Fear the Walking Dead Season 2

First Impression: Fear the Walking Dead

THE SHOW | AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead (Sundays at 9/8c, premiering Aug. 23)

THE CAST | Kim Dickens (Deadwood), Cliff Curtis (Gang Related), Frank Dillane (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) and Rubén Blades (Do the Right Thing).

THE SET-UP | Set in Los Angeles in the early days of the zombie outbreak with which The Walking Dead has made us so familiar, Fear focuses on the dysfunctional family that single mom Madison Clark (Dickens), a high school guidance counselor, and divorced dad Travis Manawa (Curtis), an English teacher, are desperately trying — and spectacularly failing — to blend.

THE FIRST IMPRESSION | The 90-minute pilot starts gorily strong, with Maddie’s heroin-addicted firstborn, Nick (an outstanding Dillane), coming face to face with his — and the series’ — first walker. (Though, of course, the zombies aren’t called that yet.) Then, unfortunately, it stumbles a bit, first by portraying Maddie’s daughter and Travis’ son as such insufferable brats that the junkie starts to look like the golden child, then by introducing Tobias, the oldest-looking teenager since Dylan McKay graduated from West Beverly.

Luckily, Dickens (who, for my money, stole Gone Girl) can’t help but be likable, and Curtis is allowed to play Travis as self-aware enough to know when his unrelenting sweetness has made his fiancée — and us! — gag. And, even if the kids are jerks, it’s still pretty damn poignant to watch this group try to make sense of the apocalypse that they haven’t a clue is upon them.

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | Considering how monstrously successful The Walking Dead is, Fear is guaranteed a ginormous sampling. (I mean, duh.) And considering how effective the premiere’s two big set pieces are — not to mention how compelling a presence Dillane is — it’s a pretty safe bet that the drama will at least take a big bite out of its competition.

Watch a trailer for Fear the Walking Dead, then vote in our poll below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Concerned says:

    I really feel like this is going to be slow, boring, totally self indulgent and completely unnecessary.

    Walking Dead has great action, direction and set pieces and great visual imagry. The worst part is the dialogue and writing and this series seems to rely on that the most. I cannot watch idiot characters speechifying and monologuing at each other for hours with 90% less zombies, that seems like torture. There is no need for this prequel. It’s lazy, gratuitous, and is gonna suck dry a franchise. Pass.

  2. m3rcnate says:

    Really really tired of Hollywood writing all kids as horrible and bratty and insufferable (etc).

  3. Ian says:

    I dont understand why this prequel spin-off is even necessary. It has too much to live up to with TWD. Its going to be a one -and-done waste of time and money.

    • The Grinch says:

      At least 2 and done. AMC already renewed the show for a second longer season. The 6 episode first season will be a set up to the full blown zombpocalypse.

    • Big Mike says:

      In case you haven’t heard, studios like money. Thus, they made a show guaranteed to bring in the advertisers.

  4. Tony says:

    Like always, I’ll wait to see it for myself before making any judgments. One person’s insufferable brat is another person’s favorite character. And I’ll give it an episode or three to get its footing before calling it a dud.

    • johnhelvete says:

      And it is possible that the writers wanted the teen characters to have character growth or an arc where they go from brats to realizing they have to start making sacrifices and thinking of other people before themselves. A good example of this would be the Brenna character on Chasing Life. I did not think Brenna was that insufferable in the early episodes but a lot of viewers of the show did, but Brenna did go on a big character arc after finding out that her sister had cancer.

  5. Kate says:

    I plan to watch it basically for this non complimentary reason, its airing in that time frame that I might not have much else to watch. I mean, the Leftovers will be on (I think, I’m honestly not sure if that is on at 9 or 10), Falling Skies has to be over by then and regular fall tv begins after this show has aired all six of its episodes. There is this part of me that vaguely expects me to miss the British series, Survivors, which I think this might feel a lot like until that went off the rails with too much into the science of things and that some of our characters were immune (which 12 Monkeys is handling much better).

  6. Bartimeus says:

    I’ll sample the pilot, I really dislike TWD, the pilot is good but after forcing myself to watch two and a half seasons I just still didn’t care. I kinda kept up bc of the guy I was dating and would be in the room when it was on. However, this might be somewhat interesting to see the start of it all. We shall see.

  7. JKR says:

    I wanted a prequel…. but with the TWD people. I’ll give this a chance, but I’m nowhere near as excited as I’d be if it were Grimes & Co.

  8. Jeff D. says:

    I haven’t seen The Walking Dead yet; since this is a prequel, do you think I’ll be fine with watching Fear the Walking Dead without having watched The Walking Dead?

    TWD is one of the shows that I just haven’t seen yet, but if I ever do, it’ll be sometime in the future when I have more time–trying to catch up on multiple seasons’ of a show right now seems a little too much, so I figure with Fear the Walking Dead being at the start of its run, I have a chance to start watching it from the beginning without having several previous seasons to catch up on.

  9. Irish says:

    R u kidding what better to amp up the show then to give us all what we want and Rick can’t give us a beginning

  10. 007 says:

    Kim Dickens FTW! She was so great in Gone Girl, my favorite character (in that movie) for sure. Been looking forward to this show since she was casted. I’m actually more excited for this than TWD. IMO, TWD has grown stale. I wish the show had an endgame in sight, bugs me that they want to keep it going forever and ever. Then again, I haven’t read the comics, so what do I know?

  11. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    No, thanks! I’m BIG fan of the original Walking Dead show…….Yeah some eps. it starts off slow but it gets intense like in seconds/mins. Plus why the HELL did AMC order a S2 when the show hasn’t aired? SMH…..

    • I’d say its a pretty safe bet the people at AMC have seen all of, or a good portion of, all 6 episodes and like what they see. It is not uncommon these days for shows to gt pickups before airing. Better Call Saul comes to mind immediately.

  12. Timot says:

    I think new show has great possibilitys. Starting in L.A. At the very beginning, when everything starts falling apart big time. There will be a whole new evolving group of people. Some more savvy than others, that won’t get killed off right of the bat. I am looking forward to this new show!

  13. Disappointed says:

    Madison Clark was completely unlikeable! did the blog writer actually watch the show? The best character was Cal. Was.

  14. idonthaveemail@aol.com says:

    SUCKED SUCKED SUCKED, charters sucked, little teenage hoe sucked, drug addict boy sucked, mother & her Boy friend sucked . I may never watch another Z show again. ruined me. For the 1st time in my life I think I will find a book to read, anything but watch this sucky show. I hope they cancel this series quick. Z-Slayer777

  15. Incadove says:

    I’m surprised and a bit disheartened that it takes place in the United States. What a missed opportunity. Imagine what the Brits are dealing with or the French or Mexico etc. It would be interesting to see other cultures trying to deal with a zombie outbreak. Instead we get another America centric white-bread dead that is only slightly different but not really and not very entertaining.