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August 16, 2015 at 2:16 am #357669
I couldn’t find a thread for this. The show will premiere on AMC on August 23. The series is set to be a spin-off and prequel to The Walking Dead. The series has been given a two season order. Season 1 consists of 6 episodes.
Plot Overview (taken from Wikipedia )
Set in Los Angeles, the series follows a divorced male teacher (Cliff Curtis), a female guidance counselor (Kim Dickens), and her two children – a son (Frank Dillane) and a daughter (Alycia Debnam-Carey) – in the opening stages of the zombie apocalypse as they come to terms with the impending collapse of civilization.
The series also stars Elizabeth Rodriguez, Lorenzo James Henrie, Ruben Blades and Patricia Reyes Spindola.
The pilot episode is written by Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson and is directed by Adam Davidson.
Here is the link to the shows website http://www.amc.com/shows/fear-the-walking-dead
What are everyone’s thoughts on this? Will it live up to The Walking Dead or will it be a flop?August 16, 2015 at 2:21 am #357671
Really intrigued to know how bad this is going to be.August 18, 2015 at 8:28 am #357672
I have hope. It’s only 6 episodes so it can only be so bad, right? Also, AMC ordered 15 episodes for the 2nd season…!August 19, 2015 at 1:55 am #357673
I have hope. It’s only 6 episodes so it can only be so bad, right? Also, AMC ordered 15 episodes for the 2nd season…!
I feel the same way. The fact that 15 episodes have already been ordered gives some hope.August 21, 2015 at 6:08 am #357674
Fienberg royally trashed what he’s seen of the show so far. Sepinwall seems somewhat more kind to it, but thinks the premise will wear thin since the audience will be so much ahead of these characters. He also says that this is beneath Kim Dickens’s talents (duh). Time for these reviews.
“Fear the Walking Dead” goes back to the dawn of the zombie apocalypse
Kim Dickens and Cliff Curtis front companion series to
the AMC hit.
by Alan Sepinwall @Sepinwall | Thursday, Aug 20, 2015
As chaos spreads across Los Angeles in “Fear the
Walking Dead,” a high school guidance counselor invites one of her
students to stay with her family until this all blows over.
The kid, though, knows an apocalypse when he sees one.
“This doesn’t end,” he tells her.
As a spin-off of TV’s highest-rated drama, “Fear the
Walking Dead” (it debuts Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC) isn’t about to bring an
end to the lucrative zombie nightmare. Instead, it’s designed to go back to the
beginning of it, both to cover some material that the parent show skipped over
and to try to correct some mistakes that the original is still trying to work
around after five hugely successful seasons.
“The Walking Dead” was designed as Rick Grimes’
story, and because Rick was in a coma at the time the zombies began to rise,
that show (and the Robert Kirkman comic book that inspired it) skipped right
past the fall of civilization, plunging Rick right into this strange new world.
And the intense focus on Rick, particularly at the beginning, left the
supporting players with skimpy backstories and characterization. The series
didn’t really start addressing that until a couple of seasons ago, and even
now, only some of the survivors get turned into well-rounded people, while
others are just future zombie meat.
“Fear” picks up on the other side of the
continent, and right at the start of the pandemic. The goal here is to not only
fill in some of the blanks about the ways in which society utterly collapsed,
but to show you who its main characters were back in the days gone bye. Do
that, and suddenly it’s a much richer vein to mine as they transform right
along with the world. The parent show has done that at times, and been
particularly successful with Carol’s journey from victim to killer, but because
so many of the regulars were introduced as ciphers, whatever changes they’ve
been through haven’t been particularly striking.
As a spin-off that borrows the world but not any of the
characters from the original, “Fear” is here to keep AMC rolling in
zombie money during some of the 36 weeks of the year without new
“TWD” episodes. But it’s also a chance for the shared creative team
(the new series was developed by Kirkman and showrunner Dave Erickson) to
identify some things they might have done differently in hindsight on the first
show, or at least choices that are easy to make when they’re not directly
adapting stories from the comics.
But if “Fear” is a project with some noble
intentions, it has uneven execution, with the prequel nature of it hurting as
much as helping.
On the plus side, as teachers and would-be heads of a new
blended family Madison and Travis, Kim Dickens and Cliff Curtis provide a very
strong center for the new cast. They have a lot going on before the world
around them starts to crumble, including Madison trying to protect junkie son
Nick (Frank Dillane) from his own demons and Travis’s estrangement from his son
Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie). There’s foundation for something here.
