AMC’s zombie-themed spinoff Fear the Walking Dead already made its way to home video back in December, but the network is double-dipping with a Special Edition that features a slew of bonus content that wasn’t included on the original release.
Unfortunately, offering up a collection of deleted scenes and featurettes isn’t enough to offset the subpar quality of the series itself. Fear the Walking Dead is actually built on an interesting premise, shifting the action to the West Coast and examining the early days of the outbreak and the collapse of society as the disease raged out of control. But the writing is abysmal, the scenarios feel contrived, and there’s a glaring lack of the character development and emotional depth that have always been a hallmark of the original series.
Despite a strong assembly of talent that includes Cliff Curtis and Kim Dickens, Fear the Walking Dead shambles along aimlessly – much like the decaying corpses themselves – through a truncated six-episode season that feels more like sixteen. There was plenty of potential for the creators to do something interesting, but that all seems to have been squandered on a transparent attempt to capitalize on the popularity of The Walking Dead by producing a new show that does very little to justify its existence.
The video transfer on Fear the Walking Dead is about as bland as its characters, with muted colors and a noticeable lack of the fine detail we’ve come to expect from its companion series. Audio fares much better, with crisp dialogue and solid definition, but it’s certainly nothing to get excited about.
The new bonus content on the Special Edition release includes audio commentary for all six episodes – mostly from the producers, although some cast members pop up here and there – along with 7 featurettes and 5 deleted scenes. It’s not a bad selection of extras, especially for a 6-episode season, but dropping this release a scant three months after a bare-bones edition already hit store shelves feels insulting. Fans who didn’t grab Fear the Walking Dead the first time around are getting a pretty decent bargain, but for anyone that already owns it, the added content isn’t worth the double dip.
A mediocre spinoff that comes across as a transparent cash-in attempt and does little to justify its existence, wrapped up in a "special edition" that comes just three months after a bare-bones release.