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.

 

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The Walking Dead Goes Too Far In Its Season 7 Premiere

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The following will contain spoilers from the season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead...

The question that we all wanted to know and not know has been answered this past Sunday with the season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead. That question being who Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) killed among Rick Grimes’ (Andrew Lincoln) group. It turned out that the madman didn’t just kill one, but two beloved characters; Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) and Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun). Let’s be clear, this episode was brutal, raw and frankly, it went overboard in its portrayal of violence and depravity.

That isn’t to say that the episode “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” isn’t without its merits. abe-ford-killedTechnically it was well done, well acted, well shot; it emoted tension like you wouldn’t believe. But the  bottom line is while it was too gruesome, it had the air of a bad car wreck. You want to look away but can’t help but look. However, you often wind up regretting watching what was on the screen because it was so gratuitous to the point that it bordered on torture porn. Did we really have to see Negan repeatedly bash in Abraham and Glenn’s skull until mush was left? Sure, creator Robert Kirkman and the showrunners probably wanted to convey some message about helplessness and the ugliness of violence. The problem isn’t just the violent display of Negan’s sadistic violence, but what went on before and the presentation.

For months, we had to wait to find out who was Negan’s victim. The season 6 finale was overhyped (as was the season 7 premiere with all the images of Negan and his barb-wired bat Lucille) and we were all expecting to see Negan kill someone. But we didn’t. Instead we had to wait for months to find out that the reveal  largely followed what happened in the comic books. In The Walking Dead #100, Negan bashed in Glenn’s skull, but Abraham had been killed beforehand issues past. So “the Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” threw off viewers with Abraham’s death.

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The only problem with that death was that it was very telegraphed in season 6 of The Walking Dead. Abraham has had a death wish for much of the season. He seemed aimless with little to live for. In the season finale though, he began to muse about a life where he can settle down…a dead (forgive the pun) giveaway in The Walking Dead that he is doomed. This happens to all characters who find a measure of peace (look out Morgan, you’re next), except Rick. Another clue was when he told his friend Eugene Porter (Josh McDirmett) that he’s come a long way and  become capable of taking care of himself. It was a way for the two men to say goodbye to each other and it was obvious by that small scene that Abraham wasn’t long for the world.

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Lost Pitches For The Walking Dead Spinoff

Ever since AMC announced that they are going forward with a spinoff for The Walking Dead, there has been rampant speculation about the new TV show’s premise. While we don’t claim to know what it will be about (presumably about another group of survivors elsewhere), here are some pitches that probably didn’t make the cut at the AMC executives’ meetings.

???????????210 Walker Street – Tyreese finds out that his long-lost uncle from South Philly left him an apartment building in his will. Tyreese moves in as the new superintendent, but finds out the tenants are walkers! Wacky hijinks galore as Tyreese deals with nosy neighbors, sassy store owners, and collecting the rent without being eaten.

Daryl Dixon: Walker Hunter – This spinoff features Daryl who is now a swampland bounty hunter in America’s southeast. His specialty, of course, is hunting down walkers who go missing busted arrowfrom CDC labs and work farms. Aiding the deadly hunter is his long-lost brother Maynard, a local sheriff who was recently turned into a walker, but his passion for justice enables him to overcome his cannibalistic urges and help his brother bring ’em back dead!

The Dead Beat – Michonne turns into a hard-hitting newspaper reporter, exposing city scandals and top-brass corruption, but often butts heads – literally – with her editor, a rehabilitated walker. Watch the suspense unfold as Michonne fights the good fight to inform the public and not forget her katana.

Dead Dynasty In the tradition of those popular redneck reality shows this one will star Daryl Dixon as a walker farmer! Business has been good for the farm since med research places need fresh supplies of walkers to experiment on. Tune in each week as Daryl deals with everyday trials and tribulations in a walker farm with his redneck family including his walker brother Merle, who is kept chained to the side of a barn. Don’t worry about Merle, his teeth have been yanked out in case of accidents while playing with little cousin Jimmy.

rick and zombie cop

L.A. Walker Heat a.k.a. My Dead Partner – Embittered by his walker experiences Rick transfers to the LAPD, where he is partnered with a domesticated walker, who happens to be the first of his kind to graduate from the police academy. Suspicious of each other at first, they learn to overcome their mistrust, and together they fight crime and corruption in the City of Angels.

