You're ready for some more zombies in your life, right? That's what AMC is betting on, with the premiere this weekend of "Fear the Walking Dead," the prequel/spinoff of its massively popular "The Walking Dead." The new show stars Kim Dickens ("Gone Girl," "House of Cards") and Cliff Curtis ("Whale Rider," "Gang Related') as they try to figure out what's going on before they accidentally get their brains eaten. It's a real risk, because "Fear the Walking Dead" is about the beginning of the zombie apocalypse, before anyone knows about zombies. Here's what you can expect.
1. You won't be any less freaked out
Knowing what's going to happen doesn't make the events any less scary. If anything, it's all the more anxiety-inducing, because you're watching a group of people who don't know that they should be scared. At least in "The Walking Dead," everyone knows their lives are in danger. But no one on this show has any reason to think that dark empty buildings, or shambling strangers, could be something more sinister, and they engage with all the blind confidence of the zombie-free.
2. Everything is tragic
An unanswered text message. Plans for teenagers to visit colleges. A fight with a family member. They're all small, unimportant events in the grand scheme of modern day life, but watching these things happen within a group of people whose lives you know are about to be irrevocably changed imbues even the most humdrum of events with an air of deep tragedy. Their lives as they know them are over, but they don't know it yet.
3. Survival of the fittest hasn't occurred yet
Rick Grimes was a former cop, tough, smart and competent, and many of the people he meets up with are just as weathered and canny. But in "Fear the Walking Dead," everyone is still alive, and not particularly prepared to fight for their lives. The two leads are a guidance counselor and an English teacher, respectively. There are kind nurses, sulky teenagers and, notably, drug addicts. Much of the action in the premiere takes place through the eyes of Nick (Frank Dillane), a young heroin addict who can't even be sure he should believe what's happening to him.
4. It's just as gruesome as the original series
If all of that makes you think you're watching some sad drama with no action, rest assured, this is still a "Walking Dead" show. There's gore from the very beginning, kill shots in the pilot, and all the half torn away faces any zombie fan could desire.