AMC’s first season of Fear The Walking Dead finished with record-breaking ratings, but will viewers want more?
Season 1, Ep. 06 – ‘A Good Man’ | Aired October 4, 2015
by TS Alan
In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new zombie television series being aired on the AMC Network. No, it’s not the Walking Dead, that’s already in its sixth season as of October 11th. The newest zombie series is called Fear The Walking Dead, which is Robert Kirkman’s spin-off of his highly rated Walking Dead series. The premise of the new show is that it is set in Los Angeles, when the outbreak first occurs. It follows three sets of families (the Manawas, Clarks and Salazars), who are all brought together at the dawn of the dead rising. The main focus for the six-part series deals with how each family deals with the growing pandemic, and how they come to grips with the world around them as their lives change forever.
In my Fear The Walking Dead series premiere review, my opinion of the show was this:
A hard sell opening with little further reward for the 90-minute pilot, which follows an uninteresting and barely likable dysfunctional Los Angeles family just before a zombie uprising. Needs to ramp up the action as well as the gore in order to attain that hardcore fan base like its parent The Walking Dead.
So has my opinion changed? Well, in part. Let me first start with the zombie action and gore. It was pretty dismal throughout the first five episodes. Sure viewers were given a few head shots here and there, some brains splattering, some corpses, and even a bit of really good gore. However, by contrast, it pales in comparison to the first six episodes of the first season of the Walking Dead. But to Kirkman’s and AMC’s credit the season finale made up for the splattering lacking, minimal zombie action of the first five episodes. Viewers were given an all out zombie fest finale, giving the 11.2 million viewers that had tuned in exactly what they wanted — blood, guts and splattering zombie brains. Thus making Fear The Walking Dead, the best first season of any show in cable history, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
Now here’s the other part, the characters. Sure viewers have been given some character development and we’ve learned something about their back stories — especially the reveal in Rubén Blades’s character Daniel Salazar during episode five. But have any of the characters transitioned into someone who viewers can identify with and root for? For me, that’s still a no. I was hoping for Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis) when I wrote the pilot review, but he didn’t get a clue and grew some balls until the climax of the season finale. Good for him, but he’s still not someone I genuinely care about nor are any of the members of the survival group. They always seem two steps behind and still don’t have their shit together, with the exception to Daniel Salazar — and for me, none of them are likable enough to care about.
However, they did introduce a new character into the mix by the name of Victor Strand (Colman Domingo), who is definitely a wheeler-dealer. We also found out by the end of the finale that he’s also prepared for a doomsday scenario — he’s got a yacht. But as Kirkman mentioned in his New York Comic Con panel, The Walking Dead: An Inside Look with Robert Kirkman, water won’t be safe either.
Perhaps all is not lost for a character I can sink my teeth into. Strand just may be the survivor that I am looking for. Though, I would rather see Kirkman bring back the character Tobias (Lincoln A. Castellanos). He was the young boy in the first two episodes that understood what was about to happen and began to prepare for the inevitable end. I totally identified with that character.
So will I keep watching? Yes, because I want to know what’s going to happen on that boat and I’m hoping they start killing off those characters I don’t like. Fear The Walking Dead return’s to AMC sometime in 2016, air dates have yet to be announced.