“Fear the Walking Dead” premiered on AMC Sunday night, and we admittedly were concerned about the show from the get-go. Maybe this was just going to be some sort of cash-in for the network, given the original was such a huge hit and they wanted to grow their business with Robert Kirkman. Or, maybe this was just a way to fill up space in their schedule?
Regardless of the reasoning behind creating the show, AMC deserves some credit here for developing this with Kirkman and Dave Erickson. The end results are pretty great, and feel to us much better than the first season of the original show. We feel like one of the biggest differences here is that for now, we’re not watching something that is so much a product of the survival-horror genre. This is more of a human story, revolving around characters who are just trying to make things work in the city of Los Angeles.
The two stars are Cliff Curtis and Kim Dickens as Travis and Madison, who both work in the school system and saw some of the world fall apart throughout the 90 minute premiere. They went from being skeptics of a widely-reported “disease” to believers, but it did not come easy for them. At first, everyone took Madison’s son Nick as a complete lunatic for suggesting that there was something terrible out there, given his past addictions and his history of excuses. This was different.
The story tonight got us from point A to point B, where Travis realized through Calvin’s zombie corpse that something very different was happening. The show did a good job of not making these zombies look anything like the ones on the flagship show, and playing up the paranoia and disarray of the city.
In general, this premiere was everything that you could want. It was well-acted, dramatic, violent, and we already care for these characters. We wouldn’t proclaim it magic just yet (it didn’t have the spark of an instant classic), but this is already a very good undead drama that is not to be missed. Grade: A-.
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