Sext the Walking Dead
by DICK CHENEY
Fear the Walking Dead
creators Robert Kirkman & Dave Erickson
Every American in Los Angeles is in an interracial relationship except for Nick (Frank Dillane). The most likely explanation for this is that Dillane is British, portraying the heroin-addicted son of a woman named Madison Clark (Kim Dickens). Nothing could possibly be less mystifying than the viral spread of the undead, but the cast of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead — perhaps the most cynical cash-in since CBS’ short-lived Friends of M.A.S.H. — has no idea what is going on. Who are these people with bloody mouths? Should we offer them napkins, so they may tidy themselves?
After her son’s childhood friend Calvin stumbles down a dark alley towards her, Madison responds by going up to him and asking, “Calvin, what’s wrong?” She has been conditioned to believe that anything her own son says is bullshit, so when Nick tells her he has shot and killed Calvin in self-defense, she insists that he is lying. Not exactly Mom of the Year.
Madison (what a stupid fucking name) has a love relationship with an ethnic Māori named Travis (Cliff Curtis). Despite being the school’s guidance counselor, Madison’s family is bursting at the seams. Her ungrateful daughter Alicia is planning on running away with her interracial relationship, and she has zero concern for her children, admonishing their stepfather for coddling the kids.
Travis is a great boyfriend. “I love you,” he tells Madison, and she tells him that he is stupid for doing so. Usually people are good at receiving or giving love, one or the other, but that is not the case for Madison Clark. She is not even a good guidance counselor, as she proves when she takes away a knife from a poor student trying to defend himself from the violence to come.
Madison is at least a better guidance counselor than her boyfriend is an English teacher. For some reason he is teaching Jack London — perhaps unaware that there is no Jack London, just an office full of ghostwriters churning out material for the name on the cover of the book. The irony of The Walking Dead firing all their writers after the first season and proclaiming Robert Kirkman as the one true genius is somehow lost in the manic clichés of Fear the Walking Dead. There is no irony before death, I guess, but then one of the major characteristics of The Walking Dead was that it had no jokes in it, less it turn into a Shaun of the Dead-like parody.
I think the idea is that eventually the spinoff will just replace the main series, which added a bunch of new writers last season and turned from one of the worst shows on television to a kind of dark comedy involving the unique character of Rick Grimes — a charismatic, logical maniac. It can’t possibly go on forever, because the shelf life on a rage as motivation burns fast.
Fear the Walking Dead corrupts the far more innocent. Rick Grimes was a sheriff in the south – he had already seen some shit before his apocalyptic troubles began. Robert Kirkman has no prayer of being able to write realistic, modern teenagers — there’s a reason he took away all their cellphones, so he didn’t have to write scenes like this:
The denizens of Los Angeles are really not cut out for this, suggests Fear the Walking Dead, and in comparison to their southern counterparts, these city dwellers are ill equipped for any kind of survival. Fear the Walking Dead gives the tale of the city mouse, and it is bleak.
None of the people in the cast are overly sympathetic except for heroin addict Nick, only because he at least never kept up a pretense of being able to gainfully survive in the world. What both shows has been willfully short of so far is giving us any developments about the larger picture. The spiteful Frank Darabont seemed to be taking Kirkman’s basic concept a science-fiction direction in its first season, but after they got rid of him, The Walking Dead never touched that material again.
In a Donald Trump presidency, none of this would be an issue. Each night, we would tune into the president’s daily radio address, where he would tell us about the cookies he had recently eaten and rip into Rachel Maddow or Eleanor Clift at his leisure. Jeb Bush’s new line is that Trump’s record is not meaningfully different from Hillary Clinton’s. One interracial relationship is much like another.
Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.
“She Walks So Fast” – Drinks (mp3)