Fear the Walking Dead: Unique challenges

Fear the Walking Dead - AMC
Fear the Walking Dead - AMC /
Tobias. Fear the Walking Dead, AMC. /

Fear the Walking Dead isn’t the first spinoff in the history of television, but it is a rather unique one in many ways creating interesting challenges. Many spinoffs take one of the characters and move that character to a completely new location and add new characters and a new situation and new dilemmas for the characters to face, creating a new show just by the nature of the spinoff.

Fear the Walking Dead is a very unique spinoff. I understand the motivation for wanting to call it a companion show. They didn’t take Rick Grimes or Morgan or Michonne and put one of them in their own new series in a completely new scenario with new characters. It’s not Morgan-pre-apocalypse. Or Michonne-the early years before Andrea. Or Eugene and his gamer buddies before it all went bad. Or even the Morales family in Alabama.

With a spinoff, whether successful or not, you go into it knowing it’s a whole new show. You don’t really compare the shows as much. And you already know one of the characters. It’s weird at first seeing that character in a new setting with different people, but you either get used to it and love it, like Frasier or George Jefferson or Rhoda, or you don’t.

Gloria, Fear The Walking Dead – AMC /

Fear the Walking Dead has quite a few paradoxical challenges. It wants to be its own show, but it wants to be connected to the original. Its connection that’s being spun off is not a character or a location, it’s a situation and a situation in a different stage of its situation-ness. It counts on our knowledge of the situation either from the original or from zombie culture to create the suspense.

That’s a tricky tightrope! It loves the audience it’s attracting from the original yet that same audience, because of the place that they find themselves in during the season 6 apocalypse, are much like their season 6 characters and have been out there too long and might turn on the new-to-the-outbreak crowd. They, like Rick and Carol, may not have patience with the Father Gabriel in Nick and Madison and Travis.

But hopefully, like with The Walking Dead, people will stick with it or Johnny-come-lately it, or something in between when the show gets its own groove.

Frank Dillane as Nick in Fear the Walking Dead, AMC /

It’s kind of like with my nephews and niece, since I don’t have kids. When new ones come along you wonder what they’ll be like and how you’ll possibly love them as much. But you do. And even though you make comparisons at times about when each one walked or talked or which one likes high school or college better, you can still love them all even if one loves hockey, one loves volleyball and one loves airplanes. And when they’re little you want them to grow up and be able to do more things with you. Then when they grow up you wish they were little again.

Such is the paradox of Fear the Walking Dead. We want it to be just like the Walking Dead, but we don’t want it to be like the Walking Dead, but we can’t help ourselves from making comparisons. We’re afraid of being disappointed so we may judge or worry prematurely.

But, hopefully, we’ll be able to love each one for who it is. Not worry what critics say. Not compare them, unless in productive and fun ways. And just be glad they are our family.

Next: Everything we know about Fear so far

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