Part of the reason some fans of The Walking Dead dislike Fear the Walking Dead, is because they are attempting an apples to oranges comparison with the original series. In its first season, we were frustrated at the ridiculously slow pace of the plot development because we expected the characters to immediately understand how the post-apocalyptic world operated, and we knew that every second counted. As season two begins, the plot is actually moving forward and it’s not as painful to watch as I thought it would be.
In season one, my main issue was about the likelihood of survival. If the apocalypse did occur, I feel like Darwinism would take effect and the dumbest and slowest would be in the first wave of people to die. Over half of the characters on this show, fall into the “first wave” category. In season one, the worst offender was Travis, the overtly emasculated, “I don’t think they are really dead,” boyfriend who only now is starting to understand what people are capable of and what it takes to survive.
I’m all for nontraditional gender roles and it’s refreshing to see Madison as such a strong female character by comparison, but it’s hard to watch her pacifist boyfriend be such a, “weak” man as Daniel put it so eloquently in season one. Weak people don’t survive. The fact that he didn’t question Strand’s decision to leave the people on the raft, said more about his aversion to confrontation than it did about his acclimation to this new environment, but I guess it’s a start.
We also have the whiny angst-filled Alicia who has weird sexual tension with her step brother and can’t be on screen without sounding like a stereotypical version of an intolerable millennial. In season two, she will likely cause more problems than she solves and we got a preview of her destructive potential with the radio love connection side plot. It’s obnoxious that her boyfriend hasn’t even been undead for a week and she is already “giving away her frequency,” if you know what I mean.
We can’t forget about the pubescent “I don’t want a new mommy,” Chris who in season one, should have been trampled in the riots he had a hand in initiating. Since the beginning of the show, we have watched him have multiple teenage temper tantrums, and Travis should have returned the favor when he took a shot at him. While anger is a stage of mourning, I don’t understand why you would take it out on the one person who has tried to keep you safe this entire time. Realistically, none of them should have made it this far.
Last season, the build up to any real plot development was long winded. Nothing substantial started to happen until the third episode. Point blank, a season with six episodes should NOT wait until the third episode to get interesting. When you compare it to the pace of season two, we are moving in leaps and bounds and thankfully some of the characters are actually starting to understand the gravity of their situation.
With a new season, comes a continuation of the plot-line through the lens of the apocalypse. This new time zone brings a whole new set of potential conflicts, and I am looking forward to finding more about Strand’s inevitably evil background and intentions. The added stress of land isolation adds to the survival skills that will be needed to make it. If the writing team can do it effectively, this is a concept actually worth watching. We are only one episode into the new season, and while every fiber of my being still wants the crew to throw Alicia off the boat, I am looking forward to seeing where Abigail is headed.