“Fear the Walking Dead” doesn’t have much to offer over its parent show but the performances by the likes of Cliff Curtis and Kim Dickens aren’t bad even when their characters act like utter dumb-asses. Perhaps the second season it’ll hit its stride but as of now, I’m not sure there’s really reason for it being.
“Fear the Walking Dead”: The Complete First Season
Genre(s): Drama, Horror
Anchor Bay | NR – 291 min. – $49.99 | December 1, 2015
THE MOVIE – 3.0/5
Season Synopsis: Set in a city where people come to escape, shield secrets, and bury their pasts, a mysterious outbreak threatens to disrupt what little stability high school guidance counselor Madison Clark (KIM DICKENS) and English teacher Travis Manawa (CLIFF CURTIS) have managed to assemble. The everyday pressure of blending two families while dealing with resentful, escapist, and strung out children takes a back seat when society begins to break down. A forced evolution, a necessary survival of the fittest takes hold, and our dysfunctional family must either reinvent themselves or embrace their darker histories.
Quick Hit Review: In this day and age, it was inevitable that AMC’s hit series “The Walking Dead” would get a spin-off and so we get “Fear the Walking Dead” which promised to see, from what I read anyway, how the outbreak began and the early days of the infection. And while this does present the first days of it, this is basically “TWD” with a new cast and different setting but the same meandering plotlines and characters who, at the least in the first few episodes, were real dumb asses in their decision making even when taking into consideration the situation at hand.
But despite its problems, I still found the show to be watchable enough thanks to a fine cast headlined by Cliff Curtis and Kim Dickens. No, there’s no real reason for this show to exist as it’s just a cash grab for AMC, much in the same way “CSI: Miami” and “CSI: NY” were for CBS and those shows, as enjoyable as they were all things considered, watered down its parent series and I fear, no pun intended, the same thing could happen here. On the plus side, this first season is only six episodes so it’s perfect for binge viewing in one or two days, so it at least has that going for it…
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.25/5
The 2-disc set is housed in a standard slim case and comes with a title embossed slip cover.
There aren’t much in terms of features save for A Look at the Series (4:11; HD) and Inside the Characters of “Fear the Walking Dead” (2:55; HD) featurettes which delve into the spin-off but are limited.
VIDEO – 4.0/5
|The 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec) for “Fear the Walking Dead” looks good with sharp detail levels throughout while colors generally are muted in keeping with incoming apocalyptic landscape though there are splashes of colors early on and in the season finale on the shoreline. It’s a clean looking transfer free of artifacts and aliasing but it’s nothing that has that certain pop and instead is in keeping with how it aired on AMC.
AUDIO – 4.25/5
|Each episode comes with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track providing for crisp and clear dialogue levels and there is some decent depth when the zombies eventually attack but outside of that, it’s a limited aural experience. That said, it’s a solid track and certainly better compared with the DD 5.1 output on television.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, “Fear the Walking Dead” doesn’t have much to offer over its parent show but the performances by the likes of Cliff Curtis and Kim Dickens aren’t bad even when their characters act like utter dumb-asses. Perhaps the second season it’ll hit its stride but as of now, I’m not sure there’s really reason for it being other than that the original is a bona fide hit going several seasons strong. The Blu-ray release is limited in features but the video and audio transfers aren’t bad.
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.