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10 WAYS ‘FEAR THE WALKING DEAD’ TOPS THE ORIGINAL ‘THE WALKING DEAD’ | Chaostrophic
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10 WAYS ‘FEAR THE WALKING DEAD’ TOPS THE ORIGINAL ‘THE WALKING DEAD’

Despite all the failed spin-off series, this zombie spin-off has the potential to top its companion piece, “The Walking Dead,” which just ended its season six finale with a cliffhanger from Negan and his companion piece, Lucille. Only in its sophomore season, the AMC sidestep “Fear The Walking Dead” has a lot of room to have fun, be original and get people who fell off the walker bandwagon back on, if they play their cards right.

1. So much more can go wrong.
10 Ways 'Fear The Walking Dead' Tops Its Original 'The Walking Dead'
Anybody who’s ever been to Los Angeles knows there’s plenty of people and places to avoid, and that’s without a zombie apocalypse! With “Fear the Walking Dead,” they’re putting themselves in the mecca of hazardous waste. With an origin story that is pretty tied down, look for this series to let the screws get a little loose. They wouldn’t be doing it if they were planning on doing more of the same monotonous routines.

2. There doesn’t have to be a stream of character turnover.
10 Ways 'Fear The Walking Dead' Tops Its Original 'The Walking Dead'
“The Walking Dead” is known for its steady list of guest star appearances and quick departures, despite their pansy practices of never killing off a main character, at least until the season six finale, even though we get to wait six months to see who Negan killed off. This show has the ability to explore the human condition without the need for constant brutality, which only creates a strong threshold for big moments. By that, we mean the more people you kill, the less people will eventually care, which has become the case with “TWD,” as most people have given up or hate-watch the show now. This show, however, can keep these characters close and have them experience brutality without the obvious death plots.

3. There’s more room for suspense building without constant death.
10 Ways 'Fear The Walking Dead' Tops Its Original 'The Walking Dead'
Exploring suspense by not going with the easy play is more nerve-racking than any kind of death. Foreign films do it (American films, not so much) by not pandering to what the viewers want. By either presenting a long, slow burn that leads to what people want or never giving them what they want at all, “Fear” has the opportunity to build a much higher anticipation than “TWD” ever did. As time goes on, viewers will only grow closer with the characters, and when something bad finally does happen, they’ll feel it a lot more.

4. They’re not afraid to explore the terrain (outside of the woods).
10 Ways 'Fear The Walking Dead' Tops Its Original 'The Walking Dead'
Pretty much since it’s second season, “TWD” had set its characters amongst the woods after leaving the city. At one point, around the time Beth died, we saw them back in the city, which almost felt like a different show. Other than that, it’s been nearly half a decade of the same kinds of sets (barns, suburban houses, abandoned small town shops), whereas “Fear” is less than a dozen episodes in and has already been in downtown Los Angeles, the beach and now at sea. Their location allows for much more use of the terrain to keep it interesting, or perhaps their writers are just not as big pussies.

5. With no true leader, no one is safe.
10 Ways 'Fear The Walking Dead' Tops Its Original 'The Walking Dead'
Nobody is too likable, which is very real to life in terms of characters. Sure, you have a favorite, but no one has necessarily been crowned the leader, albeit some (Strand) think they’re more in charge than others. Since they have no idea what they’re doing, and with no leader or real plan in place, this leaves everyone vulnerable. With “TWD,” we know Rick isn’t going to die anytime soon, but nobody has that convenience in “Fear,” which keeps it exciting and unpredictable. Anything can happen, anyone can go and nobody is safe, especially since they don’t have a true leader. Look for Travis to grow into the role with time, though.

6. The characters and their plot lines feel more believable.
10 Ways 'Fear The Walking Dead' Tops Its Original 'The Walking Dead'
It helps that this cast feels much less commercial than the “TWD” cast. The demographics, interracial mixture and widespread character traits (a junkie with street smarts) feel more real to life. Maybe that’s just because it’s based in Los Angeles, but there’s also more of a family element that is hardly explored in “TWD” outside of Rick’s family. “Fear” is centered around a single family and the people they choose to help along the way, which makes you feel more a part of the family and thus a little more concerned for its whole well-being, as opposed to a bunch of one-off stragglers who are conveniently all good looking.

7. The girls are hotter.
10 Ways 'Fear The Walking Dead' Tops Its Original 'The Walking Dead'
Have you seen Alycia Debnam-Carey (Alicia)? We have, and she’s the perfect girl next door. Kim Dickens (Madison) is arguably the hottest mom in a lead dramatic role ever, and Mercedes Masohn (Ofelia) is quickly winning us over. Although “TWD” has that hot trashy kind of look, these women are diverse L.A. types and cannot be topped.

8. The government’s role adds a lot of suspense.
10 Ways 'Fear The Walking Dead' Tops Its Original 'The Walking Dead'
Something we might see more of in “TWD,” should they ever take the story line somewhere, is a look at the government’s position in the story. The military played a big (and interesting) role in season one of “Fear,” and hopefully they’ll continue to bring that into the mix. “TWD” explores too much of the same crap with the same people that never leads anywhere, but “Fear” is exploring things from every angle, and even though it’s early on, we can already tell it’s learning from the mistakes of its AMC origin story.

9. With less pressure comes more freedom to get weird with the story line.
10 Ways 'Fear The Walking Dead' Tops Its Original 'The Walking Dead'
As long as it winds its way toward merging with “The Walking Dead,” there’s no reason a companion series can’t take the opportunity to have a little fun with their stories and experiment with some off-the-wall ideas. This will potentially lend itself to other companion series, even short ones (like on a plane, with zombies instead of snakes). There’s enough safe play in TV show business, especially coming from the bigger series, that it’d be nice to see a show take some gambles and get the crowd’s attention. Since it’s based in Los Angeles, there’s a druggie as one of the leads and nobody has a clue what’s going on, we’d say the odds of it getting weird in a good way are exceptionally high.

10. It can make ‘The Walking Dead’ better when they merge.
10 Ways 'Fear The Walking Dead' Tops Its Original 'The Walking Dead'
Most people have checked out on “TWD,” despite its willingness to up the ante in the past couple of seasons, but the show still needs to press forward and quit milking the comics so much. “Fear” being as good as it’s been so far tells us that its potential could merge with the show when they meet up with Rick and the gang. That juxtaposition is only going to make the origin story stronger. Or maybe they’ll just settle down for five seasons of comfortable suburban living.

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