FEAR THE SPIN-OFF!

exploited zombies

Okay. Let’s talk about spin-offs. Let’s talk about how they sometimes make William a cranky bear. As those not living on a desert island know, AMC has been airing a spin-off (or companion piece, if thou art high-falootin’) of a certain beloved show. It’s called Fear The Walking Dead. In my own humble opinion, worth a nickle but still wholly sharable, most reviews for the thing have been overly generous.

Overly overly generous.

Since I’m cranky I shall rant. If Fear The Walking Dead is your favorite show then I apologize for being old and cranky in advance (not really meaning it but in the diplomatic spirit). What follows is five points of suckatude.

IT’S A PREQUEL. And prequels fricking suck. Star Wars I-III are good examples of why some stories should remain untold. Only one prequel that I know of is good, The Godfather Part II, and it had to have a sequel wrapped around it.

Do we really need to see civilization collapse in order to better understand The Walking Dead? And since you already know the outcome what’s the point? By the way, a prequel to The Walking Dead already exists. It’s called George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. Check it and the other Romero Dead films out to see where these guys steal 90 percent of their ideas from.

peter

But cranky guy, you might say, this show is about seeing all this zombie apocalypse prequel stuff going down through the eyes of the characters. Speaking of the characters…

CHRIST, I HATE THESE PEOPLE! What does a high school guidance counselor, a high school teacher, their horrid children and a handful of secondary characters I can’t remember all have in common?

Answer: they annoy me!

I’m the first to admit that there have been characters on the parent show who have annoyed me and characters I have also despised outright. However, never before have I experienced a show in which I want to see the entire cast bite the bullet. I think that’s why I’ve held on with watching this far — to see those bozos go down in flames and gleefully laugh and twirl my moustache as they do so. But those evil wankers at AMC keep teasing me. The characters just keep prattling on, stumbling around, being stupid and … not … DYING.

travisdick

I’ve read why they possess so many mannerisms that make me want to see them devoured, shot, stabbed and burned at the stake. It’s because zombies and the ravenous undead never existed in the myths and popular culture of the Walking Dead universe. Good grief! That’s just…

LAZY WRITING. In Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, vampires take over a small New England town. In that story, people are familiar with vampires. Dracula, EC comic books, and horror films are all refrenced by characters at various points in the book. The point is that King never said “Ah! People will do dumb things because the word vampire and the concept does not exist in this fictional world! I am brilliant!”

Rather than just dealing with something most viewers probably aren’t overly concerned with in the first place, the FTWD writers simply take a scapel to common sense and to what end? So I can see people behaving like imbeciles during a crisis situation? Well, guess what FTWD scribes, I’ve seen that sort of thing in real life without having to subscribe to digital cable. And most of the time you and everybody else sitting by the swimming pool sipping margaritas and spinning cardboard plot wheels get that stuff wrong!

kittyscenenap

Now, since we’re on the subject of lazy writing…

IT’S JUST TOUCHING ON THEMES ALREADY ESTABLISHED IN THE PARENT SHOW. The living are worse than the dead. Wash, rinse, repeat. The living are worse than the dead.

Dudes, we get it. I promise we all understand. After five years of The Walking Dead everybody is well-aware that the peoples are bigger dicks than the undead (who are kind of pitiful and who might make good house pets if they didn’t have the bad habit of chomping down on you). Do we really need six additional hours of tube to be followed by 15 additional hours of tube plus to further hammer the point home?

A one-trick pony is cute because its a pony. It’s still a one trick pony. Here is a novel idea, a new theme! I’m sure it’s on that plot wheel somewhere. It might be somewhere between Annoying Characters Get To Live and Night of the Living Dead Was Never Made. Spin that sucker! You might find it.

ricknotadick

Now that we’ve all got a handle on that whole living is worse than the dead thing here is a shocker…

THE MILITARY ARE THE BAD GUYS (I KNOW. WE NEVER SAW THAT COMING). I’m not against the Army playing the heavies per say. There are good and bad in the military just as it exists in any other sector of life. Some good stories have been born out of exploring that concept. After awhile that sort of thing can get grossily offensive though if you wear or have ever worn a uniform.