But even an actress as nuanced as Dickens, who plays all
of her roles (whether in “Deadwood,” “Tremé,” or “Gone
Girl”) with an innate intelligence, can only do so much when her character
has to spend much of the first episode dismissing other people’s warnings about
people turning into monsters. From the perspective of a person living in the
normal world in which we first meet Madison, she’s being perfectly reasonable,
even sensible (particularly since one of the people trying to warn her is Nick,
shortly after police find him outside a heroin den). But from the perspective
of a viewer who has watched almost 70 episodes set in this universe and knows
how it works, she comes across like one of the rich swells in
“Titanic” who keep insisting the boat can’t sink. (Though she’s still
better than Picasso-hating Billy Zane.) That problem recedes a bit once she and
other characters get first-hand experience with the walkers (I’ve seen the
first two of the season’s six episodes), but it still doesn’t get her—or, later,
her achiever daughter Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey)—off on the best possible
footing. And it’s going to be a while before the audience stops being way ahead
of the characters in their zombie knowledge, meaning we once again have to
watch people figure out that only head injuries stop them, that all dead people
will turn into zombies even without being bitten, etc.
And building so much of the drama around this blended
family (including Elizabeth Rodriguez from “Orange Is the New Black”
as Travis’s ex-wife Liza) is another reminder that teenage characters and adult
thriller series rarely mix well. (See also “Terra Nova,”
“Homeland,” “V,” “The Killing,” etc., etc.) As an
addict whose withdrawal symptoms and drug-seeking behavior are at odds with
basic zombie apocalypse survival activity, Nick at least adds a wild card
element to things that makes sense. (And Madison’s reaction to her son’s
ongoing struggle gives Dickens some of her best material.) Because Alicia is
the family member kept in the dark the longest, it’s hard to get a read on how
well she’ll fit into the dark future that’s coming. But Chris is introduced in
such a whiny, off-putting way that one can only assume the creative teams were
big fans of Leo on “Smash.”
Through various creative ups and downs and changes in
showrunner, “The Walking Dead” has always been able to rely on the
technical brilliance of producer/director/makeup master Greg Nicotero and his
team. There’s a bit of that on display in the extra-long “Fear” pilot
episode, where director Adam Davidson and the crew make excellent use of
filming in real LA locations. Production moved to Vancouver after that, and the
shift is jarring; there’s a riot scene in the second episode that’s
unfortunately much smaller and less menacing than it’s meant to be because the
cameras have to stay in tight to avoid showing the very non-Los Angeles
environs. And with zombies at this stage more of an isolated problem, and not
in any significant state of decay like Rick and company have to deal with 2000 miles
away and a few years into the future, the gross-out factor isn’t particularly
high. Instead, the show tries to rely more on traditional horror movie jump
scares, with mixed success.
Given the huge ratings for “The Walking Dead”—and
the way they’ve so often risen independently of the quality of a given stretch
of episodes—everyone involved could have gotten away with making
“Fear” a lazier and more naked cash grab. Just pick a different group
of survivors in an overheated southern location with production tax credits
(“The Walking Dead: New Orleans”?), put them through similar ordeals,
and profit. It’s to everyone’s credit that they’ve tried to rethink the formula
a bit with the new show, and there are good building blocks in Dickens and
Curtis. Maybe by the end of this abbreviated first season, the prequel of it
all becomes more valuable.
Or maybe “Fear the Walking Dead” becomes very
much like its parent show not in structure, but in a perpetual state of
unevenness, at times living up to its potential (and audience), at times
struggling to make its living characters seem appreciably more complex than the
dead ones chasing them.August 21, 2015 at 6:16 am #357675
Review: “Fear the Walking Dead”
Courtesy of AMC
August 4, 2015 | 09:08 PM PT
TV Columnist @blowryontv
wisdom of situating “The Walking Dead” spinoff in a different place (Los
Angeles) and time (at the very beginning of the apocalyptic outbreak) sounded
like a shrewd move, and might still be. Yet the 90-minute premiere for “Fear
the Walking Dead,” the eagerly anticipated offshoot of AMC’s megahit, initially
feels too much like a snore, narrowly following a single,
not-terribly-interesting family, and leaning heavily on musical cues to stoke a
sense of suspense. A second episode begins to propel the story forward,
thankfully, but for starters, anyway, it’s more a snack than a feast.
