New ‘The Walking Dead’ Spinoff Induces Fear, Grabs Audience Tight, Doesn’t Let Go

Finding yourself in a burgeoning zombie outbreak during the aftermath of a heroin binge is definitely at the top of the list for “Places Not to Be When the Zombie Apocalypse Comes.”
To push that nightmare even further, imagine stumbling down the stairs of an abandoned church-turned-junkie-haven to see your friend eating someone’s face off.
This is the scenario viewers are immediately thrust into during AMC’s new series “Fear the Walking Dead,” which premiered Aug. 23; a spinoff of “The Walking Dead,”.
The show is set in Los Angeles, far from the Georgia background of “The Walking Dead,” and covers the emergence of the zombie virus that ultimately conquers most of the U.S.
The storyline is entirely separate from the original series’ Rick, Carl and comrades they’ve acquired along the way. The show definitely starts off with a bang, or a snarl, or a chomp or whatever zombie noises you please.
Focusing on a broken Los Angeles family in the midst of dealing with a heroin-addicted son, the series explores what everyday life was like when the first zombies began to appear.
Madison (Kim Dickens) and Travis (Cliff Curtis) are both divorcees who, seemingly, met at the public school where they both work, and now live together alongside Madison’s daughter Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and addict-son Nick (Frank Dillane).
While they struggle to keep Nick’s addiction at bay and while Alicia fights her way through her high school senior year, people around them begin to come back from the dead.
The highly entertaining aspect of this spinoff is it delves into how each character would handle the realization that something sinister is on the horizon. Everyone is in denial about the signs around them, aside from one loner high school student who has put it together, and is assured that it’s some drug-induced, super-PCP-bath-salt-fusion making people gunshot resistant and hungry for human flesh.
They’re so certain everything will remain normal and authorities will warn them of any danger. When you think about it, would you immediately assume that it was a zombie outbreak? Probably not.
Everything cinematically speaking is great, as well. The show is abundant with suspenseful pans when appropriate, and fast-paced cuts to build tension for the action scenes. The pre-decaying zombies are creepy with their ice-blue eyes, jerky movements and, well, desire to eat you.
All of that combined with the writing and character storylines keeps you enthralled throughout the entire episode.
The only questionable aspect is that the timeline is a little off as far as lingo and costume design. It seems rather current, while the outbreak should’ve happened five years ago when “The Walking Dead” premiered, but that’s being picky.
Although the show presents an interesting concept and the characters have potential to be well-developed and lovable, I can’t see it going far as a series.
Once the outbreak is in full force, there isn’t anywhere to go except “The Walking Dead” with different characters. However, if you’re a fan of the original show and enjoy well-done, entertaining horror television, definitely give it a chance. “Fear the Walking Dead” airs on AMC at 9 p.m. on Sundays.
image via www.ew.com

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