There aren’t many shows that can claim to have a successful run while simultaneously having a spin-off be on the air as well. The Walking Dead is such a series that can easily make this claim as its spin-off, Fear the Walking Dead has remained of top quality and brought in good ratings to justify its existence.
As the shows have a different feel, there have been questions which one stands as the better series. While both have strong points of their own, there are some things that Fear the Walking Dead does better than the flagship show. Here are 10 of these points.
10 Acknowledge The Larger World
Season 6 of The Walking Dead had promised “a larger world”, but all we saw were a couple more communities. Fear the Walking Dead has bettered on that promise by showing much of the USA being affected by the apocalypse.
So far, we’ve seen California, following which the action shifted to Mexico, and then to Texas. These changes in location have allowed us to witness people from all facets of life cope with the outbreak of zombies and the shift in the world. Season 5 of Fear has already taken the action further along, while The Walking Dead still insists upon remaining in Virginia and the few communities.
9 Faster Pace
The Walking Dead’s biggest criticism since the seventh season has been how humans are now the main focus rather than the zombies; due to this, the show doesn’t feel scary anymore. Fear the Walking Dead has also seen human antagonists, but the pacing hasn’t been slow and boring.
Instead, Fear has gone straight to business with its storylines, rather than choosing one character for a particular episode thereby making it a chore to sit through. The characters are generally all together, which makes for a faster paced episode that sees the action happen in regular intervals; this ensures the viewer doesn’t get bored and switch off altogether.
8 Have Closer Bonds Between the Group
Like we mentioned above, the fact that the action sees the group working as a unit has meant that their bonds have gotten stronger. The Walking Dead’s disadvantage has been that the characters are so far away from one another that no one can consider each other as close friends.
On Fear the Walking Dead, the group’s close proximity to one another has meant any two characters paired together would have a history, making them close enough to make sense being brought together for that episode. This also makes the loss of a character that much impactful as everyone feels that loss, not just one person close to them as it is on The Walking Dead.
7 Introduce New Characters
The Walking Dead’s cast only has two characters from the first season now, and it’s close to impossible to care at all about the new characters that have been introduced after the sixth season. The new characters never quite reach the depth of the originals, and only feel expendable until they do bite the dust.
Meanwhile, the fourth season of Fear the Walking Dead achieved in introducing a slew of new characters, all of whom have been introduced with reasons for us to care about them. Right from the start, we liked John Dorie, Althea, Morgan, and now Dwight; all these feel genuine and not shoehorned in just to fill the character quota like The Walking Dead.
6 Fill in Gaps Between Time Skips
Every time The Walking Dead has had a time skip, we’ve been left in the dark as to what happened in the interim. The latest time skip has left people scratching their heads as the communities have disbanded and everyone’s mysteriously at odds with one another.
Fear the Walking Dead excellently filled in the gaps from Season 3 to Season 4 by dedicating an entire story to Madison Clark, which served as her swan song. Morgan’s journey from Virginia to Texas was also detailed and expanded upon. The other survivors like John Dorie and Althea’s time have also been shown during the long time skip.
5 Introducing the Zombies
This is somewhere Fear the Walking Dead held the cards as the show was meant to explain how the zombie outbreak looked like. The Walking Dead showed what the world was like two months in, so we never found out how it was when it started.
Still, the walkers were introduced with Rick as the framing device, but it wasn’t as heart-pumping as Fear the Walking Dead’s version was as it dedicated several episodes to show to us how the survivors had to contend with the outbreak and the zombies who came about. This method of introducing the zombies made them out to be more frightening.
4 Retain Dark Aspects of the Characters
A lot of The Walking Dead characters have lost that dark appeal they had. Negan became a kind of a joker, Daryl started grunting more than anything else, Michonne became a softie, and a whole lot of others simply dropped the tortured aspects they had about themselves.
On Fear the Walking Dead, the characters have retained that darkness about them. Madison Clark became a Governor-type character, and remained that way until her death. Morgan and Alicia have both retained that damage they had to their psyche from years’ of struggling in this world. This level of darkness has enabled these characters to remain morally ambiguous.
3 The Camera Filter
You might not think it, but the camera filter greatly influences how you perceive a movie or a TV show. Go back to earlier Walking Dead seasons and you’ll notice the murkier filter used when the show was a straight up horror.
Fear the Walking Dead now carries the same filter while the flagship show did away with it in favor of a simpler looking filter. The premiere episode of the fourth season had Morgan in Virginia with the clearer filter, which changed once he arrived in Texas. This was symbolize how Morgan had now walked into a show that featured horror as its main genre. Thus, Fear has made more effective use of its camera filter by using it as a tool for its theme.
2 Development For More Characters
The effectiveness of Fear the Walking Dead’s character development was best shown in its latest season where the new entrants all underwent significant developments. Morgan, while retaining his damaged psyche, still found a new lease in life; Alicia found a way to have a purpose after losing her family; John Dorie showed us he was more than just a comedy relief and played with our heartstrings with his romantic storyline. Even the antagonist’s motivations were understandable.
On The Walking Dead, we haven’t seen character development for a few years now. All of the characters have settled on definite tropes which they don’t move on from. Carol is weirdly twisted; Daryl is a stoic; Michonne is a katana wielder, not much has changed.
1 Easter Eggs
As part of Fear the Walking Dead acknowledging the larger world of the universe, the show also does a better job than The Walking Dead at throwing Easter eggs that point toward how there’s another TV series set in the same continuity.
The best one yet was part of Althea’s tapes; upon closer inspection, you’d see two labelled as Abraham and Eugene, which meant Althea came across both of them and recorded their stories before the two met with The Walking Dead gang. Another reference was, when in the fourth season, The Walking Dead’s inconsistent portrayal of walker guts infecting people was brought up as John Dorie mentioned that sometimes camouflaging oneself with the guts and sometimes it doesn’t; this was a nod toward the main show’s issues with this case.