Please click on the link to Deadloggers to continue reading.

Evan Rothfeld and José Soto

                                          Copyright © 2014 Starloggers

Zombies Impossible

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Ever since George Romero popularized flesh-eating zombies in his masterpiece Night Of The Living Dead, the creatures’ popularity have grown. Undoubtedly, zombies are the most popular monsters today, beating out the ubiquitous vampires.

The thought of a deceased loved one, reanimating into a decaying ghoul that only wants to consume you is a terrifying idea. It cuts down to our primal fears of being eaten alive by predators. Zombies have also come to symbolizes the supposed coming apocalyptic breakdown of civilization. As dreadful as all that sounds, we have to ask ourselves how likely is it that the dead will rise up and eat us?

From a scientific standpoint, there isn’t any way that will happen. Let’s think about the concept and go into the logistics.

When a person dies, all their bodily functions cease to function. No blood is being pumped, the brain doesn’t send any signals via nerves to tell the body what to do and so on. Now when zombies are reanimated in these films and other media, a point is made that the zombies are immune to bodily harm. Shoot them, stab them,more brains they keep on coming. Remember that scene in Day Of The Dead when that loony scientist was reporting that the organs in a zombie weren’t working, yet the creatures were animated and hungry. Along the way in these stories, it’s stated that something in the brain is keeping the dead body going, which is why you have to shoot or bludgeon the undead in the head. This was seen in The Walking Dead episode “TS-19” where CDC scientist Dr. Edwin Jenner reported this fact to the show’s main characters.

On the surface it makes sense. Something, a virus, radiation, chemicals, nanobots, and or something else have taken over a dead person’s brain and are sending signals to the body to move and consume flesh. Cut off or destroy the brain and the problem is solved.

The problem is that taking over the brain isn’t enough. The mind needs a system to send out messages, hence the nervous system. A zombie’s brain has to be able to send signals throughout the body, via the spinal cord. Once a message is received, the body still needs energy and the means to move. That is where muscles and blood come in. The heart is the organ that pumps blood throughout the body and the blood transports nutrients and oxygen to mobilize the muscles enabling movement. So a zombie needs a functioning circulatory and nervous system. Therefore, humans should be able to shoot zombies in the heart and elsewhere to kill them.

28 weeks laterA more realistic look at zombies are the creatures seen in films like I Am Legend and 28 Days Later. Deadly viruses are to blame for people being transformed into deadly killers, yet they never actually die, but instead mutate. And they can be killed through normal means. That would explain why the infected are able to run after their victims, unlike the lumbering undead in Night Of The Living Dead. In fact, in 28 Weeks Later (the sequel to 28 Days Later) humanity just waited for the infected humans in Great Britain to starve to death before attempting to resettle the decimated country.

But one thing that doesn’t ring true in those films is how fast the virus mutates a person. Anyone who was infected in 28 Days Later would transform in seconds. This was also seen to varying degree with the walkers in The Walking Dead, the film version of World War Z and other zombie stories. Viruses can’t work that fast. It takes time for the invading viruses to replicate, travel throughout the body and infect the brain. Depending on where a victim was bitten, that person would have a few hours before transforming into a monster.

bicycle-woman[1]Now let’s look at their diets. Why would a zombie eat? To get energy that is needed by the body. This suggests that a zombie would need a working digestive system to break down and process the meat. We go back to the zombie’s body needing circulating blood to help in the process. Yet in these stories, people point out that the zombies aren’t processing the consumed flesh. If that is so, where does the flesh go? If they’re not processed the meat would just collect in the stomach until that organ would burst. We never see any zombies with bloated bellies, do we?

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Of course, the conclusion is that zombies are something that belong strictly in the fantasy/horror realm. George Romero’s films and other works like Dark Horse Comics’ Zombie World speculate or flat out state that the dead are reanimating due to supernatural means. In other words,  magic spells, curses, demonic possessions, pick your poison. Based on how our reality works, zombies can’t exist except in the fervent imaginations of creators and fans. So anyone watching the latest episode of The Walking Dead or playing Resident Evil can relax…for now.

