As most fans get ready for the eighth season of The Walking Dead, it has to be admitted that its spinoff Fear the Walking Dead is a failure. The third season just ended recently and 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 vaild. They include unlikeable characters, uninteresting scripts and a failure to reproduce the tension and thrills 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. 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.
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.
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 when Rick Grimes woke up from his coma 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 had a premise too close to it: a bunch of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world full of the undead.
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 and add in its other faults and it is easy to see why Fear The Walking Dead is not well regarded.