** Potential spoilers below **
The sophomore outing of Robert Kirkman & Co. in their version of a zombie apocalypse aired it’s second episode last Sunday. This week, it’s taking a break and then jumping back into the fray the following Sunday after Labor Day. Interesting way to begin a new series, but maybe that’s a good thing. I’m personally hoping that, going into the third episode, something will actually begin to happen!
I’m not completely disappointed with Fear the Walking Dead, so far, but I’m close to wondering just how much longer we can follow this disjointed family unit to the brink of maybe something’s going to happen. One can only rely on jump scares for so long before they finally have to give up and throw some meat into the story, and so far, that’s what Fear the Walking Dead lacks – meat. A real chunk of the story is missing, it seems. We need some substance to this art house film with the constant helicopter blades whirring in the background and police sirens warbling in the distance. Yes, the world is going to hell quickly, people are rioting and the police are shooting people only to have cameras catch those victims coming back to life. But where’s the story?!
Ok, so you have surely guessed what my problem is by now. I’ve mentioned story several times, and that is the downfall that I see so far. That being said, maybe I’m jaded because I/we already know where this all ends up. I understand the storytelling method, building upon events and fleshing out our characters. But we know all of this. We know emergency procedures didn’t work. We know the world goes to hell. We know the dead shall walk the earth and be the bane of our existence. All I’m saying is, don’t draw this out any more than you have to. We’re two episodes in and so far we’ve basically just seen choppy news clips on smart phones and watched as this one family faces more personal drama than the world falling apart around them. Sure, by the end of episode 2, we realize something has to come to a head here, but they’re split up and no one is willing to leave the others behind.
Our mixed family of potential apocalypse survivors needs to rally it up. They’re currently refusing to help anyone but themselves, and that’s speaking volumes more about them than all this backstory they’re trying to work with. An addict needing pills, a mother worried about her kids, a father trying to reconnect with his estranged son that doesn’t want to see him. All interesting character types, but right now it’s being overrun by the pure boredom of their interactions. Maybe that’s part of the great writing, maybe they’re suppose to be a little wooden and on edge around one another. But I’m just not impressed, so far.
Again, take all my complaints with a grain of salt. I could be suffering from Walking Dead withdrawals. We’ve seen where this is all going, but I never pictured the lead up being so boring and suffering from teen angst. I don’t view the mother as being strong, I don’t view the father/boyfriend as being a leader. The kids are typical spoiled brats. They’re really going to have to up their game within the next four episodes to really lure me back for a 2nd season because for this to be a 6 episode arc, we’re getting nowhere fast. Then again, the first season of Walking Dead was sort of the same, but by those last two episodes we were packing up and moving on.
Good luck, Fear the Walking Dead. I’m holding out a faint glimmer of hope for you. Very, very faint. But we’ll see if lighting can strike twice for the zombie apocalypse.