Created by “Dead’s” comic-book patriarch Robert Kirkman
and Dave Erickson, the new show can’t help but be a hit given the built-in
demand and curiosity, which affords the creative team the latitude to proceed
at its own pace. That said, the introduction ambles along too leisurely—dare
one say zombie-like?—with a fair amount of fabricated tension but precious
little that actually quickens the pulse.
The opening is certainly a grabber, with a 19-year-old
junkie, Nick (Frank Dillane), awakening to a sight that, while familiar to
“Dead” heads, should be enough to put any character that survives on a path to
the straight and narrow. The experience lands Nick in the hospital, leaving his
mother Madison (Kim Dickens) and her boyfriend Travis (Cliff Curtis) at their
Even Nick isn’t entirely sure what to believe, although
evidence gradually begins to mount that something is very, very wrong,
including a disturbing encounter caught on video by the local news. That said,
through the pilot “Fear” is more concerned with the micro—and indeed, this
single family, including Madison’s daughter Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey)—than
the macro, as if an episode of “Parenthood” suddenly had to deal with the
A second episode, fortunately, improves matters
considerably, mostly in charting how the uncertainty of what’s happening begins
to break down society, from civil unrest to rampant fear of the unknown. This
hour points in a more promising direction, although as yet the characters still
seem a little malnourished, particularly compared with the original, which
niftily wedded a horror motif to an ongoing, evolving soap opera where no one
is completely safe (OK, maybe just a few key people).
For “Walking Dead” fans, “Fear” does tap into a fertile
vein, since the earlier show’s main protagonist, Rick, slept through humanity’s
fall in a coma, leaving flashbacks to putty in only some of the gaps. Watching
social norms collapse clearly plants an uncomfortable foot in reality, although
Erickson, Kirkman and company have a long way to go in terms of conjuring
anything approaching that sort of emotional investment in these characters.
Granted, the obvious goal was to see these extraordinary
events unfold through ordinary people, but Dickens and Curtis, both fine
actors, are left to dine on a too-thin gruel.
Strictly in pragmatic terms, AMC was savvy about
scheduling the show, launching it in a relatively dead window that will only
help pound the drums for the mother ship’s annual landing in October. In
success, this second series—already renewed for another season—has plenty of
room to grow without intruding on that other universe, while offering the
opportunity to strategically help fill the gaps in the original’s lengthy
Because “Walking Dead” is such a juggernaut, AMC can
easily ride those coattails, at least for a while. Yet when it comes to the
longterm future of this new program, the network might discover that the only
thing it has to fear is, ultimately, “Fear” itself.
TV Review: “Fear the Walking Dead”
(Series; AMC, Sun. Aug. 23, 9 p.m.)
Filmed in Los Angeles by Circle of Confusion, Symbound
and Valhalla Entertainment.
Executive producers, Dave Erickson, Robert Kirkman, Gale
Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero; co-executive producers, David Wiener,
Adam Davidson; producers, Ron French, Craig Forrest, Bill Johnson; director,
Davidson; writers, Kirkman, Erickson; camera, Michael McDonough; production
designer, Michael Bolton. 90 MIN.
Kim Dickens, Cliff Curtis, Frank Dillane, Alycia
Debnam-Carey, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Lorenzo James Henrie, Ruben Blades, Patricia
Reyes Spindola, Mercedes MasonAugust 21, 2015 at 7:00 am #357676
Hollywood Reporter’s review:
the Walking Dead”: TV Review
9:01 PM PDT 8/4/2015 by Tim Goodman
Bottom Line: Obstacles abound, but so does dramatic
Airdate: Sunday at 9 p.m. (AMC)
Creator: Robert Kirkman, Dave Erickson
Cast: Kim Dickens, Cliff Curtis, Elizabeth Rodriguez,
spinoff depicts the early days of the outbreak that eventually leads to “The
No discussion of the AMC spinoff series “Fear the Walking
Dead” can move forward without stating the obvious about the original’s devoted
fans: They will watch.
And they will watch in droves. Given that nearly 16
million people tuned in to this season’s finale of “The Walking Dead,” it’s a
pretty safe bet that the Aug. 23 premiere of “Fear the Walking Dead” will be a
hit. And ratings for the second episode—and likely for all six that comprise
this freshman season—will be enormous, even if they don’t quite reach the
stratospheric heights of the original.
Finding viewers will not be an issue, and that’s a
wonderful safety net when you’re working out the kinks.
And “Fear” is not without question marks that could
hinder its quality and perhaps reduce great ratings to pretty great ratings.
