The first episode of this TWD spin-off (delayed from April) finally aired Sunday night. I think it has potential. the two main characters are teen-aged sisters Iris and Hope. They live in the well-protected "Campus Colony" and are being courted to join the mysterious Civic Republic. Their father has "voluntarily" joined the Civic Republic and, although kept incommunicado, has been sending the girls secret messages, cryptically hinting that the Civic Republic is not to be trusted. Stuff happens and the girls (and two boys) leave the safety of the only home they have ever known to travel cross country (from Virginia to New York) to find their father. After they leave, members of the Civic Republic are shown striding the ruins of the Campus Colony, which they have apparently just attacked.

There are multiple flashbacks to "the night the sky fell," which refers to an airplane crash but also the start of the zombie apocalypse. Hope suffered trauma as she and her mother were separated from her sister and their father. She witnessed the death of the mother and, unbeknownst to anyone, she killed the pregnant woman who killed her mother. Viewers learn that the pregnant woman was also the mother of one of the boys they are traveling with.

Anyone else watching this?

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Yep, I'm watching. I agree about the potential. It also answered the question about where the helicopter with the three circles logo that picked up Rick (which now seems so long ago!) came from. It was the Civic Republic.

We just saw the first episode last night. It definitely has potential... but it's also on kind of a short leash with me. That coincidence about the kids' moms on the first night of zombies was pretty hard to swallow. 

Also, none of the actors has really sold me yet. Well, the psychologist did... but she didn't last the episode. And I loved the woman playing Huck when she was in The Americans... but she's going to take some getting used to here.

But hey, there was so much setup in the episode, it's hard to really judge it. We'll definitely watch the second ep eventually to see if we'll stay with it. 

I thought this show was set in the Carolina and they're making their way to New York State. What are they doing in Nebraska? (Maybe it's filmed in Carolina...?) I don't like this show's name for walkers: "empties" sounds like something to be returned for deposit. I liked the "hornet zombie" in episode two. At least that one wasn't "empty." I also liked the "Big Mo" scene.

What did Silas do (in the episode three flashbacks)? I thought he killed his grandparents (to "save" them from the walkers), but Tracy thinks he killed his abusive father.

I do like the conflict shown in the female leader of the Civic Republic. 

The Campus Colony was founded at the University of Nebraska. The University is located 20-30 miles from Omaha, which is referred to in the episode as "the city." So the kids are actually walking from Nebraska to New York, which strains my credulity.

I was thinking that the Civic Republic was different than those folks that picked Rick up, since in the comics that's known as the Commonwealth. And the Commonwealth is located in Ohio, not New York. The comics gang picked up Princess in the ruins of Pittsburgh, on their way to Ohio. I don't remember the three circles on Rick's helicopter, but if they were there, the Civic Republic and the Commonwealth are probably going to be the same thing on TV. Either way, I'm going to remain alert for confirmation.

Over in the mothership, Eugene & Co. are walking from Alexandria, Virginia, to some point between Alexandria to where his would-be girlfriend lives. They didn't specify the city where they found Princess, so I don't really know if they're heading north to New York or northwest to Ohio. Did anybody notice if the troopers who captured Eugene and the troopers that wiped out the Colony wore the same armor?

I actually hope they are two different things, because the kids would almost certainly be discovered by the Commonwealth as they trudged through Ohio, who might give them some material support on the way to New York. If they are two different things, it's entirely possible the two city-states are already in conflict, which is a consummation devoutly to be wished. Dropping the kids into an ongoing war would certainly liven things up.

As to the show itself, I find it a little too YA for my taste. Teenage angst is fine in small doses, but it honestly should take a back seat in any story set in the zombie apocalypse. To listen to these kids whine when they had it better than 90 percent of humanity -- i.e., have not been eaten by zombies -- sets my teeth on edge. And sure, it was amusing to see the kids being so inept at killing walkers, but they better get better fast because my suspension of disbelief is already on a hair trigger. (Walking from Nebraska to New York in a zombie apocalypse? To confront a heavily armed city-state? What, exactly, is the plan here, kids?) Bottom line is I'm vaguely interested in Hope because of her budding nihilism, which is vaguely interesting (until the novelty wears off). But I also found the coincidence of her killing Encyclopedia Brown's mother preposterous and I'm not engaged with any of the other characters at all.

