24 August 2015 | donpasqualino
Bore the Walking Dead
The original Walking Dead gave you just a few minutes to fill you in on the back story of Rick Grimes, to show you how he ended up in a hospital, which is where the story really begins. You caught a glimpse of two good cops on duty, and the horrible fate that would befall one of them. These short few minutes were all that was needed to give you some type of emotional attachment to the characters, and in turn you had a vested interest in their outcome. The show soon introduced you to everything you need know about the world you now find yourself in.
What TWD accomplished in a few short minutes, FTWD failed to do in 1 hour. You understood it's characters, cared about them and shared an interest in discovering this new world with them. In short, you were hooked.
FTWD's characters and story felt flat, monotone and void of any reason why you should care whether any of them live or die. After you witness the story as it plays out, you find yourself questioning why it's main characters act the way they did which defied logic.
For example, the first main character's reaction to what he witnesses seems like he sees this kind of thing all the time, carrying it with him, with no real concern. A normal person would be freaking out and calling anyone, including the cops, but not him, which he obviously gets from his parents. When he does get around to telling his step-dad about the seriously heinous evil crap he witnessed in a drug den, you know.. A FEW MURDERS and CANNIBALISM, the dad obviously does the smart thing and immediately calls the police to report this so they can investigate and possibly help save further victims... Actually that sentence was a lie, because instead he decides he's going to go investigate these murders himself.. in the middle of the night.. alone. So unless you're a member of FBI, common sense would dictate that you will likely leave incriminating evidence that would now place you at the scene of the crimes, or worse be murdered as a witness. Sadly though, this scene is nothing more than a thoughtless plot device to attempt to build cheap suspense to make you concerned about someone you aren't, and it's actually this type of bad writing that takes you out of the story. So it's hard to take an interest in a group of morons who repeatedly do ridiculous things, and don't react naturally.
Episode 1 lacked any real humor, and heavily relied on eerie music playing in the background throughout the entire episode to build the mood even when out of place for the scene, which is cheap and renders the music ineffective from overuse. On top of that, the episode uses even cheaper plot devices to try to further the story by having the main characters witness a public zombie attack on a tablet screen, far away and disassociated from any real danger. What suspense is there in that? How about actually having a real zombie ambush the main characters instead, and hit the audience in the face with the reality of what this new world is really like. Possibly using it to advance the character development and show the bravery and love these characters have for each other and how they're willing to die for each other so you feel for them? I'll use that as my cheap segue into another major issue with the show. You don't feel or see any real chemistry between the characters, though you know they're supposed to love each other, it really just feels like a bunch of actors playing their parts, getting their $ and going home. You don't sense that any of them genuinely care about each other, so how can you the audience care? This is due to any real lack of emotion in their interactions. You can't entirely blame the actors though, because the material is poor, and feels like it was rushed, while ramming as many cheap clichés into the show as they can... Which I will now use as an even cheaper segue to hammer in a point. If you are the parents of a druggie kid who confessed to murdering his drug dealer, and together you all go back with him to investigate the scene of the crime, only to stumble upon the victim after he lived and walked away, it's bad parenting to stand by and let your kid finish the job by continually ramming his victim with YOUR truck. No, instead you step in there and you shut that crap down fast and then you question his mental state, and you call an ambulance because that's what normal good people do in that situation. Especially since your truck is now the murder weapon. Instead the parents, who are the good people you are supposed to care about, seem content to let it happen, not trying to stop their son at all. You can't defend them by saying they knew the victim might be a walking corpse because there is no mention at all in the episode that the dead are now walking, and the only awareness they have that anything is wrong is the violent scene they witnessed in a video in which the attacker was shot and got back up and to that I have two words, Bath Salts.
In summary, poor writing, messy plot flow, very slow story progression that repeats itself needlessly, with no emotion, no humor and no common sense. If you've watched the 3 minute intro trailer, you've seen the best part. So for any real suspense, watch the first 3 minutes and the last 3 minutes, and skip everything in between because none of it holds any value, or adds anything to the story line. Your pilot episode is supposed to hook the audience in, but not this one.