Oh, "The Walking Dead," wherefore dost thou vex me so?
I really want to like TWD and, by extension, its spinoffs. I loved the first few seasons of the original, and still remember the thrills I once experienced. Also, it's a genre show, which I feel honor-bound to watch. Further, it's based on a comic book. So yeah, a guy like me, writing a column like this — it's a gimme. So please be better, "Walking Dead." Please.
Two "Walking Dead" spinoffs came to a temporary halt in November. Both left me with mixed feelings. "Fear the Walking Dead" came to the end of the first part of Season 6 on Nov. 22. The second part, consisting of nine episodes, will air sometime in 2021. And it's already been approved for a Season 7. I'm not sure how I feel about that. (Some spoilers ahead.)
"Fear the Walking Dead" began as a study of an already blended family that was forced to make common cause with yet another family, refugees from El Salvador, as the zombie apocalypse began. The show also added annoying con man Victor Strand, for no reason I've ever figured out.
It would have been interesting to see more of the collapse of civilization — "The Walking Dead" began six months into it, when Rick Grimes famously awoke from his coma. So "Fear" could have showed us what that show didn't. But nope, "Fear" jumped years ahead and we missed the technical beginning of both shows a second time.
And it would have been interesting to see how these blended families coped. But nope; instead everybody died. Well, mostly. Yes, I'll still watch. But if Morgan (Lennie James) or John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt) get killed, we riot.
Meanwhile, the two-season "The Walking Dead: World Beyond" has finished its first season with a resounding, "Eh." If you haven't heard, the idea is that four teens from the 10th year of the apocalypse — the conceit being that zombieland is all they've ever known — try to walk from "the Colony" at the University of Omaha in Nebraska to the state of New York, to rescue the father of two of them. Two adults accompany the four, but let's face it: YA angst is the focus of the show.
Which is irritating. Yes, I know teen-oriented shows are popular. Yes, it's an angle we haven't seen on a Walking Dead show. But shouldn't any "Dawson's Creek" issues take a back seat to simple survival in the apocalypse? However, "World" has two things going for it I really applaud.
First up is that one of the group's chaperones has turned out to be a villain. There is also, it appears, the group that kidnapped Rick Grimes in "The Walking Dead." Which is reason No. 2 that "World" is important. The show will apparently contain answers to a lot of old TWD questions. Grimes is supposed to eventually star in three Walking Dead movies.
Like "Fear," "World Beyond" will return at an undisclosed time in 2021. But before that, "The Walking Dead" itself returns. "The Walking Dead Holiday Special" arrived on Dec. 13, and then a bonus six episodes of Season 10 of "The Walking Dead" begin on Feb. 28.