Just in case some of you live under a rock, let me give a quick briefing before I get into my list of loves and hates. Fear The Walking Dead is the newest TV installment of the Robert Kirkman created zombie apocalypse world. It takes place during the first days and weeks of the zombie virus outbreak and basically gives us a little history on what happened while Rick (our main hero of the original story in The Walking Dead) was in a coma.
I'm just going to jump right in here with a quick SPOILER alert:
Strong Female Leads
Robert Kirkman is no stranger to giving us realistic characters and strong multidimensional characters. This is especially true with all of his female characters. Whether the women (or girls) are overall good guys (Maggie and Michonne), overall bad guys (Lizzie and Mary [aka momma cannibal]), or somewhere in the middle (Carol and Sasha), they always leave me satisfied for proper female representation.
FEAR is no exception to this. It is constantly the women characters who are put into tough situations and they rise to the challenge. Within the first episode we see Maddie confronted with her first zombie and she takes him out with a fire extinguisher. This isn't some decayed weak zombie either, he's a fresh full strength full bone density chomper. This event barely even rattles her psyche as she returns home to her family.
Liza is also another great example. Sure she has a little ignorance toward what is really going on and who she should be trusting, but the second she's given the opportunity to kill a body before it turns into a walker...she does it without flinching. I feel like Robert Kirkman has this ever increasing trend that the women are truly the characters that drive the story. I'm not saying Rick and Daryl aren't amazing (I have leopard geckos named after both of them) but when it comes the nitty gritty, the women are a force to be reckoned with.
I could go on about this more but I have more to talk about.
The second thing I love about FEAR is actually the slow seeming pace the show has. I know a lot of people went into this show with the mindset that there was going to be more action, more zombies, etc. and were disappointed with the actual product...I was not one of them.
I knew from the start that this was supposed to be the first few days of the outbreak which meant the government is more involved trying to keep things hushed up to prevent mass panic; which is exactly what it would do. For me, by the time the end of the episode hits I'm left asking "that's it?" because there isn't a ton of action taking place. It's mostly just people talking to each other and emotionally digesting the new world they're in. Which is totally fine from where I stand.
The characters from The Walking Dead, with a couple exceptions (i.e. Daryl and Merle), are based on characters from the comic book series. While a majority of those characters in the comics are currently dead (SPOILERS), i.e. Maggie and Glenn, they're such fan favorites in the show that I doubt we'll be seeing their deaths for a while. It's more likely RK will keep adding throw-away characters, like Abraham and Rosita, and kill them off to satisfy our blood needs.
FEAR consists of all brand new shiny characters that don't exist in the comics which means all of them are capable of dying at any time. This gives a kind of real terror when they get into dangerous situations, not unlike those of us at the Game of Thrones fandom are used to by now. Will they survive? Will they die right here? It's fresh and I'm totally digging it.
I've read a LOT of complaints about Maddie's heroine addicted son, but I love him. I think his character shows a dimension of a zombie apocalypse that we wouldn't think of in our survival plans; sort of like when you first move out from your parents and realize things like dish soap and fabric softener sheets don't just magically appear in your house. Substance abuse is, sadly, still pretty wide spread in the USA. So what happens to your loved ones who can barely function in the current world let alone a zombie filled one?
Of course I'd assume they'd all get eaten/die pretty quickly but I still like that point of view of story telling. It did take me a while to un-see him as young Tom Riddle from the Harry Potter universe though.
Now for the things I can't stand:
Weak Male Characters
Sure, you could say they have dimension and that they're showing that men can be just as weak as women stereo-typically are. To me there's weak characters that are still realistic and weak characters that are just cookie cutter no-thought put into them characters.
Travis gets on my nerves. I'm not sure if it's the actor or just the tired repeat story of "good guy main character and group leader has a hard time adjusting to the new harsh world" story. We've literally already seen this story line with Rick in TWD! Why do we need a repeat? "Oh I can't shoot this clearly dead walking corpse because I saw her name tag." Give me a break dude. Maddie had no problem taking out a guy with a freaking fire extinguisher, literally beating in his head, and you have issues with a clean bullet to the head? She even knew the guy BEFORE he died. He's going to be the idiot who puts everyone in the group at risk. I'm calling it now.
Daniel is also a total nut job. I get the whole "in my country stuff like this happened and I have a violent past etc. etc." but you want to flay your daughter's boyfriend? You couldn't just grab one of the other random soldiers walking around the place, you had to take the man your daughter loves? This guy constantly acts like all he cares about is his family but at every turn he's hurting them more than helping them. You really thought you couldn't get the soldier guy to tell your daughter where they took her mother without skinning him? Sheesh.
Like I said before with Travis, I'm not really sure if I hate the character because of the actress being annoying or if it's really the character. The way she half-gives a flying monkey about her addict brother is really confusing. I have a terrible family life myself so I get how it's complicated but I can't figure out whether she's mildly supportive of Nick's habits or if she's mad at him for them. In the first two episodes she acts like they're best friends and is supportive of Nick's choices but then episodes later she can't be bothered with his shenanigans. If she's against his drug addiction, why does she take absolutely zero action to prevent him from doing them? Also, in a situation this serious you'd think she'd stop the stupid teen-angst and realize the real danger they're all in. She acts like this is all some inconvenience rather than the end of the world. (Also I'm calling her and Chris hooking up in all their shared teen angsty BS)
That's the end of my crazy ranting. If you agreed or disagreed with my views, let me know in the comments. Overall I'm excited for the last episode!