Monday, August 29, 2016

Fear The Walking Dead Season 2...

Death Knows No Borders...Neither Does Boredom.

It's been two grueling seasons already, and enough is enough. There is so much wrong with this program that cancellation is its only hope for redemption. Unfortunately for all involved, there will be a season 3. 

Let's start with the premise. Introducing..."The Douchebags!!!"-California's most boring, dysfunctional, and annoying family!!!

They have it all-broken home repair attempts by the all-too sensitive and henpecked Travis, an overbearing mother named after a street in Manhattan, and three useless, annoying teenagers, one a drug addict, another who wants to piss her parents off by dating a black guy, and a son who should have been dead way before the world collapsed. And just what the fuck is Travis, anyway? A swarthy high school English teacher of Mediterranean descent? A Mexican American who loves education? WTF? 

Then there's mommy dearest, the white blonde matriarch (is there any other type, besides the Caucasian damsel in distress?) who totally sucks at keeping her family together, but still exudes a sense of authority she has neither earned nor is entitled to. Kim Dickens is a cutey in real life, but here she's just an idiot who should focus more on hooking her husband Travis up with some ass. But that's not possible, because between them they exude the sexual tension equivalent of a frog pithing experiment. 

We the viewers were told this spin-off of "The Walking Dead" would fill in some pre-infection questions that were never asked or answered in the original series. In TWD, we got two depressing glimpses into the future-the CDC guy blowing himself up, and that cornball with the mullet who pretended to be a scientist with a cure so he could secure himself safe passage to Washington, DC for what turned out to be no good reason. This series saw the quick decline of civilization...and that was it. 

Now we have the characters in Mexico, and it is clear the writers have no idea how to handle the way Mexicans deal with death in its new permeation of cadavers coming back to life to eat the living. The writers prefer a convoluted blend of Cinco de Mayo and Dia de los Muertos with a couple of shots of tequila thrown in for good measure. We also have former drug gangs who are still terrorizing the landscape, albeit on a much more subdued level. I'm waiting for Chapo Guzman to appear with an accompanying mariachi band singing the latest narco-corrido in homage to the walking dead. 

The latest episode included a contrived, pseudo heart-wrenching, alcohol-fueled therapy session between Madison and Strand, whose character has taken a turn for the inconsequential. They wind up making enough noise to literally wake the dead, and what a surprise that they suddenly appear despite the fact that they've spent a couple of hours whopping it up and smashing glasses against a wall. They decide to barricade themselves behind the bar, and the last scene looks not like two desperate, drunk idiots making the wrong move, but a typical Saturday night at SeƱor Frog's. It made me want to order a drink-cyanide Kool Aid. 

The tough, no-nonsense Latina with the bossy attitude is played by Cuban stunner Danay Garcia. The manner in which her character is written is so totally devoid of nuance and originality, it's as if the writers went directly to the Pancho Villa Handbook of Mexican/Latino Stereotypes and copied/pasted her into the story, which includes the inevitable love affair between her and pretty boy Nick. The only thing missing is a Mexican with a sombrero over his head sleeping against a cactus. The whole Mexican thing is so nonsensical, it can only be described as the manifestation of a writer's Latino fetish after spending a semester abroad. 

Madison's obnoxious teenage children should, be chum for the horde of undead. They are not even worth reviewing for their egregious flaws. The worst that can be said about them is they are unnecessary distractions in a completely pointless story. 

Having no plot to speak of, killing the most compelling character (Salazar) for absolutely no reason, and turning Strand from a calculating, Machiavellian poker player into a driveling, indecisive non-entity so that Madison can get more shine as the de facto leader of the group is bad enough. But this is a horror genre-where is the horror? Where is the creepiness of having to avoid dead cannibals who literally lurk around ever corner and can always be counted on to fuck everything up once the characters feel that one bit safe? Where is the claustrophobia of being trapped in a world that is coming down around the heads of the characters, who have no place to go and nowhere to run? 

It's nowhere to be found, and it will be what ultimately kills the show, Two-bit family dramas are for soap operas, and we get enough of that already on daytime television. The ones who are walking dead aren't on screen, they are in the writing and directer's chairs. 

Fuck you, Travis. I hope it is.

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