Fear The Walking Dead Season 3

I noped out FTWD after a few episodes into S2. Occassionally I would dip into S2 see where it had evolved, and it never seemed to deliver on any of the promises the story, or the characters, could provide. For me, it was about equal to lower end quality of the mothership show. 

But Season 3 is a new show altogether. The story has become incredibly interesting, the characters are deepening in an organic way, and the plot has sharpened. Though there are a few new characters, and some primary cast departing, the core creative team has remained the same. Which means it probably just took them this time to find their stride, but wow, is it ever delivering. While I think it's primarily due to a reduction in budget, the zombie aspect of the apocalypse is merely background, used sparingly just to remind folks that this is the state of the world. But it's not overtly leaned on to drive the drama. Instead, FTWD is focused on how the characters have changed in the context of the world remains the focus, as it should. 

Dayton Callie (from Deadwood, and Sons of Anarchy) has been a welcome addition to the cast. Kim Dickens is delivering her best work since Deadwood, and Ruben Blades is delivering an Emmy worthy performance. My favorite episode of the season (and the series), "100," focuses entirely on Blades' character, in an arc where he's been separated from the main group. It has some fantastic guest performances, including Jesse Borrego, has one of the best zombie kills I've ever seen and it's entirely in Spanish. My complaints about the show is that they still don't really know what to do with Strand, played Colman Domingo. That actor deserves better. 

It's certainly not perfect, but at this point, FTWD is doing something I have experience in a long while - made me excited to watch a zombie show. Anyone else watching...?
GredalBee

Comments

  • There's another FTWD thread somewhere in General TV I think. While I watch the show and in some cases it's better than TWD, there are still many flaws. It's a "no brainer" show for me to watch.
  • hypergenesbhypergenesb Atlanta
    edited July 3
    Just stumbled on this video which summarizes what I mean about S3. 



  • edited July 3
    Yeah, I've kept watching too, and it has certainly shown improvement this season, although I wouldn't describe it as great.

    Fear was never that good of a show from the start, and it seemed to get worse as it went along by tossing out potentially interesting story arcs way too quickly, like the nine day time jump that annoyed Jim and A.Ron so much in season 1, or the potentially interesting "zombie apocalypse on a boat" setup that they burned through in only five episodes. The second half of season 2 was a particularly low point, as the show tried to balance three completely separate plotlines at once (the hotel, Nick, Travis/Chris), the end result being that none of them felt very substantial or interesting. It also featured an intolerable amount of Chris Manawa, one of the worst, most infuriating television characters ever created. (RIP Chris - you are missed by no one.)

    If I start watching a show, I tend to stick with it no matter how shitty it ends up getting, so I came back for season 3 anyway, expecting another mess of a season, and the premiere pretty much was that. Once they got to the ranch, though, I was pleasantly surprised - the show actually did pick up a fair bit. Like I said, it's still not great, but it's pretty decent. It's working to set up a compelling storyline and actually develop its characters properly, even if it doesn't always succeed. It was interesting and surprising to see an episode almost entirely spoken in Spanish with subtitles, especially when it's a Ruben Blades spotlight. Overall, I'd say that it's shaping up to be much better than the most recent, garbage people-featuring season of TWD.

    There are still problems, though - there are plenty of moments of TWD character stupidity, I have no idea where Strand and Daniel's plot is going now, Ofelia is nowhere to be seen six episodes in for some reason, and I'm wary of the Native American angle that they just introduced, since the show's attempts to depict various Mexican cultures last season were...let's say not so great. Overall though, there are far worse shows you could be watching, especially in this brief break we're getting from the usual onslaught of TV. I'm kind of optimistic about the future of the show; since the ratings are much lower than TWD, it doesn't need to be AMC's cash cow and can be free to do its own thing a bit more (like that Spanish episode, which I guarantee you'd never see on TWD), and they've already been picked up for a fourth season. On the other hand, the showrunner is stepping down after this season, and we all know how well that went for The Walking Dead. We'll see, I guess.
  • Alkaid13Alkaid13 Georgia
    FTWD probably isn't a terrible show and might be better than vanilla TWD in some cases but I think it's difficult to expect it to turnaround to a great show 3 Seasons in. Maybe they'll replace the show runner and it will actually achieve greatness but that hasn't worked for regular TWD so I'm a little skeptical. I think it could be better than TWD though which would be an achievement of its own, the spinoff surpassing the original, though the bar to cross isn't really that high at this point.
  • edited October 31
    I saw an episode tonight and was shocked by how good it was.  I listened to J&A's coverage for laughs and remember the whiny characters and vaseline covered lens jokes.  I don't know if this was an outlier good episode, but "Brother's Keeper" was very mature and mopped the floor with TWD.  The quality difference is usually glaring when I watch an AMC show after a "prestige" show, but I didn't feel that enormous drop off with FTWD.

    @hypergenesb Does season 3 play the same if I skip the first two seasons?
  • @GredalBee - I watched S1, noped out after 2 of S2. Then started back with S3. You miss a little nuance with character history, but not that much frankly. Glad to know it wasn't just me.

