Sunday was a pretty happy day for me because it was a Dead day!
I think my obsession with love of “The Walking Dead” has been well-established here and on social media. I get into it like no other show I’ve watched before, and I’ve gotten into quite a few shows over the years.
The Season 5 marathon started early in the morning and I turned it on after I’d gotten up. We had it on all day in the background. (I didn’t sit and watch because I knew the DVD would be here today and we’ll watch the whole thing in depth over the next few weeks.) At 8 PM, it was a new “Talking Dead” episode with a Season 6 preview, and I have really missed Chris Hardwick and that show, too!
Then at 9 PM, it was the 90-minute preview of the new companion series, “Fear the Walking Dead.” If you’ve been under a rock or care nothing about this kind of show, this series takes place before the events we saw in the premiere of “The Walking Dead.” It also takes place in a very different environment: Los Angeles. Instead of the rural survival skills we see in the original series, we will get to see some urban survival skills!
I was impressed by the tone of this first episode. It had a slower pace than we’re used to on the original, but that stands to reason. These people are just going about their lives and have no idea what is happening. They just know that something is starting to seem rather odd in their city.
The standout to me was the character of Nick Clark, played by British actor Frank Dillane. I liked him immediately, and he portrays this junkie kid perfectly. He is a strange mixture of vulnerability, affability, and total fuck-up. He’s needy and emotionally damaged, but he somehow makes you root for him despite all that. He’s the only one in the family (at least initially) who witnesses a zombie chowing down firsthand (the zombie is his girlfriend, no less), but no one believes him because he’s a junkie. He doesn’t even believe himself and thinks that there was something in his drugs that gave him a horrible hallucination.
Although I’m not as emotionally invested in these characters as I am in those of the original series (yet), I thought that this was a strong start, and these are strong characters who are going to make this a great show. They got the tone exactly right. This would be an unbelievable situation and not everyone is going to be equipped to process it and adapt to this new world.
It seems as though there were quite a few others who were as excited about this show as I was. “Fear the Walking Dead” was the highest-rated series premiere on cable in history.