Fear the Walking Dead: No One's Gone

And we can officially say that Fear the Walking Dead has become The Walking Dead: a nonsensical, boring mess so aggressively bad that it almost seems like it has active contempt for the audience. I was insulted by this finale, and I’m insulted by the inane decisions the new showrunners have made and continue to make.

Season 3 of Fear the Walking Dead was, in my opinion, a triumph. It was everything The Walking Dead was not: well-paced, thoughtful, packed with characters who developed in a logical, interesting direction. The protagonists were an intriguing shade of grey, the antagonists always had their own reasons.

And now, Scott Gimple is in charge! And he’s brought all his worst habits to Fear the Walking Dead. Overwrought, god-awful dialogue that only sounds meaningful but is, in fact, devoid of meaning. Meandering plots that go nowhere. Hammy, irritating villains. Character arcs that repeat ad nauseam until you can predict right down to the dialogue what will happen, and if you can’t predict something, it’s because what happened made no logical sense. This show used to be something special, and Gimple has pissed all over it. He’s chosen to kill a good show out of the insanely arrogant belief that he can do better, even after being booted from The Walking Dead for driving it so aggressively into the ground.

This season didn’t deserve an actress like Kim Dickens or a character like Madison Clark. Madison was a powerful character who underwent believable change and had a fascinating past. And now, she’s gone to make way for Morgan, who should have died a long time ago. His little catchphrase “I don’t die” sounds like a taunt now. I’m not going to get into the implications of killing off a middle-aged female lead to make way for an angsty male in a genre not well-known for leads like Madison, but suffice to say, it rubbed me the wrong way and I’m not the only one to have noticed. Nor do I think such a decision is unconnected to the recent decision to make Norman Reedus the lead of The Walking Dead instead of Danai Gurira or Melissa McBride, two actors whose characters make much more sense as leads and who are superior to Reedus, who, while very good at the Daryl schtick, has somewhat limited range.


I don’t expect Alicia to survive the season either. Everyone must die, except for Morgan. A show isn’t interesting unless the entire cast gets killed every other season and then replaced, that’s why Breaking Bad was such a failure, right? And it only makes sense to get invested in characters you know are going to die.

In many ways, Madison's death reminds me of a certain character's rape in Season 5 of Game of Thrones. It's something that the showrunners wanted to happen so much, so desperately, that they threw all logic out the window. Everything was contrived to force it to happen, meaning everyone acted wildly out of character and every other plot (and show itself) suffered as a detriment. Madison is dead because they wanted her to die. Now, they have what they want. Morgan is the lead, and it seems likely we’re stuck with the amateur-hour sepia tones. Also, how insulting is it that Charlie is still around? Kill her! Shoot her in the face! Do it! You’ll kill her at some point, so just get to it! Damnit, this stupid show.

Okay, let me try to think of good things to say about this episode. The performances, I guess. There’s some great work by Maggie Grace and Lennie James, and exceptional work from Alycia Debnam Carey and especially Kim Dickens. They were all wonderful. And….yeah, I think that’s it. Maybe learning more about Althea would have excited me had this episode not taken the direction it took, but for now, all I can see is how thoroughly screwed up this show is.

The Walking Dead universe is just….dead. It’s done, it’s over. It went on too long and the spin-off has been corrupted into something unwatchable. People are fleeing this damn thing by the bucket-load, and I can’t blame them. This episode was just another harbinger of the end times. I won’t be sad to see it all rot away.


Bits & Bobs

- Naomi's real name is June. I don't care.

- I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but how the hell were the Vultures meant to profit off the stadium after filling it with zombies? They're such Captain Planet villains, being dicks with no motivation.

- I guess we'll never find out where Proctor John or Daniel Salazar got to.

- Gimple isn't the only one to blame. The new showrunners are Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg, best known for having worked on Once Upon a Time, another terribly-written show.

- A last-minute addendum: Chris Hardwick is likely on his way out, due to today’s revelations about his long-standing abuse of a former girlfriend. His departure won't be much of a loss. I've always considered him to be barely a comedian, and his job was just an extended form of advertising. He was a hype man, nothing more, and the only enjoyment that came from those after-episode shows were the guests and watching Hardwick desperately trying to sell a bad episode as good.

Quotes

- No quotes this week, there was no dialogue worth reciting.

Zero out of four cups of goop.

7 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Wow. Don't sugar-coat it, Jonny. Tell us how you really feel. :)

I also hated seeing a strong character like Madison go out that way. On Talking Dead, it was pretty obvious from what Kim Dickens said that she didn't want to leave the show, that they fired her.

Even though I'll probably keep watching, it does indeed feel like the entire franchise is over and done. Or it should be. I can probably stop hoping for a coherent ending for either show, too, since it's clear that AMC will continue to renew them as long as people are watching.

WZILLA13 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Billie Doux said...

WZILLA3, I usually enjoy your comments and you're certainly welcome to disagree and explain why you disagree. But attacking the reviewer isn't allowed here.

WZILLA13 said...

Sorry, it wasn't meant as an attack, just an expression of how disheartening it is to read such an overwhelmingly negative review of a show I enjoy. So many 'reviews' these days are themselves attacks, so if my comment was viewed in the same light I apologize. I will not, however, apologize for still being a big fan of the Walking Dead universe.

Billie Doux said...

Thank you so much WZILLA13. (I think I called you 3 instead of 13 earlier. :) Please do feel free to show support for your show. You write really well and I think you do a good job defending your opinion.

I've been a bit down on TWD and FtWD lately, to the point where I didn't want to review it anymore. I am fortunate that Jonny joined us and was willing to take over for me. I'm still watching, though, and it would certainly be nice if they won me back.

Patryk said...

The season does indeed look like a facehugger jumped it in the premiere and now we have arrived at the infamous dinner scene. At the end there will only be Morgan as the survivor. Or maybe I should not bring such a brilliant film as Alien to campare with this show...

Also reminds me of the Originals where they are removing all characters that conflict with the next spinoff.

Henrik Bennetter said...

Such a shame. If you remember my rant at the end of the previous season then I won't repeat it - FtWD does that all too well.

Spoiler alert for TWD:

Madisons death vs Andreas? Which one was dumber do you think?
It was so out of character for Madison to NOT have a way out of that situation.

I'm not going to on, rant and rave and such, just say that I'm - once again - going to stop watching. Nothing will bring me back this time.
I'll save myself tons of time and annoyance by just reading the reviews here! :D

Thanks and have a great summer!