Sunday, August 23, 2015

Geeky TV commentary - Fear the Walking Dead 1.1

Yay! The first premier I'm gonna call part of the Fall 2015 season!

Fear the Walking Dead airs at 9pm on AMC, Sunday nights.

This was...somewhat tepid? Like, not bad, but it maybe didn't need to be a whole 90 minutes. On the other hand, it also had a lot to set up, so maybe it's okay? We'll have to see how the next episode or so goes to see whether it's okay or not that this one was so slow.

Nicky the junkie witnesses his sort of girlfriend eating the other junkies at the flophouse they're all staying at, and while he's high and freaking out and running, he gets hit by a car. He tries to tell people what he saw, but no one believes him because he was high, but he's so freaked out, his step dad decides to investigate and finds the place all bloody but the bodies gone, and he's all "they can't have just gotten up and walked away," because the other show doesn't exist yet so he's never seen it. 

After that, he knows that something happened, and when Nicky's roomate codes and he uses that chance to escape the hospital, step dad is the one who believes that something is going on, while his mom only wants to find him and get him home--though she's not sure if she should bother since he obviously doesn't want to be there. Nicky meanwhile, wants to score some more junk, but his dealer is shifty af and tries to kill him, which gets himself killed, and finally Nick calls his parents. When they go looking for Cal, though, they first find nothing--and then, FINALLY, find him in zombie form and know that something is seriously going on.

While all this was happening, there was a viral video of an early attack on the highway that kept Travis and Maddie (the parents) from getting home the night before, and every day there were less kids coming into school where they both work, and her daughter Alicia is planning on leaving town the second she's eighteen. Travis's own son doesn't want to see him and refuses to come to his weekend with him. A kid at school has been putting rumors and weird reports together and knows that something is going down, but everyone just thinks he's a troubled teen. And according to the "this season on", there's lots more characters we haven't even met yet!

There were neat hints all through the show--the missing junkie-bodies, a groundskeeper that looked kind of lurchy, the camera lingering on that old-guy room mate and a hippie van by the beach--that both set the scene and show how wrapped-up and unaware people are right before everything goes pearshaped. Something is going on with Alicia's boyfriend, too. Basically, it seems like this whole hour and a half was set-up and intro, and nothing really much happened until the last half hour. It made it seem slow and not a lot of payoff to watch, and made the emphasis on Nick's junkie-dom seem a little over-focused-on, but at the same time, it could pay off if the rest of the episodes have a lot more action and stuff happening

I was unsure about it around the half-way point, but cracked and vulnerable Nick won me over by the end--he's like a less goofy and more messed up Jack Sparrow. And the final reveal of the zombies we always knew were there kicked up the interest and the speed of events, so I'm convinced to come back next week.

There's not a lot to say yet about all these characters; everyone is barely introduced, even at this slow pace, except for Nick and Travis, so they're all just sort of placeholders for their own stories as of now. But we've got several weeks for them to figure out what they're going to do and who they are, so I'm not too worried just yet.

What about you guys? What did you think?

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