It’s hard to believe we’re heading into the sixth season of Fear The Walking Dead already. It feels like so much has transpired on this show since the pilot, and it only seems to be getting crazier. Having said that, I’m not always convinced this show is heading in the right direction. It’s inching dangerously close to becoming just like its predecessor. And who wants more of the same?
Scott M. Gimple, who’s in charge of the Walking Dead universe for AMC, talked to Entertainment Weekly about the the series. “Season 5 was about setting up this journey that these characters are on through there to season 6, and I think people are going to see the relationship between those two seasons,” said. “I think even getting to the very end of season 5, the last few moments, really informing that whole season about reaching for benevolence and reaching for sweetness and art and just life and how in the circumstances they’re in, it didn’t work, and how we leave a person that put that forward isolated, alone, bleeding in a dead town.”
Personally, I have my reservations about this show and it’s future — I find it hard to connect with the characters — but there’s always the chance it could pull a The Walking Dead season 2 move on us. You know, the moment where the barn doors opened and Sophie comes stumbling out as a walker? To date, it’s one of the most talked-about scenes from TWD, and if Gimple and company play their cards right, maybe Fear The Walking Dead could pull off something similar. “It is interesting, it’s a challenge that I think people will continue to have because the story might not go the way the audience wants it in the short term, but it’s all towards telling this grander story for them in the long term,” he said. “I hope that anybody who had an issue with it can see this upcoming season and see how that led to this, because it was always the plan, to tell a story of some serious contrasts.”
Gimple, please don’t let us down. Give us that “O-M-G” moment we deserve, that this show (that started out remarkably strong) deserves.
A lot of fans have been criticizing the direction of Fear. It was just a few months ago that fans created a petition demanding AMC fire showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg. How do Gimple and his team handle stuff like that? “It’s a tricky thing because, again, as long as somebody is coming at their opinion having watched the show, and as long as they have an open mind to start with, anybody’s opinion is valid,” Gimple mused. “One of the reasons I don’t read them is because it’s endless. It’s not, ‘Okay, I’m going to read this person, this person, but I’m not going to read the other 15 articles, and these people have the mic.’ It’s not quite fair, nor do I think it’s storytelling with integrity to just seek out what people’s criticisms are and address those criticisms without looking at the whole of the audience. And does online criticism represent the entirety of the audience? It is the same sort of demographics that are issuing those criticisms that are watching TV, just as far as their interests or their history with the show or any of those things.”
I know it can be hard, and I know that people can be upset and you don’t want to upset people, you don’t want to make people sad in perpetuity, but you also don’t want to just give them a story where you didn’t try your best to do something special, unusual, something that they might remember the rest of their lives. If we’re not taking risks, we’re not serving the audience, we’re just serving ourselves. We’re just serving, making sure that no one’s upset with us. To really serve the audience, you got to put your neck out there. I’m very proud of these showrunners who have been taking incredible risks, and I’ve been standing right beside them every step of the way with it and sometimes pushing those risks forward very, very much myself.
I will give them that: The Walking Dead franchise takes risks, and sometimes they end up working out. For example, Gimple alluded to a time jump coming in season 6, one that could help better align Fear the Walking Dead with the other shows in this universe, including the upcoming World Beyond. “We’re going to see a lot of time pass,” he said. “There is a lot of time that can pass, yeah.”
And with all the shows working on the same timeline, the possibility of crossovers and unexpected cameos opens up. “That is something we’re playing around with for the future, and time is actually going to be played around with on this season of Fear the Walking Dead,” Gimple said. “Yeah, who knows? I would love to get to be like Crisis on Infinite Earths. That would be super cool, but that’s way down the line.”
Fear The Walking Dead meets Crisis on Infinite Earths? I’m totally into that idea.
So while we’re not there yet, perhaps an epic crossover could be in the future. If there’s a possibility of getting Rick Grimes back on the small screen, I’m all for it.