Monday, March 6, 2023

{The Midnight Horror} — Fear the Walking Dead: Does Anybody Still Watch It?

Is there still an interest in Fear the Walking Dead? It is the first spinoff of The Walking Dead, a once-popular AMC series. The spinoff has never performed well in the ratings. While the debut episode did draw in over ten million people, subsequent seasons saw a steady decrease in viewership. Yet this summer, it will return for its eighth and final season.

After the first season ended, I lost interest in the show. I coaxed myself into trying the second season and gave up after a few episodes. Once Morgan Jones (played by Lennie James) metaphorically left The Walking Dead, walked to Texas, and took center stage in Fear the Walking Dead, I started watching the show again. While Morgan and a few new characters temporarily increased the ratings, they also caused discord among its small fan base.

Some might find it surprising, yet some individuals, like me, still purchase and collect physical media like 4K HDR, Blu-rays, and DVDs. Now, this leads me to the seventh season of Fear the Walking Dead, which Lionsgate released on DVD (buy on Amazon) and Blu-ray (buy on Amazon) on January 10. The four-disc DVD collection was kindly provided to me by Lionsgate for review, albeit with a slight delay, and I got it a few weeks after it was supposed to come out.

Please allow me to offer the official summary for the seventh season DVD. — Teddy (John Glover) brought about his vision of "The End" when he detonated nuclear warheads across the Texas landscape, but it will be up to the survivors to decide what "The Beginning" will look like. In this world devoid of light and hope, where the outside air is just as deadly as the walkers they face, the ones who lived will find out who they really are and what they’re really made of. Some will rise to the occasion. Others will find new purpose. Still others will redefine themselves—even if it comes at a terrible cost to those they once considered family.

John Glover doesn't even appear in the seventh season, except for one reused scene from season six, so I'm not sure why he got mentioned. Spoiler: Mentioning the actor's name on the back of the DVD packaging appears deceptive because the character "Teddy" died at the end of the sixth season. Maybe, I'm nitpicking too much. 

I will say the artwork on each DVD is vivid. The picture and sound qualities are top-notch for a DVD release. There are no special features except for commentaries from executive producers and showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg on the episodes "The Beacon," "Cindy Hawkins," and "Gone."

I've watched the show twice—once when it first aired on AMC and once again on DVD—and my feelings about it are still ambivalent. The claustrophobic yellow tint aesthetic is appealing to me, but the showrunners made a lot of poor choices. Victor Stand might have easily turned into a great villain, but the writers balked and decided to have him turn the tables at the very end. I can see why Alycia Debnam-Carey wanted out of the show, but at the very least, could they have her character, Alicia, reunite with her mother, Madison? Wrong; before Madison returned in the season finale, they had already killed Alicia. The showrunners made a horrible choice with that decision. 

I would only suggest Fear the Walking Dead: The Complete Seventh Season to devoted fans, of whom there are a few. Much like the fifth season, the seventh season is a complete disaster because of the formulaic writing. The impending eighth season is something I'm anticipating since, well, it'll be the last. ╌★★½✰✰

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