the eagerly anticipated offshoot of AMC's megahit, initially feels too much like a snore, narrowly following a single, not-terribly-interesting family, and leaning heavily on musical cues to stoke a sense of suspense. A second episode begins to propel the story forward, thankfully, but for starters, anyway, it's more a snack than a feast.
I agree that the first episode was a bit of a snoozefest. There was enough tension there to keep the viewer hanging on, but it was more about a slightly dull family trying to rescue their drug addicted son than it was about zombies. In the background there are hints of bad stuff about to happen, and the final scene leaves the family wondering, "What the hell is going on?"
The whole story could have fit in one of those 22 minute webisode series that the producers are so fond of making. Over 90 minutes it feels like they are stretching the story out too much.
If the whole season is like this, then the show will fail.
The first season is only 6 episodes. The second season will air in 2016 and have 15 episodes.
Elisabeth Vincentelli of the New York Post gave it a three out of four star review, and wrote, "The first two episodes are creepily suspenseful–they're great examples of how effective a slow pace and a moody atmosphere can be." Another positive review came from Ken Tucker of Yahoo TV, who wrote, "Fear the Walking Dead is a mood piece, more artful than the original series" and that the cast is "terrific". Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter gave it an average review, writing, "The 90-minute first episode and the hour-long second episode are, while not actually boring, certainly less magnetic than the original." One of the harshest negative reviews came from HitFix, on Daniel Fienberg and Alan Sepinwall's podcast, where Fienberg called it "awful, just horrible [...] as bad as The Walking Dead has ever gotten at its very worst. This is that bad. I've been kind of stunned to see people being generous to it. [...] I thought this was almost unwatchably bad." Sepinwall called his B- review "slightly generous".
P.S. Just for the record, the original The Walking Dead is one of the greatest TV dramas ever.