The issue that’s evident in the first two episodes that
AMC made available to critics (with an extended clip from the third episode shown
at the Television Critics Association press tour), is that there isn’t a lot of
carnage. In fact, actual zombies (just called “the infected” here as
opposed to “walkers” in the original) are few and far between in the
first two hours, which makes “Fear” much more of a traditional drama until the
spread of the unknown virus really takes hold.
Which is to say that the 90-minute first episode and the
hour-long second episode—while not actually boring—are certainly less magnetic
than the original.
That said, by simply changing its location Fear begins to
set the hook and stand apart from the original. Fear takes place on the West
Coast—specifically in Los Angeles—and begins well before Rick Grimes was first
glimpsed in that Atlanta hospital, waking up to an apocalyptic zombie
It’s not quite a prequel, of course, but it gives fans a
look at the very first outbreak moments when the world began to slowly realize
something awful was happening.
There’s rich dramatic material to be mined in that
scenario, and “Fear” should get to it sometime within these first six episodes.
But the truncated episode order handicaps some of the
storytelling early on, because there are certain facts about a pilot that just
can’t be overcome. For starters, Dave Erickson, executive producer, co-creator
and showrunner, has to introduce a whole new cast, and that takes time. But
it’s critical because a series really gets rolling when an audience knows the
people involved and can either pull for them or against them.
In “Fear,” we meet two high school teachers in Los
Angeles who have fallen in love with each other: Madison (Kim Dickens) and
Travis (Cliff Curtis), who not only have their hands full with their day jobs,
but also with the work of convincing their resistant children that they are all
still a family, just blended into another family. They’re teens, so it’s no
surprise that they are annoyed by such an idea (while also being annoying).
Madison’s daughter, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey),
eye-rolls her mom’s new love, while Travis’s son, Christopher (Lorenzo James
Henrie), feels pretty much the same, preferring to stay with his mother, Liza
(Elizabeth Rodriguez). On top of this conflict of blended family dynamics is
Madison’s other son Nick (Frank Dillane), a heroin addict who can’t really be
helped (because he doesn’t want to be).
Erickson, fellow exec producer David Alpert and director
Adam Davidson have to create a new and different Walking Dead universe, where
the burgeoning and mysterious infection, pre-apocalypse, is riveting enough to
sustain the slow build of figuring out new characters—and letting those new
players have personalities that will lend themselves to episode-to-episode
loyalty and interest.
That’s not easy. And there are, undoubtedly, moments in
the first couple of episodes where it’s just not nearly as much fun as the
original and, because viewers want to see zombies, the whole thing feels like a
lurching story we already know being told too slowly.
However, dramatically the appeal is twofold: seeing what
hasn’t been shown before—the confusion and then shock and then chaos of the
early-days scenario; and, perhaps even more importantly, exploring (and toying
with) the notion that viewers know more than the characters in Fear possibly
could, so watching them be all-too-nonchalant when they should be running for
their lives is fun and scary.
Erickson and company do a fine job of getting at that
dangerous naiveté—where people allow the newly infected (and “turned”
but not rotting) zombies to get right up on them. It stresses out “Walking Dead”
fans who know what’s coming, while also making sense for the characters in
Fear. This is all so new—mistakes of some consequence will be made.
Other elements worth exploring include that predictable
yet dangerous belief that characters would have had at the beginning that the
police or the government would protect them. Faith in institutions that are about
to crumble is logical at the inception of the catastrophe. Also, characters in “Fear”
naturally believe that whatever outbreak this is will be contained. Again,
knowing more than the main characters is intriguing and creates a great deal of
interesting tension between the viewer and the characters on screen.
Thinking that it will all go away is central to the
actions of the people in “Fear,” and Erickson and director Davidson work hard
to get at that simple, time-tested human belief, which has been essentially
obliterated in “The Walking Dead” world.
But still, it’s a challenge to make the slow dawning of
trouble riveting to watch. Because, well, it’s slow.
Yet once the convoluted introduction of characters has
happened—three others, including one portrayed by Ruben Blades, are brought
into the story in the second episode—“Fear” can start playing with its
potential (and there are 15 episodes scheduled for the already-picked-up second
Early episodes do hint at what ignorance means—allowing
scenes which will make “Walking Dead” fans recoil in anticipation (in one, a
girl hugs her bitten boyfriend who is about to turn at any second, though she’s
never seen anyone turn, and she’s mad at her parents for pulling her away).