Further, I don't know what that accent is the Huck actor is trying to fake, but I suspect it's Hollywood "Southern cornpone," which is one of my pet peeves. Do people who make TV shows actually know any Southerners? We don't all talk like Li'L Abner, you know? We get TV here and everything.

If you marched along I-80 E, Omaha to NYC is 1,241.5 miles.  If you managed 20 miles a day with no delays, it would take 62.075 days.

How's the indoor plumbing coming along?

Captain Comics said:

We get TV here and everything.

My thought is that the Commonwealth and the Civic Republic are two wholly separate organizations.

In last night's episode, Hope revealed to iris that she killed the pregnant woman (and the young actress who plays Hope turned in a remarkable performance). I'm trying to remember... in one of the previous episodes, didn't "Encyclopedia Brown" tell someone about his pregnant mother's death? and if so, whom did he tell? If a secret shared is a secret halved, this one has already been quartered.

OCT 25: This show is getting to be more and more like The Breakfast Club. Beyond that...

They did a good job making making Hope appear younger in the flashbacks (especially difficult, I think, because they didn't have all that far to go). 

The exact relationship of the two "sisters" was revealed; i was okay not knowing, but whatever.

It is his dad that Silas is at least suspected of killing; I guess tracy was paying closer attention than I was.

"Huckleberry Tuscadero" is our least favorite character. I don't know what that accent's supposed to be. I don't think it's supposed to be Southern, but whatever it's supposed to be, it doesn't sound natural. (Midwest trying to affect New York street...?) 

It doesn't surprise me that the young cast didn't know about "Sadie Hawkins Day." I'd be surprised if the students themselves even knew. Back when my niece was that age (in the mid-2Ks), a "Sadie Hawkins" dance was held at her school and she had no clue. (From her POV, it was simply a dance in which the girls asked the boys.) I enlightened her... as if she cared.

EPISODE HIGHLIGHT: Did you notice the name of the canned meat product (with a green label) on the cafeteria storeroom's shelves? "SMEAT." That's greatness.

NOV 1: The "origin" of Huck is revealed. Also, Hope now knows that the pregnant woman she killed (who killed her mom) was Corduroy Boy's mom. I am a little disappointed that they won't be following the plan to return to Nebraska down the Mississippi and up the Missouri. I am very familiar with that section of river, both by water and ground, and their path would have taken them right by my hometown. 

I am still not invested in three (or four, really) of the six main characters. 

Yeah, I can't say I'm invested in any of the characters. The whole YA drama doesn't interest me at all. At this point I'm watching out of habit, hoping it might get better.

I keep thinking back to when ABC ran four seasons of The New Adventures of Superman back in the 1990s. I watched the first season then called it quits. Flash forward to The Big Bang Theory concurrent to when The Flash started on the CW. Sheldon had pre-committed to watching the entire run of the show in advance, regardless of how long it ran or dips in quality. That struck me as being particularly funny because that is exactly the same "commitment" I made to Smallville before it began. I don't know, but I must have made a similar commitment to TWD (including its various spin-offs), even though I missed the first six-episode season until the beginning of season two.

I'm still watching, but I'm enjoying it more because I'm expecting less. The low bar helps!

I hope this latest episode means Felix will be less of an ass. His constant attempts to undermine the kids in order to convince them to turn around had gone on too long, and was a really bad look. Huck, on the other hand, has suffered from being on board with the kids sometimes and with Felix sometimes. This inconsistency has made it difficult to warm up to her. So far she seems like the NPC of the show.

And my wife was in the room folding laundry when it was on -- she doesn't watch any Walking Dead any more -- and noted what I said earlier about Huck: "What's that accent she's trying to do?" Yeah, I know now it's supposed to Southern. She does it so badly it hurts my ears.

Jeff I hear what you say about the Mississippi, and I had the same hopes. I knew it wouldn't happen, but I was kinda hoping the crew would try to cross the river at Memphis. That wouldn't really make any sense -- given their likely route, they're probably crossing somewhere in Illinois -- but a boy can always hope!

I agree that they made Hope look younger in the scene mentioned above, and they did it with the most obvious of physical effects: They gave her bangs and tried to keep her out of natural light. She's a young-looking actress anyway -- I'm sure she's at least 18 so filming isn't restricted by child-actor laws -- so the difference was impressive.

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