"The authorities would tell us." Those are the proverbial famous last words uttered by everyone who has ever been caught in a apocalypse thriller, including Madison (Kim Dickens), a guidance counselor in the latest Fear the Walking Dead teaser. In the sneak peek for the upcoming companion series to AMC's mega hit The Walking Dead, Madison is quick to dismiss the fears of a panicked student. The kid totally knows what's up though. When he tries to explain to his counselor that people are killing each other, she just tells him he should spend less time online. Zero guidance counselor points for you, Madison.
Fear the Walking Dead is looking more and more like it could be subtitled While Rick Was Sleeping. The pre-virus world was apparently full of Madisons who were not paying much attention to the craziness going down around them. I think the obliviousness of the characters will be half the fun though. Since I have watched copious amounts of The Walking Dead, I know there's a zombie apocalypse just around the bend, but I can't really fault these guys for not immediately jumping to zombies when they start hearing strange reports on the news. The best part is going to be seeing people like the clearly plugged in student try to warn everyone else about the major scariness that is about to go down.
Unlike The Walking Dead, which just threw the viewer straight into this strange and deadly world, Fear the Walking Dead is a family drama (not a drama you can watch with your family though) in many ways. Its central characters are all part of a family unit and, as a result, this show has to establish them and their problems in a way that makes the viewer care. I must admit, I don't have strong feelings for any of The Walking Dead characters because I know they are all going to be walker lunches eventually. The companion series has a much different feel and tone already — and that's just from two promos.
I love the idea of infusing some humanity back into The Walking Dead 'verse. The mothership has gotten so grim that it is hard to remember that it ever had character moments, bonding, and sing-alongs. Maybe going back to the beginning of the outbreak will bring the story to life in a new way. All I know for sure is the look on that kid's face at the end of the teaser fills me with a sense of uneasy glee. This is how it all began, Walking Dead fans, and now you are going to get to see it. How cool is that?