A new low even for this dumpster fire

Fear the living dead is one of those shows that I keep watching despite my better judgment for one reason and one reason only: You, dear readers.

Many of you, like me, have stayed with The Walking Dead and its fallout due to the sunk cost. We’ve been watching these shows for so long that we feel weird giving them up now. We look Fear the living dead though now we have to watch scenes where inspirational acoustic guitar music plays over really silly kissing scenes.

The kiss in question – between new character Ali and veteran character Charlie – has me more than a little puzzled. Ali is played by nineteen-year-old actor Ashton Arbab, and his character is introduced as being older than Charlie in the series. He appears to be around 19 years old.

Charlie, meanwhile, tells everyone that she’ll be “turning 13 this week,” which means she’s apparently… still twelve years old? But the whole episode is set up as a budding romance between the two which, of course, ends in tragedy when Ali is thrown off the roof of the tower (because the new rule in FTWD is that any newly introduced character must be killed at the end of the episode now).

Either way, we get a very cheesy and deeply creepy love scene between a 19-year-old and a girl who just turned 13. She is also dying of radiation poisoning and it is her birthday.

It is . . . a bizarre age gap, even though Alexa Nisenson, who plays Charlie, is almost 16 in real life.

It’s almost as weird that Charlie is massively exposed to radiation somehow in this episode, just walking through a building that Ali also walked through, and apparently all of his rescuers?

It looks like Charlie is going to die of radiation poisoning now, after all this time. She’s a girl who’s survived nuclear explosions, walked all over Texas, and is now all of a sudden so exposed to radiation, she’s just done for.

This show is terrible.

You don’t establish a romantic connection in an episode between a new character and an established character. You have to let these things develop over time. I was thinking about that and then when she convinces him to turn off the beacon for her – an assignment Morgan sent her for reasons-I noted this note:

OH. Charly and others just playing with the system. He’s a crook. Facing a whole new character. It’s almost as bad. Or… wait, it’s not a scam… Charlie is really that sick? She looks good but she’s suddenly seriously ill and it wasn’t a scam she set up with June?

I hate all of these characters with a burning passion. Why are we the least bit concerned about the fate of Charlie, aka Nick’s killer? Why is Strand suddenly this super-effective but deeply hated villain who throws people off the roof of his tower? Why do people suddenly call him Victor all the time?

Here are some other notes I took while watching this episode (I don’t usually take notes on shows, but just have to follow along and/or stay awake with Fear).

My FTWD Notes

Catch butterflies.

Charlie wants to enter the tower. She will be 13, but she looks at least as old as actress Alexa Nisenson who is almost 16.

Everyone keeps saying “Victor” instead of Strand. Why?

Garcia jumped?

This dialogue is so bad. “None of the other scouts had his skills.”

“What skills are these?

“She can walk in and out of places undetected.”

I hate all these characters. The new guy, Ali, is definitely going to die before this episode ends.

Now Ali fears he might die scouting, but moments before he wanted to become a ranger. OK.

Why do they keep introducing new characters? “That’s what separates caterpillars from butterflies.” Oy vey.

In the bowling alley, most lanes have pins still in place. Of course the exact time Ali and Charlie arrive, bad guys show up. Texas is tiny.

Why is he surprised that she hasn’t bowled before? She’s “twelve,” so most of her life has been in the apocalypse.

Charlie knows who Muhammad Ali was? Straight.

Ali tricks the people who capture him who, despite having guns, are immediately devoured by the zombies. Ali is nearly eaten by a zombie but Charlie saves him.

As you can see, I lagged in taking notes. But the next moment is when Ali finds out that Charlie was actually sent on a mission by Morgan, and then traps her in an elevator to get eaten by zombies or starve to death (they were on a mission to find elevator parts for fix the elevators at the tower, eye-roll eye-roll eye-roll).

But then, inexplicably, he changes his mind. Such a big change of heart that he saves her and then, despite being a complete jerk to her after she saves his life, they fall in love. Oh fainting fainting! Then she collapses because RADIATION BAD. SHE DIDN’T WEAR HER DIY FALLOUT MASK.

Then she wakes up in the tower and Ali, sweet and sweet Ali, releases all the Strand butterflies as a gift for her. And then they dance even though moments before she was too weak to move. And they kiss (disgusting, it’s his 13th birthday and he’s 19!) and laugh and dance and laugh. Terrible, cheesy music is playing.

Is this a zombie show? What the hell is this bullshit? Hell, I want to use swear words in this review, but it’s not my substack and I have to maintain a certain level of professionalism here. Maybe I’ll start writing expansive versions of these reviews at diabolical.

I’m basically Joe Pesci in Alone at home right now in my head.

Either way, Ali is now so smitten with Charlie (maybe because he taught her how to bowl or something?) that his loyalty and desire to be one of the rangers from Strand go straight through the window. He leaves to turn off the beacon for her right now and, of course, Strand’s henchmen are waiting there because they, uh, knew all along that turning off the light on the roof was his plan or something.

Goon in the glasses—Head Goon—I don’t care a little bit about his name—says “Aha! We now know what she was doing! And you’re one of them, naughty, naughty little boy!

“Die, demon!” Ali screams as he attacks Chief Goon. The other goons want to shoot him but Chief Goon makes them stand down. “DIE I SAY!” Ali barks again, hitting it like Will Smith at the Oscars.

So Chief Goon throws him off the roof, causing Charlie. . . slightly upset. I guess she wasn’t that attracted to him. She’s angry – and June is also very angry – and this old replacement grandfather of John Dorie pretends to be on Chief Goon’s side so he can have fun with Strand.

Honestly, ladies and gentlemen, they just aired a TV episode in which a 19-year-old newcomer has a romance with a teenager who just turned 13. They could have given him 16 years. They could have omitted to verbalize his age. Instead, they put this creepy crap in there and I think that pretty much says everything you need to know about this show and its talentless, show-destroying pair of showrunners. AMC why do you keep using these jokers? Aren’t you ashamed? You are not embarrassed yet?

Because everyone involved in fear the living dead, from the executives who finance it to the directors and writers, to the actors, and certainly to the producers, should be very, very embarrassed by now. If you weren’t before, with all the gimmicks and ridiculous plot holes and beer balloons and ethanol trucks, setting up this deeply screwed-up romance should surely do the trick.

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