The Walking Dead: World Beyond (AMC)

Adam Lenhardt

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This two-season limited series spinoff premiered Sunday night. It wasn't great, the biggest problem being four teenage leads who just aren't very compelling.

But the pilot still filled in a lot of blanks when it comes to the shared Walking Dead universe. Portland and Omaha both apparently managed to weather the downfall of civilization and have become walled off city states, like Alexandria in the mothership but on a vastly greater scale. Omaha has (had?) a Campus Colony in Lincoln, Nebraska on the grounds of Nebraska State University. The mysterious organizations with the helicopters and the three interlocking circles logo is called the Civil Republic, and there is at least some evidence that at least some of its operations are located in what had previously been the state of New York.

There are three reasons I'll probably keep watching, even though I don't care about any of the protagonists so far:
  1. The current actual real world pandemic had left a paucity of episodic television. I like having a certain number of shows that I only watch one episode a week on. The bar for making the cut is lower than usual right now.
  2. The structure of the show is essentially a cross-country roadtrip from eastern Nebraska to upstate New York, either along the I-80/I-90 corridor or a little further South along I-74 though Indianapolis and then East along I-70 through Columbus and Pittsburgh. Either route covers a huge chunk of the country that hasn't been explored by the mothership, which has stayed more or less entirely in the Southeast, or by "Fear", which has stayed focused on the West Coast, northern Mexico, and the Southern border states.
  3. Julia Ormond's character, the show's avatar for the mysterious Civic Republic, was the one character that intrigued me. I'm curious to see what her agenda is and what her goals were. Was it always the Civic Republic's plan to massacre the Campus Colony, or was that a later development? Perhaps they found the leaks through the Telex machine in the cabinet? Did Ormond's character purposely manipulate the girls into running off to save their father, in order to keep them away from the massacre? If so, why?
 

Adam Lenhardt

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I can't get over how bad Annet Mahendru's American accent is. It's like vaguely Cajun but not really. Her real accent when speaking English is pretty much the standard Northeast American accent with only the slightest hint of the Russian accent she used on "The Americans" so evidently the voice she's using in this was a creative choice by the producers. It doesn't help that everything that comes out of her character's mouth is a hackneyed cliche.

Of the teen actors, only Alexa Mansour as Hope has really impressed me.

The main thing that's keeping me tuning in is the little glimpses we get of Julia Ormond's character and the world of CRM.

I find it annoying that they refer to the zombies as “empties”. Really?
Ever since the original decision to make this a world where zombies never existed in popular culture prior to the fall of civilization, every geographically isolated group has had its own name for the walkers. As we approach the tenth anniversary of the mothership's series premiere, they're really scraping the bottom of the barrel.
 
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TravisR

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I can't get over how bad Annet Mahendru's American accent is. It's like vaguely Cajun but not really. Her real accent when speaking English is pretty much the standard Northeast American accent with only the slightest hint of the Russian accent she used on "The Americans" so evidently the voice she's using in this was a creative choice by the producers. It doesn't help that everything that comes out of her character's mouth is a hackneyed cliche.
I thought she sounds like Michelle Rodriguez. Her look and voice are so different from The Americans that it took me an episode to even realize that it was Mahendru.



Ever since the original decision to make this a world where zombies never existed in popular culture prior to the fall of civilization, every geographically isolated group has had its own name for the walkers. As we approach the tenth anniversary of the mothership's series premiere, they're really scraping the bottom of the barrel.
I know Robert Kirkman has said that the idea is that it's a world where Night Of The Living Dead doesn't exist but if George A. Romero could think to repurpose the term 'zombie' from voodoo zombies to the living dead, why not some people in the world of The Walking Dead? Also, if they ever do that, I will definitely be annoyed that they're using 'zombie' after Kirkman has long said that's verboten. :)
 
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TJPC

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What is this, episode 5? I have re-named this “Flashback Theatre”. They basically are giving me pre-walker histories of characters I don’t care about in the present. I am a compulsive watcher of these “dead” series, so I won’t stop watching, but I am really happy it is limited to 10 episodes.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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I thought she sounds like Michelle Rodriguez. Her look and voice are so different from The Americans that it took me an episode to even realize that it was Mahendru.
Without getting into spoilers, it's interesting that she didn't talk that way in the flashbacks last week nor in the final scene this week.
 
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TJPC

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I have not seen the last episode, but it better be “socko”. I have found that the shows pile up on my PVR until I have 2 or 3 and are so boring I have to make myself watch them. I am close to taking the show off my recording list.
 

TravisR

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I love that this show was conceived as a two season/20 episode story and that's it. Unfortunately, it's not a great sign that they spent half the series setting up something that could be good AND that possibly good second half of the show doesn't air until maybe as late as next fall. If they constructed the story in way that really builds to something, I would have had more enthusiasm for the show if they ran all 20 episodes in a row or ran them all with a short break (like when the main series runs half the season, takes three months off and then runs the other half of the season).
 

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