No preamble today, as time is of the essence.
I don’t like Zombies. I don’t like Zombie movies. I don’t like Zombie books. That’s me. But there are a couple of exceptions. Among the very few is the series “The walking dead“.
The reason I normally don’t like Zombie stories is that most of these amounts to pointless and gruesome bloodbath, not unlike a first body shooter video game.
The reason I do like the few exceptions such as TWD is that unlike the majority of onscreen massacres, this story is about people and what people do in extreme situations (such as a Zombie apocalypse). For that matter, the state of the world in these stories could’ve been caused by any number of things. In which case, Zombies are an acceptable vehicle.
It’s true that TWD includes a (very) fair share of Zombie killing, but rarely were these random, or pointless. It amounts to necessity (survival) or character building. This is an acceptable price to pay for a real story with layers.
In parallel to TWD, a new series was developed – Fear The Walking Dead.
This series is in the early stages of season two, and so far… I am not impressed…
I took some time to ponder the possibility that the awesomeness of the original series made this newer one pale in comparison, or that Daryl and Carol (Darrol?) are simply cooler actors. The verdict is out – this is not the case. It’s not about the actors. It’s not about fandom. It simply is about FTWD needing to be written better.
I gave this series a whole season to start picking up (how very gracious of me, right?) and I must say that after 3 episodes of season 2, I am still not sold on this story. The thing that bothers me the most is the question – Who am I supposed to root for?
Looking at TWD it’s very clear – Rick Grimes. Daryl is awesome, and if he dies – we riot. Carol is awesome, Michonne is awesome, but we all know these folks as “Team Rick“. That’s who we care about, and as charismatic and handsome they’re making Negan, we will all have tons of fun wishing him (the character) a horrible death. The formation of this group and the establishment of Rick as the centerpiece was done very quickly and in a pretty convincing way.
When I examine FTWD, we are starting a second season and we still don’t have a centerpiece. Not like Rick. Not even close.
I know that questions can’t get answered too early. But how about giving us a hint or two? I know building a character (a protagonist) takes time, but who the heck is it? Is it Travis? Madison? Is it Nick? Chris? who is it dammit? And how the hell am I going to root for these spineless and selfish people? Folks who outnumber the one person who seems to hold them hostages (who the hell is he?) and still won’t stand up to him when a woman who just helped save their kids needs shelter?
They won’t force him to take on 2 people in a dire situation out of what? fear? gratitude? how about some gratitude for that woman? Am I to believe they developed a cold and practical outlook (similar to Rick’s at one point) so fast, yet have issues with Chris killing Zombies?…
Am I supposed to root for them?
At this point of the story, I’m kind of hoping their boat gets wrecked and that Alex (said woman) saves a few (not all), thus becomes the real hero.
This is a short rant. They may very well turn this around fast, and I hope they do.
But I wanted to share my thoughts as they relate to something that is key to any piece of fiction. Let us readers (viewers) know who to root for and make it clear by making that person relatable.
Hope that made sense.
You can read a polarizing different view right HERE.
- What’s your take on Fear the Walking Dead?
- Do you know who to root for?
- What would you like to happen next?
Until next time,