Walking too close to stumbling zombies or patching up people who have been
bitten and then riding in a car with them, etc., are some of the ways Erickson
can build tension—and tap into a perverse sense of humor.
Dickens and Curtis shine in these early episodes; her
actions convey that she’ll be a survivor no matter what, and his indicate that
he’s got some Rick Grimes can-do as well.
But “Fear” has other stumbling blocks. Teenagers are
generally annoying in television shows, and the ones here are no different.
They just do dumb things. Some of this stuff is natural, sure, but much of it
is not. And “Fear” is not immune to that awful TV trope where the parents don’t
impart the crucial information that they know. As in, “I just saw what is
very clearly a zombie, and I need you to stay inside!” Part of this,
specifically, is tied to the fact that “zombie” is not a term ever
used in “The Walking Dead” nor, apparently, “Fear”— even though both take place
in a time where, culturally, everyone would know what a zombie is.
But part of this lack of dispensing critical information
is also just a dramatic crutch. Why say, “I saw people eating the faces
off of other people so we need to run like hell” when you can say,
“Just don’t leave, I’ll tell you when I get there”?
Then there’s the issue of the timelines of each show. Not
much time will have passed in the first season of Fear, but it’s only logical
to wonder how long the series can go before the shock of the new goes away and
time marches on to create a landscape of rotted walkers, lack of food, barely
anyone around and the stay-alive-paranoia of the original.
The real trick in “Fear” will be keeping the full weight
and extent of the zombie insurrection at bay for some time and focusing on the
early days of the outbreak in a way that makes it different but also equally
original and entertaining.
Even if “Fear” falls short creatively, there must be some
solace for its creators that millions of viewers will still embrace it. That’s
the benefit of a good bloodline.August 21, 2015 at 10:20 am #357677
The first 3 minutes are available online: http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/fear-the-walking-dead-premiere-opening-minutes-frank-dillane-1201574821/August 22, 2015 at 7:17 am #357678
I am happy to see someone started a thread for this, I almost did so myself. With that said, I cannot help but feel undwerwhelmed and un-excited for this show. It appears I am not the only person who feels that way.
Through it’s many ups and downs, I have stuck with the Walking Dead since the beginning. The Walking Dead has actually become one of my favorite shows on TV and I look forward to it every week. Sadly I do not feel that same anticipation for Fear The Walking Dead.
I cannot shake my feeling that the show is plain un-neccessary and over-kill. And maybe this is a ridiculous way to feel about it, but I cannot help but feel this show is nothing but a desperate attempt for AMC to profit on it’s main cash cow now that Breaking Bad and Mad Men are gone. AMC seems to be really struggling in the abscense of those two shows, creating several shows that have not become critical or ratings hits like TWD or two previously mentioned shows. Instead of spinning off their most popular show, I wish AMC would continue to focus on creating another possible hit show.
I most likely will watch the first episode of Fear the Walkind Dead, but I will do so with severely lowered expectations.August 23, 2015 at 4:55 am #357679
Episode Title: “Pilot”
Synopsis: A dysfunctional blended family is forced together when they realize the onset of the undead apocalypse is upon them.
Discuss.August 23, 2015 at 7:14 am #357680
Really looking foward to this , no matter what the critics are saying.August 23, 2015 at 10:08 am #357681
When I first heard about this I thought, O c’mon already! But….the previews and ads have won me over; at least to the point where I am going to do my utmost to watch this tonight. And, I’m going to give it more than one chance.
I dont give a CRAP what the critics are saying either….lol. In fact, I dont really know what they’re saying….dont care….August 23, 2015 at 9:54 pm #357682
Lots of people are likely to disagree with me, but I think the acting was very strong (Frank Dillane is one to watch out for! Makes me wanna see “Sense8” now) on that premiere, not near as memorable as “Days Gone Bye”, but definetely a good Pilot.August 23, 2015 at 9:54 pm #357683
Lots of people are likely to disagree with me, but I think the acting was very strong (Frank Dillane is one to watch out for! Makes me wanna see “Sense8” now) on that premiere, not near as memorable as “Days Gone Bye”, but definetely a good Pilot.August 24, 2015 at 7:49 am #357684
Interesting pilot but I’m not sold yet. I see little things I like and two actors that are actually making me feel for their characters (the drug addict kid and the stepfather/moms boyfriend) but my fav part was the running over of the drug dealer. Very “Dawn of the Dead”. My grade: B
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