31 Days of Reviews: Fear the Walking Dead (season 2)

As the characters from Fear the Walking Dead flee Los Angeles, they encounter a whole new set of dangers, both on land and by sea.

This review will talk about the second season of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead.

When we last left the characters of Fear the Walking Dead, they had escaped their suburban Los Angeles neighborhood and made it to the coast. We lost some of the characters that we had grown to appreciate, and there were a lot of possibilities on the horizon.

As season two progressed, Fear the Walking Dead left the continental United States behind and headed into murky waters. The first several episodes featured the characters facing dangers at sea, before they reached their destination in Mexico. The rest of the season focused on different communities and outlooks on the zombie apocalypse within the foreign country.

Fear the Walking Dead definitely has a different feeling to it than The Walking Dead. For one, the series has taken American characters into Mexico, so a decent amount of the show is spoken in Spanish. Only some of the conversations have subtitles, so viewers who don’t speak Spanish will find themselves just as lost as some of the characters are. It’s also incredibly interesting to see how a different culture views the apocalyptic situation they find themselves in. The characters run into a lot of highly religious communities, and they all incorporate their faith in different ways to try to describe this new world.

The first season of Fear the Walking Dead, despite being highly anticipated, disappointed a lot of fans of The Walking Dead, and unfortunately, I’m seeing a lot of the same reactions at the end of season two. People just can’t seem to relate to the characters.

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I mentioned in my review of season one that I thought a lot of this negativity revolved around viewers seeing the characters’ actions as too naive for a zombie apocalypse because viewers were so far into The Walking Dead universe, and Fear the Walking Dead is going backward before those decisions really make sense. I think my theory is still sound, but I will add that a lot of this negativity may revolve around the fact that many of the characters are “millennials,” and there is a general distaste about people in that age group.

Nick is a young, drug addict who, despite proving that he’s one of the most capable for surviving the apocalyptic landscape, is easily persuaded by mob mentality. Nick’s view of the dead continues to annoy viewers, and even though he’s my favorite character, I’m often bothered by it as well. Alicia is a teenage girl. She doesn’t really have to do much to spark the ire of viewers. Throughout season two, she begins to show a lot of promise. She may become very capable as the series progresses.

Chris deserves a whole section to himself. He’s a teenage boy, full of angst. He lost his mother at the end of season one, and now he finds himself as a tagalong with his dad and his dad’s new family. He feels like an outsider, and as season two progresses, this turns into some very scary behavior. I see a lot of parallels between him and a character from the first seasons of The Walking Dead, and I find myself wondering if he’ll be facing the same fate. Only time will tell.

As for the other character’s on the show, they’re mostly lackluster. In my review of season one, I talked a bit about Travis and his character arc. He’s still on that arc. He’s still getting there throughout season 2. Madison is an overprotective and loving mother, complete with all the frustrations that come with that. Strand is a decently compelling character who gets more background in season two. Despite all of this, I still have a hard time connecting with anyone.

That’s the biggest downfall for Fear the Walking Dead in my opinion. I really can’t connect with any of the characters, and the characters are the root of a lot of other people’s complaints as well. The story format is similar to The Walking Dead, and the zombies are just as brutal when given the opportunity.

Interestingly, the main conflicts in Fear the Walking Dead are between the main characters and other people. In the first few seasons of The Walking Dead, the zombies were the main threat to safety, and other people weren’t really the enemy until Woodbury was encountered. Fear the Walking Dead appears to be doing the opposite, with all of its main conflicts resulting from the group’s interactions with others. It’s a big difference that I’ve seen people complain about as well. Viewers want more zombies.

The second season of Fear the Walking Dead end with a bang. Characters are lost, and safe places are no longer safe. It seems to me that the tone of the series will change as the characters move forward into season three, and they may even find themselves in the United States of America again.

Just to reiterate, the second season of Fear the Walking Dead brings a lot of development to characters that didn’t get it in season one. If you weren’t a fan of the first season, then you probably won’t be a fan of the second season either. If you’ve managed to keep watching, then you’ll see a good amount of ups and downs in a similar fashion to The Walking Dead.

Check out the trailer below, and see if this might be a show for you!

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