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Why I’m Watching Fear the Walking Dead

premiering on AMC, August 23

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In the words of an FTWD character:

“When civilization ends, it ends fast.”

That’s Right. I love The Walking Dead.

The discovery that I don’t just like The Walking Dead, but that I love It, is usually met with a degree of surprise. The astonishment has nothing to do with the quality of the series. It has to do with me.

And true, covering a lot of anything close to the slash and gore genre does not top my assignment list.

With TWD, season to season, the core group goes up against the worst of any sane person’s natural imaginings. The zombies remain as deadly focused as ever in their pursuit of living flesh even as their putrefying innards begin to liquefy and the leather-like skin shrinks back on their bones. Misguided bands of brothers pop up so much there seem to be no good folks to even vet. Even the few good folks cross over the line from time to time.

And yet… and yet… I continue to love this show…

Why is that? Because The Walking Dead isn’t a show about zombies. It’s a show about human interaction that has zombies in it.

It’s about strong family ties, inherent moral fiber, long-held prejudices, untested beliefs and unquestioning loyalty. Award winning make up, special effects and stunt work aside, it’s about how all of that tossed together tests every single truth you thought you held about yourself and the world when it comes to survival.

That is why it continues to make my top ten marathon watching list and why I will watch its companion piece: Fear the Walking Dead.

What’s different:

There are no cross over characters, at least not at this point. It takes place in an entire different region of the country, urban Los Angeles versus the rural areas of the south.

It doesn’t begin 28 days later or some months after the virus has wreaked its havoc. We’re brought in from the beginning when no one know whether it’s a virus or germ warfare. The zombies are fresh. The marks of the dead haven’t begun to take hold yet, which on a certain level makes them more dangerous.

On a timeline, Rick Grimes would still be in a coma lying in a hospital bed in a small town somewhere near Atlanta, Georgia.

What’s the same:

As with TWD, at the heart of Fear the Walking Dead is family: Namely the blended families of Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) and Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis) and their children Alicia (Alycia Debnam Carey, Nick (Frank Dillane) and the Salazar’s (Ruben Blades and Patricia Reyes Spíndola, Mercedes Mason). Elizabeth Rodriguez is Liza. Lorenzo James Henrie is Chris.

“One of the things that (creator) Robert Kirkman has always emphasized is that these people are like you and me—blue collar Americans who are suddenly overwhelmed by something they can’t understand,” says showrunner/co-creator Dave Erickson. “If they don’t learn to understand and adapt quickly, they’re going to die.”

The premise and characters are laid out in the following video byCreator/Executive Producer Erickson, Executive Producers Gale Anne Hurd, Dale Alpert, Greg Nicotero and Co-Executive Producer/Director Adam Davidson. Lead Performers Dickens, Curtis and Frank Dillane also weigh in.

Fear the Walking Dead premieres tonight, August 23. (9pm/8C) on AMC

(Photo by Frank Ockenfels – Courtesy of AMC)

NOTE: For those of you tuned in to my personal twitter handle ( @bnoirlikeme ) my penchant for detective dramas, murder mysteries and psychological thrillers stops shy of in your face hack, slash and gore.

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Written by

TVolution Founder and Managing Editor DARWYN CARSON completed a six-year stint as Managing Editor of Leonard Maltin’s Annual Movie Guide in 2015. She has been covering film since her early association with entertainment journalist Michael Symanski at Zap2It.com. She also covered film and restaurant news in her column Carson’s Corner for a variety of social publications. Her articles have appeared on Zap2It, Indiewire, leonardmaltin.com and, of course, The TVolution. Follow Darwyn @bnoirlikeme. Follow The TVolution @thetvolution. Please Like The TVolution on Facebook.

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