Fear The Walking Dead Season 1: Special Edition Blu-ray Review
“Fear The Walking Dead” is a flat spin-off.
Given the massive success of “The Walking Dead,” it was only a matter of time before a spin-off came to fruition. Enter Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson’s “Fear The Walking Dead.” This brand new spin-off does not focus on any character we have seen before. Instead, it revolves around new characters and a new setting (Los Angeles to be exact).
In the 6 episode season 1, viewers are introduced to the main cast of characters- Madison (a high school guidance counselor), Travis (her boyfriend/teacher), Nick (Madison’s heroin junkie son), Alicia (the goody two shoes daughter of Madison), Liza (a nursing student and the ex-wife of Travis), Christopher (the rebellious son of Liza and Travis), Daniel (a Salvadorian family man/barber), Ofelia (Daniel’s daughter), and Griselda (Daniel’s wife). The season primarily deals with the start of the zombie epidemic sweeping through the city and the chaos it is causing (riots, looting, etc.). Other key moments involve other characters (like Dr. Exner, Victor Strand, and Andrew Adams), a quarantine by the National Guard, supply runs, “Cobalt,” protecting family, and, of course, character deaths.
When I heard there was going to be a spin-off of “The Walking Dead,” I felt there was a lot of potential there. It was an opportunity to tell new stories, create new characters, and have a new setting. Basically, the sky was the limit. Unfortunately, all of that was squandered.
To say “Fear The Walking Dead” is uninspired is an understatement. I get that the creators wanted to make a show about a family experiencing the apocalypse from the get-go. They wanted to explore how a family would react and adjust to their normal lives being torn apart. In theory, it’s a good concept, but the execution is as bland as unbuttered toast. Had the characters been well developed and intriguing, this would be an entirely different show. As is, the show is basically a dull family melodrama about characters that you don’t care about. At all. Their actions are dumb, the dysfunctional family dynamic is forced, and there’s simply nothing to connect with here. The zombies have more personality than the living characters do.
The lone bright spot in this series is the production values. Seeing the quarantine and zombie action in an L.A. setting is infinitely more appealing from a visual perspective. It makes the epidemic look and feel more impactful.
Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? A pristine transfer, but that should come as no surprise.
Audio Track: Dolby TrueHD 5.1. How does it sound? The show is quite lively and this 5.1 track certainly reflects that.
* Digital copy.
* Commentary on all 6 episodes. Commentators include Dave Erickson, Adam Davidson, Kim Dickens, David Wiener, Alycia Debnam-Carey, David Alpert, David Wiener and Elizabeth Rodriguez. To summarize, the first 2 tracks are a bit dry, the third track is the most entertaining and tracks 4-6 are laidback. Expect to hear plenty of behind-the-scenes information, jokes, and opinions on scenes/shots.
* The widescreen version of the pilot episode.
* 6 ½ minutes of deleted scenes.
* “Inside Fear The Walking Dead”- Short featurettes for each episode that contain clips, cast and crew interviews, and story and character discussions.
* “Fear: The Beginning”- This 10 minute extra essentially delves into the series plot and characters.
* “Five Things You Need To Survive”- The cast playfully talks about what they would need to survive.
* “Locations: LA and Vancouver” talks about location shooting in the two cities.
* “Quarantined”- A bonus feature about the quarantine plot in the show.
* “Stunts and Anarchy” is about the stunt work and action set pieces.
* “The Faces of Fear”- A breakdown of the main characters.
* “The Infected” is about the zombie characters and their make-up.
Note: If you already own the “Fear The Walking Dead” set on Blu-ray or DVD, you might want to consider an upgrade with this special edition release. If you don’t own it, but are wanting to, this is the set to go for. Also, just to remind folks out there, the second season is set to air April 10, 2016.
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