Lewis T. Grove

Season Three Of The Walking Dead Concludes, Part II

Editor’s Note: For those of you who haven’t visited our other site Deadloggers, here’s a brief recap of the second half of the third season of The Walking Dead

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The Summit

Episode Thirteen: In the pre-credits scene of The Walking Dead’s thirteenth third season episode, “Arrow at the Doorpost”, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), and Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) pull up to a deserted farm complex. While Hershel stays in the car as a lookout, readying his weapons, the other two jump out. Moving stealthily through the weeds, they sneak around the silos and storage towers until they come to an abandoned feed store. Rick enters, pistol drawn, looking around carefully until he sees the reason for his visit. It’s a pre-arranged summit with the Governor (David Morrissey)…

Post-credits, the Governor removes his gun belt an act of goodwill, and sits at a table, discreetly verifying a concealed hidden pistol; Rick remains standing, refusing to holster his pistol. Before any discussions begin, Andrea (Laurie Holden) arrives with Martinez (José Pablo Cantillo) and a grumpy-looking Milton (Dallas Roberts), and barges in to the meeting.  Playing the role of peacemaker, she explains why she initiated the summit:

“Too many people have died for no reason. Let’s end this. Save the bullets for the real threat. We can solve this. That’s why I asked you to come here.”

drinksRick ignores Andrea and takes the offensive, explaining to the Governor that he is aware of the severed walker heads, the raids, and the incident with Maggie (Lauren Cohan) in episode seven, “When the Dead Come Knocking”. The Governor deftly brushes it aside, blaming Merle (Michael Rooker), and proclaims his desire to “move forward”. The two adversaries get to the issues. Showing the Governor a map, Andrea and Rick announce a demarcation line, of which each party will not cross. The Governor laughs and tosses the map aside, announcing that he is attending the meeting for one purpose: for Rick’s surrender. Demanding that Andrea step outside – she obeys, leaving in a huff–the two continue the battle of wills. The Governor
remains calm and relaxed against the edgier Rick, and comes up with superbly manipulative answers for all Rick’s accusations.

Rick fires back with insults, accusing the Governor of being the “town drunk”, not a leader, for his lack of control over Merle. The Governor immediately takes the negotiation to a darker level, chipping away at Rick’s weak spot by raising the issue of his baby daughter. Rick is hit hard and begins to lose focus…

Please click on the link to Deadloggers to continue reading about Episode Thirteen.

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The Stalking Game

Episode Fourteen: The pre-credits scene of the episode, “Prey”, opens with Michonne (Danina Gurai) and Andrea on the road in a pre-Woodbury flashback. Resting for the night, they hunker down by the campfire, eating. The gurgling of Michonne’s pet walkers – chained to a nearby tree – piques Andrea’s curiosity about where the creatures came from. Asking Michonne if they attacked her, or if she knew them, Michonne replies – hissing her answer – that they deserve what they got and weren’t human to begin with. Cut to the present as the Governor labors, in a grisly inner dungeon, at testing chains. Like a man possessed, he grits his teeth, pulling and straining as he checks their might. Finally satisfied, he stops to catch his breath. It’s clear these chains are for people…

In Woodbury, a massive arms preparation is underway as Martinez loads a jeep with assault rifles, ammo, and the .50 caliber machine gun. Learning that a huge militia force is going out to confront the survivors, Milton and Andrea stare, puzzled at what they see, but Milton downplays it as “just a precaution, a show of force”. Andrea remains unconvinced.

prey andrea in woods

Meanwhile, in his dungeon, the Governor spreads out a frightening array of surgical and dental tools. Milton arrives, aghast at what the Governor calls his “workshop”, and asks how it fits into the new start that Woodbury was supposed to be for the sake of people and community. The Governor – whom Milton refers to as “Philip” – answers that it is revenge for his daughter Penny (Kylie Szymanski). Milton immediately finds Andrea, and relays the terrible news: there is no deal and the Governor plans a massacre of the prison population. Andrea knows that she must stop this but is stumped as to how. They visit the dungeon, secretly peeking through the balcony. The Governor continues arranging his torture instruments, whistling Bye Baby Bunting (the song he sang to his daughter), unaware of the two visitors. Andrea, mortified at the spectacle, knows she must assassinate him. She readies her pistol, lining up a shot…

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