The Walking Dead vs. Fear the Walking Dead
To all of the people that gave up after the very first episode of, Fear the Walking Dead, I beg you to give the show one more chance. In my opinion, the two-hour season three premiere was better than the entirety of season seven of its parent show, The Walking Dead.
Since season eight and the 100th episode of The Walking Dead premieres on AMC this coming Sunday, it is a good time to compare the sibling and parent show.
It’s been about one year since the last decent episode of The Walking Dead, which was the season seven premiere where they introduced the highly anticipated comic villain, Negan and he brutally killed two major characters, Glenn and Abraham. The premiere caused an enormous amount of controversy with the Television Parent Council because thousands of fans were claiming the episode was too graphic to air on television. The Atlantic actually reported that ratings slid by 40% after the season seven premiere due to the amount of violence in the premiere episode. Director and Executive Producer, Greg Nicotero confessed to cutting out several violent scenes in later episodes that season because of the negative feedback.
From the season seven premiere and on, ratings continued to dive. The show was starting to veer away from its original vision which once was, what would happen if the world went into a zombie apocalypse? Granted it already sounds far-fetched, but in the shows earlier seasons they had characters and villains that you can empathize and make a realistic connection with. It also showed the difficulty that the characters had in making difficult decisions such as, not being able to save Lori after giving birth, what the characters would do just to get one can of food, and the struggle of personal morals: to kill or not to kill. You can’t really say that about this show anymore, unless you own a CGI tiger and are dealing with a cutthroat leader whose followers all hate him but yet no one has killed him yet. The finale had a spike in ratings only because long-time watchers have gotten into the familiar routine of knowing that the only two good episodes each season are the first and last episode.
On the other hand, the third season of Fear the Walking Dead has been the best yet. Although ratings do not reflect the diverse and action-packed plot line for the season, I feel along with family, friends, and famous critics that this has been the spin-off’s best season. Many television critics have been making comparisons between the parent and sibling show based off their most recent seasons and all have agreed that Fear the Walking Dead has been doing what was so beloved from earlier seasons of The Walking Dead.
An article published by Forbes discussed two major things that Fear did right this season. The first was good writing. Aside from the shocking deaths and thrilling plot line, the dialogue and character interactions were more relatable, interesting, and meaningful. Since the show is set along the Mexico and California border, it leaves a lot of room for diversity and has quite a few conversations in Spanish between multiple characters. This season specifically has shown how the all of the main characters have gotten much better in speaking Spanish because most of the people in the area speak the language. It was refreshing to see something like this because characters in The Walking Dead never dove into this aspect of living in an apocalyptic universe. The second reason Forbes gave as to why the spinoff is better is because the conflict is believable, surprising, and there are no clear villains. This season, the Clark family finally got off the boat and found a ranch owned by a family for 100+ years and the small community they developed. The conflict arises between the Ranch owner, Jeramiah Otto and his two sons, Jake and Troy. Jeramiah, was a refreshing villain to see because he owned up to his insecurities much like the Governor from The Walking Dead. Jeramiah’s family dynamic and conflicts with the Native Americans that claimed to own the land before him created a revitalizing plot and conflict. The show clearly had characters that you liked more than others but never made it clear who the official villain was.
After a panel at New York Comic Con a few weeks ago, the show’s creators and directors, Robert Kirkman and Greg Nicotero announced that there will be a cross over between the two shows. Could it be a character from Fear seen in The Walking Dead a few years down the road and where they ended up? Or a character from The Walking Dead’s back story and being seen in Fear? Kirkman and Nicotero purposely will not confirm anything but since it was announced last week before Fear’s finale, fans believe the crossover will happen in this season of The Walking Dead. With the way Fear’s season ended, it left it open if one of the characters ended up in Alexandria with Rick or at the Sanctuary with Negan. But for now, we will have to just wait and see…
The Walking Dead returns for its eighth season on Sunday, October 22nd.