In a case of "too little, too late," Fear the Walking Dead attempts to draw sympathy for characters we've already spent too many episodes not giving a shit about for us to have any emotion if they expire into the bowels of a hungry zombie.
Fear the Walking Dead's first season is an interesting piece of character structure (or lack thereof) for me; this is a show that literally has roughly a dozen characters, each one of which has very few, if ANY, redeemable qualities, yet they are kept alive when for far too long when all I wanted to see was a few of them die violent, horrible deaths.
There are so many things I want to say about this premiere season, but I want to condense it down for the sake of not dwelling too much on to what I don't like about this show. Hell, here's one thing I liked about it - the harsh title intro, with that disturbing, horror-film feel to its one-musical-note theme.
Sets the tone for a better show, though. A better show that actually doesn't let their characters adjust from conflicted mercy-killers-of-their-neighbors one day, and then three episodes later become near-reckless killing machines without any breakdown of the notion that these were the same people who, more than once, approached clearly-infected brain eaters and tried to talk to them calmly after a dog was just eaten in their living room by said brain eater. A show with a character who in one episode made a big deal about how he doesn't like guns, but then by the sixth episode is just using it like it's nothing abnormal to him. There was no development to these changes in character - it just happened. These were things we needed to witness develop, not just witness as, "Hey, guess what? These characters are all now just FINE with killing infected even though the majority of the first few episodes was about them trying to understand and come to terms with just what the fuck is going on in the world around them."
Speaking of which...did anyone else not find it entirely out-of-the-blue and completely rushed in the decision making process to have Travis blow the brains out of his ex-wife a mere five minutes after discovering she was bitten? Her basis on telling them that she "would turn into one of the infected eventually" felt like information (and resolve to said information) that could only be understood and reacted upon had the characters only been watching the other zombie show on which THIS show is based upon. While I was fine with one of the characters finally biting the dust, I would have rather it been one of those shitty teenage brats (namely Christopher) being eaten alive behind a glass door while their parents stood by and watched helplessly because nobody knows how to resolve problems in this show.
Fuck, now I'm rambling, and NOT making this as short as I intended. I just can't. I can't let this show off the hook. I can't ignore the deus ex machina that was Victor Strand, the black guy in the suit with the perfect beach house, escape skills, giant yacht, and all other necessary resources handy for our group of little heroes to utilize just in the nick of time. I can't pretend not to be annoyed by the fact that the military was portrayed as a group of uncaring, unsympathetic pieces of shit with no apparent military training (or an ability to fire upon a crowd of slow-walking zombies while walking backwards in order to prevent being slowly eaten to death).
Speaking of which...what the fuck was the deal with the soldier that Victor and Nick came across (the one that Victor bartered for Nick's life with)? A zombie was blindly eating his leg, but the guy was just sitting there, acting all paralyzed. I...just don't know what to make of this. Something just didn't fit. Did he fall and hurt himself, only to realize that he was too tired to escape and decided to allow a zombie to eat his leg while he sat there and accepted his fate as a useless, shitty soldier that couldn't kill a solitary zombie?
Fuck, I hate this show. This show makes many of the little shortcomings that I felt The Walking Dead had seems minuscule by comparison. It's boring because the characters are boring and unrelateable. It's boring because nothing adds up to anything that makes for any reason that shit show should exist. Nothing new this entire season was brought to the table that we didn't already know from five seasons of The Walking Dead. This show completely abandoned any concept of giving the audience another look as to how this outbreak occurred, or created any other overall umbrella of mystery for our "heroes" to have to discover. Watching people who don't know the basics of survival is like watching Man vs. Wild if it were hosted by Justin Bieber. Granted, it would be hilarious, but not for the right reasons.
If this show intends on giving us answers to anything of the overall "zombie apocalypse," then it already waited too long in my opinion. If it intends to drag on with no apparent end, we ALREADY have a show like that with zombies in it, but with some characters that are far more interesting. The show has already been renewed for a second season, and I truly hope they don't intend on keeping it any longer than that. Some things are better left with the original.
The Walking Dead is Richard Donner's 1978 classic Superman, where Fear the Walking Dead is Bryan Singer's pointless Superman Returns. That should paint a picture for you.
Season One final verdict:
P.S. I'm surprised the writers allowed Victor, the more unrealistic of the show's black character demographic, to make it out of the season alive. They already killed Principal Obama, and he was just a normal dude doing his job.