    I'm enjoyed the hell out of the first half of S3. The post mid-season break eps are not as strong as the first half, so far. But it still has more potential to me than anything happening on TWD. 
  • I thought I was the only one enjoying the second half of season 3. T he last episode i thought was fantastic. I wish they would have started with this quality because they would have a lot o followers still.
    hypergenesb
  • lengmolengmo RTP, NC
    Personally I thought the first season (a whole six episodes) was weak, but S2 and S3, while they had their ups and downs, are far superior to the last several seasons of TWD.  Even if you aren't crazy about the characters, it's hard to ignore how much faster the plot moves in FTWD than TWD.  If you haven't watched S2, I suggest giving it another try, even if you only pay attention when Nick is on screen.  His journey that season was great.
    hypergenesb
  • I thought I was the only one enjoying the second half of season 3. T he last episode i thought was fantastic. I wish they would have started with this quality because they would have a lot o followers still.

    Exactly. That last episode with air running out was filled with some of the finest tension-filled tv I've seen in a while. I think the ending with Alicia and her family was ludicrous, but the rest was stellar.
  • This second half of S3 is particularly great.
  • edited October 31
    Well, that was a pretty big finale.  If it's as good as we've been saying, it'll stick to it's guns and kill off...
    Nick, Daniel, or the Proctors.

    A lot of things moved really fast, almost to the point where I thought I missed an episode.  Overall, it was still really impressive and the Christmas dinner sequence was great.  This show continues to punch above it's weight, especially given that AMC is probably cutting corners with it.

    I DVR'd the first half of the season and it's hilarious how wrong I got these characters.  Starting from "Brother's Keeper", I thought the soldiers were supposed to be good guys and it meant something when they died.  Nope, they were all evil on the military base and basically white supremacists when the Native Americans joined the ranch.  Context... it's everything!
  • "Punch above it's weight." This is almost an understatement @GredalBee. SO impressed with the evolution of this show. Almost sad we are going to back to regular TWD soon. Hope they keep bringing back Deadwood Alums....
    jtmy92
  • TaraC73TaraC73 Manchester NH
    I don’t think those characters will be offed... I feel like the one is the main person of the show - the center (like how they say Carl will never die) and the other one has been through too much already and keeps living.
  • edited October 16
    That was a great finale. The last few episodes have all been pretty great, really, especially by TWD standards. Season 4 is worrying though - the showrunner is leaving and being replaced by two new ones, and Gimple is joining as an executive producer. Can FTWD survive that kind of regime change and avoid falling into the same traps as the original show? We'll find out in 2018, I suppose. For now though, let's just enjoy the fact that a show that started out as a bad, blatantly cash-grabbing spinoff of an already wildly inconsistent series is...actually pretty good now? I did not see that coming at all.
    TaraC73
  • jtmy92jtmy92 Independence, MO
    Not trying to be hyperbolic here, but I can't think of show in history with a bigger overall improvement in quality than this show has season 1 to 3
    hypergenesbTaraC73
  • lengmolengmo RTP, NC
    Season 4 is worrying though - the showrunner is leaving and being replaced by two new ones, and Gimple is joining as an executive producer. Can FTWD survive that kind of regime change and avoid falling into the same traps as the original show?
    I'm sure it hurt Gimple's ego to have FTWD upstage his show just through better writing (FTWD must have an even tinier budget than TWD).  Maybe in S4 everyone ends up in Texas and Abraham chomps cigars and romances Madison until Rosita turns up.

    What I really liked in FTWD so far is the inventiveness on a story level.  It felt like in every episode there was something I'd never seen in all the other zombie shows and movies.  That's why I keep telling people that even if the first season didn't win you over, if you are a zombie fan it's worth watching S2 and S3.


    TaraC73
  • alright, so I just caught the finale last night. wow, what a great season. Here's for hoping that Jim and A.Ron catch wind of how good this show is and carry on with their abandoned cast of it.
    TaraC73hypergenesblengmo
  • kevinrileskevinriles New Jersey
    We need to get Aron and Jim to cover this show! Also this show has been great since the start. It started out slow but It got better. And the Spanish guy is like a Hispanic liam neeson.
    TaraC73
  • A few days ago I binge watched the second half of season 3, didn't have much desire to watch while it aired, and now I'm perplexed at how good it was. How is that possible? TWD continues to disappoint in all departments and the smaller spin-off reinvents itself and fixes everything that's been wrong. It's almost like they hired the crew from Breaking Bad.  
    TaraC73lengmo
  • I love hearing that @toncica - Season 3 of FTWD blows away just about anything the TWD has done in years. 
  • lengmolengmo RTP, NC
    toncica said:
    A few days ago I binge watched the second half of season 3 [...] and now I'm perplexed at how good it was. How is that possible? TWD continues to disappoint in all departments and the smaller spin-off reinvents itself and fixes everything that's been wrong.  
    Good writing, though that almost certainly will be "fixed" with Gimple getting involved.  I suppose there's a small chance the writers can make a case for Z Nation campy fun instead of TWD epic dumbness.  At least we got two good seasons (I think of them as Nick's Journey (s2) and Alycia's Journey (s3).
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