The future of ‘The Walking Dead’ and its companion series

Aubrey Shanahan

AMC is on a serious roll.

Breaking Bad” was so successful and popular that the showrunners created the spin-off, “Better Call Saul,” which has already received critical acclaim and has a healthy viewership.

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It is no surprise then, that “The Walking Dead” has spawned its own spin-off, which will be released this summer, according to Variety, and will be titled “Fear the Walking Dead.”

The spin-off, or “companion series” as AMC prefers, will be set in Los Angeles. “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman has explained that it will begin a bit before the comics and show, acting as a kind of prequel, before moving forward and eventually catching up with events in its parent show. Hopefully this will allow for some crossover either with characters or story lines.

This companion series could be really great, especially if it provides a bit more backstory for the outbreak, including the cause and how it spread so rapidly. Going deeper into this information gives the showrunners a whole new opportunity for the nail-biting drama that Dead fans love to hate.

The only problem with “Fear the Walking Dead” is that it could potentially exhaust the interest in the franchise much quicker than if there was only the original series. The brilliance of shows like “Breaking Bad” or “Mad Men” is that they recognize that their stories are limited and can only be told for so long before they become repetitive and overstay their welcome.

Good television comes with the right amount of interesting action and compelling character development, something that AMC’s lineup has excelled in executing in the past decade, especially with “The Walking Dead.” Therefore, my fear concerning the continuation of the series in addition to the companion series is that even though intriguing plot lines might continue, over time it seems inevitable that characters will suffer.

It is already a staple of “The Walking Dead” to kill off characters left and right, and it would seem rather silly and unrealistic to keep Rick, Daryl, Carl, etc. alive while everyone else dies around them. Not to mention the fact that the story is beginning to get repetitive as the group travels from “safe” zone to “safe” zone.

It would be extremely disappointing to see the show continue this pattern and lose the interest of its audience, but the showrunners and actors are promising big changes after the final episode of season five. Hopefully those changes will be enough to keep up the momentum of the series.

With the original show on its way to its peak and eventual descent, “Fear the Walking Dead” will need to maintain the feel of “TWD” while introducing its own unique, gripping story lines and characters.

Certainly this venture will be a challenge, and the producers will need to take some risks to pull in audiences, but given the quality of “TWD,” I am hopeful that they will be successful.

Be sure to catch the season finale of “The Walking Dead,” airing this Sunday at 7 p.m.

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Collegian A&E Writer Aubrey Shanahan can be reached at entertainment@collegian.con or on Twitter @aubs926.