When I first heard that AMC was developing a Walking Dead spin-off, I was thrilled. After all, I love zombies, and there is no such thing as too much zombies on TV in my book. Nevertheless, once the initial excitement abated, I began to feel uneasy. How could the spin-off ever live up to the original? More importantly, would the spin-off bring something new to the Walking Dead universe, or be a regurgitation of the same-old, same-old zombie apocalypse stuff? Overwhelmed with mixed emotions, I spent countless hours pondering the potential of Fear the Walking Dead, and here are the five reasons that I came up with to be excited about it:
1) New (and Improved?) Zombies
In The Walking Dead universe, we’re used to a certain sort of zombie: the lumbering, grotesque kind that’s dangerous in numbers but not so formidable on its own. The zombies of Fear the Walking Dead, however, promise to be different. As Terri Schwartz recently said in a Zap2it article called “Fear the Walking Dead is Going to do Twisted Things to its Zombies, the ‘Infected’”, Los Angeles’s environment is going to contribute to the zombies looking different. “We’re in a desert, and so that’s kind of awesome. From just a zombie fanboy perspective, how does dry heat affect decay versus wet humidity? The cracking, dry, parched skin is kind of an interesting look” (2).
In addition to their different appearance, I also predict that Fear the Walking Dead’s zombies will behave differently. Remember how Morgan told Rick that zombies in large groups start behaving erratically? Well, imagine how a zombie mob that’s the equivalent of the population of Los Angeles is going to behave…
2) A New Group of People to Get to Know
Admit it: probably the biggest appeal about The Walking Dead isn’t the zombies; it’s the rag-tag group of survivors that we watch every week trying to hang on to any shred of their humanity. And as much as I love the characters that populate The Walking Dead, I’m ready to be introduced to a new group. I can’t say for sure if any of them will be as heart-throb worthy as Rick or Daryl or as stunning as Michonne, but I can say that there’s a good chance that they will be as engrossing.
3) A New Landscape
We won’t be in Georgia anymore, kids! This group of survivors won’t be roaming the swamps and wilderness of Georgia, hunkering down in abandoned farms or prisons. No, this group will be attempting to survive on the cluttered streets of Los Angeles. How much more difficult will it be to survive when the survivors are virtually surrounded by zombies and desperate people? What will they have to do to survive? I’m eager to find out!
4) Hopefully, questions will be answered!
Probably the most exciting aspect of Fear the Walking Dead is that it’s going to take place when the outbreak first started. Although I don’t expect that the series will answer questions in regard to how the outbreak started, and why every person is infected with the virus, I do expect that it will show how people reacted at the beginning. Did the media try to cover it up? Did the city try to quarantine people? Did people believe at first that the sick were dying and coming back as zombies, or did they shrug it off as a hoax? These are the kinds of questions that I think Fear the Walking Dead is going to answer, and I, for one, can’t wait until it happens.
5) Crossover Potential
With another zombie show out there, the likelihood that the two groups will eventually cross paths is enough to keep me watching. After all, we saw it happen with other shows and their spin-offs (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, for example), so who wouldn’t be excited about the chance that this new group of survivors will run in to the well-known group of The Walking Dead?
Altogether, there are many reasons why Fear the Walking Dead is going to turn out to be one helluva show. There is also a chance that the show is going to burn fast and fizzle out. Only time will tell. But I know one thing for sure: I’m certainly going to give the show a chance. Are you?
Fear the Walking Dead premieres on August 23 on AMC at 9/8c.
Schwartz, Terri. “‘Fear the Walking Dead’ is Going to do Twisted Things to its Zombies.” Zap2It. 21 Aug. 2015. http://zap2it.com/2015/08/fear-the-walking-dead-infected-zombies/