ByTom Tennant, writer at
Editor/publisher of (@midwestmovies) and MarvelCinematicUniversity (@marvelcineuniv)
Tom Tennant

So what did you think of Fear the Walking Dead's series premiere? Pretty cool stuff, huh?

I hoped for a slow burn with all this new walker business, and was glad creators Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson decided to go this route. Though about three-quarters in, I was hoping we’d get to some serious social breakdown rather than burn too slowly.

Some personal observations (spoilers below):

  • Nick stumbles like a walker throughout the show, which I hope was intentional. I like the subtext of society itself as nothing more than a stumbling zombie.
  • Nick might be my favorite character, though, too often, he acts and looks like a low-rent Johnny Depp. (By low-rent, I mean only that actor Frank Dillane looks like Johnny Depp.
  • The “man vs nature,” “chaos theory,” brain biology and other high school class discussions were a bit too on the nose. Rolled my eyes. Travis’s class discussion was enough.
  • The “resting” fake-outs were fun. Especially the first one.
  • Too many tropes? There were moments I felt like there were. Tobias, with his “it’s all connected” mantra, was one. It felt improperly set up. Beyond Nick’s experience, there didn’t seem to be much walker talk or musings, either, which made Tobias's anxiety feel unfounded. I also didn’t recall any mention of a “flu” taking out a portion of the school population. I remember the principal mentioning that he thought Madison might have succumbed to the flu. Was it then?
  • Why wasn’t there a police presence at the church/drug den? If Nick didn’t provide info, I guess that makes sense. Or why did Travis investigate at night? Sure, horror show, but that feels very standard horror movie. Unless that was during the day. Correct me if I'm wrong.
  • Why were characters holding on to information? Once you’ve discovered that, indeed, there was probably a murder at the church, and that Nick might be a witness, and that he isn’t crazy or trying to kill himself, why not go to the police? The cops already know he's a drug addict. Witness to a murder isn't going to get him into any more trouble. It's just going to prove he's not insane.
  • I wondered about Nick telling Madison and Travis he accidentally shot Calvin. Why would you investigate again? Maybe you would. Maybe if you said something like, “Maybe you’re seeing this, too. Maybe this is the drugs. Show us.” Or something like that. There was just something off about it. But – but – it was meant to lift the curtain for our main characters, so likely that was a tricky situation the writers had to work through. What kind of situation is plausible enough to put these three characters together in a secluded part of L.A., where they can discover walkers?
  • Winesburg, Ohio. Okay, so, I’ve read a little of this, but my “themes” come straight from Wikipedia. Likely, this book is representative of Nick’s feelings of loneliness and isolation, along with his journey toward acceptance among a community. It could also foreshadow the need for the group to escape the city, since the main character in Winesburg also comes to that conclusion.
  • If so many kids are missing, wouldn’t that be news? Because if a rash of kids are out with the “flu,” they wouldn’t be sick at home, since, presumably, this isn’t an airborne/illness based disease, right? Instead they’d be missing. And as soon as you get to two or three kids missing from the same school, that’s a headline.
  • Or maybe it is? We don't know what caused the pandemic, but maybe we'll learn a little bit, if not everything? More to come on this, I suppose.
  • A lot of sirens near the end. They show up a lot in the ambient background. I both loved this and was bothered by it. Maybe it hit a “too much” or “too obvious” chord.

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