One Reason Why Fear The Walking Dead Failed

The bloom is off the rose for The Walking Dead as a franchise while ratings continue to slide. But the franchise is in even more dire straits when considering its spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, which is a failure. The fourth season begins this weekend and the marketing is hyping up that it will feature a crossover with the addition of Morgan (Lennie James) from The Walking Dead. Ages ago, that would have created intense online activity among fans, but there is hardly any buzz going on about the show and its latest developments. The ratings are anemic, especially when compared to its sister series.

There are many reasons for why the spinoff has been poorly received and they are valid. They include unlikeable characters, uninteresting scripts and a failure to reproduce the tension and thrills of the classic seasons of The Walking Dead. Keeping that in mind, there is one main reason why Fear the Walking Dead does not work and it is because it fails as a proper prequel.

The justification for prequels is that they are supposed to help explain the story and characters of the main source. They go into the background of established characters and embellish them and their world.  Like them or not, the Star Wars prequels are excellent examples. Sure they’re derided but they accomplished the goal of delving into the history of Darth Vader and the fall of the Galactic Republic, which were events not shown in the original trilogy.

When it was first announced, it was accepted that Fear the Walking Dead would not examine the backgrounds of the famous characters in The Walking Dead. So Daryl Dixon’s mysterious backstory would remain obscure and any insights into the main characters would only exist as flashback sequences. Instead the prequel would focus on all-new characters in a different locale in a different time.

When Fear the Walking Dead first premiered, there was hope that an explanation would be given for why the dead were reanimating into mindless flesheaters. People wanted to see how civilization actually collapsed, which had already occurred by the time Rick Grimes woke up from his coma and met Morgan in the pilot of The Walking Dead.

But that did not happen with this prequel series. After some dull early episodes that did not give us any answers about the walkers, the show took a time jump to a point where society already disappeared. This left the show looking too much like The Walking Dead as it copied its premise: a bunch of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world full of the undead, only badly done.

Frankly, we get that already in The Walking Dead. Why bother watching Fear the Walking Dead if it only offers the same thing, but less compelling? The prequel is not different enough to justify its existence, which is why it has largely been abandoned by the dwindling fans. Thinking about it, the prequel’s existence can be thought of when the original show started its decline. It could have gone another route if creator Robert Kirkman allowed some kind of explanation for the walker outbreak. But that is not going to happen and despite Morgan’s addition to the castt, it is probably too late to salvage it and the showrunners should concentrate on the original show.


9 comments on “One Reason Why Fear The Walking Dead Failed

  1. I must admit I gave up with Fear the Walking Dead halfway through its second season. I found it all a bit dull and I failed to really care about any of the characters tbh. I doubt I’ll check out the new series, even though Morgan is joining the cast. I like TWD (Although season 8 has dragged out the All Out War storyline) but for me Fear the Walking Dead just never became essential viewing.

    • They should have concentrated on The Walking Dead instead of this pointless spin off. Some of the stories used in Fear could have been used in TWD but better developed and TWD might have had a better run of seasons.

      • Totally agree, it would’ve been fun to have episodes that flashbacked to the TWD casts lives during the early staged of the Zombie outbreak. That would certainly bring an exciting new dynamic to the characters and TWD as a whole.

    • Thanks there are many reasons why the show doesn’t work, but the fact that as a prequel it doesn’t attempt to explain why the walker outbreak happened is a glaring mistake.

  2. I only caught the first season. Didn’t find it compelling enough to check out the second one. Also, I don’t think a zombie story can work in long form.

    • That is another problem with both shows. There isn’t any sign of an endgame. It’s always the same plot. Find a piece of sanctuary, get run out and start all over again. Since both shows are doing this the basic premise has worn itself out

  3. If you dropped off on Fear then you should check out the premeire. The addition of Dillahunt as John Dorie is what the series needed, in my opinion. I was tired of nothing coming to that point that locked you in but now with the character, John Dorie, my interest has been peaked once again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s