Just to 4-1-1 y’all there are some people wearing uniforms who wouldn’t play along with herding innocent civilians behind fences, killing innocents, and pushing hidden agendas. Sadly, such has happened in real life as we all know. That doesn’t mean every man and woman in uniform is the equivalent of a jackbooted thug. Not to mention the fact that having the military as the baddies is the easiest and most obvious thing to do (refer to point 3).

Cartmen

Math was never my subject but let’s do the Recap Formula, shall we? Prequel+Characters I Hate +Lazy Writing+More of the Same Stuff+The Obvious and the Cliche= Doing Something Else on Sunday Night.

I should be thankful, really. I watch too much damn TV anyway.

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7 thoughts on “FEAR THE SPIN-OFF!

  1. I am in the minority of everyone I know who watches these sorts of shows in that I don’t mind FTWD all that much. Sure, it’s filled to the brim with run-of-the-mill L.A.-neighborhood stereotypes and contains far too many tracking shots of L.A. scenery in order to constantly remind the viewer that, “hey, this is SET IN LOS ANGELES in case you couldn’t remember!” There are also predictable foreshadowing bits that are par for the course in Hollywood (the literature lesson, the signaling mirror across the way). That aside, I thought the idea of the drug addict as an initial “witness” was interesting, and I appreciate the fact that FINALLY people are reacting in a manner that would be believable should there ever be an honest to God zombie epidemic, of all things. The very idea is fantasy, just absurd (the virus reanimates the dead for shit’s sake — seriously, think about it), so I believe characters ought to have a very hard time grasping it, even when it is right there in front of them. Like the bit involving the Chinese neighbor — If we didn’t know what was happening, there were no answers just yet, would we actually treat her like a zombie or as a poor, infected neighbor who’d been good to us for a long time? I like the nontraditional family dynamic, too. For instance, the take-’em-for-me bit with the two mothers, women who didn’t care for each other but were begrudgingly in each other’s lives, was well-thought. FTWD has good intentions, but like everything written for the masses, it’s not without its tropes and expectations (cheap thrills). It’s hardly sophisticated entertainment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When the show first started I thought it was going to be a fairly interesting sort of mood piece…maybe something a bit more cinematic than The Walking Dead. Now it’s like watching circus clowns burn the tent down (for myself anyway). Humbug! Lol thanks for reading as always.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Also, I know that you’re in the “pop culture universal knowledge base” camp in terms of characters accepting what’s happening, but I lean to the Lost Boys for that sort of thing. I think the kids would be more inclined to accept what’s happening as a zombie apocalypse (as ridiculous as it is), and the adults…well…not so much. I’m tired of characters instantly accepting what is fantastic to begin with (I guess it’s why I like The Strain, too — Eph is only convinced by later evidence).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not so much as instantly accepting…its the lack of the show itself not dealing with a certain pop culture inside thing. They literally act like it never existed (their words) but for the viewer it does. Heck, a character could have turned around at any point and said “you’re not actually trying to sell me that this night of the Living dead bullshit is actually happening?” And I would be satisfied. It’s just the act of skipping over it entirely that I disagree with. Sometimes a wink or two at the camera is okay. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The annoying, adult-looking “kid” in the office, the one who had his tiny knife confiscated, never mentioned “zombie,” but I felt he was of that knowledge base from the get-go, the token harbinger of something “horrible” coming. Also, remember that in this world, no one ever mentions the word “zombie” or even “undead” anyway. I wonder what they’ll call them in L.A. (“walkers” and “biters” being clearly taken).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. In LA they’re just called bath salt junkies. I think my whole issue might stem from nobody — not on the parent show or on the production end of this thing — acknowledging Romero in any way, only Darabont and he’s long gone. I think it’s a rotten thing for them to do especially with them making money hand over fist off of the guy.

    Liked by 1 person

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