten) along the journey to society’s crumble. The audience will get some Easter eggs about the cause of the plague, potential safe zones, crossover in characters between the two shows, etc. Eventually, as the show starts drawing to a close, the family members will start to drop off and there will be one, maybe two survivors. Then there will be some kind of magical tie-in to the original Walking Dead and everyone will be angry.


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