Fear the Walking Dead: Season 1 (Blu-ray) – Series Review
Follow Genre: Drama, Horror
Distributor: eOne
Episodes: 6
Duration: 47 min (per episode)

Fear the Walking Dead: Season 1 (Blu-ray) – Series Review

Site Score
8.2
Good: Acting, Story progression, More than a simple spin-off
Bad: Too short, Still unsure if this one will become a series that will be identical to The Walking Dead
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Since the comics of The Walking Dead gained immense popularity we’ve been treated to the equally popular series and the many goodies and merchandise that followed after that. While the main series and the comic books are still going strong, it seems AMC was not about to shut down this money cow and decided to create a spin-off series, which situates itself before all the events that the main characters of the original tales had to live through. We dived in with very low expectations, but were very pleasantly surprised.

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Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis) is a teacher and father, but also tries to settle in with his girlfriend Madison Clark (Kim Dickens), who is a mother of two. While moving in with her sounded great at first, he is struggling to gain acceptance of her two children, Nick Clark (Frank Dillane), a hopeless drug addict and Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey), a genius who is slowly starting to give up on everyone around her. On top of that, Travis still has to manage taking care of his son, Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie), who does whatever he can to make his father’s life difficult. His ex-wife Liza Ortiz (Elizabeth Rodriguez) doesn’t throw that much rubble in his path, but he still has to take her into account as well.

Nick has been missing for a while now, as he is probably on one of his famous druggy episodes, but when he finally turns up, something is even more wrong than other times. When he woke up in his drug hideout, he did not only see dead bodies, he saw his friend chewing on one, while her eyes looked completely dead. In his drug haze he still decided that running away was the best option, sadly he did not realize that running into traffic wasn’t such a smart plan, as it ends up sending him to the hospital after being run over. When he tells everyone what he has seen, everyone thinks he is delusional and it’s probably because of the drugs. Nonetheless, Travis starts to believe him, after he checks out where Nick stayed when it all went down. When more and more weird shootings and cases of people being bitten start to surface, it’s clear that something is wrong and that the government isn’t reporting on many of the problems. Little did they know what was about to be unleashed on the world.

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This first season of the spin-off series starts off rather slow and this pace keeps up until halfway the third episode. Nonetheless, the slower pace does not mean it’s boring or uninteresting, as it’s simply setting the tone and the proper introduction for things to come. While the original series pretty much threw you in the fray from the very beginning, Fear the Walking Dead is trying to sketch a very normal life first, before slowly breaking that picture perfect world down.

While having a glance at what happened before Rick woke up in The Walking Dead is a very amusing thing, and might even answer a few questions as to why things were handled rather poorly, it’s also interesting to see how people are taken away from their everyday life, as people who they once loved and cherished turn into the living dead. You’ll notice, that compared to the weathered survivors in the normal series, the main stars of the show are still hesitant of ‘hurting’ those who turned, or simply aren’t used to picking up arms simply to grant their own survival. Along the lines of the six episodes this way too short season has to offer, you’ll notice a proper amount of character development, where some members will get more violent, while others start caring less and less for their peer. It is clear that this prelude for the second season shows that the characters are already showing cracks, due to the circumstances. Life as they know it has changed and the damage has been done.

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As there was a rather big fear of the series being a mild watered down version of the original The Walking Dead, the acting performances wiped that feeling off the table completely. While performers such as Cliff Curtis, Ruben Bladés, Alycia Debnam-Carey and Kim Dickens tend to stand in the spotlight most of the time, as fairly normal human beings in a messed up world, all the extras do a very great job by offering very qualitative performances. Another lead actor, Frank Dillane, does a great job in portraying the drug addict Nick, who is truly one of the most annoying characters ever. We don’t mean annoying as in, unwatchable, but just a very annoying persona, where you tend to dislike the guy quite fast and often.

The only let down are the special features that come with this Blu-ray release. You’ll only get to plow through several minutes of extra content, that revolves a bit around the characters and the overall idea of the series. While this is a fun, simple extra, there should have been more to make these features interesting. If you would rather have more fun content to explore, try watching Travis’ truck’s windshield, as it tends to be broken one scene, while being fully intact the other.

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Conclusion                                                                             

Fear the Walking Dead: Season 1 proves to be a very interesting look at how the zombie apocalypse began. While the overall pace is currently rather timid, there’s still enough going on to keep things interesting. Sadly, with the first season only being six episodes long, the introduction has been set, but not that much more. That being said, don’t worry, there will already be enough going on that will surely be captivating enough. Even though this series might sound like a cheap parlor trick to shove more TWD material in your face, it actually holds itself very well, even if you haven’t watched the original series.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Fear the Walking Dead: Season 1 (Blu-ray) - Series Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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